What a day for the community of Weymouth. The football club is returned to the very community from which it was born. Despite some apparent saviours beaming in over the years and doing anything but the club has been saved from liquidation and given back to those who could and should treasure it most: the people of Weymouth.
Of course it is hard for many to appreciate this at the moment. Corporate football has consumed many smaller clubs and communities so that most of us affiliate ourselves to teams that reside hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Teams like Weymouth, Dorchester, Poole and even Bournemouth have to scrap it out for those who prefer home based experiences. In other words people who will stand or sit in the damp and watch football played at a level far removed from what the television can provide. However without them there would be and possibly will be very little community based football in the future. Local people are the future!
What is happening locally at Weymouth and Dorchester is the real saviour. All money made is returned to the club. Not a profiteer who will strip everything down to the bone and then run off with no concern or conscience. I used to watch Weymouth every week as a young lad. I would even watch Nigel Biddlecombe, the current owner playing in goal for the reserves, back in the 1970’s. I admit I have drifted away as repeated owners and boards said one thing and did another. As players who could propel the club forward were sold leaving a void that was often hard to fill. As corporate football became wall to wall. But attending the game yesterday against Frome Town and seeing the honesty and the passion and the stress being experienced by those who were trying to do the right thing made me realise that this is where real football can be found. This is where the local people and I should be. We should be chatting, singing, shouting, nail biting, chewing, screaming (sometimes whilst covering our children’s ears) and all the other natural emotions of people being together in one place. Not on our own shouting at the TV.
Together we can save community football across the county and hopefully get enough of us through the turnstiles to make the clubs competitive and attractive. If we put the money and the time in the pleasure is sure to seep out.