Craig's World of Sport

Strange thing afoot at Stanley

with 5 comments

After attending last nights 1-0 win for Tranmere over Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground some very odd happenings seem to have taken place at that club recently.


Obviously last week with the injury to Tom Bender and the fact that it took 20 mins to get the correct ambulance to the ground, nothing at the time other than people saying it was strange was thought about it. I only started to think about things on Tuesday when I tried to phone the club to ask about some information regarding the game on Wednesday night. When I went to the website to get the contact number I noticed that there was an article saying that they had had to release a number of staff on the none playing side.


I rung and rung for around 5 mins but didn’t get any answer so I gave up and decided to ask on Twitter using the @ASFCOfficial name as point of contact. I did manage to get a response from this account who said that due to the staff being laid off the rest of the staff had been given a 1/2 day on Tuesday a little off in my opinion prior to a match day. Once again I didn’t think much about it until we arrived at the Crown Ground.


Many people had questioned the £2 entry fee indeed it was wondered why this had been put in place, but in hindsight it could be a way of guaranteeing money from the turnstiles. A few people speaking to the stewards before the game had suggested that a donation may have been the better way to go and probably would have raised more money but as I say it in no way could guarantee how much would have been raised.  Another interesting fact was that Stanley had wanted to play the game a week later but had been forced to play the game Wednesday night by the Football League.


Again I didn’t think anything of this, but did hear the stewards talking and rushing round talking about the PA system not working. When I got in the stadium the away seating area which is undercover, all the seats were wet and they had a steward going round with a towel drying them! Also the lights in that area weren’t working properly. Throughout the evening they kept trying to get the PA system working to no avail, it was an odd experience not hearing team announcements or anything.


When I got home I wondered via Facebook and Twitter if not having a PA system was legal when holding a sporting event at professional level of that size. Thanks to Sam Knox, who found that BS EN 60849 legislation, which covers the need in pubic places for a sound system for emergency evacuation purposes…Obviously this wasn’t in place at Stanley last night and makes you wonder if this was one of the reasons they wanted the game for the following week?


All these things seem to me to point that Accrington Stanley are once again a club in danger, they openly admit that they are running at a loss year on year. Is the club on the way down and out again, one would certainly hope not but things are not looking good for one of the iconic football clubs in the country. It might be worth watching I for one will certainly be keeping a close eye. Also it will be interesting to see if the Authorities take any action due to the lack of PA system and the fact it is a legal requirement.


As always thanks for reading and hope to catch you soon, and as ever comments always welcome.



Written by pegleg5125

13/10/2011 at 7:55 pm

5 Responses

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  1. 1 – You can’t blame the club for giving the remaining staff a half day after they’ve just seen their friends (and, in some cases, probably family sacked. And the realisation that it could well have been them would make them less than useless.

    2 – As Paul Harper said on Twitter – the weather in Lancashire had been horrendous and the game in danger of being called off again anyway. I’ve been to Prenton Park when the seats have been wet. Sending Ken the steward round with a towel would be a nice touch.

    3 – If the ground had truly fallen foul of safety standards, the authorities would have stripped the club of a safety certificate. A backup system (even a group of people with loudhailers) would have been in place, in case of an emergency.

    4 – A £2 entry fee will have only covered the costs of restaging the game (staff, stewards, police, electricity, appearance fees, etc.). After all, the ground was used for near enough the full ninety minutes last week, in the aftermath of Tom Bender’s injury. Tranmere, however, should be called on their charging £10.50 for fans to go on the coach. That is in no way just covering costs.


    13/10/2011 at 8:16 pm

    • 1) I could understand giving either the Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning but just found the Tuesday afternoon strange.

      2) Very true. I just wonder if the ground could do with bit of fixing but if no money no way I suppose.

      3) It was the way they tried throughout the match to get the system working, and the scurrying around before the game and the comment “we wanted the game next week”.

      4) Your very true TRFC were wrong to charge the amount the did for the coach and I said as much yesterday.

      One of the other lines I found strange was in the programme, basically saying that Accy had to pay the costs of Tranmere Rovers. If this is the case why did it only extend to the club, who prob could afford it but not the fans and does this mean they did have insurance to cover the abandonment?


      13/10/2011 at 9:58 pm

  2. Ah yes, the stewards gossip and sheer speculation….the fountain of all knowledge in that respect!

    1, As you pointed out the staff were told on Monday that they would be losing their jobs and those that would be keeping their jobs would be on reduced hours. I don’t see how giving them a half day off on Tuesday to get over the shock and get their heads round the situation can be ‘a little off’.

    2, If you’d emailed the club or asked for an explanation of why there was a charge (as I did) then you would know that it was simply to cover the cost of things that already been paid out – player fees, wages for match day staff (stewards, programme sellers, turnstile operaters, etc) electricity for floodlights, Tranmeres travel costs for the team bus, etc. It wasn’t simply them being greedy, they simply couldn’t afford to put it on for free which is why they had to put on a small charge for people like you, me and your carer.

