Tag Archives: pitch invasion

And you thought football was a village…..we aren’t alone!

16 Mar

In a season where communications, or lack of, have been one of the key themes for Brentford supporters trying to get our heads around the club’s new direction it seems there is a similar sentiment across London at Charlton Athletic. That said, the ‘problems’ faced by the Bees seem miniscule compared to those at the Valley. Yet given how raw last season’s ‘Village-gate’ affair still feels to many, yesterday’s press release from the Addicks has struck a chord in what some might deem a similar scenario. Namely, that of a patronising and nonsense packed ‘official statement’ on a club website.

Football is a village’ is a line that will be forever steeped in infamy at Griffin Park. If ever we were looking for an opposite to, “They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup” then here it was. To this day, I still don’t know who came up with that gumph, who thought it was our best response to the leaked stories surrounding Mark Warburton and why, in retrospect, nobody has come out and suggested we might have played that one a little bit better. Still, enough has been said about that sad event on these pages to warrant further discourse (although if you’d like to read more…..)

Then, yesterday, it all come flooding back as the Charlton media team decided to crank the Village factor up to 11. To be fair, they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Sunday’s home win against Middlesbrough which, hot off the back of a victory at Griffin Park has given them renewed hope of survival, was one marred by a number of protests against Roland Duchatelet and chief executive Katrien Meire.

Amongst other things, a coffin made an appearance whilst several whistles in the crowd did their best to disrupt the players. Kick off was followed by a deluge of beach balls onto the pitch and several fans walked out on 74 minutes – to signify the amount of goals Charlton have shipped so far this term. There was even a somewhat unsavoury pitch invasion which, against type, the watching Sky TV cameras gave full prominence to .

I can sympathise with the club in wanting to do something. Likewise, they’ve even waited on this until Tuesday in order to let the immediate heat go out of the situation and then give it their most considered response. But there are ways of doing something and then ways of doing something. If I didn’t know better I’d suggest our own comms team had been transferred out of Griffin Park and taken up residence at The Valley.

Last Sunday, some individuals did not come to The Valley to watch the game and support the team, but came to create disorder on the pitch and interfere with the players and the game. Disorder which is, allegedly, needed to drive change in ownership and management

Those aren’t my words but the opening salvo of a ‘toys out the pram’ response that makes the football village seem almost Shakespearean in comparison.

Other ‘highlights’ include, “Some individuals seem to want the club to fail. This is a confused approach, since following this logic leads to exactly the opposite of what we all want: staying in the Championship” and

Allegations regarding the CEO are misrepresented and are continuously used as a method to discredit and fuel personal abuse, hatred and with a risk to personal safety”.

You can read the full statement on the Charlton website. It’s a sorry state of affairs for their supporters, many of whom I have no doubt are backing the team to the hilt. Instead, at this time of need, they are all being tarred with a brush of ne’er do wells in a statement that reeks of paranoia.

Football is, without doubt, something bordering on a religion and obsession to many. It is part and parcel of our lives, our friendships are based around it whilst, for many, the choice of club is a generational thing handed down by parents keen to pass on the torch. Simply put, we are bound to our teams in a symbiotic relationship where everything that happens to them impacts us one way or another.

Sure, Charlton had to make some sort of reaction. Yet given the frustrations which have been building over the course of this season and came to a head on Sunday, doing it in such a fashion is yet another example of a club owner’s failure when it comes to making friends and influencing people.

For all those unhappy with certain aspects at Brentford this year, please have some perspective. Whilst we’ve certainly hit a bump in the road on the pitch, off the field Matthew Benham and his team have started to open up more to the fans in the last week whilst you can’t deny he is a Brentford fan through and through.

Football isn’t a village, it’s more than that. Our top brass would do well to continue realising that.

Please let’s not ever release a statement like this (again).

Nick Bruzon

bees fans leave charlton shit

It stinks at Charlton

 

Natalie Sawyer stars in the best video, ever

15 May

So it seems that even Brentford fan and Sky Sports presenter Natalie Sawyer has been unable to resist joining in the Russell Slade ‘FA Cup’ jokes, following the Leyton Orient manager’s now legendary comment.

I had promised myself to let this rest for a while but then the following YouTube video reached the ‘Last Word’ inbox yesterday. The picture quality may be a bit ropey but Natalie’s wisecrack at the end more than makes up for it.

I’m sure you must have seen this already but if not, enjoy. And if so then just enjoy again.

Celebrating like they’ve won the FA Cup. And, frankly, why not?

14 May

Next season’s Championship took further shape last night as Brentford now know we won’t face Peterborough but could have a return encounter with Leyton Orient.

You have to say that the O’s deserved their spot in the final. Peterborough weren’t given a sniff and, barring a frenetic final few moments where even goalkeeper Robert Olejnik joined in the action, Jimmy Glass style (who doesn’t love it when that happens), they were barely allowed to threaten.

The celebratory scenes when the final whistle blew put me in mind of when Brentford had promotion confirmed against Preston. A celebratory pitch invasion of epic proportions took place and, to be honest, you can understand why.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Don’t do it Buzzette – when mascots lose their head.

4 Mar

It would be fair to say that Brentford mascots Buzz Bee and Buzzette are two of the better behaved in the football world . From Wolves to Wolfsburg and Dunfermline to Swansea, the age-old matter of mascots getting ‘carried away’ was brought to the fore again at the weekend.

You’ve probably seen the video clip sweeping the Internet from Sunday’s Bundesliga encounter between 1899 Hoffenheim and Vfl Wolfsburg. The game has since attracted the public interest  – less for the 8 goals and more for the ‘accident’ that befell the home team’s mascot, Hoffi the Moose, as they notched their fourth goal of a 6-2 win.

Rushing to celebrate with the players on the pitch, rather than leap the barriers Hoffi managed to trip over them and, quite literally, lost his head . For those who’ve had theirs buried in the footballing sand – which is almost where Hoffi ended up –  you can see the incident here.

Seeing this has put my in mind of some of the more infamous mascot moments. Whilst the downside of the next clip means you need to sit through a few seconds of Angus Deayton, stick with it. It’s the moment where Brentford’s League one rivals Wolves,  saw their ‘Wolfie’ take on all three of Bristol City’s ‘little pigs’ single-handed.

Sadly (for research purposes), I’ve been unable to unearth any footage of Swansea’s ‘Cyril the Swan’ who, amongst other misdemeanours, once performed a pitch invasion that culminated in his ripping the head off Millwall’s Zampa the Lion.

Cyril then proceeded to drop kick it into the crowd. That said, you can still read the original BBC report (check out the ‘old school’ internet) here.

Image

Cyril – about to punt Zampa’s into the back of the Cyg-net

However, my particular ‘lowlight’ of mascot mayhem is, almost certainly, Dunfermline’s Sammy the Tammy. Back in April 2011, he took to the field in a derby game with local rivals Raith Rovers in a home made tank before marching to the half way line and appearing to take pot shots at the opposition fans.

All this accompanied by the subtle soundtrack of ‘Two Tribes’ (go to war)., by pop music’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

The moment has been recorded for posterity, with Tammy losing his head (metaphorically rather than literally) about three minutes in.

Whilst there is nothing positive to be said about football violence, there is something mildly amusing about a punch up between a six foot anthromphised Wolf and some equally weighted piglets.

However, even I would draw the line at Buzz Bee, in a home-made Sherman, taking aim at the Fulham fans next season.