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Rob_the_Saint

Saints suspension

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Nice to see the League are doing all they can to help our plight!<p>NOTLN article<p>One question though: if the suspension isn't starting until Wednesday, why was yesterday's game called off? <img src="graemlins/images/icons/confused.gif" border="0" alt="confused" />

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Well, what can i say apartfrom I am gobsmacked! I didnt know a suspension was due. Did anyone else? I cannot believe what has happened to this club recently. I get the impression from the non league website that we may play games again this season but of course there will be backlog. One message even says that their club folded and it actually helped them. Well we will have to wait and see I suppose.<p>What happened to these people which were supposidly interested in buying the club and why is it taking them so long to do something about it? I understand that people come in at the last minute but this is looming pretty close and I dont see why we as a club should suffer so much disruption because of someone eles' mistakes.<p>When all this is cleared up and we are on our feet again (which we will be), proper guidelines need to be installed as to who runs the club, what they can and cant do and this should be done by having tighter contracts. Managers and chairmans and mucked us about too much in the past and we are now paying for it. Why should they be allowed to leave when the going gets tough or they get bored? Why should they be able to leave the club in such a mess?<p>We need to use this a learning curve and make sure these mistakes are not made again. This club has so much potential and if the right steps are taken, this club, that we all love, can go far. Marketing is the main source of our income and someone who wants the club to succeed needs to be employed to do the job. Chris was doing a good job but of course he was pushed out by the same man that pushed so many others away.<p>Maybe the folding of the club is the only way to go. Then we can start afresh and get the club on the right track for the future.

The City of St.Albans needs this football club to survive. It has been around for so long and bought so many people together. If the future is planned correctly, the football club can put St.Albans on the map and fly the flag for non-league football.

We just need to be given the opportunity.<p> mad.gif" border="0 <img src="graemlins/sad.gif" border="0" alt="[sad]" /> <img src="graemlins/help.gif" border="0" alt="help" /> <img src="graemlins/cry.gif" border="0" alt="cry" /><p>[ 13 January 2002: This message was edited by: Choco ]</p>

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why not do an Enfield Town and let the fans do the talking. You may have to start at a far lower level but it really is worth it. St. Albans was always an away fixture I used to love top go to before Tony Lazarou dod the dirty. To see ETFC v a new St.Albans side would be great.<p>Whatever happens, good luck to the fans and playing staff of St. Albans.

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Hi Rob.

Very busy at present but just taking a moment to suggest an answer to your question concerning last Saturday.

If the club is suspended, and I say if, one of the posible outcomes is expulsion, which would result in all previous games being void, and points erased. If another club incurs expenses, or if a player from another club is injured playing against us in a fixture which turned out to be 'meaningless', then The League could come

under criticism if they permitted the game to go ahead.

I suspect that is behind the vetoing of the re-arranged Heybridge match.

Very busy at the moment. I'll see you at The Park for Sutton. They seem to be on a bit of a run recently. Home win though. I'm with the youngster going for 101 points. That will show them all.

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AFF<p>The tone of your post seems pretty positive with respect to next Saturday's game being played (and by implication, the league not suspending us on Wednesday). Do you know something we don't or are you just an eternal optimist? As a relative outsider in all of this, it seems to me that the Ryman League is now pretty determined to force the issue. Given the (apparant) inaction since the club has been up for sale, what are the realistic chances of a deal being struck (to the satisfaction of the League) in less than 72 hours!<p>Shame really, cos I was looking forward to the Sutton match (but then, I was also looking forward to the Hendon, Borehamwood and Heybridge games as well).<p>Here's hoping (but that's about all that we have left now).<p>Another Rob

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Until we know the outcome of the Wednesday deadline.

The Fans Day is suspended, if all is OK we'll continue the push of which the feedback incidently has been superb with many people wanting to be involved!

