Friday, 21 June 2019

Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?


Hooray! My first Twitter jail!
All I did was call a man who grabbed a protestor by the throat
A “Cunt,
“And the fucking cunts that are apologists for that man
“Are Cunts Too.
“Fucking Cunts.”

Later I got into an argument on Facebook
Because people were saying that a tea party
In International Refugee Week
To welcome refugees
Was somehow responsible for there being people on the streets.

Fucking hell I hate myself
I really must do to keep doing this stupid shit

Ah well I’m gonna make a lasagne now I spose in my nice warm safe house with running water and nobody dropping bombs on my head.


Seriously, though. Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?

Seriously, though.

Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?Seriously, though, why the fuck aren't people angry with the government instead of blaming whoever is handiest? What the fuck happened?

FUUUUUUUUUUCK

Thursday, 20 June 2019

1876 - 1

I am Number Six.

But I am not a prisoner. I am a free man, indeed.

But I am number six today because it's warmish outside and I've got a pair of shorts on.

These shorts were match-worn in the 2013 Welsh Cup Final. (I think that's what I was told when I bought them from the club shop).

Specifically, they were worn by Michael Johnston, who was absolutely ridiculously sent off for two nothing challenges - the second of which was completely bought by the wily old fuck Andy Parkinson, who can be seen gesturing 'off you go' to the City defender as he dived.

Refs are shit aren't they. Ah well.

Now these shorts are special for various reasons. First off, I've got official Bangor City shorts and that is still a thrill and I don't care. Secondly, that game was very, very significant. The normally ice-cool Dave Morley missed a penalty with the score 1-0 to Prestatyn. City were all over them at that stage.

Bangor did equalise, but ten men couldn't cope in extra time and the mini-squealers won 3-1 to get to Europe.

Morley was a great player for Bangor. Similarly, the fat bastard in goal for Prestatyn was usually absolute tripe on Sgorio highlights. Except when he played us. Then he became Lev Fucking Yashin.

That penalty miss, that sending-off, the way it unfolded was the first real step in the unravelling of the championship-winning squad. Three years later and a couple of relegation scares, sans money from Europe, and Bangor City were fairly close to being unable to fulfil their financial commitments. The Vaughans got their claws on it, and so here we are.

But, let me be absolutely clear about this, because it's important: correlation is not causality. In my time, in my four decades as a fan and occasional programme-writer and columnist and journalist, City have either been on the brink of going bust or actually gone bust and had to re-form another company probably four times (that I know about). What didn't happen was a schism between fans.

I am number six and I am a free man.

And the free man in me knows intimately all that history, all the sweaty farts of a doomed cup final, all the bad times and occasional good ones. And knows that the spirit of a club is in its fans, its players, its backroom team all pulling together. In one way, you could posit that Bangor City is dead. Vaughan FC killed it.

But that's not true.

The spirit of all that lives on. The fans, the people behind the phoenix club, the atmosphere and the excitement is in Bangor 1876. We are Bangor. We're starting again at Tier 5. We're reclaiming what always was ours. Everything that is vested in the club, the shirt, the memories and the hopes and dreams lives on. You cannot kill an idea. And the idea of a community club, happy to bring back the camaraderie and social value, that can speak Welsh, is a powerful one.

All that lives on in a pair of cheapish shorts, a bit shiny and frayed at the same time. It lives on because of the power of all that has preceded it, and all that there is to come.

Hanes a balchder. Dan ni yma o hyd.

EDIT: Wonderful video here too. Sums it up completely. The past is ours. The future is ours.

Friday, 14 June 2019

A Man Without A Team: Collected writings

The entire collection of my year-ish-long exploration of what a football club is, what it means to a community, what it means to me, who truly owns a football club's history, pies, cats, songs and wazzing about. 

They're presented here chronologically. Dive in if ya like tho. I've tried to explain a bit of context to them all.

It all began in a rush of confused and bereft words. It was a fucking difficult decision to cut ties with a club I'd been part of for 35 years: WEEK ONE and the first blog was done near the start-ish of the 2018/19 season, being August 2018.

