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Rushden and Diamonds

In a previous thread on this forum, I was criticised by the usual suspects for suggesting that their "clubkiller" narrative towards Rushden was too simplistic and that were I too have been born (or have links to) the Rushden/Irthlingborough area, I suspect my view on their Icarus like rise and fall and on Max Griggs who funded it would be more nuanced.

Always preferring facts to urban myths and not buying the Govian myth that we have had enough of experts, I decided to ask the experts, those who support the phoenix club and have experienced close up the good days and the bad.

Seems I was wrong, their views are pretty clear cut and not nuanced at all. (I am chairboy by the way)

Have a read, interesting perspective on a fascinating time with parallels certainly to Fleetwood and Forest Green but potentially for us too.



  • Thanks Dev, hopefully more than one person who supported the merged clubs at the time will respond soon.

  • edited February 2017

    No, thank you, Peter.

    It is a fair critique of course that anyone alienated by the original merger 25 years ago is unlikely now to be reading and posting on a Rushden and Diamonds forum, assuming of course they are still alive.

    Noticeable to me however that from longstanding supporters of the club (often over 20 years) not a word of criticism of the merger or Max Griggs or regret at the path they trod. Indeed the unanimous good will towards Mr Griggs is quite striking

    Impossible now to obtain definitive evidence of overall mood and as we know from this forum, it would be a mistake to assume that the collective view of a forum reflects the collective view of the fanbase as a whole. I note however that you and Eric (and of course Righty and tattler jumping on the bandwagon when an opportunity for a personal dig comes along) have provided no evidence at all to support your view that the fanbase and communities were betrayed.

    They seem a friendly lot. I am sure they would have no objection at all to you asking them any further questions you see fit.

  • All fascinating stuff, not in any way relevant to the original discussion

    Good to see you representing our supporters with politeness and courtesy though. Well done

  • Seems pretty relevant to me, Eric. As I am sure it would to any reasonable reader of the thread.

    As I said to Peter above, they seem a friendly bunch. If you have any further questions for them (perhaps in your view more relevant) I am sure they would be happy to answer them.

    I have no authority to represent anyone, but I have never seen any reason not to treat anyone with politeness and courtesy.

  • The previous question was a personal one, ie knowing what happened subsequently, would "you" accept the merger? Quite telling that most p only started supporting post merger, but nonetheless, irrelevant to what I would accept.

    You are entitled to an alternative opinion, as I pointed out at the time.

    There are supporters of Wimbledon who followed their club to Milton Keynes and sort MK Dons to this day. You could invite me and them round to your house to chat over Sunday lunch and I would never say "yeah, actually, I wouldn't mind Wycombe being moved to Basingstoke"

  • The case matter is though, if WWFC decided to merge or seek investment, that then gave us a boom and bust period for say 10 years. After those 10 years the people of Wycombe and beyond would no longer have the opportunity to see the famous Wycombe Wanderers perform every other Saturday during the football season.
    And all this makes absolutely no difference to you, as you dont attend games any way. Troll on !!

  • Thanks for this @DevC , a very interesting read.

  • M3GM3G
    edited February 2017

    @DevC I give up! Either you are really stupid or you just dont get it.

  • It's an interesting counter-example to all the horror stories out there.

    I suspect you'd get a different response from Blackpool fans if you asked them whether the Premier League experience was worth it.

  • Experiences of other clubs can only ever be illustrative and hindsight as ever is a wonderful thing.

    I suspect the cup runs and the Ibe transfer money may have kicked the can down the road a little bit in respect of the ownership issue the Trust flagged in the programme notes a while ago, so for now it may be a moot point.

    If the trust did raise the issue of external finance and ownership again, we should all then have an obligation to carefully consider its merits and disadvantages. At the time none of us would have a crystal ball capable of showing us what would happen a) if we went for investment b) if we didn't.

    Arguably Wycombe Wanderers have more to lose than Rushden and Irthlingborough did at the time of their merger, if only because it stands at a higher level and fulfils the footballing needs of more of its community than those two clubs at that time did. R and D were an extreme example in terms of both the success they achieved and the eventually catastrophic failure. Investment in WWFC would be unlikely to have the same spectacular effects.