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I know that now probably isn't the time for bitching and so on, but one or two things have sprung to my mind, given the events of the weekend...<p>Two or three years ago, the Ryman League was well and truly up the Khyber Pass without a paddle. The Conference had got together with the Southern League and Northern Premier Leagues and decided on a new format for non-league football which left the Isthmian League out in the cold - a meaningless league with no promotion places at stake (much as it was in about 1982, when it relied on invitations to Dagenham and Enfield as a lever for automatic promotion places, giving the league a parity with the aforementioned two other leagues). <p>At the timeof this proposed reorganisation, there was much speculation about what would happen to the Isthmian League's top clubs - would the likes of St Albans, Sutton, Farnborough and so on continue in a meaningless league, or would they defect en masse to the Southern League (a similar circumstance came about with the likes of Maidstone United defecting in the late 60s with the Isthmian League staying amateur when the Southern League turning pro). It was a serious question, but one worth asking. The bigger clubs in the Ryman League surely couldn't carry on in league with no chance of promotion. <p>Now, I can't speak for what happened at the other clubs in the league, but City put it to a vote - should we join the Doc Martens League, or should we stay in the Ryman League. We voted, as I recall, about 80% to 20% to join in the Ryman League. It was a vote of loyalty to a league that we'd been members of since the 1920s - a league that we wanted to stay relevant. I should imagine that the story was the same elsewhere. <p>Two or three years down the line, the league obviously isn't prepared to return the favour - happy to throw out one of it's longest serving members because of it's current financial dificulties. I'm sure that, given time, these difficulties can and will be resolved. The league is happy to **** on 80 years of this club's (and it's own) history because, presumably, of it's own short-term financial issues and the possibility of the humiliation of a club finishing in a promotion place and not getting a Conference place because of it's financial condition (Enfield circa 1994 being a precedent). <p>The Ryman League is a farce. It allows Enfield to stagger from crisis to crisis, playing anywhere they can in front of crowds of 90. It allows Croydon to carry on with similar crowds and facilities that would shame the Herts County League to play while denying promotion places from the first division at the same time. Every single decision it makes seems to be arbitary, depending on what mood one catches them in.<p>Therefore, I can see only one way forward. If we go bust, we should regroup, and go for promotion straight away, and apply for it via the Doc Martens League Eastern Division. If we survive, we should tender our resignation from the Ryman League, if we can secure a place in the Doc Martens League. Sorry to have to say this, but given the league's behaviour over the last seven days, I don't even want to be part of the Ryman League any more.

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I agree on part with you Trevor but not ever going back the the Ryman League? Dont you think that is a bit strong? I know we have had problems with the league over the last few years but the majority of fans voted to stay in the league for good reasons. Travelling being the one that springs to mind.

I cant really imagine St.Albans playing in another league. Lets just hope that it doesnt come to that!<p> <img src="graemlins/icon21.gif" border="0" alt="[icon21]" /><p>[ 14 January 2002: This message was edited by: Choco ]</p>

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I must say this seems to be turning into a personal spat between 'you know who' and the Ryman League.<p>Failing to provide cost projections and denying faxes were received must have irked them somewhat (to put it mildly) so the winding-up order gave them the opportunity to come down heavily on us.<p>It's a shame really because we had good relations with the League before and now the club and ordinary supporters will suffer because of the actions of one man.<p> <img src="graemlins/psilon1.gif" border="0" alt="[psilon1]" />

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I know that it sounds severe, but consider the height from which the Ryman League are dumping on City. If you prefer, consider this... Middlesbrough, Wolves, Bournemouth, Gillingham, Hull City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Exeter City, Bristol City, Crystal Palace, Chesterfield, Oxford United. Over the last 20 years or so each of these clubs has had a severe financial crisis. All have been staring extinction in the face. All of them have been in receivership a least once. Wolves and Bristol City actually WERE wound up. Middlesbrough had to start one season playing at Hartlepool because they were locked out of Ayresome Park. If the Football League had treated them the way that the Ryman League are treating us, they'd all be playing in their local county leagues now.<p>I wouldn't wish this situation on anybody, so it pains me to add this... but why has this been issued towards us, and not towards Kingstonian? Don't we deserve a similar stay of execution to them?

