BFC Talk – A Manifesto – 4/3/16

I published a heartfelt, passionate yet extremely critical article by long-established Brentford supporter, Peter Lumley just the other day in which he made it quite clear that his most fervent wish is that he could put the clock back twelve months given that he vehemently disagrees with pretty much the whole ethos of the club and how it has been run since the departure of Mark Warburton was announced and given that I did not share his opinion, this has led me to rethink the purpose of my blog and the comments that my articles, as well as those provided by a variety of guest writers attract.

I started writing this blog in June 2014 as I felt that I had a lot to say about the club, my time supporting it, the way it had been run and often mismanaged and the games and players, good, bad and mediocre that I had watched over the years.

I simply wanted to pay homage to my favourite club, rejoice in the memories, and allow myself without any restrictions of time and space, bar self-imposed ones, to stretch out and write as much or as little as I wanted about any subject that took my fancy as long as there was some connection however tenuous, to Brentford.

There really did not seem to be any other vehicle out there in the ether that would have allowed me the self-indulgence to do so so I had to start my own, and much to my surprise and I have to say, delight, the tom toms seemed to sound almost immediately and pretty quickly I had built up a loyal following and an audience of seemingly like-minded supporters who appeared to enjoy, identify with and appreciate what I wrote and were not slow to add their own thoughts, comments, impressions and tales all of which added immeasurably to the overall look and feel of the blog.

There are now over one thousand people who automatically receive a copy of every article (not all of them read it though), some of whom I know in the real world, the others I feel as if I do even though we have never met and probably never will. It really does not matter as we share something precious and unique.

There has also been a spinoff book covering the momentous events of last season, Ahead Of The Game, which has sold remarkably well with a follow up title due this Summer – watch this space.

It has given me particular pleasure that a former Brentford footballer in Richard Poole has become a regular reader from his home in France and he often gives us all the massive benefit of his experiences as a player in the dark days of the early to mid 70s and it is good to remember and also ensure that we never forget the times in the not too distant past when the club struggled both on and off the pitch and its very survival was in question.

I have always made a point of encouraging contributions from readers of my blog as I feel that it is entirely appropriate and helpful for me to stimulate open debate on any subject related to Brentford FC past, present and future and to allow the blog to become a safe haven for informed discussion amongst Brentford supporters of all persuasions.

After all we are like minded individuals who share a passion for the Bees and desire nothing more than success and glory for our football team although we might well disagree over the optimum way to achieve it.

Some of us observe the world through red and white striped and rose tinted spectacles and can see no wrong and provide total and unconditional support, others identify, recognise and accept the club’s shortcomings, warts and all, and there are still others who find fault with practically everything that the club does.

My starting point is to allow everybody to have their say and to make themselves heard. This is a forum for everybody to express their opinion however left or right field and for others to comment accordingly. I might well not agree with what is being said, as was the case with Peter’s recent article but it is good to stimulate debate from across the entire spectrum of opinion.

My only caveat – I certainly do not want to use the word rule, is that everybody is treated with courtesy and respect however outlandish their views and that no personal or inappropriate comments are made. This is essentially an adult forum in the best sense of the word where there is no bullying or name calling and people are allowed the freedom to praise, grumble, reminisce or predict totally as they see fit.

That is not to say that should contributors put their head over the parapet they should not expect to face the rigorous scrutiny and analysis of everybody else who reads their words and it is entirely right and proper that they should expect comments, perhaps approval and agreement and maybe even mild criticism and opprobrium – but not ridicule, and they will then be able to defend and build upon their original position should they see fit to do so.

The key point is for us all to know just where the line is and when things have gone too far. We all know that there are vast swathes of the internet and social media where there are no checks and balances and anarchy can rule as there are no boundaries, moderators or manners.

BFC Talk is not one of those places, nor will I allow it to become one – nor I hope will all of you readers who play such a crucial role in its success and popularity.

I also do not want there to be a predictable house style or point of view.

Every opinion stated should be judged solely upon its merits although it is more than fair to say that I am a massive supporter of the Brentford revolution and what it stands for, as without Matthew Benham, his cash, fresh ideas, eagerness to take calculated risks and sheer chutzpah we would not be lingering down amongst the dead men in the nether regions of the third or fourth tier of the Football League, but we would have gone into freefall and it would be a certainty that our local derbies this season would be against Sutton United, Hayes & Yeading and Wealdstone in the Vanarama National League South rather than Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Charlton Athletic in the Championship.

That is how much we owe him and something that must never be forgotten and we therefore need to trust him and his management team implicitly without necessarily a slavish acceptance of everything he does – after all he is a mere mortal like all of us and mistakes have certainly be made. And this blog gives us all the opportunity to question what is happening, suggest alternatives but also to praise whenever our thanks and appreciation are due.

Last season set the bar impossibly high but it is pointless to continually hark backwards and talk about what might have been, for very good reasons those days have gone as have the management team and most of the players who made a near miracle possible.

That is simply the way of the world given the schism that arose between Matthew Benham and Mark Warburton that was totally beyond repair, the dictates of Financial Fair Play as well as the financial strength of our rivals who were able to induce our best players to leave but not without paying us for the privilege.

There is much to be happy about, so much more to look forward to and many lessons to learn from the marvellous ups and downs of the past year so let’s simply enjoy the ride, rollercoaster though it may be rather than nitpick to death.

