What a bizarre day for football. Darlington FC still exists, which is good news all round, I think. I don’t know. I mean, obviously it’s great news for Darlo fans, but I just have this feeling that it’s delaying the inevitable and dragging out this sorry tale, causing more pain and misery in the long run. On the other hand, they may yet come through this – and the two-week stay of execution could prove to be the time they need to get their massive house in order.
I’ll leave the controversies of whether they deserve to exist or not to other people who are in a better position than me to comment. All I can really do is look at it from a fan’s point of view and say I’m just glad for the supporters that they still have a club to go and watch on Saturday afternoon.
When Aldershot or Maidstone went bust we as fans would have been unaware at the time of the meetings that took place and the single moment that the clubs ceased to exist. Back then, we’d have more than likely read about it the next day in the papers, or heard about it on the radio, or watched a short news piece on television.
What struck me today was the way I was able to follow Darlo’s ordeal, minute by minute, on Twitter. I can’t decide whether I found the experience disturbing, macabre, exciting or even enjoyable. The fact that the whole world had the ability to stay in touch with events as they unfolded made this particular football story different to any other in history.
Rather than being completely oblivious to the behind-closed-doors meeting while on my lunch break, I was on my phone and refreshing my Twitter feed every other minute as I sought to find out what the latest news was. I may as well have been in that meeting myself.
If this happened in the eighties, save for a handful of people who were involved in the last-minute reprieve, we’d all be non the wiser until we heard the morning headlines on our radio alarm clock or picked up the paper the next day. How times are changing!
All the best to Darlington FC for the future – no one likes to see a club go out of business. It saddens me even today when someone shows me pictures of Scarborough’s McCain Stadium, which appears to have been left to rot. It’s not a graceful end to what once gave a lot of people a lot of enjoyment.