Sent to the club, the supporters club and a range of local newspapers s around the club.
On visiting members of my family that live around the Fylde coast area, and being a keen lower league football fan (an Ebbsfleet Utd fan exiled in South Wales), I decided it was time I took in a game at AFC Fylde. With a nephew being a Barrow fan, the televised Bank Holiday fixture was perfect.
We enjoyed the game (me more so than my nephew, of course), and were hugely impressed with the Mill Farm stadium and the quality of the pitch. However, the evening was sullied after reading the programme in more detail after the game. The problem was found at the foot of the wholly inappropriately named COMMUNITY COUNTS page.
Why inappropriate? Well, it transpires that David Haythornthwaite, AFC Fylde chairman and owner, has no idea what COMMUNITY COUNTS means. The five sponsoring ‘partners’ of the AFC Fylde Community Foundation include the Fylde communities biggest threat, the disgracefully incompetent frackers, Cuadrilla; fellow frackers Centrica; and just for good measure, unscrupulous arms manufacturer and peddlers in violent death, BAE Systems. (See links at end of post)
This would all be shockingly inappropriate in itself, but children are the focus of the foundations work, with its website proclaiming this lofty goal: “to educate, motivate and inspire future generations to build better communities for all”. It would be hard to imagination less appropriate ‘partners’ in pursuing this goal that Cuadrilla, Centrica and BAE!
For all the impressive work that Haythornthwaite has done in building up the football club, I cannot help but question this man’s moral compass and what his long term vision actually is. I recently visited Forest Green Rovers FC. The parallels in terms of the progression of the respective football clubs are obvious enough, but the contrasts in the values and integrity of the respective owners could not be starker.
FGR are owned by Ecotricity boss, Dale Vince, and it is heralded as one of the ‘greenest’ and most progressive clubs in the world. It is the world’s first totally vegan club, for example. This is the sort of club that can draw families from a huge catchment area. I would urge families in the Fylde area to think long and hard about getting involved with a club that is happy to take your kids and ‘work in partnership’ with such a truly appallingly bunch of of filthy frackers and death merchants.
The Fylde area is blessed with plenty of good football clubs to choose from. Community does indeed count, so pick wisely. Boycott AFC Fylde until Haythornthwaite gets the message that your support is not at any cost to your community and your kid’s futures.
PS – I’ll post any responses as comments on this post.
Cuadrilla incompetence: http://frack-off.org.uk/cuadrilla-resources-planning-breaches-technical-failures/
Centrica fracking: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/press-releases/british-gas-owner-centrica-funding-climate-denial-group-linked-trump-20161216/
Centrica and Cuadrilla: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/shale-gas-centrica-puts-160m-into-fracking-fields-around-blackpool-8656883.html
BAE arms traders: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/apr/12/bae-systems-weapons-arms-manufacturers
AFC Fylde Community Foundation: http://www.afcfyldefoundation.co.uk