    Given the relative status of Rushden at the time of merger and us know, success for Wycombe Wanderers of the same scale as Rushden achieved would be along lines of promotion to the premier league, a full 40000 stadium, an FA cup win and competing on an equal basis in a European tie against Barcelona. And then collapsing , being replaced by a phoenix team (AFC Wycombe Wanderers?) playing in High Wycombe and returning very quickly to say Conference premier level, maybe even back to Lg2 with an ongoing fan base far higher than now.

    Extremely unlikely to ever happen of course but if I invented a time machine that could see clearly that this would be the path if we chose investment and the alternative would be staying in Lg2 for the next 20 years, no promotion, no relegation, which would I choose? I genuinely am not sure.

    As I say moot point for now unless and until the trust tell us there is an opportunity to discuss. I found the AFC R+D fans views interesting and perhaps a little surprising.

  • @Chris Well I live with a family and an extended family of them and in hindsight they would sacrifice all that just to get rid of the Oystons and have the club back. Trouble is when a bit of real success is in sight all clubs get a host of glory hunters who soon disappear when things go wrong. Unfortunately we cant do anything about it. So It's down to individuals and how they feel about the club they follow with passion.

  • That's the most pointless straw man argument you have ever produced Dev, and that really is saying something

  • But playing along, I would absolutely choose the one where the club didn't die

    You wouldn't, and again this is useful for people to bear in mind as context whenever you're banging on about a change in ownership, ie you'd sacrifice the very existence of the club for short term gain

  • edited February 2017

    Its relevant Eric, because it illustrates the scale of the flight to the sun Rushden experienced and the extent of the fall they experienced when the wax melted. But then you knew that.

    But playing along, if the price of an extended spell of undreamt off success was elimination of football in High Wycombe as a consequence I would agree with you.

    If however the option was an extended spell of undreamt off success followed by a return to a football team called Wycombe Wanderers playing at the same level as currently in the same or similar stadium in High Wycombe with an increased fan base, to all intents and purposes exactly the same as now except that strictly speaking it was a different legal entity, I don't know.

    Do you support and cherish the legal entity or something more intangible, the colours the location the fanbase the feeling of community. As I say I genuinely do not know.

    Does seem that Rushden supporters who experienced exactly that path choose the latter.

    Perhaps worth remembering in any future discussion though.

  • I think we've both set out our positions pretty clearly now don't you?

  • With the clarification above, I have nothing more to add unless you do or others do, Eric.

  • A classic 'last post' @DevC . I'll check back for the next one in due course.

    Personally I find it abhorant that someone would risk the chance of their children watching the club their parents love for the pipedream of a bit of success. But then I suppose some live fast and die young. Other see patience as a virtue. That is life and why we have played both Portsmouth and Coventry on an equal footing in recent days.

  • Ah Righty. I do wonder what has happened to you. Was a time when you had something of your own to say instead of just endless boring personal digs. I refer the learned gentlemen to the phrase "unless you or others do"

    None of us have a crystal ball, we can only make informed judgements on the best way forward. If and when the trust ask us to consider the ownership structure of the club (and as I said above I suspect the cup and Ibe money may have kicked that can down the road a little) we will have to judge then what model gives the best possible chance of football being played to a reasonable standard in the mid and long term in High Wycombe. There will very possibly be an argument to be made that the fan owned model and the bottom six Lg2 budget it so far has produced make that prospect somewhat insecure.

    As I made clear explicitly above, I would not consciously threaten the longterm sustainability of football in HW for short term success.

  • After the Hayes debacle, I can't really see any vote going in favour of abandonment of the fan owned model unless the club's continued existence was in danger.

  • you may well be right, Mooney. its a moot point until the Trust decide they need to have a conversation (or until an unsolicited very good offer comes along.). If the trust do decide to have the conversation, we are obliged, if we truly wish the best for WWFC, to listen with an open mind to what they have to say.

    Rushden, and the opinions of some of their supporters who have enjoyed a more dramatic ride than any of us will ever be likely to is perhaps an example suggesting that football finances are a little more complicated than a black or white, "supporter ownership good private ownership bad" simplistic answer may suggest.

    IF (capital and bold "if" to be clear) the trust recommend that private investment would be in the interests of WWFC, plainly it would be better for the club to seek that investment from a position of relative strength rather than at a time teetering on the brink of extinction.

