AS Christmas draws ever closer there is one festive pantomime I’m sure most Bromsgrove Rovers and Redditch United fans would like to see brought to an abrupt end - the “will they-won’t they” merger of the two clubs.

It is remarkable how a story which emerged just four short weeks ago has already gone full circle and then back the other way.

Time is running out if anything is to happen by next season, but despite comments from both clubs claiming it is now unlikely, they are stumbling agonisingly short of putting the matter to bed completely.

The original rumours came from the Redditch side, and although an associate of the Valley club claimed to have triggered the gossip as a piece of mischief, there proved to be substance to the story.

Then came Rovers’ GX Cup clash with Romulus at the Victoria Ground, when it is claimed Rod Brown’s squad were put in the picture about the plans.

By the time Rovers visited Romulus in the league four days later, merger talk was rife - the first words on everbody’s lips when entering the clubhouse at Coles Lane.

From there, we quickly learned Rovers’ position - they would be happy to proceed if they could keep their proud name.

That, of course, is unrealistic and above all unfair on the people of Redditch who would be left with nothing to show for accepting a plausible, if unpopular, way out of trouble.

Now we are hearing that the whole thing is “dead in the water” but talks are ongoing. Go figure.

The Greens’ hierarchy made such claims despite admitting they are yet to hear back from the FA with regards to the name change, while after a grilling at a recent fans’ forum, all their Reds counterparts would say is the merger is “not imminent.”

To answer the questions I am regularly asked when attending Rovers games - do I think the merger will happen? Probably not.

Do the clubs still want a merger? I suspect the answer to that could be yes.

Otherwise, they would have spared their supporters the worry by drawing a line under the whole situation once and for all.


SEVERAL weeks ago we began playing ‘Where’s Robbo’ in tribute to the local non-league football scene’s Harlem Globetrotter Anthony Robinson.

Thanks very much to the hawk-eyed readers who recently spotted Robbo turning out for Studley, Stratford Town and Hednesford, thus adding to his ever-increasing band of clubs.

Keep those sightings coming in.