Monthly Archives: June 2012

Imps Are Back – Time for a Recap.

Well the Mighty Imps are back, or at least back in training, with David Holdsworth pleased to report that his eager beavers are raring to go ahead of the release of the Blue Square Premier Fixtures on Monday July 2nd.

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Adam Smith has of course joined and he clearly shows the sort of determination the side will need as we try to knit youth and exuberance, tenacity and technique , together with the financial limitations,  wits, energy and reassuring determination, that our manager has at his disposal.

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Smith was the last  in, unveiled at a fans forum after the Imps Trust AGM 9 days ago. Few had expected it after news that the cupboards were bare and that the anticipated squad of 23 could well turn into one of 21 instead. But oh contraire, thanks to a family affair,  as David, presumably brow beat brother Dean (who had him on loan last term and had made preliminary moves) to a winger with style, guile and a smile.

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The Imps do, on paper at least, appear to have acquired wisely.  Andy and Ashley Westward may be at opposite ends of their respective careers, yet both share a hunger and tenacity that will inspire their peers. That is something that we have missed for a few seasons now.  Elliot Green & Dan Coupland have also been promoted from the youth team, the duo have the ability and the hunger that should make us proud.  Fans generally have a lot more patience for our own born and bred, so this is unlikely to be a PR stunt for a manager who has had the ethos of Graham Taylor installed in his sometimes idiosyncratic psyche.

*****

Gary Mills looks an excellent signing. He is a work-horse like preprocessor Thompson, yet his distribution is ten times better. Mills has the eye for a pass and can make time for himself in the middle of the park come rain or shine. He was pivotal in the Nuneaton BSN promotion side, who have enjoyed 3 promotions in 4 years. Let us hope he can continue his rise and inspire his team-mates to at least a play-off place. Frazer Cobb could well both learn from and partner him. He and Karl Cunningham were a class aprt in last season’s successful Midland Youth cup campaign.

*****

Although we have only signed the one new striker in Duffy (Adam Smith can also do a job in a front two) City will hopefully be seeing Bradley Baraclough in all his glory.  His sensational loan saw 11 goals in 10 starts and 8 substitute appearances in a struggling side, saw him named player of the season as he saved Buxton from relegation.   Let us not forget we were also robbed of the services of Sam Smith and Jamie Taylor during injury plagued seasons.  As for ex-Mariner Duffy, well you feel if the side clicks he can be our first 20 goal man since Yeo.

David Holdsworth

Holdsworth appears particularly impressed with the condition of the players upon their return and has put the players straight into  fitness training. The pre-season friendlies are just 18 days away, with the squad splitting into two as the Imps travel to Worksop and Grantham on the same Wednesday evening. He will do the same the following week (24/7) as the Imps travel to Newark and Skegness United.  Match fitness is as key as first 11 cohesion at this stage of the proceedings, with the manager keen to give the whole squad as much opportunity as possible to acclimatise to the match environment.

A big hand please for the Champions of Impdom.

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The Squad

*****

Goalkeepers

Paul Farman, Nick Draper,

Defenders

Paul Robson, Andy Boyce, Ashley Westwood, Josh Gowling, John Nutter, Elliot Green & Dan Coupland

Midfielders

Adam Smith, Gary Mills, Peter Bore, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Nicky Nicolau, Conal Platt, Frazer Cobb, Karl Cunningham

Strikers

Rob Duffy, Sam Smith, Bradley Baraclough, Jamie Taylor.

Come On Impdom Help Holdsworth Build Our Side

Who is up for the ride, because we need a rebirth of Lincoln-wide-pride, to give David Holdworth an opportunity to pimp our side.   In order to Save the Mighty Imps let us lighten the load and return to community mode.  Urge your company to buy a Renaming Raffle Ticket at fifty quid a bid. Print off THIS  in A4 or even better A3 and get it on the wall,  that’s all,  unless you know others who can also answer the call. And don’t forget at least one or maybe a pile of these too  if the many are to help shoulder the burden of the few.


 Image Thanks to historical kits – here

When the Mighty Imps were  relegated on that fateful day last May, what could anyone say.  In front of 8,000 witnesses in our own back yard, the spiritual home that is Sincil Bank –  aka The Theatre of the Absurd –  saw pride evaporate faster than walking the proverbial plank.  Many felt the financial fates, as well as the shadowy non-league realm of Hades, would soon come knocking at our gates.