I got excited about a new non-affiliated shirt here. This one's my Barry Norman tribute. I started wavering a bit after a week or two. It wasn't proving easy to leave 35 years behind in an instant.

I got a bit poetic as August went on. And things were afoot. The shirts were being sold and the profits going to charity; I cheered up a bit. Not so, hapless manager Craig Harrison, who was quickly realising what a hiding-to-nothing he'd been handed. The margins at any level of footy can be cruel, and a missed penalty can make the difference between keeping and losing your job. Off the pitch, I was starting to interrogate the idea of 'a club'.

Then this happened and I realised my team, my Bangor City, truly was gone. The captain - the misser of the pen - also turned out to be a bad racist. Prick. As September, 2018 rolled on fans started to ask what was really happening behind the scenes. The owners defaulted to their 'come and see me anytime' position, which many felt was really not a great idea given their background. They also tried to call an EGM, but couldn't even do that properly.

I started October with a rather unwise social media argument with a friend of a friend, who turned out to be a gangster in a bad part of the States. Oops. What's safer is the competition to get your bins out earlier than anyone else in the street.  Things were moving fast, now, and rumours were getting out of hand. A disappearing message board brought all sorts of conspiracy theories, none of which were true. But it was testament to the uncertainty. Message boards are funny places - you get all kinds of people and all kinds of discussions. Looking back on a defunct one from a couple of seasons ago seemed quaint in content, although it seemed very, very important at the time.

Harrison lasted til October, to nobody's great surprise. I was about two-thirds of a way down a bottle of Henry Weston's when I felt a very odd warmth. Once I'd changed my trousers, I realised that I did, at one level, admire SVJ's work, in a very specific context.

But a club is not what happens on the pitch, I don't think. This kind of thing cheered me again. Although news of another EGM/AGM/GMT/BBC made me a bit miserable again.

Lest we forget, Bangor City got demoted after finishing a very good second in the LoW, and getting to the Welsh Cup Semi Final. The team was brilliant, the future looked bright. But it all crashed down. We knew not why, not really. But then, in November, the auditors broke ranks and we all knew why it'd gone to plop. My writing had too - I was adrift again.

It seemed like things were coming to a head. Not least when SVJ pissed off to Malta to get a job with a club over there. Was this going to be the end of the regime?  There was even a so-called 'change of ownership' and Gary Taylor-Fletcher came back. Was he the face of a new consortium? We hoped and we hoped.

Xmas came, and Xmas went, and Boxing Day was boring as fuck because I didn't care about football anymore.

And I nearly, nearly cracked when the news came through about a Welsh Cup game against Caernarfon. It was to prove divisive amongst fans. First, though, the game nearly didn't go ahead amongst the latest swirling rumours of non-payment. City lost 2-1, and I was upset even though it wasn't my City anymore. Cause it was, really, wasn't it. A local derby is always a local derby. It is difficult to extricate yourself from these kinda things.

January, 2019 ended with a realisation about the concept of a community football club. I was starting to have a bellyful of the bullshit and the support-the-shirt nonsense. The regime at Nantporth, by contrast, was refusing to pay any bills because their shares had/hadn't been ratified at an EGM, or something.

The Supporters' Association had gone into hibernation, in complete despair at all this. But the comeback started with a very, very progressive EGM at which a vote was taken as to investigating incorporation as a Supporters' Trust. A new club, a fan-owned club, would be looked into. Meanwhile, at Nantporth the bullshit continued with a few aggressive sock puppet Twitter accounts and a new appointment. I realised that, technically, I did actually have a different club that I was technically allowed to follow.

Things progressed on the new club front. I went to Spain and enjoyed a holiday. April, 2019 was a decent month. May dragged on, and the message boards were being spammed by a couple of regime apologists trying to deflect and divide. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I got called a cretin by one of them, which reminded me how much I loved the Ramones. Cretin or not, City were docked a whopping 42 points in May - meaning another demotion. Hilarious. There's an appeal in.

