Why I Should be FIFA President

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Ok so David Ginola is running for the FIFA Presidency. Don’t get me wrong, he was an amazingly exciting footballer. Flamboyant and entertaining. However, when I first heard about it I chuckled to myself and assumed it’s clearly a publicity stunt. Ginola – FIFA President… Why would he do that??!! Then I thought it through. Sepp Blatter is possibly the most detested person associated with football in the world. I’d suggest 95% of those involved in football want him out. The problem is the other 5% are part of the FIFA Executive Committee. Spoilt and bribed by a man who at 78 years old should be spending his remaining years playing bingo in a Β£200,000 a year care home for the deluded.

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So, realistically, Mr Blatter is not going anywhere unless he a) resigns (which he won’t do through stubbornness), b) retires (something we’ve been waiting for for 20 years, c) he croaks it (again more and more unlikely. I’m predicting he’ll become the oldest ever human being being held together by robotic body parts funded by the Qatar World Cup) or d) someone else gets elected. Now, d) seems the most unlikely which is why I questioned Ginola’s stand as a candidate. However, we’ve seen plenty of people try to oast Mr Blatter but all relative unknowns who basically want to be Head of the gravy train which FIFA has become. Why can’t an ex-footballer with no political experience get the vote? One thing we do know is that these FIFA executives love celebrities. They love to be surrounded by people who they deem to be important therfore leading people to think they are important. England’s bid for the World Cup was never going to succeed but the only glimmer of hope we had was David Beckham and Prince William. A football and marketing icon alongside a real life Royal. We knew that they were the key. Pamper and compliment these execs with celebrities and VIPs and hope they vote.

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Why can’t Ginola do the same? No one believes he is the Presidential mastermind to reinvent FIFA. However, why can’t be be the face of the organisation? It’s a pretty face after all. By getting the right people behind him there is nothing stopping him and his team being the answer we’ve all been looking for. I for one hope that David Ginola can do what has never been done before and wipe that smarmy look off Sepp’s face. The man with the most important job in football who has no idea how the beautiful game should be run.
This leads me to my main point. Why I could be FIFA President. Now listen carefully before I get loads of abuse. My point is, at this moment in time, ANYBODY could do that job now more successfully and effectively than the current waste of space. FIFA is the governing body of world football. The World Cup is, and should always be, the greatest football competition in the world. Mr Blatter and his cronies are turning it into a cash cow aimed at lining the pockets of those that hide behind job titles but do very little. The unspoken rule which we all know to be true is the country that pays the most well get the reward. Qatar is the obvious example. A country, by its own admission, too hot to hold the World Cup. So what do the wise men do?? They give it to them anyway and panic about the practicalities at a later date. The World Cup in Qatar will be held in the middle of the European football season. Clubs are going to revolt. Whether Mr Blatter likes it or not, the European Clubs hold a lot of power within football. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich are just a few that will voice their displeasure. FIFA are isolating themselves from club football and therefore increasing the likelihood of creating a Club vs Country war like never before. And who will suffer? The fans, players and International football as a whole.
FIFA needs to change and we can’t afford to wait until Sepp decides he’s had enough. The damage will already be done. A FIFA President needs to drag the organisation back into the 21st Century, listen to those in and around the game and get the World Cup back to where it belongs. World Cups WILL create money, there is no point jeopardising the essence of the competition by sucking it dry.
By running FIFA for the good of the game rather than the good of a few is the simple and attainable goal for any decent President. Get a good, solid and experienced team behind you and anybody could pull this job off.

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So, David Ginola. I know you’re getting alot of stick about your candidancy but stick with it. If you can charm the execs into backing you and ensure you accept you’ll need guidance from all areas to maximise your ability to do that job, then I think you could be the man! Va Va Voom my friend (yes I know that’s the other French Footballer but I thought it appropriate), I’ll have my fingers crossed for you…. And I’m always here for advice if you need it!

Vote Ginola for FIFA President!

Broxtowe Utd FC – Starting a Club. Exciting or just plain Scary????

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So here it is. The start of something exciting. It’s been a dream of mine to start a youth football team. Being able to work with kids who love the game and to develop them as players and people as they grow up into adults. I genuinely believe that the influence they have from clubs, societies and all other aspects of extra-curricular activity has a huge impact on the grown ups they become. A coaches responsibility in instilling values and respect into children at a young age is just as important, if not more so, than the skills and ability developed through sport.

Broxtowe Utd FC is the result. The outcome of numerous hours of making notes, researching and genuinely being pre-occupied has led to this moment. I spoke to numerous people who have tried this before:

“It’s bloody hard work” – was one useful insight.

“Say goodbye to your social life” – said another

“You’ll never make everybody happy” – this was my personal favourite.