That kind of crowd suggests we have a future and while Imp blood courses through our veins, we will keep the faith through the losses and the gains.  As long as we at  Save the Mighty Imps have our keyboards we shall champion those that remain of the once proud  Imp Hordes. We will record the losses and the draws, the wins, the virtues and the sins.

We are after all the Mighty Imps not wimps and need just a glimpse for the faithful to return to  a sunnier Sincil Bank, nay Sincil Swank, a heavenly place so rarely full of grace, but  where passion  is always the fashion.

Save the Mighty Imps is a totally independent website written by the fans for the fans, working side by side with the Lincoln City Banter  page on Facebook.  If you ever fancy chatting with real life Lincoln fans in a friendly well moderated environment why not pop along here  for a chat .

Please urge your company to buy a Renaming Raffle Ticket at fifty quid a bid. Print off THIS  in A4 or even better A3 and get it on the wall,  that’s all unless you know others who can also answer the call. And don’t forget at least one or maybe a pile of these too  if the many are to help shoulder the burden of the few.  Support the team however you see fit, but together we must now do our bit, unless we want to hear the hammer and words ‘I am afraid that is it.

Paul Musselwhite Q & A – Yes He Is A Pompey Fan

Paul Musselwhite is a cult hero with Scunthorpe United,  Hull City and Port Vale after a League career spanning 619 games.  He then went on to make 57 appearances at Gateshead as they gained promotion from the Northern Premier and Conference North in successive seasons.  A 619th League appearance as a sub against Southend would be our former player-coach’s  only game for the Imps. Now 43 he is on the verge of a return to the League with York City.

OK let us cut to the chase, here are his answers to the Lincoln City Q & A

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Q – Lincoln or Scunthorpe Paul?? – Answer carefully haha
 – I enjoyed my time at both clubs but I did play over 250 games for scunny and had 6 years in 2 spells . Lincoln have always been a fantastic club and were unlucky in the play offs a number of times.


Q Who was the best manager you worked under at Lincoln – Jacko, Sutton or Tilson
 I enjoyed working under Peter Jackson and Chris Sutton . Peter thought I was good enough after a coyple of years in non league to be the goalie coach/no2 goalie which I took as a compliment. Chris just let me get on with it.when Burchy left he told me to sign who I wanted that showed me how much confidence he had in me.  I still think we would have stayed up if him and Pearcey had not resigned . Steve Tilson I felt never really fancied Joe Anyon which left me in a difficult situation.It was no surprise when he brought in Trevor Carson and Elliot Parish .I was also left in a dfficult position at the end of my contract where I actually never got offered a new one.

Who is the biggest mentor on your career and how did you get into the game?

I was lucky to have Alan Ball and Graham Paddon as manager and assistant and Peter Osgood as my youth team manager when  I was an apprentice at Portsmouth. Ossie was the first football person who gave me the confidence and belief that I could have a career in football.  Mick Buxton then signed me as a19 year old and made me his number 1. He had so much confidence in me and I am forever grateful that he gave me that chance.


Who were your football heroes when you grew up and who would you say you have tried to emulate?

My hero was Ray Clemence,  I always wanted to be left footed so I could emulate him. I was lucky enough to play against him for Pompey reserves against Spurs near the end of his career

Who did you follow and do you still support or ever see them nowadays given the chance.

I still support Portsmouth , its not a great time to be a Pompey supporter but I try to get to watch them when I can. I went to the 2009 cup final against Cardiff , it was a great day out .

How did you feel when you were signed as a youth by Pompey and who had you been playing for before.

It felt great when I got my apprenticeship at Portsmouth, being my hometown club and the team I supported. I had played for my local teams and all the Pompey schools and rep teams from about 10 years old. I was also on schoolboy forms and played about 6 months in the youth team the season before I became an apprentice.

Do you feel the gap between the BSP and League 2 is now close enough for a 3 up and 3 down system.

I think the difference between League 2 and the Conference is very narrow now. I think this has a lot to do with a number of ex-league teams being in the Conference. The Conference chairman would probably want 3 up 3 down but I doubt the league 2 chairman would agree to this.

