This article first appeared in the match programme of FC United of Manchester [FCUM]. With thanks to Ap Dafydd of CPD Wrecsam Partisan’s SHAG fanzine for allowing us to republish it on the FLAF site.
The great gods of capitalism have looked down on the dirty proles and given us, lowly CPD Wrecsam their charity. Thank the lord for the benign gaze of our betters falling on us here in the hinterlands of North Wales.
We are too stupid to do anything for ourselves and will gladly hand over all we have, all that we sacrificed our nervous systems for, because success and riches beyond belief supersede everything, any integrity or idea of solidarity. We will rise out of the slime of non-league unfettered and rejoin the lapdogs in the league. Our shackles will fall from us and disintegrate into dust as our pimp’s bit of coin helps us trample over our enemies. We’ve salivated over this sugar daddy, hoping and praying that we could be the chosen one, plucked from the pack, like those desperate girls at high-school proms who daren’t make eye contact with their potential suitors, for fear of rejection, for fear of being left on the shelf. Make no bones about it, we have sold our soul. Without promotion, Wrexham Supporters Trust was destined to be dispatched as soon as the opportunity arose and a barren spell prevailed.
The Trust tenure was born out of necessity, not political ideology. Our fanbase is politically diverse, as is the case with the majority of historic football clubs. This very detail ensured a shelf life for the Trust. The Trust model in the eyes of most CPD Wrecsam fans had run its course years ago, and last season’s cack only heightened the sense of cynicism. The death knell for fan ownership is in the diversity of beliefs in the fanbase, and therefore the DNA of the board, because of course, although fan-owned, there was never anything remotely socialist about the venture.
A board or Trust without socialism at its very core was always going to be transitory, because ultimately the folk at the helm along with the punters (for the most part) do not have the same underlying principles as a club like FC United. Because they’re not socialists, they are happy to trample over others for success, rather than thinking holistically about being an intrinsic part of creating a culture where fan-owned clubs have more or less the same resources. So many of our fans never bought into the idea of fan ownership. They were waiting to hand over the reins the first chance they had, to chase the soulless dream of the Premier League. There is nothing more wretched, nothing that has sullied the game I love more than the money men, Sky Sports and the bloody Premier League.
My feeling as an owner of my club was that any success really belonged to us. There would be nothing artificial about it. It would be ours to celebrate and this in itself could have done great things for fan ownership. Now I understand that without socialism, fan ownership is a veneer that disappears at the slightest hint of big money and a leg up. Even my friends are like giddy school girls at the prospect of steam rollering everyone in sight, backed up by the Rob and Ryan behemoth. Who incidentally seem like lovely lads, though that’s not the point, is it? How can I truly be a socialist and revel in my club being sold to millionaires?
I voted yes, of course, because the economic boost to the area will be massive and my family will be directly affected by this. But I voted yes with an extremely heavy heart. And my reasons for voting yes didn’t make me feel any better. Why should I feel better because the big hand coming out of the sky chose us? I feel sullied and compromised. I believe in the basic idea of redistributing wealth and that any millionaires are abhorrent, philanthropic or not. The very idea of someone being a millionaire is an insult to any working class person.
Lighten up Ry you miserable get, think of the area, the community, post-industrial towns all over are like Wrecsam, you can’t begrudge us this. We need something to hold onto, something to make us smile again, especially after Covid. Got us, haven’t they?
The Trust was on its last legs when swathes of fans started to see their arse with the mediocrity of the team and last season’s dalliance with relegation nailed it. But we never understood what we held in our hands. You don’t change clubs because the owners change do you? Those who formed FCUM did though. Is provincialism like an opiate for the masses? I’ll be watching it unfold..I’ll take it in my stride and try not to be like a Leninist Victor Meldrew around Cae Ras, but there will always be a voice in my head that knows we could have been a part of something much more important than success. I’ve said it before but I truly believe the soul of football resides in non-league. I’ve seen the appropriation and commercialisation of football over the last 30 years, to the point where there is very little there of the game I grew up watching.
Like the Reliant Robins that used to surround the pitch, so much has gone the way of the dodo. And not all for the better, believe me. Tread softly tycoons, when you’ve gone we’ll still be living in this town, taking our kids and grandchildren to the match, struggling to get by and holding each other up, needing a little dream. Just a little dream, not this one that belongs to everyone else now.
Yours in love and solidarity.