Let’s be clear. I am not delusional. I am aware that starting a new club will be time consuming, mentally and physically draining and there will be days that we wonder if we’ve done the right thing. So, let’s look at the positives. Why are we doing it? Well, simply, to give the kids an opportunity do something they’re passionate about. We all know that as kids get older they lose interest in everything unless it involves computer games or girls. However, something that football, and sport in general can give you is friendship. A bond that will see you through the hard times. If we as a club can provide a safe and fun environment where children develop then we will have done something right and that is what we are aiming for. Broxtowe Utd FC will be open to anyone, no matter what their age, sex or ability. We will endeavor to do all we can to give those that want it a chance to play football. Simple as that!

And where would we be without Coaches? Having recently completed the FA Coaching Level 1 course I was suitably impressed. It wasn’t easy. Yes, I assume it would be pretty difficult to fail outright but it can happen. The content within the course is pretty thorough and what it does do is opens your eyes to the possibilities that are there to work with children and develop them in an exciting and enjoyable way. Yes there will always be Coaches that are doing it for the wrong reasons. But rather than concentrating on them let’s concentrate on the ones that have the talent to teach, inspire and develop. That’s what the FA are looking to produce and they have to start somewhere and Β inevitably that will be in grassroots football.

There were several Coaches on that one course that I would be proud to have as part of Broxtowe Utd FC. The club will aim to give Coaches the chance to develop and progress which ultimately will benefit the children.

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That’s out Club motto. If you don’t enjoy yourself you won’t commit Β to the club and to football in general. If you don’t commit then you won’t develop as a player or an individual. I’m proud of what our club will stand for and hope that we can do it justice.

Something I am aware of and feel the need to address is other football clubs. There are plenty. If you’re looking for a club you are never too far away from one in most areas. Broxtowe Utd has been formed because I genuinely feel there is scope for another one. There are clubs that have too many children to manage. The Coach to child ratio is too big. This is by no means the fault of the Club or Coach. Grassroots football relies on volunteers. Without them clubs wouldn’t exist. That’s a fact and we all know that finding volunteers is not easy. People have busy lives and many want the time they have off to enjoy without the added responsibility. I completely understand that. However, what I have learnt over the last couple of days is that generally we are all doing it for the same reason. Club managers and chairman have contacted me to wish me luck and offer their support and experience to help us build our club. For that I am genuinely thankful. We don’t know it all. Far from it. We are learning and if we are able to pick the brains of those who have been there and done it before that is something we will never refuse. Clubs need to work together, build relationships and become part of a community and that is something I am passionate about. Over the next few months we will be reaching out to all the local clubs in an attempt to build solid partnerships and from my experience so far, this will be an easy task because that willingness to help is already there!

So there it is. The first blog. An introduction to our new Club. As always I’d love your thoughts and opinions on our journey so far. Feel free to comment below but also feel free to like and share out Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and check out our website. All the details are below and the club will go no where without the support of the local community so please help us out πŸ™‚

https://www.facebook.com/broxtoweunitedfc?ref=hl

Follow us on Twitter: @broxtoweutdFC

http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/broxtoweunitedfc

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Train Etiquette.


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These days I drive most places. I like driving. I like being in control of what I’m doing. Yes I hate traffic jams but I can put the radio on and be in control of my environment. However, sometimes public transport is the way forward. For instance today I have been in Manchester City Centre. It’s only 2 hours away but like most cities driving and parking is a nightmare so jumping on a train is definately the way forward. Now, I have drawn up a few dos and don’ts when travelling by public transport for the benefit of you and fellow passenger
Do: Give yourself plenty of time to get to the station, collect your ticket and find the platform.
Don’t: Rely on the ridiculously inefficient self-service machine to recognise your reference number and provide you with your ticket which has already been paid for. After several attempts I visited the very helpful ticket desk (I won’t mention the 15 minute wait) who kindly indicated ‘you obviously haven’t booked a ticket’. Actually yes I have. Look here’s the print out from my email. After trying to convince me that I had put the code in wrong, used the wrong credit card and various other reasons why it must be my fault it was eventually decided that the machine was faulty. Awesome!! Lucky for me I was early and just about made it into my train.
Do: Respect those around you when on public transport.
Don’t: Shout so loudly, every single person on the 4 carriage train can hear you. Not everyone wants to know your husband snores, your daughter is recovering from ‘sickness from every orifice’ and we don’t know what the best medicine is for bunions in your foot! I don’t want to know about that from my family let alone some strangers who I’m pretty sure have a number of medical issues that need addressing.
Do: Dispose of your rubbish in a responsible and appropriate manner.
Don’t: Rely on Network Rail to provide bins to assist you with this. Manchester Oxford Road for example, not one bin  NOT ONE! I spent 20 minutes wandering around aimlessly with a sandwich wrapper fighting the urge not to shove it in the ticket machine in protest. A kind employee identified my confusion and when I explained my predicament he exclaimed ‘yeah it’s a nightmare isn’t it’ and carried on with his work (sitting and scratching his arse it seems). Thanks. Well I finally found a bin 300 yards outside of the station by Sainsburys Supermarket. Job done.

