What a super chirpy little club Forest Green Rovers are. Not only are they eccentric champions of the little guy, they serve Vegan food, thus protecting our cute lambs and piggy wiggys from being minced, chomped and abused by the less enlightened. They’re getting some great press for team success and their caring, supposedly forward thinking sustainable approach. Well here’s some bad press : they get right on my nerves, because they’re fakes, and they’re damaging to the community around football.
The abuse of the league hierarchy by Dale Vince (Chairman FGR) is nothing unusual. Pump vast amounts of money into a cheap-to-buy club in the league structure, and watch it rise inexorably upwards, to meet the budget limit (Fleetwood, Crawley and now Eastleigh are somewhere within the cycle). Sustainability doesn’t matter to owners merely on an Eco (sorry Ego) trip or spending their businesses marketing budget in a cost effective manner. But what about their local environment? Shouldn’t they be concerned about the damage this behaviour does to their supporters and community? Shouldn’t they be concerned what happens to clubs that aren’t artificially injected with cash growth hormone?
Dale Vince is looking to the future. Their location in Gloucestershire doesn’t attract enough walkers, cyclists and electric car drivers to their ground. They’re getting 1,500 fans at the top of the table. A move is planned, so presumably the locals will be left with blank Saturdays, some large open fronted barns, and a Sunday League side called Spinney Green Toddlers. Taking a club from its community will have a severe cooling effect on the atmosphere around Stroud, I hope the locals can find something else to warm their hearts.
So what of the wider environmental impact? Well Forest Green Rovers are damaging it. Last year they took vital cash away from clubs failing to reach the playoffs because of them, and they took hope away from thousands of fans supporting clubs who knew their battling teams could not afford the incredibly effective, but artificial boost provided by big money players.
Wrexham are damaged by Forest Green and all other vanity/marketing projects. We’re the true face of sustainability and are cherished by a community who deserve to be protected from the dumping of cash, aimed incontrovertibly at polluting the natural flow of teams swimming in the leagues.