By Club Chairman, Barrie Becheley....
Make no mistake, we really have fallen on hard times. When a staple high street retailer like Woolworths goes under it’s time to take a good hard look at our attitudes toward money. Football clubs certainly aren’t exempt from this and as club chairmen we must cut our cloth accordingly to the times we live in. Perhaps also taking a moment to step back and appreciate the things in life we may’ve taken for granted. Things like our health, a family that loves us, not to mention a small amateur football club operated as a business venture which as the sole beneficiary I can draw unlimited funds from.
It’s tough out there right now. One minute you’re a little behind on the mortgage payments, then before you know it those pesky loan sharks start telling you that they know where the grand-kids go to school. Knowing there’s a buffer to ease those money problems makes all the difference, giving you the piece of mind you need. Not to mention the collateral necessary to make a down payment on a two bed villa on the Costa Brava. It won’t be easy to beat this recession, but all year sunshine and ice cold pina coladas are a good a starting place as any.
As a chairman of a football club you stand alone to be shot at. There’s always going to someone accusing you of downright penny pinching, asking what he and his fellow players are getting for their financial contributions. I know what you’re thinking, you’d like to take that dissenter to task, perhaps follow him home from work and make a thinly concealed threat about how easily brake cables can be cut. Well, don’t - my advise is to tread carefully and keep your cool.
If in doubt throw him some line about costs or better still player registration and insurance. Although I’d steer clear of the subject of pitch maintenance, seeing as ours hasn’t been fit for hosting a fixture since November 1st. Maybe not all the playing staff at Burridge know it, but I value each and everyone of them. Not just in gross financial terms either. I wouldn’t want anyone of them to come to any harm, especially not on the field of play. The ramifications of an insurance pay out don’t bare thinking about, not in times like these.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Rich Allan (pictured above), he needs help.
Life’s not all for laughs you know. Sooner or later there’s tough decisions to be made. Which credit card will provide me with the lowest annual percentage rate for the longest period of time? Will blanching or steaming be better suited to cooking my trimmed asparagus? And last, but not least, what’s the most effective way to convince a good friend’s fiancée that he really ought to be sectioned under the mental health act of 2007?
I’ve got his best interests at heart, but any thirty-one year old man who handles and discusses plastic figurines that serve as miniature representations of characters from the Star Wars films with the wide eyed enthusiasm of a child clearly has problems in my book. Ones that need addressing. The only answer of course is the psychiatric ward. When and only when he‘s secured in a maximum security hospital can he be treated for these delusions and then maybe, just maybe, providing me with an opportunity to take his place in the Burridge midfield.
As you can imagine, his wife to be was a little taken aback when I approached her on the subject. She didn’t consider his hobby a particular threat to their relationship until I mentioned his secret plans for their wedding. The problem with the truth is that people don’t want to hear it. You have to break it to them gently. That, or fabricate a story that helps you achieve your goal of returning to your rightful place in the Burridge midfield. One minute he’s rooting through the car boot sales looking for bargains from a galaxy far away , the next he’s secretly arranging a Star Wars themed wedding that requires guests to dress appropriately.
I made the investigations as any good friend would. It appears the National Health Service don’t consider a Star Wars obsession as reason enough to detain anyone. They soon changed their tune when I mentioned the domestic violence. I can’t reiterate that the difference between an adequate and an excellent telephone impersonation of your close friend’s fiancée often rests on having the ability to break into tears.
Which let me tell you is pretty straightforward in comparison to returning to your rightful place anchoring the Burridge midfield. Life is as complicated as we want to make it. When our friends are in danger from themselves it’s too easy to turn a blind eye and not exercise loyalty, kindness and fraud. If you don’t act quickly your friend’s terrible illness may never be given the treatment it deserves, namely in a maximum security mental facility where another course of electroconvulsive therapy is only another hour away. If you didn’t act upon the situation could you call yourself a true friend? Could you look yourself in the mirror at night? Could you ever realistically be asked to operate in a 4-4-2 formation in the middle of the park away to Hythe & Dibden reserves? I rest my case.
Monday, 3 November 2008
(Pictured above:) Jay Schwodler cowering in fear once more as he prepares to face his demons.
Saturday 1st November
Burridge AFC 0-1 Hythe Aztecs
It lies somewhere in the hearts of all men. For some it might be failure, for others - commitment and with David Beckham it’s birds. But all men fear something. What that may be is irrelevant. What is more pertinent is how you face up to it, if you face up to it at all. Many men spend their entire lives running away from their fears. Not so Burridge right-back, Jay Schwodler.
He has had a deep seated fear for as long as he can remember. One that even now at the age of thirty-one he finds truly terrifying. Does he run away? No, he does not. He faces it head on, the same way he’s been doing so bravely every Saturday afternoon since he can remember.
Come rain or shine, he packs his kit bag and drives to the game, knowing, just knowing, that at some point he will be forced to come face to face with the very monster he fears in this life most. Because for Jay Schwodler, fear comes in the size of thirty-two panel spherical polyhedrons. Or put simply to me and you - size five leather footballs.
Like many fears, Schwodler’s is completely irrational, but this does make it any less of a problem. Many of his team-mates are quite happy to receive the ball at their feet with little fuss. Jay Schwodler on the other hand can get into such a state when faced with the football, he has on occasions been possessed by evil spirits. They take control of his body, often speaking in tongues, cursing wildly when in contact with the ball. These episodes are ended when Schwodler loses possession of the ball, so thusly they’re remarkably short in duration.
Although blessed with a bravery that is unquestionable, many of Jay Schwodler’s colleagues find it just too painful to watch his struggle with the football week in, week out. They’ve begged him to call it a day and hang up his boots, putting an end to his suffering. Still he chooses to ignore their advise, leaving many to worry just how much longer Schwodler can keep facing up to footballs.
Read more about Burridge by visiting the Times Online, by clicking on their logo to the top right of this post.
I haven't posted here since 2012 – that’s five years of not blogging. The blog is/was about Burridge AFC, the football team I played f...