And finally. Whatever you do, do not question whether a person is sat in the wrong seat. My carriage was all reserved. We all had numbered seats and the seats themselves have the journey that has been booked in them. Pretty simple system you’d think? Well after a long day I jump on the train looking forward to reading my paper and having Coffee in peace. It wasn’t busy so no problem. I reach my seat, 44a to be precise, and a middle aged man is sat there happily reading his book. As you do I checked my ticket to make sure I was looking at the right seat (although I knew I was) and then politely said ‘excuse me. I think you’re in my seat’.
‘I don’t think so young man, I’ve sat here from Liverpool ‘.
Yes ok but I have just got on and that’s my seat. It’s on my ticket. To cut a long story short this went on for a long time with him questioning me, questioning the ticket and even at one point accused the train company of labeling the seats wrong. Anyway, I think I managed to get my seat by the time I reached Sheffield at which point he got off……

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Don’t get me wrong I love public transport. It definately has a purpose. However, I have never had an issue finding a seat in my car and it has never refused to move until I complete a stringent test to prove I’m ok to drive.
Harry the Honda – don’t worry I will never leave you behind again!!!

Realisation!!!


After 7 years of lovingly referring to Tristan as a ‘turdburger’, this was the conversation at the dinner table tonight:

Tristan: I don’t want to eat anymore.
Me: Come on turdburger. Finish your food!
Alisha: What’s a turd Tristan??

(at this point I feel the glare of their mum staring at me from across the table and I hold my breath waiting for the explanation)

Tristan: It’s just like a frog burger. Daddy always calls me that.
Me: (trying to keep a straight face) erm I think you mean toad Tristan, not turd.
Tristan: Oh. Well what’s a turd then?
Me: It’s another word for ‘poo’.
Tristan: WHAT??????? ARE YOU SERIOUS ??? You’ve been calling me a ‘pooburger’???

At this point my hysterical laughter is getting out of control and definately not helping matters!!

Me: Yes Tristan,Β  sorry!!
Tristan : That’s just mean!! MUMMMMMYYYYYY! Daddy calls meΒ  a poo burger!!………

At this point I soon realise my humour is not shared by the rest of my family!!

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Where is my School Uniform?


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Dear Morleys,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for making the lead up to my daughter’s first day at school so exciting. Now, I accept that whoever is reading this letter does not know the story that unfolded so I’d like to share:
The school year ended in July. Knowing that we were away for the majority of the holiday we decided to be prepared. School uniform needed to be ordered and it would be Alisha’s first year so we headed over to your lovely store.Β  “Morleys – the School Uniform Specialist”. How could it possibly go wrong?……
So the order is made, the polite young man let’s me know that we’ll receive a text message when our order is in and off we went. We had our lovely family holiday and before we knew it it was 2 weeks before school started and we had no uniform. The next three days were spent ringing your store. Not because we enjoyed hearing their voice, but because nobody answered the phone. Message after message was left but nothing. On the fourth day just as I decided to pay you a visit the phone rung. Here’s the conversation :
Lady: Is that Mr Bernard?
Me: Erm no, I’m sorry I think you have the wrong number.
Lady: You didn’t order a school uniform from Morleys?
Me: Oh I see. Yes I did sorry. But my name is Bromley.
Lady: So you’re not Mr Bernard?
Me: No I’m not. I’m Mr Bromley.
Lady: I need to speak with Mr Bernard.
Me: There isn’t a Mr Bernard here. I think you must have the name mixed up. I’m Mr Bromley and I ordered some uniform with you.
Lady: Well alot of people have ordered uniform with us but I need to speak with Mr Bernard. We’ll text you when your order is ready….Β 
(click)
Me: WAIT. it’s me you want. Hello?? Hello?

Yes she’d hung up. I tried to call back and shockingly enough no one answered. At this point I could feel the vein in my head throbbing but the phone rung again. I composed myself :
Me: Hello.
Lady: Is that the gentleman I just spoke to?
Me: Mr Bromley. Yes it is.
Lady: I think I wrote your name down wrong. There is no Mr Bernard.
Me: Really? Ok so you rung me about my order?
Lady: No. You left a message. I’m just calling you back.
Me: (starting to lose my rag) Yes I left you 14 messages. Asking about where my daughter’s uniform is?
Lady: You’ll get a text message when it’s ready.
Me: Yes but my daughter starts school in a week and at the moment she’ll have to wear a ballet outfit and wellies.
Lady: We are due a delivery next week so they should be in then.
Me: Right is that definite?
Lady: Yes and we’ll send you a message.
Me: Ok thanks.