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With regard to your first post, Trev, you are certainly right about one thing - now is most definitely not the right time for bitching. It is a time when we all need to pull together.<p>I do accept the validity of most of your message but feel I must respond to two of the points.<p>Re the Ryman/Doc Marten referendum vote in 2000, the sole reason the 80% voted in favour of the Ryman was due to the travelling involved, especially for midweek games. Now I don't know how many away games you attend but I go to almost all of them and I can tell you that going to Dorchester or Grantham on a wet and cold Tuesday evening does not figure too highly on my list of favourites, when there is a 30 or 40 mile alternative with a Ryman fixture. The Doc Martens has got to be a non-starter. I know you will probably say that I will have to do that once we eventually make the Conference but at the moment I think it is quite unnecessary to put that sort of strain on our away supporters.<p>My second point is that you seem to be loading all the blame on the Ryman League for the present situation. I don't see it. Harding has been f...ing about the Ryman, as well as the F.A. and the Revenue for months now. It couldn't be permitted to continue. You have to say it's hardly surprising the action they have taken. <p>Let us just pray something is sorted in the next couple of days. This club must not be allowed to die.

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I know that we're all agreed that we should all be blaming the rotund chap with the glasses and improbable hair, and, trust me, I do. Having said that, though, the debts are there and the winding up order is there. Whatever happened under Harding is in the folder marked "the past". The league has, and I agree that it may be largely due to Harding, put the club in an even more impossible position than it was in before. The hole was deep - now it's even deeper. Now, there is no possible revenue coming in whatsoever - whatever debts there already are can only get bigger. The only people who can make anything from it are asset-strippers.<p>I remember an article in the Non-League Paper quoting the FA as saying they'd do everything possible to help clubs in financial difficulty. Presumably, the board of the Ryman League would endorse such a statement. It seems to me to be perfectly obvious that nobody has done anything to help this football club - not the FA, not the Ryman League, not the (Ex?) Chairman and owner. The very least that the Ryman League could have done was to grant a stay of execution on suspending the club so that we could try to raise some money. The league hasn't done that and seems non-plussed to say the least to see one of it's oldest members die.

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Just a couple of points.

The vote was 60:40.

Trev. Your postings are highly critical of the F.A. and the Ryman League, and you write as if, firstly the problem has occurred 'overnight', and secondly as if it is 'all over'.

The second CVA failed on October 16th. The Report to Creditors was dated November 9th. The High Court petition was dated December 6th. The High Court hearing was on January 8th. I don't think the problems occurred 'overnight'. [Please don't read any suggestion of 'blame' in this paragraph.]

Rather than 'all over', I prefer to picture shirt-sleeved men in smoke-filled meeting rooms at Soho Square, <I>(It's a smoke-free building-Ed)</I>... men with the shadows beneath their eyes and stubble on their chins as testament to their lack of sleep..... men wrestling to find a solution .....sandwiches and coffee sent in at regular intervals during the night... figures in overcoats dispersing as dawn breaks over London to grab a few hours of much needed rest to return before the wintry sun is at it's zenith to put the finishing touches to a rescue package...

Err...anyway. I have absolutely no doubt that the Officials of the F.A. and The Ryman are doing everything they possibly can to help save The Club. I suggest that we wait for news over the next 48 hours before arranging the wake.

See you at The Park for the Sutton game.

[Does anyone know what was that chap doing on here from Roots Hall?]<p>

Great board this. I can hardly contain myself.

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I to am suprised at the league decision, especially as the team are doing well, I could possibly understand their approach if you were occupying 22nd place. Surely though as we discussed when we came over to the Ryman, the travelling argument shouldn't arise, we felt it showed a lack of ambition about promotion to the Conference where obviously you do have to go to places like Scarborough and Doncaster and Hereford on wet evenings and come home with no points etc.

We're still right behind you all, good luck with whatever happens.

