02 December 2007

I am the Boss!

"I was also not sure if Posh Spice is the sort of WAG we want at Ebbsfleet...That was until my 4 year old headbutted me in the stomach, and reality was restored!"

A few weeks ago I was reading one of the free newspapers that you get in Sydney (in fact, there is only one, as the other two freebies are glossy magazines with trashy articles and job vacancies) when I came upon an interesting article.

The article that caught my attention related to a soccer club that the newspaper had become a part owner of. The club in question was called Ebbsfleet United. When I read this my eyes nearly popped out of my head! Luckily they didn't otherwise I'd have lots of trouble writing this blog.

Ebbsfleet United (or Gravesend & Northfleet as they used to be known to us locals) are one of the teams that I have supported since being a youngster. In fact, I was there in October to see the 'Fleet' beat Torquay United 2-1! The other thing that puzzled me was the fact that the newspaper was a part owner of this great Kentish soccer club.

Naturally, I wanted to know more. So when I got home, I logged onto the website http://www.myfootballclub.co.uk/ and found out some details about how to become an owner. Well, within 24 hours I had paid my small fee and had become a co-owner of this soccer club. All co-owners have a say in the running of the club. For example, we can recommend players to buy, sack the manager and even discuss tactics. Better still, we will not be liable for any debt that the 'Fleet' incur!

Following my registration I immediately felt like Roman Abramovich the Russian Billionaire who owns Chelsea. Straight away I got out my old and trusty notebook and started making a list of potential transfers for my club. My mind went to the best players for inspiration. Obviously the goal is to get the 'Fleet' into League 2. To do this we need classy players not just good ones. My pencil started scribing down the name of David Beckham. But no sooner had I written his name I had crossed it out. For starters he would want a huge salary, and he also has too many tattoos! I was also not sure if Posh Spice is the sort of WAG we want at Ebbsfleet.

Next I started thinking about Cristiano Ronaldo. However, he might not be up to the standard required. After all, do we really want a poser, diver and a winker in the team? Certainly not from my point of view. The North Kent accent might be too hard for him to understand as well.

I realised that I had to lower my sights if I was to be more realistic. Certainly there are a lot of good lower grade players who could do the job for us. My mind swiftly thought about recommending my own name. Years ago I was certainly in my prime, but not now. Also, being in Sydney could make the travelling costs too high for the club. For a split second I could dream about being the star signing. That was until my 4 year old headbutted me in the stomach, and reality was restored!

As for manager (now head coach) do we stay with Liam Daish, who has done a great job in the short space of time he has been at the 'Fleet', or do we go for a better named coach? Having seen England fail to qualify for the European Championships I ruled out the name of Steve McClaren! Better stick with Liam for the time being!

Next I started thinking about the ground. Anyone who has visited the ground at Stonebridge Road will know it needs more that a coat of paint if the team are to be successful. My mind was thinking of a 40,000 all seater stadium, but given that the average gate is just over 1,000 then this may have to wait for a few years, or decades!

Anyway, the message I am trying to portray is that being a co-owner of a club gives a person the chance to fulfill a childhood fantasy and be responsible for the running of a soccer club. Yes, I am the boss, and yes, my input into the running of the club is important. I may not be a Russian billionaire, or smoke cigars or even be an ex Prime Minister of Thailand who run successful clubs. What I am now is someone who, to some degree, is an equal to them.

So if you are in Gravesend on a Saturday I implore you to check out my soccer team, Ebbsfleet United. You know it will be worth it. If you aren't into soccer, never mind. There is a statue of Pocahontas (the real one) who is buried at St George's Church (next to the tourist information bureau) that you can visit.

In the meantime, I'll be working on my list of potential players for Ebbsfleet!

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