The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Easy to ignore

21 September 2022

In the absence of any other news, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that many of our players, and a few of our supporters, were at a game last night, and that Grimsby Much-Changed Team beat Mansfield Some Of Our Boys Need A Run Out 2-0. It will have been a big moment for Otis Khan and Danilo Orsi to score. Middle-Aged Diary hopes they have bigger moments, moments we can all celebrate, before too long.

Obviously it doesn't rank up there with hosting a World Cup in stadiums built using indentured labour, or failing to enrol Alan Buckley in the Order of Merit, but the wrecking of the Football League Trophy for the marginal benefit of a handful of clubs who don't need any help - except perhaps the help they'd get from a rabbi, a priest or a professor of ethics - is a crime against sport, and all that sport should be.

There's no dark talk now, no one claiming fans are being intimidated out of attendance. I had genuinely forgotten all about last night's fixture. Far more damaging than a boycott, the Mother Brown Knees-up inspires only apathy. 

It isn't entirely straightforward. Once upon a time Grimsby reserves competed in the Midland League against such minor clubs as Wombwell, Denaby and Scunthorpe & Lindsey. In 1910, our first team had to take their place after it was voted out of the Football League. But that was before the football pyramid extended down into the grassroots of the game. And when the revenues club's generated came through the turnstiles, before anyone could capture the market in broadcast rights and advertising revenues generated around the globe.

The game isn't gone. It never will be while people still kick a ball about for the fun of it, but the space in which we can enjoy it without qualification continues to shrink. It is less democratic than it was, and poorer for it.