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So the customer service wasn’t the best. However, all I wanted was her uniform so I ‘patiently’ waited…..

Yep you guessed it, Nothing. 3 days before the biggest day of her young life and Alisha had nothing. I was not happy so off I went to your store. As soon as I arrived I knew there was a problem. There was a queue of about 8 people. It wasn’t just a queue though. It was a queue of the angriest looking and most fed up group of people I’ve ever seen……. There was shouting and arguing. The poor young staff were getting a mouthful and amongst the expletives I soon got the distinct impression other people hasn’t received their uniform either.
I waited patiently. Eventually we made it to the front and too be fair the young man was very polite and apologetic andΒ  looked like he was about to walk out and join the queue to complain.
Basically the uniform hadn’t arrived. They had a PE bag. The book bag had arrived but wasn’t the correct one. In fact they had ordered one that they already had another 100 in stock. Genius.
So to cut a long story slightly shorter we ordered 3 jumpers, 3 shirts, a book bag and a PE bag and came away with one bag.

Fuming. Your company has one job. One specialty. Order uniform and get it here ready for school. I’m no expert but I’m guessing the rest of the year is pretty quiet so can you explain to me why my daughter’s first day at school looked more like her 3rd day at boot camp. Everything was too big. She looked like she’d been dressed by a blind man…..Β  No wait, the blind man’s guide dog.

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It turns out we’ll receive our long awaited order on the 10th October. Yes, 5 weeks after school starts and a hugely impressive 11 weeks after the order was originally made.
You really are ‘School Uniform Specialists’ – specialists in complete incompetence.

Thank you for your consistentcy throughout this process.

Kind Regards

James Bromley

Starting School – Still my Little Girl?

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Well the week I wasn’t particularly looking forward to is over. After a fantastic summer holiday full of fun (see previous post) it was back to school time. Yes the kids drive me mad sometimes. Yes sometimes it’s good to have a break but it still annoys me
that the most precious things in my life spend more time with other people than they do with me. It’s the same with work…. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week of doing something to provide for a family that you rarely see??? It just doesn’t make sense?? As far as I see it you’ll never regret not working enough but will always regret not spending more time with those you love.

So, back to my point. I’ve reluctantly accepted Tristan going to school. He’s my eldest and I’m very proud of the boy he has become and school has to take some credit for that. He loves school which helps. However this year was different. My little baby girl was starting School. My 4 year old princess. The girl who I’m sure, only last week, I was changing nappies and teaching humorous words that would enevitably get me into trouble. Alisha was starting school and I wasn’t ready.

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I’m sure any parent will tell you when your youngest child starts school it’s a terrifying occasion. It’s the first real indication they are growing up and no longer the baby they once were.
Now don’t get me wrong, she’s ready. She’s more ready than Tristan was at this age. She’s independent and very very clever. She was looking forward to school and turns out she really enjoyed it but that’s not the point.

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For the last 4 years she has been ‘the little one’. I now have two school aged children.
I have now found myself seeking constant reassurances from them both that they will still be my babies :

“You’ll always love me won’t you?”

**Sigh** “Yes Daddy”

“You’ll never be too big to give me a hug will you? “

” Of course not Daddy…. but I can’t give you a kiss at school, my friends might see “.

It’s a difficult time in a child’s life starting School but it’s ten times worse for a parent. I know Alisha will be happy at school. I know the teachers are nice and will look after her but there’s a voice in my head that wants to scream:

“IT’S NOT FAIR. WHY DO YOU GET TO SPEND THE WHOLE DAY WITH MY KIDS???? ”

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And also the slightly less rational voice that wants to threaten those in school that if they don’t look after my kids properly I won’t be responsible for my actions….. but don’t worry that’s normal. Right??? πŸ˜‰

So at the end of the day I have two very proud children who love gong to school.

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I’ll control my emotions enough to get through it. I’ll encourage them and make sure they know how important school is. However there will always be a small part of me that is bitter towards the system that allows ‘strangers’ to spend more time with our kids than we do. When they look back over their infant years will they remember those evenings of having tea and going to bed or the 7 hours they’ve spent with their friends?? It’s a depressing thought but I will do everything I can to make the moments we have together special and holidays WILL be the most memorable times of their young lives….  I’ll make sure of it! :)……

…. But don’t get me started on school holidays, the cost and the fact we are ‘not allowed’ to take our kids away when it can be half the price. That’s a whole other blog for another time! πŸ™‚

I know other parents go through the same emotions. Let me hear your thoughts and experiences…. Comments are always appreciated!