By June, we'd come more or less full circle. We are on the verge of Week One of the Phoenix Club, pending FAW decisions as to which league they're going to put us in. And it is 'us'. We are Clwb Peldroed Bangor 1876 Football Club. This is where the spirit and the content and the community is. Nantporth is full of rats. Also, I like cats a lot.

A Man Without A Team: The Resurrection?

Update: The collected AMWAT posts are here with context and links from August, 2018 through to June, 2019.
__


There's a cat that tries to get in our house regularly. He's a lovely lad. We call him Blue-head but I don't know what his real name is.

(I just asked him. He said Miaow).

It's raining out there; I wouldn't mind if he came in. But one of our Actual Cats, Ikey, does not like Blue-head, and hisses at him to shit him up til he runs off again. Well, it's Ikey's house. Sometimes they have a kind of rapprochement and peace descends - but never for long.

They never fight as such - just hissing and running away and the game of trying to get in when it's raining, to scran the food that's out. Sometimes Blue-head achieves entry unbeknownst to any of us. I've found him fast asleep, curled up on the bed. I've looked round from my computer and he's there, killing a catnip sausage toy. I've gone for a piss and when I've come back he's chomping away at a bowl of KitKat that clearly isn't his.

But he's a good little lad and quite friendly so - gah, life's too short. He's inside now; wet as hell, and a bit nervous. Ikey is staring at him. I doubt it'll be long before Blue-head is chased out again.

And, indeed, life is too short to stay down for long either.

Was it really only nine months ago that I finally reached the end of what I could take? The moment, in the aftermath of a racist comedian in the Nantporth Suite, in the shadow of the failure of the domestic license, after lie and lie again? The moment I became a man without a team?

And, yes, it was. The Bangor City I grew up with had gone, has gone, forever. Broken, broken, broken. Hijacked by owners so dumb they couldn't even cook the books properly. Well, we've been over that before.

And now, that club is likely to be relegated again - demoted, actually, for events off the pitch - cause they couldn't do paperwork properly. I mean, it's so ludicrous now that it's objectively funny. Funny haha and funny peculiar. The club has put an appeal in, of course.  What the outcome of that is going to be, who knows. And, in a sense, who cares. I try not to, personally.

Bangor City, or whatever strange and weird cuckoo is colonising the nest and the name, have signed lots of players from Italy, some via Malta.  Bizarrely, they have a new Director of Football, who has apparently had experience at Milan and Udinese. This chap's past is a bit murky, according to this article.

Who knows what's gonna happen next week when the appeal is heard? Not me. Not Blue-head (I asked him. He looked at me with his massive yellow eyes and said nothing).


A Man With A Team... soon?

And in any case, it's not important in the way that the new phoenix club is important. Because on Monday, Clwb Peldroed Bangor 1876 Football Club learns which level the Welsh FA is putting them at. A Tier 3-compliant ground has been secured, and management is ready to rock.

It's very exciting. It really is. I feel energised again. The sun's come out. Blue-head has gone out again. And - this never happens - the little black cat from next door came in to say hello too. A new day's beginning. A resurrection.

Nine months ago I was really at rock bottom as far as footy was concerned. I started writing about it. A few people liked the blogs. Some hated them. Such is life.

But you cannot keep a good cat soaking wet for long can you? This Cat will always come back. 

It can piss it down, but remember this wisdom (and one of the greatest comedy moments in my lifetime):






















Wednesday, 22 May 2019

AMWAT: The Losing

Well, this is just getting silly now isn't it. And sad, of course.

Latest from my former team is that they've been deducted 42 points for fielding ineligible players. The punishment also includes a transfer ban til 2020. The club, or at least SVJ, says they're going to appeal against the 'humiliation'. Excuse me whilst I do a chinny reckon on that one. They've got form, baby.

One of the hilarious arguments seems to be that 'everyone does it'. That's a strong position legally isn't it.

Well, the 42-points isn't even the biggest deduction the Welsh FA/Cymru Alliance have made. Welshpool once won the CA and subsequently got relegated with a 66-point deduction. Check out that funky league table! It's mad.

