Everyone’s heard of Aldershot. Go up and down the country on trains like I do and speak to other fans on their way to or coming back from games, they remember or know of Aldershot or as it is these days, Aldershot Town.
And the way things have become, I feel more and more disorientated, disillusioned and disinclined to fork out for a season ticket not far short of Reading’s by financial comparison or to spend most of my cash going to strange towns as I have been doing since 1980.
So whenever I am asked “who do you support?” I never say Aldershot Town. And there are a fair few reasons.
Firstly, I feel embarrassed at what the club has become. Secondly, it’s born out of my original allegiance and since the rebirth, the gradual and slow death of the business and the team itself.
For sure, I’m living in the past somewhat. All those treasured memories long before the standing Eastbankers now were even born. All those days and 5,000 home crowds on Saturdays are long gone.
Because I was there in those times doesn’t make me special! All I am is older.
But at least Aldershot was always, well, there were times but, for the most part a well-run club.
And I’ll draw a comparison right now that had Covid been around in the eighties, Aldershot wouldn’t have insisted (as they did) that those exempt from wearing facial coverings would not be allowed into the ground; I’d lay money on that.
Then I look at the current set-up and the disassociation between the club and its fans.
Because there is practically zero communication.
Tanner last season a prime example. Who knew what the fuck was going on there unless you happened to be well on the inside.
And now we are seeing other clubs announcing when our friendlies are. Oh and when one of our most promising players has left and gone down a division to boot, it’s a joke.
Everyone knows my disdain of and dislike for Searle. Fair enough, I’m entitled to my opinion and unlike many I’ve never wavered even when the team somehow managed to win three in a row
But I’m blocked by both the manager and the official Shots Twitter account because…
They. Can’t. Take. Criticism.
The board we have are what we have, I get that. But they do themselves no favours by alienating themselves from the hardcore supporters just because they can’t face a few home truths.
Nor do they appear to value the fans who cough up dough week in week out to watch what is, to be fair, often sub-standard football given the league we’re in.
I think also that opinions are quite divided anyway and I have no issue with anyone who will choose to back him but I’ve never been a happy clapper and feel that my opinions should be allowed the same as anyone elses either on social media or anywhere else.
So I’m saying that I only envisage 2021/22 as another dose of ultimate disappointment but it isn’t what I want to say at all.
The essence of this post is about then and now but more about how NOW the club is in rapid decline. We can all see it and there is little any of us can do about it.
But it would be a lot nicer if the club started to treat the customers better, you wouldn’t really think that a fan would need to sit down and write about it on a blog, actually.
I look around at The Rec, antiquated as it is and I still love the place. Still the same more or less as it was four decades ago.
I’m not bothered about new stadia. I’m not that bothered about the inconsistent results either to be fair, it’s what it is, what we’re used to.
But I am bothered about the future and what will happen when the generation of fans I come from are not around anymore, will there be a football club in Aldershot forever?
Of that, I don’t feel I can be certain.