    3, The JPT 3rd round takes place in the first week of November so this tie needed to be played before then. Stanley couldn’t play the match this Tuesday night due to their manager being in Ireland on a pre-arranged trip as part of his UEFA coaching badge (or something like that). Stanley have got a match next Tuesday night and so have Tranmere, away at Hartlepool, so neither team would have wanted it played then, so it was this Wednesday or nothing. Not quite the interesting ‘fact’ you made out. The FA certainly haven’t forced either team to play this week

    4, There was a problem with the microphone that is used to address the team and it kept tripping out the system that the music is played on. I know this because I asked the PA man. There is a back up system to use for an emergency (and a plan c in the form of a megaphone) but because reading the team and playing music wasn’t classed as an emergency the system wasn’t used.

    5. If you think somebody drying seats for fans before a match is a bad thing then I feel sorry for you. They certainly don’t do it at Tranmere, or Everton and ceratinly not at Blackpool where I have been on the verge of catching trenchfoot from sitting knee deep in rain water!

    After reading your blog a few times I still can’t get away from the feeling that you are bitter at having to pay to get in and are taking it out on Stanley by reporting rumours and ‘false facts’ . You either expected something for nothing (as your tweets to the club and others) would suggest or you felt you deserved special treatment because you paid to get in last week (like I did and so did 300 other away fans). David Moyes was at the match last night and he paid £2 to get in…while certain members of the Tranmere board were handing out complimentary tickets like they were flyers advertising a sale. Perhaps before you comment too much on Stanleys affairs you shoud look at the club you’re supposed to support first and ask why they didn’t put on free coaches for those that had travelled last week, or offered some sort of explanation as to why we had to pay again!


    13/10/2011 at 10:09 pm

    • “Ah yes, the stewards gossip and sheer speculation….the fountain of all knowledge in that respect! ”

      Firstly this was a head steward who I was speaking to but yes I do know that stewards gossip and are never always right.

      If I may I’ll address your other points in order.

      1) I can understand people being given time off to get their head around it, indeed I said I could have understood it being Tuesday morning, but Tuesday afternoon ahead of a game was a bit odd is all I said.

      2) My wife did email the club on Thursday evening of last week and despite it saying on their website that they’ll respond to all emails is still waiting over 24 hours after the game is finished. It was never the fact that we had to pay that was the problem it was the fact that it was £2 all in pay on the gate. This meant that to guarantee you got in you had to leave early, it is unfortunate that a system could not have been put in place to allow people that had been to the game and shown great respect and concern for Tom (Unlike the Accrington fans who at the time were singing why are we waiting and last night also chanting such lovely things when a Tranmere player had to go off injured) were guaranteed entry over those who decided to go to the game on a whim because it only cost 2 quid. As I also stated and have spoken to a few people who thought if a donation had been asked rather than a specific amount more would have been raised to help a club who are undoubted need. In that situation most would have put more than £2 in thus helping the club more.

      3) This argument holds no standing up, a first round game that was postponed was actually played after the 2nd round so the tie could have been played anytime up to the 8th which is 3 weeks away anyway and maybe played on that night and delaying the 3rd round by a week. However good on John Coleman for undertaking his coaching badges.

      Again I was only making a point it was just odd that was all. But again thank you for pointing out the emergency procedeaure could this have not been pointed out though over the microphone if music wasn’t needed instead of nearly blowing everyone’s ears out every time they tried to get it to work.

      5) I agree it was a nice touch I even said to the guy dooming haven’t people got arses for that!

      If you look at my previous comment I agree Tranmere should also take a look at themselves for charging as much as they did.

      It also comes back do clubs not have insurance for these circumstances? Why is it always fans who have to pay out again to fund clubs.

      As for you accusation it is all because I had to pay it was nothing to do with having to pay or how much or how little it was the principle of not guaranteeing getting in over someone who hadn’t been to the first game And indeed said It would have raised more for the club if you had asked for donations. As for David Moyes paying can he not afford it?


      13/10/2011 at 11:17 pm

    • Also sorry Denise I meant to add is it not up to Tranmere who they give their comps out to maybe they were giving them to fans because they felt for their fans having to pay twice. This as I said before does not excuse the cost of the coach which could have been done a cost surely by the club.

      It does to me raise the question of insurance for abandonments although very rear they do happen and I would have thought in the grand scheme of things that if they aren’t already insured for would cost very little on a policy.

      However thanks for your comments, football is a game of opinions and some agree and some don’t that is one of the reasons we watch the game, I guess your an Accy fan so can I say all the staff I have actually spoken to at your club are a credit from gate people to stewards to catering people all of whom on a match day represent your club are fantastic and I feel for anyone who have lost their job. It is wrong that staff lower down the food chain at clubs are paying when clubs are being run at a loss. I do also wish the club the best for the rest of the season and you never know may see you for a league game next year would be nice.


      13/10/2011 at 11:34 pm

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