Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughI shed no tears for Crawley Town - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough I shed no tears for Crawley Town - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

I shed no tears for Crawley Town

The glory of the FA Cup. The plucky underdog knocking out the pampered big boys. Sutton United, Yeovil Town and Hereford United. Roy Essandoh, Jim Montgomery and ‘Smith must score.’  I love all of this. I love the FA Cup with a passion. So why then was I so desperate for Premier League Stoke City to stuff League Two Crawley Town?

Stoke City mean nothing to me. I don’t support them, but I don’t hate them. I rarely want them to win, but I don’t think I’ve ever passionately wanted them to lose a game. I respect them as a well run club, with good players and a good manager. Despite all of that, if they had been playing Swindon, Southend or Torquay I would not have wanted Stoke to win. When Jon Walters put 10 man Stoke ahead I cheered out load. Peter Crouch’s second was met with a clenched fist waved in celebration. When the full time whistle blew I decided to have a think about why I have this intense dislike of Crawley Town.

I don’t dislike the supporters. I don’t think there are enough of them to dislike. If you don’t come from Crawley you won’t support them, so it’s not like there are thousands of glory fans. I don’t dislike the players, from what I’ve seen they are a decent team for League Two. I don’t even dislike the fact that they seemingly have a huge stash of cash to be able to spend on players. That’s football, and there are a few non league clubs with plenty of cash. I still wanted Fleetwood to beat Blackpool.

I do dislike the fact that they have a classless, arrogant criminal as their manager. As long as Steve Evans is manager of Crawley, I will despise them and cheer whoever they are playing. The man should not be allowed anywhere near a football club, professional or otherwise, yet he is allowed to spout his opinions on TV and Radio and we are meant to be happy for ‘plucky Crawley’. Last season, because of this man, I sunk to the lowest depths it is possible to go to. For 90 minutes I became a fan of Manchester United.

For anyone who doesn’t know the background to the case, whilst at Boston, Evans was convicted of tax evasion, and the FA found him guilty of contract irregularities whereby players salaries were not correctly declared to the FA. He was banned from football for 20 months… To the disgust of Boston fans he ended up back at the club and managed to get himself escorted out of Blundell Park at half time of a match against Grimsby for foul and abusive language. It is hard to imagine what he must have said to get kicked out of the ground by the police. Due to the fact that Evans was convicted, there are plenty of details all over the internet if you want to look into it further.

Somehow he maintained his job and saw Boston lose a last day of the season decider at Wrexham. Evans immediately stated his commitment to the club, publicly stating that he would stay at Boston. Two weeks later though he resigned and went to Crawley, where the attraction of the endless supply of money tempted him. Within a season he had picked up a 10 game ban for poor touchline behaviour.

Even in the last week he has shown himself to be completely incapable of behaving like a respectable human being. He called Stoke‘s squad ‘Championship players’ and then when Rory Delap made what was at worst a yellow card tackle, he remonstrated like a mad hippopotamus on the touchline to such an extent that it must have taken all of Tony Pulis’ self control not to walk over there and hit him.

That’s why I wanted Stoke to win. Money can buy you good players, it can build you a nice stadium and it can get you into the football league. What it can’t do is buy you class. I’m off to listen to some Tom Jones.  

Dave Rogers @NoLeftFoot

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