Saturday, September 02, 2006


Sometimes, it's not a funny old game. You know those days when you want to be a kid again because the world was simpler and not full of plonkers; just people who were bigger than you.

I've endured the Olly Byrne's persistent point chasing in the courts without getting overly stressed - a bit of a photo and a couple of darts are as good as any of that meditative yoga type stuff. I moaned, but not excessively when an administrative cock up cost Shamrock Rovers three valuable (are all points not valuable points) points in their pursuit of the eL 1st Division title.

I teetered on the precipice of sanity when an enhanced administrative cock up cost Fabio a place in the Drogs second leg tie against Start, which they eventually lost. I have no words to describe the devilawful decision to rule out Paul Devlin's stupendous strike against Bray Wanderers recently.

And it's not confined to the eL, this frustration. The dedicated football community who have suffered the inefficiencies of the IFA for eons are currently mired in a dirty game of poker, where sleight of hand is a given. And there's the astoundingly regular registration disaster.

The facts that surround the financial demise of Coleraine FC are boring. A la Leeds United, this century's most infamous financial ne'er do wells, they squatted in a fiscal dreamworld, and were astounded by what they found when finally evicted from their narcissistic slumber.

Sufficient to say that if they were a heavy metal band they would be called MEGADEBT.
Have they survived; if so, how? Nobody likes to see a club go to the wall - we're still clearing the unpleasant aftertaste of the Rocky Horror Show from our previously pristine palates.

Hence the sleight of hand. In simple terms, Coleraine FC died and went to footballing purgatory; which turned out to be in exactly the same place as they'd always been. Yes, everyone closed their eyes and the bad Coleraine left. Yet, when all eyes reopened Coleraine FC were still there somehow.

But they were no longer debt laden Coleraine, that club had collapsed and died from economic stress. Legally they were defunct. So a new club/business was formed called ICANTBELIEVEITSNOTCOLERAINEFC which conveniently assumed the identity and status of the recently deceased.

Fans looked on agog, was this really being allowed to happen. Yes. And not a red face in sight. On 7 June 2005 the club announced that they had folded after failing to overcome financial problems. No, not Coleraine FC, but Omagh Town FC. There were no smoke and mirrors provided for the Town. Unbelievable, and legal!

But not in the football world. The saga continues, would we be foolish to trust that justice will be done? And then....

...Then Bohs take on Drogheda at Dalymount. Bohs are besieged. No manager. Devlin gone with Farrelly, Ward with the Irish U21's, loanee Leech ineligible. The Babies were playing. And playing well against one of the island's top outfits. In an uninspired contest they were holding their own, showing fleeting glimpses of what might be.

Fabio's bursting down the right, he fires optimistically towards the Gypsies goal. What happens next is future history. Stephen O'Brien crouched to collect at his near post but the ball squirts from his grasp and emerges behind him. His body is between the assistant referee and the all - important geoid.

We are oft moved to remark upon the especial gifts of match officials; they are a mutant race. Amongst this linesman's particular gifts are x ray vision and an ability to inaccurately predict future events. He outed himself (a cardinal sin for mutants), by raising his flag to indicate that he had seen the ball cross the goal line.

I can't take it anymore.

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