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Around the forums – I read them so you don’t have II


Back in May I undertook to, once a month, read the Northern League Forum and it’s moderately more civilised cousin Yellow Fever, sift through the bile, and summarise the interesting stuff for your reading pleasure. Here is the second instalment of this noble endeavour.

First up, in shock Northern League Forum news, former Fencibles United chairman Wilson Hawes has turned up to call out the anonymous malcontents constantly bagging the club and his record at the helm of it. No longer involved in Fencies, he has nothing to lose and can afford to break his silence and bring a touch of reality into the ‘debate’.

This comment, one of his opening salvos, is a brilliant insight into the costs associated with running a first team that many (including myself) overlook when we look at a budget line on an annual report and immediately think of player payments.

“…this year’s budgets were set during my time at the club, the amounts involved tend to go into such things as gear, transportation, food for visiting teams etc. The budget also covers both the First and Reserve sides. Every match ball is a $100 (4 per team…8 per squad) x2, every time one was kicked onto Ti Rakau Drive I used to cringe…. we went through a lot in a season. All four sides MUST carry a home and away strip with them to cover the situations even in home matches where the visiting team wears blue or red, every player went through at least 2 pairs of socks a year ($18 each) Shorts were $20 even corner flags are $23 and a lot of them get broken. We used to love having an electrician in the team because they could normally supply the tape…. must be blue to match socks or ref could card you, referees have to be paid for (in advance). Normally sponsorship would cover after match or warm up gear, but not always.

This is not an exhaustive list but are some of the costs involved in running the team. All of these amounts came out of the team budgets, which remained effectively static for the 5 years I was on the committee. The budget was approved at the AGM every year and it was always a battle as Fencibles have 1700 members many of whom felt that they were subsidising the first teams and didn’t see why they should.

How budgets were spent over and above these amounts were always up to the individual management groups to decide. But expenditure vs budget was discussed at every board meeting in the accounts/finance report. Suggestions of massive payments to individuals are entirely speculative and there simply isn’t the money to do that once all of the other expenses are covered.

It was amazing how when a real person became involved in the discussion who was being reasonable, debating the issues rationally and offering to respond to concerns over e-mail, all of a sudden things became quite civilised!

Meanwhile, over in the division one forum, Mangere United were the subject of some consternation for not coming up to the clubrooms for the aftermatch function following a defeat at Ellerslie. ‘Chopah’ exclaimed:

“So if you happen to beat Mangere don’t expect anyone up in the club, not a single person showed up, not even the coach. Not even to get the team card. Pathetic”

Others also chipped in along the lines of ‘Stan’:

“They are what they are and the Aff suck up to them. Worst sports in the league lack of respect for all clubs. Fu.k em.”

That’s all very well Stan, but stop holding back and tell us what you really think! Oh well, if nothing else it led to an interesting wee cultural discussion about Mangere, Kava and after match boozing kicked off by ‘Pedro’:

“Manukau City always gets treated this way together with Mangere United now. It’s just that the South Auckland teams don’t run to a forum each time someone has a bad day. I am sure Ellerslie are not angels and will follow your team with much interest. The Moral highgrounders will need to watch their every step from now on. The guys at Mangere United probably don’t even read this forum lol. Everytime I have been to Mangere United they have treated me with more respect than most other clubs. Amongst all the other conventional clubs they may be different but not as bad as you suggest. Ellerslie you need to look at your own changing room and appreciate what the Council is doing for you just because of who you are. Stop attacking clubs because you are notorious for that and you have a name out there as the stirrers.”

‘Pedro’ then continued:

“I am not from Mangere United but they probably don’t have a culture of drinking so be it. Don’t say that they should stay back for drinks. Says who?? To listen to one coach give ten minute of bull**** etc and repeated by the other. After match is an imported idea. The better thing would be to show respect to players after the match instead of slagging them on a forum. Next time provide them with Kava they might stay back. Don’t force them to drink. God bless”

‘Chopah’ responded:

“I’m fully aware of how hard some South Auckland clubs have it with council and Manukau City is a great example of this. I’m not sure how any of that is relevant though – and to be honest your point about drinking is not either. I don’t expect them to come up to the clubrooms and buy a single thing – just their presence would have been great. You say a handshake after the game would have been enough, well most of them didn’t even do that… Let’s not confuse the general struggles some clubs in the south have with what is just poor sportsmanship (not the first won’t be the last) from one team. Happy to keep discussing the issues but if you would kindly not confuse the two points that would be great.”

Elsewhere it seems that Glenfield Rovers may be becoming the Real Madrid of New Zealand Football!! Having won two leagues in a row and only sitting three points off the Premier Division lead this season, there are already calls for the head of coach Daniel Donegan! ‘Cantona’ led the calls for his axing thus:

“Pathetic result in the cup slipping in the league time to look for a new coach for next season now! Someone who has the credentials and some standing in football. Donegan can go back to Takapuna.”

Papakura seems to be the other club whose turn it is this month to be the organisation that is being talked about for matters other than what they do on the park. Strong statements followed news being posted of the resignation of club president Gavin Findlay. ‘Not impressed’ asked:

“Could this be real trouble for Kura? Rumour is the departing president has left them in the poo and coach Heather is on the brink of walking out. There would be a few clubs keen on securing his services for next year I would think.”

