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More Than A Game?
More Than A Game?
Monday, 24th Jun 2002 00:00

More Than Just A Game?

Home > Story Index >Football Is Not Just A Game?

Well he is a die hard Airdie fan, man and boy he supported the 'diamonds'. Now though due to crippling debts they have lost all their assets and are out of business.
Salt was rubbed into the wound when someone tried selling their Excelsior Stadium on Ebay. Probably a wind up but a startling snapshot of the demise of the club.
The demise of Airdrie will send a shiver down all smaller clubs fans spines. Most lower league clubs have had a run in with the Administrators at some point and the threat of closure hanging over them.
On Saturday 27th April Aidrie fans invaded the pitch and brought their Scottish League match against Ayr United to a halt. The referee had to abandon the game. These were not thugs on the rampage but fans frustrated and at their wits end. They decided to protest against their chairman Bill Barr in this way. Some of us well remember that this was a tactic suggested by Swans fans during the Petty era. This was no North Bank Alliance but the Diamonds Direct Action group.
One of the reasons behind Airdries demands was yet another businessman with delusions of grandeur.Airdrie had gone into administration in January 2000 after financial problems blamed on the building of their new stadium, the Excelsior Stadium.
They were unable to provide the community facilities planned to adjoin the 10,000 all-seater ground.
Airdrie were supposed to build three football parks, a pavilion, a car park and an area for 70 coaches.
Alas this did not go ahead. Are their lessons here for the Swans to take note of? It certainly does not sound a different story from the Petty Lewis MacLure days.
So why am I penning this for Simple really, this could so nearly of been us, the Mighty Swansea City FC. I think some of us as we chat about the new signings of Cusack may have forgotten how close we came to having no football to watch on Saturdays. I think a lot of people have forgotten the hard work that the new Swansea board and the likes of Mel, Dave Morgan and the Trust put in to save the club.
My friend says he will never watch another game again. Commendable for a Glaswegian who has the lions share of Scottish Football clubs on his door step. Celtic, Kilmarnock, Rangers, St Mirren etc.
I am sure most of us can empathise with his position. How many of us would have gone to watch Cardiff or trapesed up to Brum to watch one of the Midlands clubs. None of us I dont think. We would have ended up going to Ashleigh Road and watching the amateurs. It is hard to imagine but a whole part of my friends life has been destroyed, it sort of hits you between the eyes.
So just remember how lucky we are to have League football to watch this season. Forgetting about winning or losing, we have had the greatest victory that a lower league club can win. Survival.

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