Daily Archives: May 20, 2010

Casually Corinthian

It’s either a sign of how strong and deep English football is, or that football in this country has gone mad, that Corinthian-Casuals were the highest placed truly amateur club in the country last year… 13th place in one of six level eight regional leagues. Not only that, but the club were considered to have had a pretty good season considering recent history – a string of 20th place finished plus escapes by goal difference, even by earning more points than teams in different divisions…

In a game where even top flight professionals earning tens of thousands of pounds a week can have their head turned by someone waving a tenner in their direction, Corinthian-Casuals are a real breath of fresh air. Yet they are overshadowed at every turn by their semi-pro and professional colleagues. A few years ago they even chose to mark a major anniversary by inviting a local club to play them at Wembley, only to have their day wrecked by the louts from the pro game bringing several times their number of supporters and dicking them 8-1…

So its good to see we are making an effort to repay them by bringing a side to King Georges Field. Yet it makes me look a bit foolish after my confident announcement that Woking were our last opponents to be announced… In fact there is another set up for the Friday night before the Exeter game – announced just days after I booked my Saturday morning train to the South West, this will undoubtedly mean it will be the first leg of a mini tour of Devon. It’s probably only a minor side down there, I probably won’t be missing anything… but perhaps I should have thought more about making a weekend of it! Plus for all I know I could just be paranoid, it may be a game for the reserves against local (to us) opposition…

Salisbury at St(e)ake

Yesterday there were a few unofficial murmurs that something big was going on at Salisbury, and an announcement was going to be made today. Now I didn’t think much of it at the time as the ‘confirmation’ seemed to come from that most reliable of sources, a players Facebook status. Yet this morning, the news was out – Salisbury will play no part in the Conference next season.

Despite their financial problems last season, Salisbury would have finished above the Dons had they not been deducted ten points for entering administration – and their failure to fully satisfy their debtors by the leagues deadline has done for them. It’s hard to have too much sympathy for them in that respect – as far as I remember there was more than one ‘We Need £100K by Thursday or We’re F***ed’ style appeal that took place on their behalf last term.

Now I have no idea how much the debt was that took Salisbury down – if it was in the hundreds of thousands and they were waiting on a knight in shining armour to ride along and save them, but if it was touch and go its strange they didn’t do more to cut their wage bill beforehand… they could have cashed in on Matt Tubbs, who went on to become the leagues joint top scorer, back in January. Plus Danny Webb’s head is useable as a 50 pence piece in every vending machine in the UK…

To be honest I have a great deal more sympathy for Grays plight at the moment. Grays ‘voluntary relegation’ seems to have taken them down to the Essex Senior League thanks to the Ryman League deciding they just didn’t like the look of them… perhaps they had their top button open, shirt tales showing, or even (shock) they weren’t wearing a tie… Either way, that’s not the point. As a part of the pyramid, they are there to take teams whether they like them or not… and I bet they wouldn’t be falling back on obscure rules relating to application dates had it been a tea like Woking in the same position…

Back to the Ryman Premier, we are now a club short, and it seems certain that Forest Green Rovers will be invited back into the division to make the numbers up. Relegation on the last day of the season hurt FGR, although a reprieve will certainly make potential owners sit up and take notice after the “Numerous revenue streams with high growth potential, including conferencing, weddings, a gym and leisure centre and public house… oh, and a Football Club” was recently hawked in the FT.

All of this will certainly make followers of Ebbsfleet sit up and take notice, as although there is only a short time until the AGM, which will effectively lock everyone into position for another year, that’s a long time in football – and especially this particular level of football. Even though most clubs are looking pretty solid at the moment, like Salisbury we c ould be hit by a bombshell at any moment…

NB – Apologies for the title. My wife made me do it…

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