Little Mermaid Realisation

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Today was a good day. It was a rare opportunity for me to spend some quality time with my daughter and like most dads I wanted to treat her to something nice so we visited Toys R Us:

Me: Ok, what would you really really like?
Alisha: Can I have some princess shoes please Daddy?
Me: Of course you can, they have all these different ones – a red Cinderella pair, a yellow Sleeping Beauty pair, a blue Ariel pair or a pink Rapunzel pair?
Alisha: I really like the blue ones can I have those please?
Me: Ok beautiful no problem. She’s a beautiful Mermaid isn’t she…..

Can anyone see the problem yet??????

So we get out of the store into the car and Alisha excitedly opens the shoes and just as she gets ready to put them on she stops.
Me: Are you going to try on your new shoes ?
Alisha: Ariel is a Mermaid.
Me: That’s right, she’s NEARLY as gorgeous as you.
Alisha: And these are her shoes ?
Me: Er yes of course. Look it has her picture of the front.
Alisha: But she’s a Mermaid Daddy.
Me:…………………. (Slowly the realisation hits me). Yes.
Alisha: How can she wear shoes when she hasn’t got any feet?
Me:………..erm.
Alisha: SHE HAS A TAIL DADDY. SHE CANT WEAR SHOES. WHY HAVE YOU BOUGHT ME ARIEL SHOES THAT ARIEL CAN’T WEAR????
Me: Err maybe she has false legs that she wears on special occasions????
Alisha: No Daddy. That’s ridiculous. I don’t want them. I want princess shoes with a picture of someone with legs and no tail.
Me: Ok

The conversation with Toys R Us customer service was interesting……

Dear FA – Debate

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Now hopefully most of you have read the previous post regarding my issues with the FA and their handling of England games and the difficulty we, as fans have, in supporting our team. One of the platforms I share this blog on is Facebook and I have a particular friend who is always good at arguing his point… Often in disagreement with me but that’s what opinions are all about. I’ve decided to share the debate as I think it brought up some good points. Have a read and then comment, let me know what you think and more importantly who’s right:

In response to my FA POST –

Conor: The FA don’t set the international calendar, FIFA do.
Matches are played every single week of the season on Wednesday and if they played at 3pm no one could go due to school, work etc… So 8pm actually gives people a little more time to get there than a 7.30pm ko would.
If it’s such a big treat (which I can just imagine how excited Tristan is especially!) then surely one day of tiredness is worth it.
Sorry buddy but you just seem to be moaning for the sake of moaning now! πŸ™‚

Simon: Boo Conor Henry, you and your knowledge of FIFA and the FA … Boo!!! 😦

Conor: I know, I love nothing better than a good James Bromley rant, but that is far from a good rant! Very disappointed in him 😦

Me: Lol I knew you’d pipe up at the mere mention of English football!  πŸ˜‰
FIFA do set fixtures but I think you’ll find they can be altered within an international week if requested and agreed by the appropriate FAs.
The tiredness issue is just one of a number of obstacles in the way of attending these games. On its own it may well be worth it but with everything else it’s a no no. Schools finish at 4pm. Not possible for anyone north of the M25 to get there on time. Even if it was played on the Tuesday at least the kids are off. A parent could could take a day off work but as we’re constantly told, we’re not allowed to take kids out of school.
It’s an issue that needs to be addressed…. And even if it’s out of their hands don’t act surprised when Wembley is empty πŸ˜‰
And it wasn’t a rant… It was a well constructed point of view :-p

Conor : But not every school in England has the same holidays, it differ s for every LEA some will start back on Monday for example some not until Friday.
There are also premiership matches on Sunday so if they play Tuesday the players would have a light session on the Monday to recover, a jog on Tuesday morning and then the match on Tuesday night with no proper training or opportunity to work on anything and then you would be moaning again.  So yes you are moaning for the sake of moaning 😜
It was very poorly constructed by the way.

Me: The majority of schools start back in the 3rd September. Other terms vary considerably but summer is pretty standard throughout πŸ™‚
Haha who do you think you are? Mourinho? I couldn’t give a rats arse if they do light jogging or a 3 day hike. I just want an opportunity to watch an England game with my kids. I don’t accept ‘that’s just the way it is’. There is always a better way…. It just needs people to look for it.
I thought you were a forward thinker…. :-p

Conor: Quick check of LEA holidays, Nottinghamshire schools start weds, Westminster schools Thursday, Lincolnshire schools Monday.
You have an opportunity to watch the game its just inconvenient for you because you don’t live near Wembley so you are having a moan. You have also spent many a year bemoaning England’s inability to compete internationally but now you want them to start a new qualification cycle with poor preparation just so it’s easier for you to go to the game????
Derbyshire Friday, Teesside Monday, Worcestershire Monday, Birmingham Monday. I think you are making it up that the majority of schools in England start on Wednesday πŸ˜‰