BFC Talk is now the place for real Brentford fans to rejoice, carp, criticise, propose, suggest, celebrate, welcome and praise as we all see fit.

Let’s just do in the right way and remember who we could be playing tomorrow had things been done differently – and I am talking about Concord Rangers rather than Chelsea!

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14 thoughts on “BFC Talk – A Manifesto – 4/3/16

  1. I do enjoy reading your musings, reminiscing and general rambling about the joint love of our lives.It is good to read former players and each time Richard Poole is mentioned it brings back memories of the night I was on my way home and there was Richard half way up a lampost chatting up a girl through her bedroom window.
    I rely on your blog and Vernons group to keep in touch with all that is Brentford as my visits are rare nowadays.

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  2. Greville, one of the blog followers in the category of “never knowingly met” here (although we have probably passed by each other goodness knows how many times…)

    Agree with Michael here and it seems a further word of support may not be out of place at this moment, repeating the sentiment in my earlier comment. The blogs provide great pleasure to many, as do most of the comments. Robust debate is healthy and a far more energising read than machine-like agreement on everything. There are comments I do not agree with…
    …e.g. comparison with last season is understandable, almost everyone regretted MW going but we simply have to move on & put our trust in the owner … but it won’t stop me reading & enjoying what I disagree with and I certainly feel no malicious desire to launch an attack on anyone making such comments!

    As you have highlighted Greville, there are plenty of other places offering unmoderated personal sniping to anyone who dares voice an opinion but I hope this environment can be kept abuse-free. Besides, it is your blog and you would have wide support in exercising the delete function once the line is crossed…

    Long may this blog and the respectful debate continue, through good days & bad days. Tomorrow being a good day – I am looking forward to it, starting in The Beehive about 1.30pm!

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  3. Once again Mr Waterman you have banned me from here, basically for satirising the Benham Ultras.

    It seems your mates can insult to any length, but as soon as I get stuck in ironically, I am banned.

    I would be grateful if you could explain yourself rather than taking the silent approach.

    Your chum Mr Lumley thought one of my posts was a gem. Yet as soon as I post, it gets deleted.

    Please explain yourself.

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    • Please read my manifesto carefully which summarises how people should behave. There is no place here for people who just want to, as you put it, “get stuck in”.

      Personally I do not want rabble rousers who are deliberately sarcastic and who rejoice in simply taking the mick and winding people up with every post that they make.

      I have spoken today to Matt Casey as well.

      I welcome debate on here but you are simply an irritant.

      You bring nothing of value to the blog with your wearying and endless sarcasm and I don’t want you here.

      Please do not come here again. Go somewhere else where your contributions will be welcomed.

      Do you understand?

      Thank you.

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  4. I find it interesting that your below the line contributors (who occasionally get promoted above the line) seem (at least to me) generally to take a much less positive view on the so-called changes than you do, Greville.

    Last season was wonderful (and how hard it was to be following from the other side of the world) but much of that success was built on doing things the way that we are doing them now. But for a variety of reasons things have been much harder this season. We don’t know whether Warburton would have stayed anyway, do we? If he’d left us for pastures new without us knowing what had gone on behind the scenes, maybe there would have been a lot less infighting between fans?

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  5. Greville. I have not responded to any of your posts for quite a while as sometimes I’m just to tired or feel my response would cause a negative reaction (which is healthy ) however i do get perhaps to easily annoyed with some posts.
    I still read every post you write and feel grateful for what you write and for what other people also print in reply.
    I recently left the Brentford fc loyal site as some comments from supporters i felt just made no sense and made me angry and i joined such site’s to celebrate with other bees supporters all that is Brentford past and more importantly future.
    I am done now with analysing people’s thought’s and happy to let folk have their say as my focus is now fully on taking my seat at every home game and some away and giving my continued support to a club i have loved for the last 48 years.
    Looking forward to seeing your next blog about our victory over charlton on what will be an emotional day in remembrance of a fellow bee….🐝

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  6. I think you should take a lot of credit for the fact that over a thousand fans receive your blog. You must be doing something right! I think that the fact that you are open to different views, but are prepared to go to the trouble to police those really tedious abusive contributions is a significant factor in your success. It must be difficult and time-consuming sometimes (e.g. previous blog), but I for one really appreciate your efforts, your blog is a good place, so thank you. Oh yes, please feel free to rap me over the knuckles whenever I deserve it. 🙂

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    • Thanks, I really appreciate your words and comments like yours and others in the last day or so from the likes of Iain, Michael and Patrick and of course the exiled and much missed Ed do make it all worthwhile.

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  7. Enjoy your blog / book & like venting & commenting – if you feel I’m OTT please say so & I’ll read only. I don’t want to spoil it for others.

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  8. Totally echo the comments from the two gentlemen above! Keep it coming Greville and let’s hope for three points against the basket case today!

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  9. Greville – I started reading your blog at the beginning of this season and have kept coming back largely due to high quality of your posts and most of the comments that follow. As such, I am totally fine with you flexing a little editorial muscle to keep the tone respectful.

    I’m guessing this is also a very timely intervention given today’s result, which will no doubt dial the negativity up another notch. I would ask what the hell is going on with the team – but I know you need to sleep on it and will brief us exiles tomorrow. Thanks

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