Would you like to have a crack at management one day?

I have never wanted to be a manager its something I have never fancied plus goalkeepers dont usually make good managers

*****

Onto your Lincoln Coaching role

How do you coach a keeper? Was Joe a good pupil?

I think you can coach young goalkeepers in all aspects of goalkeeping, technique, handling, positioning, crosses, diving, shot-stopping, kicking but I feel u get to a certain age and you are set in your ways. Most pro goalies are set in there ways so its a case of working hard day in day out , going over DVDs of games and talking through any problems. Joe had a fantastic work ethic not just on the training ground but also in the gym. Burchy was also the same as Joe, usually the first in the morning and the last to leave.

Are you a family man or are you planning to raise a future England No 1.

I am a family man, I’ve been married 18 years and have 2 boys aged 18 and nearly 16. . My oldest lad plays for Brigg.

As a coach you have to help lift the spirits, how hard is that to do and do you feel the Imps dressing room held up well under the circumstances across a season that saw improvement before that awful run. Was the relegation a bolt out of the blue for the players given we only needed 2 points after a decent revival had come to an end?

I personally did not feel it was a good changing room towards the end of the season, there was a lot of experienced players on the bench who felt they should be playing. I felt that everyone thought we would beat Cheltenham ,who were on an horrendous run ,and everything would be alright. When we lost against them it was then hoping Barnet did not win 1 of their last 2 games. I think one of the most disappointing things about getting relegated was that we had got our selves out of trouble and looked comfortable near mid table and it still amazes me now that with the players we had at the club we should have won at least 1 of our last 11 games.

Favourite food

I m not a fussy eater ill eat most foods but i like a nice spaghetti bolognaise or a nice medium rare steak and chips.

Favourite curry

My favourite curry is wimpish korma.

Have you any words for the Imps fans

A few words for Lincoln supporters……keep believing ,you have a fantastic club, I think you will get back in the league its took the club I’m at now York 8 years hopefully it wont take Lincoln as long.

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Pic (Thanks Wiki)
Personal information
Full name Paul Stephen Musselwhite
Date of birth 22 December 1968 (age 43)
Place of birth Portsmouth, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 14 st (88.89kg)
Position: Goalkeeper
Current club York City (player-goalkeeping coach)
Number 1
Youth career
?–1986 Portsmouth
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1988 Portsmouth 0 (0)
1988–1992 Scunthorpe United 163 (0)
1992–2000 Port Vale 367 (0)
2000 Sheffield Wednesday 0 (0)
2000–2004 Hull City 103 (0)
2004–2006 Scunthorpe United 82 (0)
2006 Eastleigh 8 (0)
2006–2007 Kettering Town 2 (0)
2007 Port Vale 0 (0)
2007–2008 Harrogate Town 8 (0)
2008–2009 Gateshead 57 (0)
2009–2011 Lincoln City 1 (0)
2011– York City 3 (0)

Are Imps Half Way There

According to the Blue Square Premier Official Site and ,  or rather STMI’s optimistic nature, the Imps could be half-way there in their quest to build a fifty grand Renaming Raffle – a veritable Lincolnshire-wide-pride fighting fund for David Holdsworth’s summer plans.  The Imps CEO is eager to see pledges turn into pounds but the arrival of Adam Smith does appear half of the high calibre duo DH appears to be gunning for.

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Steve Prescott suggests that the initiative is gaining momentum too, in an article on the official Blue Square Premier Site today. Says the Imps CEO

“The Name Our Stadium sales are progressing very well with a consistent number of entries being received each week,” Prescott said in the Lincolnshire Echo.

“I am very grateful for the support shown by those who have entered already, and those that have pledged to do so.

“The playing budget is obviously the biggest single expenditure of any football club, so the extra funds that are being raised from Name Our Stadium are making a significant difference.

“It is enabling the board to release funds for the manager to sign his preferred targets.

“We need all Imps fans and local businesses to get behind the campaign by submitting at least one £50 entry.

“And I would ask the large numbers of fans and businesses who pledged to enter, to submit their entry as soon as possible.”

Prescott revealed he has submitted two entries and would like to name the venue Community Stadium, Sincil Bank if he were to win.

“That would reflect how our facilities are used every day of the week by local community groups,” he said.