Me: Lol you’ve just picked the ones that aren’t Wednesday…. Yes I am having a moan that I can’t go and watch the national team. That’s allowed. The matches are not accessible to most fans. That’s a fact. Wherever the blame lies, whatever the reason that needs to change. The only way that might happen is if fans continue to make it clear………

Conor: I honestly havent just picked them, they are the only ones I checked. I could go through every LEA in England and give you a detailed analysis if you wish πŸ˜‰ Do you think Derbyshire put it back so all the kids in Derbyshire could attend? I dont get what the issue is? Do you want a ban on midweek football? Its a 2 hour car drive to Wembley from Nottingham, drive down and get the tube in from Nth London, I used to do it regularly from Worcester. I live 2 hrs from the Aviva Stadium.

Me: Yes I want every school holiday please! πŸ™‚
My issue is there’s going to be a whole generation of kids that have never had the opportunity to watch their national team. That’s sad. The National team should always have the biggest support but club teams are taking over because fans can watch them. The English FA and every person involved in football should be doing all they can to improve this before it’s too late.
2 hours?? Did you use a helicopter. I can assure you in midweek rush hour it will be double that :-p

Conor: I had a James Bond type car, that was able to get me through the floods in worcester then over the traffic on the M40 and into Cockfosters station in just over 2 hours, did it quite a few times for champs lge matches. Unfortunately Daniel Craig came along and demanded his car back – Prick!                                      And thats just rubbish! They play plenty of games on a weekend familys can go to if they cant get there on week night . Bigger issues maybe the fact that the premier league is such a bigproduct many fans arent interested in the International side in the same way. Years of under performance has led to a massive indifference, the cost of travel / tickets/ food etc for a family is prohibitive in a country coming out of recession.

Me: Ah I’d love an Aston Martin…  My little Honda isn’t exactly the same thing!! πŸ™‚
I completely agree that the domestic leagues and competitions are taking over. We all know that but enough isn’t being done to tackle it. Very rarely do they offer the ticket discounts club sides do. There’s little that can be done about travelling distances and costs but there is a hell of alot that can be done about ticketing, merchandise etc. A Wembley full of people with cheap tickets will always be better than a half full stadium of corporate ‘guests’ with no real interest in football. Get the fans in and they’ll stay. The problem is the Recession doesn’t affect those in high level football so they have no motivation to adapt to it. The gap between the public and professional football is growing and unless it’s addressed quickly it will only get worse.

Conor: So if not a lot can be done about travelling distances what the hell are you moaning about?
You know what ive just realised, your blog has really made it to the big time  now!! Award nominations and now you have your own personal Troll, me !!!! πŸ™‚

Me: You’re making the mistake of taking each of my points individually. The fact is there are a number of issues that make it difficult for fans to attend matches. They need to be considered collectively when matches are announced. Yes travelling distances are what they are. Wembley isn’t going to move. But when mid week matches are announced these need to be considered along with ticket prices, times etc.
Haha I know…. I like arguing with you. Half the time when I’m writing something I’m anticipating your response!! πŸ˜‰

Conor: Ok then so what would be your solution to England V Norway on a wednesday so your family could attend?
And I like our little arguments too, normally because I’m right & you’re wrong πŸ˜‰

Me: Play the game at the City Ground!! πŸ™‚
The international week is from 1st –  9th September. Switzerland on the 9th. Norway game on the Friday night? kids for a pound? Discount for families travelling via public transport? Priority tickets for competitive games? There’s loads of different possibilities. I know there’s no easy solution but as far as I can see there is no support. ‘This is the match, this is the cost, either get there or don’t bother’….. Leading to an empty stadium. I’m pretty sure there’s some inventive people within the FA!
I think you were right once…  And only because I was tired and couldn’t concentrate! πŸ˜‰

Conor: But if they play on the Friday night and then have to travel to Switzerland for a competitive match on a Monday night night what kind of recovery & preparation will the players have? The best fit for the matches is as they are now, it gives the players the maximum opportunity to perform for both club & country and surely as a supporter that should be the priority? Do the FA not already run Wembley season tickets and reductions/priority tickets through their official supporters club? And I’ve just looked at the price of the tickets, Β£10 kids, Β£20 adults. That’s a pretty good price these days for a senior international match.

