The Postbag

Cod Almighty | Postbag

Long-lost letters

30 April 2017

The disastrous impact of broadcasting rights on football, a one-person fancy dress day, a York goalkeeper, our managerial roundabout and Wayne day in your line of sight.

Get the game back

Modern day football... where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the England side gets further behind others in terms of quality, technique and results.

Sky have won a court case allowing them to crack down on 'unofficial' streaming of live events - from sources such as Kodi for example. Great in theory - hurrah for them. But I'd like to ask the hierarchy at what point should they be asking themselves questions? When Sky won the rights to cover football it was supposedly for the greater good: to improve standards, see better players and for the national side to compete for international honours.

20 years later, what has been accomplished? The rebranding of a league to be more commercially viable, and better foreign players to go and see. But England? Opportunities for youngsters? The ridiculous theory that academies are of any use. Sky's biggest accomplishment is taking away the national game from the very people it should be encouraging. Then excessive subscription fees; pay per view events; extortionate ticket prices charged by clubs at the top and spreading down the line; players earning monopoly-like salaries (not that I begrudge them for a career that could be cut short career every time they step on a pitch; the establishment of 'agents'; the soon-to-be formation of a European league? A Premier League of just the 'elite'? More stupid ideas from a Football Association so out of touch it's embarrassing.

Everyone likes to watch football; we're brought up on it - but kids growing up now have no affinity to local clubs. They follow elite teams from their living rooms. The gap between what used to be competitive leagues grows ever larger. The only people 'winning' are the likes of Sky 'executives'.

Greed. Pure and simple. Until people cancel their Sky, Virgin and BT Sport subscriptions, forcing them, the Football Association, the Premier League  to appreciate that what they have accomplished is not actually anything at all, then the game and standard will drift away until only eight teams or so are in a position to continue. Families won't be able to go to local team; the next generation after this one won't have the opportunity I had. It's a crying shame that the game we love is allowed to disintegrate before us when the powers that be can't - or refuse to see - what is happening.

Cancel those subscriptions. Everyone. #getthegameback

from Jase Ives

Pretty in pink

The article about a Barnsley game brought a wry smile. I've many memories gained over years of following Town, especially away, from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, light years away from following now, at absolute shit heap grounds: Barnsley, Huddersfield (where the exchanging of bricks and rubble was almost compulsory, as at Bradford), Chesterfield, Halifax, Rochdale... Most of those places visited have gone on to develop, but that's another thread.

Going back to Barnsley, one of many outings stands out. A group going in fancy dress was quite a regular theme during that time. All was arranged for fancy dress at Oakwell. When the match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and rearranged for the following Tuesday, we decided to drop the fancy dress theme as a few of our group had dropped out due to work.

So we assembled on the open embankment in the the rain to be greeted by the magnificent sight of one of our group, who by virtue of being in the army up at Catterick and unaware of our change of the fancy dress code, appearing on the bleak vastness of the Oakwell terrace dressed in a fluorescent pink panther costume. He really blended in among his donkey-jacketed mates.

Fishermen at Oldham, vicars at wolves... Great memories and shedloads of stories from one fantastic group of friends, now sadly depleted as the years have trundled by.

from Rich Jones

Smash and grab

I recently came across a reference to a goalkeeper for York City called Graeme Crawford and was transported back to a game at Blundell Park in February 1973 when I witnessed: firstly, the most amazing display of goalkeeping I have ever seen, and I have seen a few over the last 70 years; and secondly, the most incredible result ever on the basis of the percentage of possession of the losing side.

The score stood at 1-1 as I resumed my seat in the Osmond Stand for the second half. The Osmond is the end that Town traditionally prefer to attack in the first-halves of games. Town suddenly began what can only be described as a blitz as they laid siege to the York goal and shots began to rain in on Crawford's goal as most of the Town men encamped in the York half. Those efforts on target, Crawford saved with any part of his body and many others hit the posts or crossbar. The Town had a player called Jack Lewis, who was usually irresistible when he turned it on but even his mazy runs came to naught.

Then, suddenly, a ball was slung out of defence and down the York left wing and, as right back Dave Worthington shaped to control and return it to the "war zone", his hamstring went and he started limping. A lone York marauder took the ball through with Town's defence mostly all in the York half and planted it into the Town net for the most unlikely winner in history! The score should have been about 7-1. At the end we all reflected on seeing surely the greatest "smash and grab" ever at the old ground.

from Harry Buck


Fascinating to hear Lincoln talking about the possibility of following Burton Albion into the championship, and the Scunthorpe chairman expecting United's new stadium to be up and running by 2018/19. Only words, I know, but I am reminded that our non chairman believed we were punching above our weight in the National League, and now our new manager believes we can be a League One side. Such overwhelming ambition!

Fenty stated that Bignot was head and shoulders above all other candidates; then to land Slade he was "tickled pink".

The ship of fools sails on.

from Steve Bierley

Golden moment

Last Wednesday's diary prompted this memory. Wembley Stadium, a, birthday trip to the final up in a high seat in the old stadium accompanied by a Bournemouth addict. I had kept the lid on my enthusiasm pretty well as I was in opposition territory though a couple of fish jokes from behind indicated that others had guessed.

It was pretty even for a 100 minutes or so then suddenly things changed, I thought we're going to win this, and Wayne Burnett obliged.


I took family out to dinner after to celebrate so not much alcohol.

My birthday is actually on the 20th but as this tied with Adolf H who was dropping mines in the Humber two miles away at the time, mother was not too keen on that date.

from John Darnell

Thanks to Jase, Rich, Harry, Steve and John for writing. Send letters to Cod Almighty using our feedback page.