That’s interesting because the Imps Trust, could, thanks to new blood ideas as well as rising membership thanks to Lincoln City baner, be able to utilise the event more. Chairman Chris Ashton’s hosting of the Race Night in the last few years has been legendary and seen a princely return for the Raconteur and punters.  It was standing room only when the LadyImps were the Bookies a few years ago.

The Imps Trust AGM 2012 Synopsis.

The Lincoln City Supporters Trust AGM took place on 21st June in the Trust Suite, leaving more questions than answers. Proceedings will necessitate a further meeting with regards to the Society’s accounts,  now set for July 9th, blamed on The Co Operative Banks apparent loss  and inability to provide bank statements. There was also insufficient time for questions to be completed, with regard to Lincoln City Holdings limited. Indeed Chairman Chris Ashton stated in his opening address, one of two lengthy and time-coming monologues, that only questions relating to 2011 were to be asked.

Trust Imps – Imps Trust.

Click to Join the Trust here and now

Surely we can vote all the membership money and funds we raise straight to the first  team budget

WITH YOU WE DO

It is so sad to see little more than 50 fans at an AGM to discuss the great Share Give-away and the make-up and intentions of the Holding Company. There were two solicitors from both the club board and the Holding Company present, yet we did not have the time to press them.  To hold an AGM prior to a fans forum and then split the 1 hour into 2 half-hour sections ensured questions naturally went unanswered.

Click to Join the Trust here and now

Questions over the accounts handled by the now incarcerated ex-treasurer Mike Thompson have been delayed until July 9th with his membership now also taken from him. With no questions allowed outside of 2011, only two of the questions under any other business could be asked. At least we got the chance to vote on that one,  although the chairman’s reasons for seeing no need for a vote on the use of the trusts share vote prior to the failed EGM and share give-away insults the intelligence as much as it does the credibility of our Trust.

Click to Join the Trust here and now

The second phase of proceedings was under half an hour and incomplete and underutilised the time of a solicitor for Lincoln City Holdings. He was there to answer on the Trusts behalf.  Surely a conflict of interest from the membership’s perspective and the sooner a solicitor is co opted onto the Trust board the better as Jane Powell of  Lincolnshire Cooperative and the club board was also present with another cluster of fellows to the side of the main Trust board table.

Click to Join the Trust here and now

But onwards and upwards, for that was a reflection of those entrusted with the Trust management in the past. Some have already left what can only be described as a rudderless oil tanker.  This must change as the Trust is vital to our club receiving grants or community based matched-funding opportunities.  Democracy is achievable, we live after all in an electronic age, with time frames for postal ballots also feasible. When questioned on the fact that Supporters Direct  support such practice, we were told that although the Trust pays to be a member we – for every Imps fan should be a member of ImpsTrust –  do not have to adhere to their recommended practices.

Click to Join the Trust here and now

We the fans need to get behind what is a growing groundswell of opinion that desires change.  Apathy is our enemy as much the other 23 teams that will seek to keep our Football League birthright from us.  We need to join our Trust, warts and all, for it is the vehicle for fans to band together and force change within it and our football club before it is too late .  New blood is already in place,   Jonathan Battersby, Ty Corcoran, Fran Martin and Marlene Beaumont  will be fantastic ambassadors to a brand that can be as big a fundraiser as the club itself.  We need co options too so who can simply say I am prepared to try rather than say goodbye?

Trust Imps – Imps Trust.

Click to Join the Trust here and now

Surely we can vote all the membership money and funds we raise straight to the first  team budget?

WITH YOU WE DO

Lincolnshire-Wide-Pride – Football League Is Impdom’s Birthright

League Football is Lincoln City and her proud citizens’s birthright. But we are going to have to earn it again – together as a City a United Impdom so to speak.  There are plenty that will be arguing with that boast when the BSP kicks off in August, yet no one has made it back into the league more times than us – 4 and counting. Forget the article in the paper saying the squad is complete – lets give Holdsworth the funds to boost our side and Pimp next season’s ride! Come on Imps get a running total published at least weekly –  get the City behind this. Stockport are at over £150,000 and rising and the Ebbsfleet player fund already stands at £26,000 – here

We owe it to those that have struggled for the Cits (Citizens) aka our Mighty Imps ever since Robert Dawber gave us a field to play on and George Hallam had Impdom on its feet with a hat-trick in our first ever game.  Hats in the air and all sorts by all counts.  That inspired Councillor Bainbridge and Henry Strawson  to get the business community to provide  ’two hours of healthy recreation’ for the foundry workers.  Lincoln City aka The Mighty Imps were one of the original members of the old second Division and we punched above our weight with the top 36 clubs in the country.  Come on  let’s get some Lincoln-wide-pride in our side.

