Saturday, September 29, 2007

Still minus 15

According to the BBC "The Football Association has informed Leeds there will be no more action over the decision to dock them 15 points." I cannot understand why the FA refuse to act. We were rightly docked 10 points last season but as far as I can see there is absolutely no reason why we should have been docked 15 points this season.
Given the saga over West Ham and given the principles of natural justice it does not seem right that teams who we are competing with were able to act as judge and jury in this matter. As I understand it the FA has certain rules and principles which it is supposed to adhere to - clearly ensuring fair play is not one of them in this case.
Anyway as I write Leeds are 1-0 up against Gillingham approaching half time. Lets hope we can secure another three points.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Public Transport

I guess this is another story about common sense or lack of it

The sort of issue that we need to tackle at a detailed level where the ordinary people of this country can see that what is happening does not make sense and yet nothing is done.

We live about ten minutes walk from Aldermaston station which is on the main line between Reading and Newbury. So far so good with six kids between us and four of them teenagers you would think that this would be a good thing - and so it is sometimes.

Last Saturday night one of them wanted to go to Reading for the evening. He can drive and has a car but being sensible decided that the combination of alcohol and driving would not be a good one. So he checked the train times from Aldermaston to Reading and walked to the station and waited.....................and waited......................and waited. No train so he walked home again and then went back to the Station. He checked the timetables at the station. Guess what there were two of them and they both showed different times for the next train!

Still no trains.

I drove him to Theale. Still no trains and a notice indicating that the line to Aldermaston was not running and no trains to Reading anytime soon. I have no idea why they had not thought to put signs up at Aldermaston Station nor why the two timetables showed different times nor why the internet timetable was not capable of indicating that this section of track did not have any actual trains running over it. Simple actions which would help the travelling public

Then we come to Sundays. On a Sunday as the train wend their merry way from Newbury To Reading and back again try guessing how many trains stop at Aldermaston. Yes you guessed it a grand total of zero. Slow trains go up and down and stop elsewhere but not here. So if you are a teenager and want to get around on a Sunday you will need a car and once you have got that car well it seems silly to use public transport doesn't it?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Post Flooding Report - Phase 1 complete

It is fairly depressing to watch most of your home being broken up and put into a skip but that is what has been going on over the last week or so. After a long saga of inaction and many phone calls to the insurance company and their various agents we have finally seen some action. Most of the ground floor contents have been written off and broken up and put into a skip. We have had two of these big skips both of which were full.

We now have a pretty empty ground floor. All the contents that could be saved have been packed and sent for storage. We still have a table and chairs (although they too have been written off) and a serviceable kitchen. That is about it on the ground floor. Some rooms do not have power as yet but we do have five drying machines on site at last

Next step is for the builder to remove the wooden floors throughout the ground floor along with all the skirting and up to one metre of plaster but as yet we have no timescales for this.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wags raise £105,000

About a year ago I posted about the launch of the Royal Families charity.
The Wives and Girlfriends of the Reading Footballers got together under the banner of the Royal Families charity, which was set up by Amanda Hahnemann and Karen Murty (wives of goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and captain Graeme Murty). They aimed to raise sixty thousand pounds throughout the season for local charities.
At the time this seemed like an extremely ambitious target but they smashed that target with some to spare.
Tonight they brought the 2006/07 season to a close and launched the fundraising for 2007/08.
In doing so they handed out £105,000 to local Berkshire charities. We hear so much negativity about footballers wives and girlfriends but these women are absolute stars and have set an example which Reading can be proud of and which many other clubs would do well to follow.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Out of the relegation zone

Now we are out of the relegation zone properly following yesterdays 2-0 defeat of Swansea. That makes seven straight wins and equals our start to the 1973/74 season when we won the title! A repeat would do just nicely. Of course if the Football League had not docked us fifteen points we would already be five points clear at the top. Lets hope that when the FA consider this case that they either overrule the fifteen point deduction or at least send the case to an independent commission.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Common sense

This story about pregnant women getting cash to have a good diet really got me thinking.

Where has all the common sense gone?

Nobody disputes that a healthy diet is a good thing for pregnant women. But just how is this grant of £120 supposed to achieve that. The women will receive the grant too late into pregnancy (some seven months in) to have the desired impact and there is no actual guarantee that the money will be spent on the healthy food it is paying for! In fact the money could be used to buy cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.

All this at an annual cost to the taxpayer of some £70 to £80m a year.

There are a number of issues where I think we should be making a very clear statement ahead of the next general election. These are not necessarily areas which need to be covered by heavy weight policy documents. A lot of what we want to do on the environment and many other issues is common sense but there are a number of smaller but meaningful issues which really resonate with the public and where we could make an impact

These are issues which for want of a better term are what I call common sense and fairness issues. Issues where the current government policy is either clearly barking mad, lacks commons sense or does not appear to be fair to people could yet prove to be a rich area for us to exploit.

Just as important as government policy is the reality on the ground. There may be areas where we would agree with the governments policy but where the practical implementation of the policy is not happening on the ground or where its implementation is not seen to be fair.

A list of common sense and fair pledges which resonate with the public could be very useful.

Lets start with abandoning this policy and saving the £70 to £80m.

Six out of Six

Given the depressing start to this season things have not developed badly.

Ok there is still plenty of opportunity for things to get worse but six games, six wins, eighteen points and a goal difference of plus eleven is not to be sniffed at!

I know that most of the rest of league one have to play tomorrow but to be out of the relegation zone already is absolutely stunning. We are now six points from the playoff spots and ten points from the automatic promotions spots. If we had not been docked fifteen points we would be five points clear at the top of the league.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The season begins here

The Football League docked Leeds United 15 points. I still cannot work out why they were docked any points let alone 15!

Anyway five games of the season have now elapsed. Five Games, Five Wins, Fifteen Points and we now stand on the grand total of zero after today's 2-0 win over Hartlepool. First target achieved and we are now three points from safety, nine points from the playoff spots and ten points from the automatic promotion spots with the best goal difference in the division. Had we not been docked points we would be two points clear at the top.

Meanwhile the off the pitch turmoil continues as Leeds United have been barred from full membership of the Football Association after being unable to prove all their non-football creditors have been paid. The good news is that according to the BBC "Leeds United will still be able to compete in all competitions, including the FA Cup. However, they will be unable to vote at any FA general meetings or receive FA Cup final tickets"