Vauxhall plight shows how tough football can be

Paul Jackson 21.09.13
Kidderminster

Skrill North
Worcester City Vs Workington
People pics. (4424038)

Paul Jackson 21.09.13 Kidderminster Skrill North Worcester City Vs Workington People pics. (4424038)

First published in Sport

THINGS can change quickly in football.

One minute your team can do no wrong and the next they are in crisis.

That has been shown most starkly by Kidderminster Harriers, whose FA Cup heroics of January could not be in greater contrast to now sitting 10th in the Skrill Premier and seeing manager Andy Thorn depart yesterday.

But it is the plight of Vauxhall Motors, further down the non-league ladder, that should bring home the harsh reality of football to both clubs and fans alike.

The Ellesmere Port outfit and Worcester City's Skrill North rivals yesterday announced they would be resigning from the second tier of non-league at the end of the season.

Their reasoning is quite simple - they don't get enough people through the gates to cover their costs.

That is hardly surprising when you consider the Rivarce Park team seldom break the 150 barrier.

Low crowds are commonplace for a lot of clubs of a similar ilk but many get by because they are bank-rolled by a benefactor.

That's not the case at Vauxhall, although they do have a vibrant social club, and finally the situation has come home to roost.

Despite efforts to punch above their weight, the Motormen have decided the best course of action is to save the long term by dropping down the divisions.

Such a decision would not have been taken lightly and it is to their credit that they have opted to go down that route rather than ploughing on regardless and eventually winding up along the well-trodden path of going broke.

It is a call that City manager Carl Heeley has backed, saying the Motormen should be applauded for putting the club ahead of dreams.

"At least they accepted that it's not viable," he added, no doubt aware that a lot of clubs choose to bury their heads in the sand in similar circumstances.

Such reasoning may also be borne out of the fact that Vauxhall's scenario is not that disimilar to Worcester's.

The Blue and Whites are actually one of the better supported clubs in Skrill North and, despite no longer being at St George's Lane, still pull in a decent crowd.

They currently average 539 and, while that may not sound a lot, it is competitive for the level they play at.

But, following years of mounting debt, which was finally cleared following the controversial sale of the Lane, they now live virtually hand to mouth.

They don't have somebody pouring money in and their survival in exile has been down to sheer hard work.

No doubt discussions about dropping down the leagues would have taken place in the Worcester boardroom last summer, not knowing whether the club would be financially viable.

As it is, Worcester are managing but Vauxhall's plight is a reminder of how tough it can be.

Comments (6)

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11:31am Thu 6 Mar 14

liketoknow says...

at last a dose of reality from the cloud cuckoo land of football.
at last a dose of reality from the cloud cuckoo land of football. liketoknow
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Carthaginian says...

At the same level, but in the Conference South, I see that Weston-Super-Mare have asked their manager to move on after he requested a 42K budget increase, above and beyond an already approved 6K overspend. There already are lots of doses of reality in the world of real football. The manager has to find new employment having sought a squad investment equivalent to one day's earnings of a Premier league striker.

I don't know the details, but I would reckon Worcester City's entire squad and all non-playing paid staff for a year is below what MUFC pay just one player for just the Easter long weekend.
At the same level, but in the Conference South, I see that Weston-Super-Mare have asked their manager to move on after he requested a 42K budget increase, above and beyond an already approved 6K overspend. There already are lots of doses of reality in the world of real football. The manager has to find new employment having sought a squad investment equivalent to one day's earnings of a Premier league striker. I don't know the details, but I would reckon Worcester City's entire squad and all non-playing paid staff for a year is below what MUFC pay just one player for just the Easter long weekend. Carthaginian
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Carthaginian says...

Things move quickly. It seems the W-s-M manager has since been reinstated (earlier today)
Things move quickly. It seems the W-s-M manager has since been reinstated (earlier today) Carthaginian
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Thu 6 Mar 14

old misery says...

When you look at the attendances for non league football for whose benefit is it run for ? It is certainly not joe public sad as it is I am afraid many more will go the same way. Too much on the Tv now and some of that leaves alot to be desired. I have stood in all weathers watching local football for years but the weather has to right for even me now.
When you look at the attendances for non league football for whose benefit is it run for ? It is certainly not joe public sad as it is I am afraid many more will go the same way. Too much on the Tv now and some of that leaves alot to be desired. I have stood in all weathers watching local football for years but the weather has to right for even me now. old misery
  • Score: -1

5:09pm Thu 6 Mar 14

liketoknow says...

I used to go and watch the City regularly and loved it, but the shenanigans of the last few years have left me disillusioned with the whole lot of it. non league just cannot compete with armchair sport and monopoly money premier league.
I used to go and watch the City regularly and loved it, but the shenanigans of the last few years have left me disillusioned with the whole lot of it. non league just cannot compete with armchair sport and monopoly money premier league. liketoknow
  • Score: 0

8:21am Fri 7 Mar 14

yeller says...

The Weston Super Mare scenario is a common one in non league where one man's ego can take a club down. I fear for them if they have backed down to his demands and hope that it is him who has seen reason and signed his contract without the budget increases.
The Weston Super Mare scenario is a common one in non league where one man's ego can take a club down. I fear for them if they have backed down to his demands and hope that it is him who has seen reason and signed his contract without the budget increases. yeller
  • Score: 1

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