Image Thanks to historical kits – here

This next season will be a pivotal one.  We either start a resurrection or turn out the lights and follow the thousands that have lost the faith following years of scandalous under investment in a 128 year-old local institution.  Its not so much the play-offs or bust but the restoration of local pride is a must.

So how can we the sons and daughters of Impdom help?  Well a prayer ahead of the 3-4 up and 3-4 down vote at the Football League meeting in Portugal would help no end. As would a lottery win to help Bob Dorrian out. For all his sins he is the only one of a shameful board who is doing  what a football club director should do by continuing to put in the cash to keep us going. But the Imps need the City to pitch in just as they have in the past.

Now times are hard for individuals, but together we can give this City a team to be proud of. Built and backed by the businesses and fans – a community backed fifth rise of the Imps can and will happen.  Get your company to follow Jackson Building Centre’s, Bookers and Brown & Starkeys  lead in backing what is becoming a reawakening of Lincoln-wide-pride for our beloved Imps.  Urge your company to buy a ticket. Print off THIS  in A4 or even better A3 and get it on the wall. And don’t forget at least one or maybe a pile of these too .

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Although fans and fans groups have been keen to pitch in the real bulk of the money will only come from the business community engaging with this  initiative. If the groundswell of county-wide pride can excite this sector then £50,000 will be the tip of the iceberg. Some may even enjoy the ride. In embracing the Raffle (Your Business can enter HERE) Jacksons and Bookers Wholesale are inviting their clients to participate.  This form of viral marketing is priceless and will hopefully spur other companies to do the same with their client bases. This will not only see the target exceeded but put the Imps back into the hearts and minds of its citizens.  Go on have a heart pledge £50 to rebuild the pride inside together we can take this county wide.
 
Image Thanks to historical kits – here
Keep this momentum going with a decent start to the season and the rise of the Imps will begin with 5 home grown in the squad. Those small steps start with every Roofer, Plumber, Heating engineer,   Bathroom fitter and Builder picking up an application form. At £50 a brick the hod will soon fill.  Remember every 100 tickets brings in £5000.  Every fan can do their bit by downloading an application form here and asking the office or accounts department to initiate a whip-round.  We can all play a part, brick by brick. Go on have a heart pledge £50 to rebuild the pride inside together we can take this county wide.
The participating Jackson’s Stores are as follows: – 
 

Lincoln – Gainsborough – Grantham

Horncastle – Hykeham – Louth

Market Rasen – Scunthorpe – Sleaford

Please support this outstanding initiative or maybe even email your own clients with a link to the application form here. Let us rebuild our football club, together.  Go on have a heart pledge £50 to rebuild the pride inside –  together we can take this county wide. Lincolnshire-wide pride.

Who Is Adam Smith?

Former Chesterfield, York City, Mansfield and Aldershot flying winger Adam Smith has finally joined the Imps  (STMI broke the news back on May 30th despite the announcements stating that the cupboard).  The namesake of the Father of Economics is a smashing bloke with just the hunger desire and talent we need. Smith played more than half his games at Aldershot last season, in two loan spells at the club,  but David’s brother Dean , perhaps in an act of family loyalty, failed to conclude a deal for a lad who has firm family values of his own.  Adam has already been prepared to put his career on hold due to the ill-health of his young daughter.

Yes there is more to this lad than meets the eye and he has  just the hunger to go with a pretty precocious talent that will come to fruition at the Imps.  Adam had 7 seasons at Chesterfield so he has some league pedigree and will definitely do a job at our level as the first of his two seasons at the Stags showed. In 2010/11 he bagged 6 goals from 31 League and 2 FA Cup appearances, but you can quadruple his contribution when it comes to creating opportunities for others. Rob Duffy is going to love him almost as much as the Stacey West.