  • But you'd accept the club going out of existence if it meant we played a few big games in the next few years, so your opinion can be ignored

    @drcongo is it possible to save auto-response messages whenever a particular poster posts?

  • You have just repeated your message of 1.45 to which I carefully explained your misconception at 2.02 above.

    With the greatest respect Eric, you are entitled to your view. You are entitled t defend your view. Please don't do so by misrepresenting mine.

  • Thank you Dev. I had a bet with a friend visiting today that you would respond to my post within 30 minutes! Just got my money with 3 minutes to spare.

  • You had a bet with you mate that the OP of a thread will respond to a post about the subject matter within a certain amount of time?

    He's a special kind of gambler. Will he take a bet that I will breath out within 30 mins after I breath in. I think I will.

  • Some interesting arguments and a good piece of 'research' to gain the views of R&D supporters. It is a little different for us though given our impressive amateur standing within the game.

    Given the glory we have achieved over the years it's difficult to understand the perspective of - say - a Coventry fan starved of any success for 30 years so they are bound to look at it different.

    For me though, I fell in love with WWFC a long time ago (on a wet Tuesday at home to Oxford City as it happens - if memory is remotely reliable). To enter into a mΓ©nage a troi with another club would be a little bit too modern for me and I'm not overly keen on someone coming along, tarting it up and then leaving it in the gutter after a few sordid - if exciting - years.

    So for what it's worth, i'm firmly in the 'sustainable' camp. I want my grandkids to wheel me down there so I can bore them with tales of how in the old days The Beast would roam the park and terrorise the oppositions centre halves. It would be nice if we're still in a similar or better league, but I'd rather be in the Green-belt Subsidiary League sponsored by Facebook (or whatever) than drive down to an industrial unit and say 'I used to watch football here once, you know'.

  • Send my commission to the usual address, please. Mooney. Hope I'm not to late for the double.

    I saw my first game, Mr Booker, with my late father over half a century ago (possibly around the same time as you?) when I apparently spent most of the match "driving" around the gasworks terrace pretending to be a car - no doubt hugely enhancing the matchday experience of the regulars. I have no intention of consciously choosing the end of football of a reasonable standard in HW. The only difference I suspect we have is how best to achieve that.

    My allegiance though is to a nebulous concept of the kit, the community and the family memories and a group of players dressed in two shades of blue rather than the legal entity , Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Limited, which I note has only existed for 13 years.

  • It's a bit different for R&D with the original clubs being so low in the pyramid anyway, there was so much less to lose after the bust, the phoenix club didn't have far too go to reach the Pre "boom" levels.

    The struggle for us would be much tougher and longer, and we might never reach the league in many supporters lifetimes.

  • @DevC So it was YOU who ran me off the road (terrace steps) all those years ago. Finally!!

    Where I think we differ is you think the risk/reward is the better choice, whereas I'm still buying Premium Bonds (thereby confusing anyone under 50 - or roughly 14% of the Gasroom)

  • @DevC Good work on the post last post work. I'd post something worthwhile if you actually said something worthwhile. It's impossible to argue with an idiot.

    Just one question though. You talk about having a future ownership decision to make. Do you have a vote on this? Just wondered

  • Were you the [email protected]&tard , Booker , that dobbed me in to that tall kid dressed in blue? I told him he should be out catching real pretend criminals but it didn't seem to do much good.

    I think where we may differ is that you have bought the illusion that fan ownership gives guaranteed security. The magnificent management of GA has fostered this illusion but my fear, and I suspect Stroud was heading in the same direction in his programme notes, is that if fan ownership can only deliver bottom six budgets, then it is highly likely that before long gravity will not be defied, and conference finances are even more barking (fgr having a salaries budget three times their gate revenue. I fear that your illusion of security may in reality be very dangerous indeed.

    As for Righty, I have no desire to get sucked into an exchange of abuse. I genuinely can't remember the last time any of your posts addressed to anyone contained an original or thought-provoking thought whether I agreed with it or not. Back in the day you did, but these days just negativity and abuse. Shame really once upon a time you used to be interesting. In answer to your direct question, yes, at least I assume so.

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