Anyway that means on paper City are relegated again, or, rather, demoted. Relegation is dependent on what you do on the pitch. And, to be honest, on the pitch has rarely been a problem. SVJ is a very very good director of football in terms of sourcing players (and managers). The team of two seasons ago was bloody brilliant and ought to have had the chance to play in Europe, Scotland, and so on. That they've scattered far and wide instead is really a huge shame. Another season with Bangor - putting all financial nonsense aside - might well have made the careers of some of those great young players.

But instead this happened. And just to reiterate, for the sake of clarity:


ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS PASS THE FUCKING LICENSE.

I really cannot stress that enough. But hey ho, the jalopy staggers onward toward the inevitable. I suspect City might even appeal and perhaps get a suspended deduction - which will in due course be breached too and, well, yadda yadda yadda.

Daft. And depressing.


Three songs for today:

This week a hero passed to the other side to bless the departed with his sweet, sweet love. One of Alabama 3's greatest songs is from the wonderful La Peste. It seems apt here:


As ever with Alabama 3, there is a message of hope in there. Even in our darkest days, there will always be a light. Always one of my favourite Bible quotes, that. Some parts of that book of short stories are wonderfully-written. The Song of Solomon is so full of love it's incredible. Rather racy, too. The gifted and sublime Rumi echoed it hundreds of years later. Love, maybe, is not all you need. But fuck me it's a good start.

Talking of which, Elbow also hit the nail on the head. 

RIP Jake, and long live comradeship.




And, lest we get too maudlin, let us always remember the sage words of Sham 69:


Peace and unity to all, folks. 

The smoke from the burning will soon clear - and the phoenix will rise.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

We've Got No Chance


Ev’rybody’s talking about
Fascism, Leftism, Rightism, Racism, Eurovison
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m

All I am saying is we’ve got no chance
All I am saying is we’ve got no chance

C’mon
Ev’rybody’s talking about Rebellion
Extinction, Affliction and Contradiction
Marches and Churches and banners and strikers
And spiking writers

All I am saying is we’ve got no chance
All I am saying is we’ve got no chance

Let me tell you know
Ev’rybody’s talking about
Fake news, fake boobs, film crews,
Pustules, new rules, bank fools,
Nodules, food queues, union dues
And fuck yous.

All I am saying is we’ve got no chance
All I am saying is we’ve got no chance

Ev’rybody’s talking about
Donald Trump, Farage cunt, Yaxley-dump,
Brexit bastards, dogma retards, snowflakes, milkshakes,
Magic granddads, traitor splitters
Leave means leavers, fucking wankers
Fucking, fucking wankers

All I am saying is we’ve got no chance
All I am saying is we’ve got no chance

All I am saying is fuck all this shit
All I am saying is fuck all this shit


Thursday, 16 May 2019

AMWAT: Cretinous charges

The Internet is very silly sometimes.

Specially when you get into anonymous message boards, where people spend at least half their time trying to doxx each other. Not always all that successfully, it must be said. I've been called a cretin several times by someone aggressive, which is funny.

To be exact, it was someone calling me a cretin, although the person online they thought was me, wasn't me. So I observed for a bit then kinda set em straight. Silly sausages.

It did remind me that The Ramones are ace though (as if I needed that reminder). Hope it works better on your system. I need a new lead from the computer to my amp, and I'll go and get one soon enough.



A little more seriously, there are two things that have come up this week too.

1. The Welsh FA have actually done something and put City under a transfer embargo, related to unpaid wages. There's been no official response from the club about it as yet.

2. The club has also received yet another High Court summons. It's not the first time. Eventually they've all been paid. But bloody hell, it's awful PR isn't it.

3. Also see the link for overflowing bins, uncollected for unspecified reasons. Rats, rats, rats everywhere. Which reminded me how ace The Stranglers are, too.



But of course, if you happen to chance upon the message boards, at least half the posts there are from the same people (maybe two, or three, or four) trying to deflect again on their favourite themes:

1. Blame the BCFCSA.

2. Blame the previous board.

3. Blame Canada. Which reminded me how great South Park is.




And that's all I have to say about that.