 Smith, Nathan Adam.jpg
thanks for the pic wiki
Adam has been typecast as an impact player, indeed most wingers, Carayol and DNG included, can be classed a luxury when you are up against it.  But his work rate is good and offensively he is dynamite on either wing and can have the ground on its feet on his day. His two assists for Aldershot last term saw him run Dagenham (5-2) and Burton (2-0) ragged, but in truth the shots struggled in  October, November and December before sending him back to the Stags.
 *****
Although Adam started 8 of the 9 games he played upon his return to the Stags, netting 2 goals, he rarely finished a game.  An example of his impact potential saw him come on and bag a vital equaliser against Tamworth, a game the Stags would go on to win 2-1. Then in April he scored the opener against a resolute Stockport side as the Stags grabbed two in 8 second half minutes before being sacrificed as they held out for an invaluable 2-1 home win.  He is comfortable on either flank, in a conventional 4-4-2 or more advanced role in a three pronged attack.  At 5′ 11″ he has also been used as a central striker although his counter-attacking style sees him work best from wide positions.
  *****
Adam has also made 4 substitute appearances for the Imps, whilst on loan in 2008.  On his debut he set up our first in a 2-0 win over Rochdale but failed to get the game time in a misfiring side. The loan was not extended and upon his release from the Spireites he went to Gainsborough who then sold him to Martin Foyle at York for an undisclosed fee. Foyle liked his work rate and  Holdsworth thought the same when he signed him for the Stags in 2010/11.  He does get stuck in and despite a 3 match ban for a tough challenge he delivered 6 goals and 8 assists in 38 appearances in all competitions for Holdsworth.

 
Smith, Nathan Adam.jpg
pic thanks to wiki
STMI Biopic
Full name Nathan Adam Smith
Date of birth 20 February 1985 (age 27)
Place of birth Huddersfield,
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 12st (76.27kg)
Position: Left or Right Wing
Current club Mansfield Town
Number 19
Youth career
?–2001 Chesterfield
Senior stats (lge & cup)
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2008 Chesterfield 74 (3)
2008 Lincoln City (loan) 4 (0)
2008–2009 Gainsborough Trinity 11 (2)
2008–2009 York City (loan) 16 (2)
2009–2010 York City 29 (2)
2010– Mansfield Town 44 (8)
2011 Aldershot Town (loan) 7 (0)
2011–2012 Aldershot Town (loan) 7 (0)

Trust AGM 21st June 7.30PM – Take A Bow Jonathan and Ty

Still shell-shocked from relegation? Astounded that our pro budget is so low? Concerned at the plight of the Imps?  Will you be voting for Andy Townsend as our representative on Lincoln City Holdings?  Will you be be voting for Chris Ashton, a lifelong Imp as Chairman? There is indeed much to discuss and decide upon……and then an opportunity for a fans forum straight afterwards besides!

Well why not help us to make the Trust  ask those questions and maybe even get the board to raise the bar a little.   Openness is surely the community’s right both within our trust and our club.

We must make Trust more Just

Please help us

to make our Trust

what it should be

For a profile of each candidate click on the name

Jonathan     &    Ty


 

Government Should Back BSP 3 up 3 Down – its Fair and Blue Square

With Luton Town,  Wrexham,  Stockport County, Hereford United Mansfield Town,  Macclesfield, Lincoln City and Grimsby Town counting the cost of the great League 2 and BSP divide the Coalition Government needs to intervene in the interests of the free market and a sense of fair play in the people’s game. Platini and EUFA may be centring on solvency at the very top but an extra place in the BSP would see a genuine free flow and redistribution of wealth throughout the whole of our national game. It may also help with criticisms over the National sides technique and spell the end of  a culture that seeks to protect the undeserving at the expense of the ambitious and the brave,  via the stifling bottleneck of the 2 up 2 down blockade.  

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

 

 

Clearly the biggest stumbling block to any deal over increased promotion and relegation places between the football league and the BSP, will be the TV and solidarity payment fund.  However despite support from a few League 2 clubs they are not the ones who will have the lion’s share of the say.   Although all 72 teams have a golden share, the voting blocks follow the money and previous actions suggest the Championship clubs will not put the feelings of League 1 and 2 very high on their list of priorities.  Even  the bankers and life’s  financial power brokers, buckle when the media finally sees the need for a freer flow and a long overdue sense of fair play. 