Wow! Let’s not forget this is another top of the table club! Which is exactly the point Gavin Findlay himself made when he turned up in the thread, after someone had unfairly criticised Kura’s first team coach Jason Heather. This comment takes out this month’s… drum roll please…


‘Best Bite Back’ award!

“How about you get off you fat little keyboard and man up to me face to face. I’m proud to be one-eyed towards Kura, no different to many other passionate club people around Auckland. And as for Jason, just let’s look at his record versus the previous coaches…

50 games before JH took over : won 6 drew 6 lost 38!!

50 games since JH took over: won 35 drew 9 lost 6

No matter what you think about how it’s been achieved (and I think you’ll find that a great team culture and good players have more to do with it that a “cheque book”), that’s an f’n good record. Long may it continue into Div 1”

Over on Yellow Fever, one of the debates of the month was the discussion about the possibility of the Phoenix getting a women’s team to compete in the Australian W-League. I could have dedicated a whole ‘around the forums’ post to some of the outrageous suggestions made in this thread (disclaimer – I am of the strong opinion that gender equality should be non-negotiable) but instead I’ll give you a small sample, starting with this pearler from ‘Napier Phoenix’:

“…I’ve seen a couple of games but they were essentially just schoolgirls. I realise the W League might have slightly older players but if wanted decent quality football I’d probably stick with Nix Men. If I just wanted a perv, beach volleyball FTW.”

I also thoroughly enjoyed this from ‘Christo’ which was in response to a post of mine calling for equality:

“If you’re are really worried about equality then they should be advocating for pay parity for women as well.”

Naturally I thanked him for his great advice given I had never considered advocating for pay parity before:

“Thanks for the tip, I’ll get right on that.”

Which he then endorsed with a “THIS!” Sarcasm detector a bit off there, Christo! (Not sure he knows I actually work for a trade union)

However there was a great constructive comment by ‘Chopah’ which I’ll chuck in here to end this section on a positive note:

“I think this is the key point – while the team would obviously have to be branded under the Nix banner NZF have much better funding streams at the moment for Women’s Football and it would benefit their programs greatly to have this team so on the financial side maybe it’s primarily funded by NZF but the Nix just play them under their branding.”

The other Yellow Fever debate that was a source of some amusement was when the Capital Premier thread was derailed for a few days by a bizarre argument about giving yellow cards for persistent offsides! ‘Loftus Road’ started it with:

“Yellow and red card/s for persistent infringement? Would have been justified with all those offsides in the first half.”

‘patrick478’, who I understand is a referee so knows his rules, then stated:

“You can’t show yellows for offside… Even if there is persistent breaking of the offside rule.”

But ‘Loftus Road’ wasn’t about to be deterred and quoted the following from Laws of the Game:

“Cautionable offences. A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences: Unsporting behaviour, dissent by word or action, persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game, delaying the restart of play, failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in, entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission, deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission”

To which ‘who is spartacus’ retorted with:

“I think it is persistent not multiple so as soon as you get back onside the offence is over and you are no longer persisting….. now if you stood offside always and made no attempt to get onside then there would be merit in your case i think.”

Which led ‘Smithy’ to chime in with:

“That’s ridiculous. What other law could you ever apply that to? You can’t persist in kicking someone. But you can do it repeatedly, which is what the law means. Whether it’s applied to repeated offsides or not is another question. Pashtrick best placed to know how the refs interpret it. (Roulette time).”

But ‘who is spartacus’ wasn’t done yet:

“Smithy i think kicking someone is a foul that carry’s a caution  but offside dose not. It’s like kicking the ball out of the field of play is not a caution so your argument is flawed a bit. Being cautioned and doing it again is persisting.”

Nor was ‘patrick478’:

“That’s not what the persistent infringement rule is for though. It’s there for when a player commits several fouls, none of which warrant a caution by themselves, but the player deserves punishment when all of the fouls are looked at as a whole. Offside isn’t a cautionable offence in the same way that a bad tackle is. And given that it only results in an IFK rather than a DFK, I’m leaning on the side that continually infringing the offside law does not give a player a chance of being cautioned for persistent infringement.”

‘Loftus Road’:

“Thanks Patrick, but that lino must have got a sore arm from flagging so many offsides in a short space of time and maybe the ref should have some ability to do something about such goings on.”


“Please  please please make it stop.”

I’m just worried that if this becomes a thing, Italy will never win a World Cup or Euro ever, ever, ever again…

The ‘Whatever!’ Award:


To finish, it’s now time to present the ‘Whatever’ award! This is the regular prize (even though there’s no prize really) that goes to the comment that makes you roll your eyes the most. This month there was plenty of competition but ultimately it goes to ‘hepatitis’ on the Yellow Fever forum, for this beauty during a discussion on possible protest action about worker deaths and slavery in Qatar:

“Go to Qatar and protest if you feel strongly about it.”

Another great life tip from someone with a real sense of empathy for the welfare of others…

Until next time!

Categories: Around The Forums

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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