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Rovers-Reds merger? Ridiculous
IN an era where the internet plays an integral part in the average day of a football fan, you can’t beat a wild message board rumour for a giggle or two.
From the estate agent who has shown Dennis Bergkamp around a property in the suburbs of Wolverhampton, to your auntie’s neighbour’s decorator who recently brushed up Gary Neville’s house while being filled in on the latest gossip from Old Trafford, such fantasies - the source of which are usually a mystery - have a certain entertainment value to them.
There’s the sublime, but there is also the ridiculous like the latest nugget doing the rounds on the fans’ forums - an apparent merger of Bromsgrove Rovers and Redditch United.
The sheer thought of these two bitter rivals becoming a united force immediately set my mind back to the 1-1 pre-season friendly draw at the Valley last year, when I was still only a few months in to my role as Rovers reporter.
Rash tackles, red cards, mass brawls, stewards and club officials having to enter the field of play to restore order, somewhere in the middle of which a game of football broke out.
Not to mention the stick former boss Rod Brown received from Reds’ supporters when he took a young Greens side to his old haunt a few months later for a Worcestershire Senior Cup tie.
The friendship between Brown and his counterpart Gary Whild does create a common bond between the two clubs.
Perhaps the fact that they worked together at the Valley and the way they have seamlessly swapped endless numbers of players in recent seasons adds a miniscule degree of weight behind an alliance.
When a new player turns out for either team these days there is a fair old chance they have crossed the north Worcestershire divide in the process - Luke Reynolds becoming the latest to make the trip down the Bromsgrove to Redditch highway.
Even so, is somebody really suggesting that the local pride and history of two clubs who, as in all sporting rivalries, share a distinct hatred, are going to be tossed away to become a watered down creation? No chance.
Before you even consider the most glaring details - where will they play and in what colours, what will this new “super club” be called - the chances are it wouldn’t be any more viable than two separate entities.
Lets take the factor that is most pivotal to any non-league football club - attendances.
This season, for instance (yes, it’s an extremely vague guide to work from as it is so early in the campaign and various on and off field circumstances in recent months have contributed to the dwindling numbers), both teams have gates averaging just over 300.
But joining forces would far from guarantee a combined gate. For every fan that supports a united front there will be an unaccepting purist turning their back on the whole thing, leaving attendances near enough back where they started.
Just ask Solihull Moors, a hybrid of Solihull Borough and Moor Green, who themselves are only just breaking the 300 mark.
And anyway, it’s hard to imagine the respective boards buying any of this.
Rovers chairman Tom Herbert has certainly made his feelings known in recent months on the prospect of him relinquishing complete control.
Would a man who was prepared to risk the wrath of his own supporters by warning them “It is my club and that is what the situation is,” (Bromsgrove Advertiser - April 23, 2008) and who dug his heels in for months over discussions with a fans’ group really go jumping into bed with his rivals?
Incidently, our sources tell us that this whole myth was the creation of a Redditch United director in a mischievous attempt to prove that football fans will believe anything.
It seems in a lot of cases he is absolutely right.
THE best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
That was the Yanks’ proclamation of Joe Calzaghe after his destruction of Roy Jones Jr in New York.
Ten years of super-middleweight domination, 21 title defences, and now supremacy at light-heavyweight.
Now the accolades are coming from across the pond, and it’s not before time.
The Italian Dragon has found it almost impossible down the years to win the hearts of boxing fans on the other side of the Atlantic, let alone tie down the likes of Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins in their prime.
So, without wanting to take the gloss off Calzaghe’s deserved and belated plaudits, it must be asked of our American friends, where have you been for the last decade?
EVERYONE has preconceived stereotypes of how our modern day footballers spend their ever-increasing wages.
Flash cars, women, mansions, race horses and the most exclusive parties in town.
Well, if Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta is to be believed, times are changing out in sunny Spain.
A love of fine wines has apparently prompted the 24-year-old Euro 2008 winner to plough his millions into vineyards.
You just couldn’t imagine the same sophistication from Wayne Rooney, could you?
"FOOTBALL is a simple game - you play for 120 minutes and then the Germans win on penalties,” as the amusing observation of Gary Lineker goes.
As opposed to rugby league where, 10 countries go away on a month-long jolly then Australia are handed a nice, shiny trophy.
FROM Coco the Clown to Mickey Mouse referees.
If only we could all afford as much time to watch cartoons as Newcastle’s interim boss Joe Kinnear.
In this section
- A personal shopper for Sheikh and Sparky
- Rovers looking for momentum
- Merger dead in the water? Oh no it isn't - oh yes it is!
- Play-off puzzle
- Hatton can still be the best
- England v Germany - not so friendly
- Where's Robbo?
- Rovers still striving for consistency
- The great contradiction of Maradona
- Johnson already making right noises