FANS' ZONE 19/11/2020
POINTS DROPPED BUT UNITED CONTINUE UNBEATEN LEAGUE RUN AS FANS FAR AND WIDE ENJOY ENHANCED STREAMING Watching Saturday’s newly extended MatchDay Programme streaming for the National League fixture against Boreham Wood, who gave the Gulls a real physical test, it is clearly a work in progress with the enhanced package much appreciated especially by exiles from far and wide.
It was good to hear from Chris Todd confirming there’s a definite pathway from the Youth Academy through to the first team. And with the match 1899 programme suspended it was important to see the marketing department had plenty of adverts up on the screen.
The most striking part of the pre-match entertainment was a reminder of the inspirational noise from the Yellow Army supporting the team to their 2-1 victory over Boreham Wood on the opening day of last season. How the Yellow Army miss being involved, their chants must be worth at least a goal a game.
The National League’s streaming benchmark is clearly Bromley’s Matchday Live and whilst Dom Mee is not a Helen Chamberlain, he is proving to be a perceptive interviewer. Nobody expects the club’s output to be Sky Sports standard but might the show be called Soccer PM?!
The chat with Billy Waters gave us the quote of the day, for when he was asked about the prolific goalscoring of the team’s previous three games - 14 goals - he replied, “Maybe I’m not needed!”
One last thought, on the BT Sport highlights package why does their camera filming from Bristows appear to be better positioned?
Disappointing that United’s game last Tuesday against visitors Solihull Moors was called off on Friday due to their whole squad going into isolation but at least there was plenty of notice unlike last Saturday’s Wealdstone v Dover game which was called off on the Friday afternoon because Dover’s squad held Covid testing that morning and results wouldn’t have been known in time. So the match was called off regardless. By Saturday evening all Dover’s players and staff returned negative results.
If this is how the season is going to continue then expect more postponements and inevitably a serious fixture pile-up.
The National League grant saga has now taken another twist as the number of disgruntled clubs increases with them calling for the resignation of the NL chairman, Brian Barwick, which if it happens would come hot on the heels of the FA chairman Greg Clarke quitting last week.
Now a number of MPs are involved including former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch who is appealing for a review into the funding. The crux of the issue is that the clubs argue the £10m lottery funded money was, according to the current Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone’s statement in Parliament back in September, to be allocated based on gate receipts and this clearly hasn’t been the case.
With the announcement of an independent review committee last week maybe we’ll just have to wait to see the results of their deliberations. But the unrest needs a quick solution.
On Tuesday the Government held an all reaching virtual summit on the future of English football with the heads of the FA, National League and Kick It Out discussing the potential return of fans, the reform of football governance and finance, equality and diversity and the women’s game.
Subsequently, it has emerged that the Government has been exploring the possibility of fans being allowed into stadiums by Christmas in areas with the lowest coronavirus infection rates once the second lockdown ends but sadly, with new tiers expected to be introduced, this is likely to rule out Torbay and so no supporters inside Plainmoor.
Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElheanney whose takeover of Wrexham was given the green light on Monday, had originally tabled a multi-million pound takeover of Hartlepool in the summer but the current Pools’ owner, Raj Singh, turned them down. Wonder if he’ll regret that now that his only other director, Ian Scobbie, resigned last week.
Meanwhile Wrexham anticipate a big cash injection and plenty of publicity.
The Yellow Army podcast is keen to keep listeners updated on ex-Gulls and in particular Manny Duku, who on Saturday hit his 11th goal in all competitions in Raith Rovers 1-0 win over Cowdenbeath. The Johnson brothers knew there were goals in him but just not on the English Riviera or as French paper, L’Equipe, calls Torquay, the Cote d’Azur anglaise!
Last week’s question was to find your Goal of the Season contender so far and the favourite choices are: Adam Randell’s at Bromley, Ben Whitfield’s at Aldershot and Aaron Nemane’s strike against Crawley. So whose goal would you put number one? Send your vote to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally a reminder that TUST’s virtual AGM is next Wednesday November 25, for details go to: www.tust.co.uk.
As always to the Yellow Army stay safe.
SUPPORT TUST - ATTEND THE VIRTUAL AGM ON 25TH NOVEMBER AT 6.30PM.
Details to follow