“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”. Oscar Wilde.
I read today that Dover FC are withdrawing from all future games as a result of a Covid related financial crisis. Sad though this is , they are far from unique. Many other so-called little clubs are hanging on, not knowing whether they can survive until the end of the season or until fans are allowed to return to our football grounds. It appears that the Government reneged on a pledge to give them financial support until the end of the season. They were offered a loan but, not surprisingly, they can’t afford to pay it back. Should someone step in and help the clubs we love to survive? You could possibly argue that football is not something to spend public money on until you start to think of the effect football has on the mental well being of so many people. No sign of an intervention from our bloated TV companies either, despite their huge profits from football.
Of course we should be grateful that we know that our club has taken the necessary steps to remain viable until some months after the return of the fans. Many of us are still haunted by memories of the season when we slipped out of the league and financial mismanagement almost drove Cambridge United out of existence. A protest march from the centre of the city to the ground helped to demonstrate just how much a football club means to its fans.
Finally, we welcome Scunthorpe United tonight. I have always enjoyed going there and remember crowing in the Berkley Hotel after Tom Youngs’ volley, which stuck in the stanchion, won us the points. I would love to have been there this season for our five nil win, and suspect that the home fixture will be much closer. Win or lose, however, this has been our best season for years, even though we are only top of the league!