Me: If that’s the case then priority needs to be put into encouraging people to attend these matches that are ridiculously difficult to make. There is a supporters club that offers first choice on tickets…. The issue is they are not selling them all so this doesn’t help. That may be the price now but initially the cheapest ticket was Β£30. They have discounted them closer to the game because of poor sales. This means that those who have to travel long distance can’t book our cheaper travel arrangements earlier without buying the expensive tickets. The whole process is not thought through…
So here’s an idea: match confirmed for midweek. Realising this is a difficult match to fill offer tickets at reduced rates. Β£1 kids. Β£20 family. Something like that.  People will beable to book their travel arrangements early, stadium will get filled. Team will have full support. It’s not rocket science. Then offer those who attend discounts on the next match. The FA need to produce a new generation of England fan quickly and encourage them to buy into the National Team. Do that and the money required will soon come in to pay off the stadium etc while building a fanbase for the future πŸ™‚

Conor: or …. I know this may sound crazy but what about this for an idea…. Win matches and play exciting football and then you can charge whatever the hell you want as the stadium will fill itself πŸ˜‰

Daniel: Good on you James. Totally right. The FA live in a dream world.

Me: Cheers Daniel – it’s a no brainer surely?!
Conor – haha yeah of course. If we were winning things I’m sure they could charge what they like. It’s basic supply and demand. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon so the FA have to be flexible in their approach and work with the fans. They’re stubborn and that’s going to ultimately affect the crowds.

Conor: Ok admittedly they could have charged a lower price originally but even then they offered a family ticket for Β£60. But I really can’t see what else they could have done regards the timing and date of the match. I think the person being stubborn here is you, ya big numpty! πŸ˜‰

Me: + Β£150 to get there, Β£8 each for a hotdog + Β£5 each for a drink + Β£40 each for a England shirt….  Bargain!
I’m not being stubborn. If they genuinely don’t have an influence in the date of an international which I’m pretty sure isn’t true, they need to make amendments to everything else otherwise they may as well have it behind closed doors.

Conor: You don’t have to buy shirts and you could drive.

Me: Car parking at Wembley Stadium is Β£30, petrol costs looking at about Β£75 plus rush hour traffic…. Sounds awesome. πŸ˜‰
Kids always want the latest shirts which are changed every 3 months or something ridiculous like that.

Conor: How much are you paying for fuel?? Are you driving a hummer? Park at a tube station further out you will avoid a lot of traffic, it’s cheaper & u get in & out quicker. Oh and learn the word no!

Me: It costs a hell of a lot sitting in rush hour traffic for four hours there and back πŸ˜‰
But the point was with the time and day of the game there wouldn’t be time to park further out….
You’re just arguing for the sake of it now! Lol As I said before if it was JUST the distance, or JUST the day, or JUST the time, or JUST the cost then ok but it’s not. It’s all of it and THAT’S the problem. πŸ™‚

I love a good debate. Thanks Conor Henry πŸ™‚

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OK so there’s our views.. Differing. Is love to hear your thoughts on this subject. England and non-England fans…  Should the FA be doing more to encourage fans, in particular young fans, to England games??

Dear FA

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Dear FA,

I am writing to you as a passionate England fan. I love my country and I love football and will support my team no matter what. I currently live
in the Midlands so getting to Wembley is not easy, an issue alot of fans suffer. Due to this and the cost of watching
games I am forced to watch most games on TV.
However, when the match against Norway was announced I was more excited than normal. The reason for this is my partner is Norwegian. My two young children are half Norwegian. Finally, here was an opportunity as a family to go to the home of football and watch our National Teams play against each other. Possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity. My son was uncontrollably excited.
Then I checked the date. Wednesday 3rd September 8pm. Surely not. Even the FA couldn’t get this SO wrong?!!
Let’s break this down :
Wednesday – Midweek. Most people work and despite what you might think we all don’t live in London. Travelling down to Wembley after work in rush hour is impossible.
3rd September – The day kids go back to school. Yes that’s right. They have had 6 weeks off and you decide to have the game on the first day back. They have to get up early for school. What parent would jeopardise their kids schooling for a football match? None, so this is also impossible.
8pm – again most young kids should be in bed before 10pm when this match is due to finish. Plus with the journey home this again makes the match impossible.

AND THEN your organisation comes out into the press stating you are struggling to sell tickets and urging fans to support their team?? Are you surprised???? It has nothing to do with our patriotism. The football we have been watching over the last few years would be a decent reason alone to lose motivation to watch England but the fans will always stay loyal. We love our country but we need your help. Make it possible to support our team. Look at your audience. Look at the day to day struggle people in England have to deal with. Stop making it impossible to support our country and use your position to make matches affordable. Use your position to make matches attainable. Wembley will be empty not because of a lack of support, but because we CAN’T go.

I hope that this gives you a small insight into the frustration an England fan has in trying to share the National game with his family. I’ll just have to hope Norway host England in Oslo sometime in the future as I’m pretty sure the Norwegian FA will do everything they can to encourage their fans.

