How a radical rescue plan could put fans at the heart of a revival

How a radical rescue plan could put fans at the heart of a revival

With the prospect of several fan-free months becoming an increasing reality, thoughts have turned to how lower league clubs, the majority of whom are dependent on gate receipts for survival, will make it out of the current pandemic unscathed. Continue reading “How a radical rescue plan could put fans at the heart of a revival”

Editorial: We need to stop relying on football to get us through

Editorial: We need to stop relying on football to get us through

It’s not a particularly funny issue of popular STAND fanzine, this one. It has its moments don’t get me wrong, and I don’t want to discredit those who’ve submitted lighter pieces, but I feel it’s only fair to call it up front. You’re good people, you deserve honesty, and likewise I deserve a break from the inevitable ‘it’s-not-as-funny-as-it-used-to-be’s that greet any request for feedback. It’s still good though, so don’t even think about asking for your pound back. You’ve committed now, roll with it. Continue reading “Editorial: We need to stop relying on football to get us through”

Editorial: When did we become so intolerable of averageness?

Editorial: When did we become so intolerable of averageness?

‘F***ing shit’ shouted the bloke in front of me as we traipsed out of The Valley last Saturday. ‘Absolute garbage’. I wasn’t so sure. Frustrating I’d grant you; disappointing likewise, not quite good enough, sure. But what I’d just watched hadn’t been ‘shit’ – and I’ve supported Rovers long enough to know what ‘shit’ is. Continue reading “Editorial: When did we become so intolerable of averageness?”

Why can’t we just enjoy winning?

Why can’t we just enjoy winning?

There’s a great photo of Liam Mandeville’s free-kick against Grimsby, taken just as the ball strikes the inside of the post. Goalkeeper already flailing, the South Stand is a blanket of expectant faces; rows of mouths all caught in the early stages of guttural roars or yells of acknowledgement of the ball’s inevitable nestling in the back of the net. All that is, except one. Continue reading “Why can’t we just enjoy winning?”

Reasons to be cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful

It’s been positive start to the season for Rovers, which has in turn brought a surreal matchday optimism to the Keepmoat. For most of us this has been a novel, and rather pleasant, paradigm shift, following the relentless dread and anguish that has plagued recent years. But do remember to spare a thought for those among us for whom such joys bring nothing but grey clouds. Continue reading “Reasons to be cheerful”

Editorial: On Contemplating Life Without Football

Editorial: On Contemplating Life Without Football

I am unable to recall when or why I fell in love with football. There was no epiphany. No great moment of clarity. Football, as far as I can remember, was simply always there; eternally bobbling about alongside grazed knees and Why Don’t You? in the goalmouth scramble of my childhood. Continue reading “Editorial: On Contemplating Life Without Football”

On Boxing Day Football

On Boxing Day Football

I’m not entirely sure what the history of Boxing Day is, or indeed how it got its name. I’d look it up, but I’ve foolishly chosen to write this in the one café in London that manages to boast floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides, yet receives no phone signal and offers no wifi. What is this 2012? Anyway, let us presume it is due to a tradition relating to boxed gifts of some kind, and not a long and sustained marketing campaign by Don King or the WBA. Continue reading “On Boxing Day Football”