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Sounds like you've been there before AFF! If you are going to do something could you please put all our minds at rest and do it! This football club shouldnt go down with out a fight.

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I have, for the time being, put the wake on ice and asked the undertakers to hold back the wreath. You see, it's not really a matter of apportioning blame. The situation was dire enough before the league stepped in with their helping hand and, although I think that the action that they have taken is morally despicable, I can kind of see their point. The only point that I was trying to make is that they have exacerbated the problem, rather than doing anything to assist us in solving it. <p>As far as I can see, the guillotine doesn't necessarily fall tomorrow. If we're lucky, we'll find a buyer while suspended and have a backlog of fixtures at the end of the season. It may well affect our final league position, but really that's the last thing on my mind right now. If there's a consortium of local businessmen ready to buy the club, then they need to act, so far as I can see, in the next couple of weeks. <p>In all honesty, I don't believe there is a consortium of local businessmen. I have no idea about who has expressed an interest over over the last couple of months, but I'm pretty sure that post of the stories circulating Clarence Park recently have been total bunkum. Ironic isn't it, that in such an affluent city, in which people pay way over the odds for average properties, nobody has stepped in to save their local club. That's the danger of being a commuter town. The "local" people have all been forced out by the property prices to be replaced by people who use this town as a resting place after a 90 hour week playing the stock markets. We may be the richest town in the Ryman League (although the good people of Kingston-upon-Thames may have something to say about that), but where has that got us? Where we are now, is the answer to that particular rhetorical question.<p>So... what are the best and worst case scenarios here? The best case scenario is outlined above: new owners, debts paid and maybe a little bit of money invested on the pitch and to make Clarence Park a more inviting place to visit. Too much to ask? Not necessarily. You'd not get much change from a million quid for the bare basics, but, as I said before, this is the sort of town in which people pay that sort of money for a house without flinching. We may not necessarily know them but, trust me, they're out there.<p>The worst case scenario: the club fails to find new owners, or Lee Harding continues to be obstructive (I could make many personal jibes here, but it's not worth it). The league suspends and then expels the club, and St Albans City ceases to exist. Next move goes to the council - presuming the lease isn't given to one of the current creditors as a sweetener. Clarence Park is an attractive venue. Teams like Enfield and Barnet may start circling, looking for a ground of Conference standard that they could bring up to League standard at a fraction of the cost of building somewhere new. Maybe Enfield will move there and rename themselves Enfield & St Albans Co-operative? Who can tell. The council may well end up holding the keys - will they auction the lease? Will they give the existing lease to a new club St Albans City (2002)? <p>We will have to form a new club to play, in all likelihood, in the South Midlands League or (absolute worst case scenario) the Herts County League. In two, three, four years, or however long it takes, we'll be back, be it in the Ryman League or the Doc Martens League, and we'll be stronger than before. How do I know this? Because I know us, the supporters, and I know we won't give up the good fight. So... don't be too down-hearted. It's out of our hands (unless anybody has an eccentric millionaire great uncle with cash to burn), so all we can do is sit back and kep our fingers crossed. No matter what happens, we'll be watching football in St Albans next season. Not sure where yet, especially for the away matches, but we will.<p>Yes. You caught me in a better mood today.

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Well after a rather long speech Trevor, I have digested your main points and am really happy to hear you have so much faith in the club! We are all know it is not the end of the world if the club does fold but we dont really want it to get that far. It would take so much work to get the club back on its feet and where it really should be (Ryman League). Lets just hope that the new people who take over are worthy of the position ie, they make the most of the marketing aspects in the city and want to inject cash into the club. That is what we really need, there are so ma possibilities to be had.

<img src="graemlins/achso.gif" border="0" alt="achso" />

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I'm glad you're in a better mood, Trev.

I hear that enormous efforts were made in the smokeless rooms etc. but without a successful result, I'm afraid. The football authorities could not have been more helpful, I gather. the full story should be kept for a Supporters Meeting once the current situation comes to a conclusion. Then we can move forward.