I look forward to your generic response.
Kind regards

James Bromley

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Summer Holiday Review


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So the summer holidays are nearly over and the kids are getting ready to go back to school. It’s a big one for my little girl as she starts school for the first time…. Feeling old is an understatement but I’m also incredibly proud. We always knew Tristan would be fairly good at school, he’s a calm character with a great sense of humour. His sister though is entirely different…… She’s independent, stubborn and has a temper the Incredible Hulk would be proud of. I’d Β like to publically wish her new teacher good luck and notify her my phone will be switched off between 9am and 3. 45pm each day so if you need to, call her Mum!!
It’s quite depressing going back to work after a holiday, so I thought this a perfect time to reflect on the amazing time our family has had….

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We started off with two weeks in TromsΓΈ in the North of Norway (well I say we, I had to stay at home for the first week where my diet consisted of pasta, dried cereal and grapes but that’s a whole other story). My partner is Norwegian and our two kids are half Norwegian so it was an ideal opportunity to catch up with the family. Norway is beautiful. It’s so relaxing and no one ever seems to be in a rush…. A perfect combination for me! We spent the time fishing and eating and as a family we had an amazing time. There were no disasters and nothing to complain about…. then we arrived back into England and things changed: WARNING – RANT ALERT.
Now we had no option but to fly into Gatwick late at night…. It’s a long trip from there home, especially with kids, but we had no choice. “It’ll be ok” we thought. As soon as we landed I knew we’d have problems. The queue for Passport Control was HUGE. We were literally lining up around those stupid zig-zagged barriers, outside the airport and we weren’t moving. It took us nearly as long to reach the check point as it did to fly from Norway. Yes that’s right, I could have boarded a plane and flown to a different Passport Control in a different country in the same time as good old Gatwick let us pass. And the reason for this delay??? Well basically there were only two people doing the checks. TWO PEOPLE!!! I would estimate there was about 1000 people trying to come into the country and two people were there to facilitate this….. Genius! What makes it worse was this was 1am. It wasn’t a busy time. There weren’t many flights due in and surely it’s pretty straight forward to foresee the number of people coming in…. An aeroplane can only hold so many and the flights are booked months in advance.

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So generally a cock up! So along with the nightmare of getting the luggage, finding the car and the journey back we eventually got home at 4.45am. The relaxation from our holiday had been ruined! But never fear, we had decided a long time ago we’d also treat ourselves to a hot summer break and we were booked onto another flight 2 days later to Zante in Greece.
An opportunity to get some sun, darken our pale skins and recharge. This time we were organised. We’d booked the flight from the local airport just 30 minutes away and the transfer to the hotel was just an hour. What could possibly go wrong?…..

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Roadworks!! Aaarrgghhhhhhh the bane of my life. Now I’ve come to accept that there is NEVER workmen actually working at these locations. I genuinely believe the signs and blockades are put up to ensure patient numbers in psychiatric wards don’t diminish….Β  Road rage must be the number 1 reason for admittance to these places.
Well some genius decided to close off the access roads to the airport. That’s fine, the were diversion signs. Bright yellow signs that helpfully direct drivers down an alternative route to get to your location. However, may I suggest that if you are going to use these signs you don’t stop half way. That’s right, the signs stopped. None to be found. We ended up driving around the Leicestershire countryside desperately hoping to see an aeroplane landing nearby so we could follow it to our target. A diversion that should have added ’10 minutes’ to our journey did in fact add an hour. And this wasn’t an amusing hour of us chuckling to each other about the hilarity of the situation. This was 3am. This was an hour of a tired, stressed and panicked family with 2 kids starting to wish we’d booked Butlins and stayed in bed.
Anyway, eventually we made it and luckily the car parking was easy and we made it in time.
The holiday was amazing. An average of 32 degrees and we spent most the the time in the pool and in the sea. My 4 year old daughter learnt to swim without a float and my son found a whole new audience to discuss football with (not to mention a new kit).
The hotel was great and the staff were fantastic. They were so good with the kids and it was everything we could wish for:

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In fact I’d Β really like to share the details as I would happily recommend them to anyone: Di Palai Hotel

Finally our holiday was over. We headed back to the UK with tanned skin and a smile on our face. The flight was great and we were due in at a decent time……Β  Then guess what??? Yes that’s right Passport Control struck again. It was even worse. We were queuing out almost onto the runway. It was Gatwick all over again.

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It was horrendous! Even the kids with their amazingly entertaining Trunki Suitcases were getting fed up.
We got through and made our way home.
Overall, our holidays have been great. I fully recommend families making the effort to get away whenever they can. Life is stressful and no matter what goes on at work or in life remember what’s important and spend time with those that matter. But my one piece of advice? Avoid British Airports. They are set up to disrupt and I’m starting to wonder if that’s the plan to ensure we go straight home to book another holiday to get over this one. I might be overly suspicious but no one service can be THAT incompetent so regularly surely………….

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