The vote over 3 up and 3 down did not happen in Portugal but it will happen next season in time for a 2013/14, when the game will be awash with money like never before.  This will put the needy or should that be the complacent and greedy back in the spotlight.  Back in 2002 a vote saw a second promotion place awarded – via a play-off – with part of the proceeds going to the Football League. With EUFA so heavy on fair play and the need for a much overdue redistribution of wealth within the game you feel public and media pressure, within the additional backdrop of austerity and a questioning of all of life’s pyramids; could well see an easier flow of clubs and capital between the lower reaches of the game.  The dream after all could tempt more venture capitalists who have seen Fleetwood and Crawley prosper.  Should the subsidy of sickly clubs be allowed to block the ambition of the BSP and cause its ex-League clubs to wither and die?

 

In May 2010 the Football League agreed to the Premier League’s plans to bull-doze through a new, albeit improved deal across the board that saw a four year £48 million parachute payment for relegated Premier League clubs. With TV and media rights now spread over 4 years following relegation it was agreed that 55% should be retained year 1, 45% year two and 25% in years 3 & 4. Clubs would receive a ‘smoothed’ £16m in year one and two and then £8m per season in years three and four.  This is set to increase by 70% as the new TV contract, covering the 2013/14 – 2015/16 seasons, agreed this June  is worth £3.018bn, an increase of £1.25bn over the existing agreement.  

 

So Euro fair play ideas apart the gulf is already massive and set to grow.  Under the existing deal any Championship sides not receiving parachute payments receive £2.2m a year (up from £830k) from the solidarity deal in addition to the £2.4m they receive annually from the Football League.  

 

League 1 clubs now receive £325k in solidarity payments per year (up from £108k) in addition to a £650k payment from the Football League.  The deal equates to just short of a million a year.  League 2 clubs saw a big rise from £72k to £250k with the football league also pitching in £430K.  When a club falls from the League it receives a £250k parachute payment as well as half of the grass roots money in the first season, although the latter can only be used for the youth team.

 

BSP clubs last received a solidarity payment from the Premier League in 2009, designed to soften the blow when Setanta’s deal went west. The one-off payment of a million was spread across the 68 teams  and was worth about £25k, as against a defunct 5-year deal worth £500k per season  with 4 years still to run.  Former Setanta owner  Michael O’Rourke had stepped in with a £6.99 a month subscription service split between the broadcaster and the clubs but, although innovative it is anything but lucrative. Although Premier Sports extended their deal this time last season the silence is deafening with regard to a renewal at the time of writing.

 

With the divide set to grow, something needs to be done soon or clubs like Luton Town,  Wrexham,  Stockport County, Hereford United Mansfield,  Macclesfield, Lincoln City and Grimsby will wither and die.  Not because it is about free competition and survival of the fittest, no rather the self serving interest of the few.  The nature of the pyramid is one of monopoly, cartels and Cabals akin to the ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’  old boys network that has put the national and world economy on the brink . It stifles competition and the entrepreneurial spirit that made our country great. Should it therefore be allowed to persist and perpetuate the pecuniary interests that fly in the face of the sense of fair play that should be so central to the people’s game?  Surely that is worthy at least of a question or two in the House of Commons?

Imps lose second Winger

The Imps have parted company with Danny Lloyd McGoldrick by mutual consent this week.  We wish the wing-wizard well. Having also dispensed with the services of Simon Russell, City now appear to have two vacancies on the flanks with ex-Stag Adam Smith the favourite to sign.   Will we be the new wingless wonders or could Reg be splashing the Renaming Raffle wedge?

A big hand please for the Champions of Impdom.

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*****

The Squad

*****

Goalkeepers

Paul Farman, Nick Draper,

Defenders

Paul Robson, Andy Boyce, Ashley Westwood, Josh Gowling, John Nutter, Elliot Green & Dan Coupland

Midfielders

Gary Mills, Peter Bore, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Nicky Nicolau, Conal Platt, Frazer Cobb, Karl Cunningham

Strikers

Rob Duffy, Sam Smith, Bradley Baraclough, Jamie Taylor.