I can't see the Sutton game taking place this Saturday. See you at The Park for Billericay [i hope]?

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Cant rely on anyone nowadays can we?! So, no game on Sat. Wonder when we will next play a game. If ever!

Think you should give us a hint as to exactly what you are talking about when you say, 'enormous efforts were made...' and 'the football authorities couldnt have been more helpful, I gather.'

What do the rest of us do? Just sit back and wait until someone buys the club? Easier said than done!<p> mad.gif" border="0

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So it appears then that the Club will be suspended then today. I don't doubt what AFF said that there were considerable efforts to avoid this situation. What must happen now is for everything to be made public and for the supporters to be told what the bloody hell is going on! Is their really a 'new' consortium ready to take over? What are the Supporters Club doing? It appears to me and I know I'm not the only one who thinks that we supporters have been kept in the dark for too long now. It is now three months since the last supporters meeting!

We must have another one now!<p>Can we please have an straight answer from somebody for a change!

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In my opinion the players should stay along with the mamangement. I understand fully that they will be fed up by it all at the moment but think of the rest of us! We wouldnt just walk out on the club and help to make the situaiton worse. I believe we have a made team here at The Park and it would be a real shame to see that go as well. <p>Gary and Steve both say that they want to stay with St.Albans and I know that us fans want them to stay. Their record in the last few months speaks for itself and it seems we have people (including players) that WANT to play for St.Albans City not just cause no-one else with have them! The rappor between the fans and the current players is good and it would be such a shame to lose that.<p>A message to all players who read this: Please think about what sort of a club you will be leaving and how much potential it has. You want to be a part of it I know you do!!!

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What a dismal day. St Albans City, up for sale at the bargain price of #1 pound, have an offer turned down by the chairman. And there was me thinking he wanted out... But, anyway, the general omens don't seem too good. I've been thinking about this all day, and I've decided to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. So, in the true spirit of the age, I thought I'd share my thoughts on...<p>The Advantages Of A Season In The South Midlands League:<p>1. Biggest crowds and best ground.

2. Many more local derbies (Colney, Dunstable, Hoddeson and Letchworth, to name a few). Far less distance to travel overall for away matches.

3. A once in a lifetime chance to win the FA Vase.

4. We would be able to choose our kit made by a good manufacturer such as Adidas or Nike rather than the recent uninspired offerings that we've had to tolerate from "Vandanel" (???)

5. Far more opportunity for giant-killing (could you imagine being excited about beating, say, Hemel Hempstead in the FA Cup?).

6. I'm presuming that we'd still be allowed in the FA Cup, anyway.

7. Plenty of opportunities to sing "you must have come on a skateboard" at home matches.

8. I may never ever have to visit Canvey, Croydon, Boreham Wood or Aldershot ever again.

9. Surely (and anything else is too humiliating to bear) a championship and league cup double.

10. EFM could genuinely claim to be "the largest firm in the South Midlands League".<p>Come on... somebody's got to look on the bright side... <img src="graemlins/affig.gif" border="0" alt="affig" />

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If, and this is just and if, we look to go into the Southern league instead of the Isthmian, would we still go into the South Midlands or what? <img src="graemlins/help.gif" border="0" alt="help" />

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Just heard the news about your club. From a Slough Town supporter this brings back bad memories for us. We were 8th in the Conference and got to the Trophy semi finals with our best side in years before being totally conned by our crooked chairman of the time (Alan Thorne ex Millwall) and expelled from the Conference. He's conned the freehold of the ground and wants to develop the site to make bucket loads of money for himself. Begrudglingly he was forced into a short term lease for the club which runs out next year when we are out on our ear and set to slide even further into oblivion. Thorne is the same chairman who made millions when the Old Den was sold for housing and is in line to do the same to Slough Town. We should have formed a new local side like Enfield Town have done, even if it means dropping down a couple of divisions at least the club would be run by people who care about it. The main point of my rambling is that your club like Slough are a big non league club and its important that you don't get ground down by the money men and end up like us. Good luck!

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