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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2001
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CHESTER v RUSHDEN PROGRAMME REVIEW

[Programme Cover]“The annual programme awards for last season did not contain many surprises, writes Phil Brough, except the low placing for the Liverpool innovation, but I would like to nominate one particular issue for the worst example of content.

The prize goes to the Chester v Rushden programme from 5th May. I have never come across a publication that contains such blatant self-publicity. Chairman, owner and saviour Terry Smith, I regret, does himself no favours, he only ignited the opinions of the troubled Club's fans. His attempts to use guilt, aggression and blame to justify' his actions are not those of a man who inspires confidence and the Club programme is surely not the place for such inane rantings.

In detail, pages 2 and 3 report that the Club made a trading profit, thanks, of course, to Mr Smith, whose name appears 10 times. Page 3 continues with the dispute with former manager Kevin Ratcliffe and Smith uses his name a further four times. Page 4 is advertising, page 5 is Graham Barrow's view and a piece written by the consortium that, allegedly, wanted to buy the Club but has pulled out, after witnessing abuse levelled at Terry Smith.

Again Smith is glorified in text, his name appearing no less than 10 times in 19 lines. Was this really written by Cap Management Associated 2 The style and configuration of words and phrases is precisely the same as Smith's other contributions.

Page 6 advert, page 7 visitors, but pages 8 and 9 are used by the Chairman to blame the press for the Club's problems and the way the supporters react and think. Sadly, the entire article is self-pitying to a marked degree, even claiming that his financial burden meant that his children were short of food.

These were the farewell notes, designed to inspire sympathy at his parting but they tend to show, instead, a total misunderstanding of the football supporter. Blaming the press is the last act of a desperate man – the way to correct any manipulation is surely to talk to the supporters.

The next eleven pages contain photographs, adverts, Conference statistics, and notes on Rushden but, astonishingly, considering his sensitivity, page 21 has a full-page photograph of none other than Terry Smith in an American football strip. Seven pages of advertising follow, then three of stats and club notes. The front cover is dated April 26.

The programme is teeming with threats, accusations and counter-accusations, apologies and arrogant one-sided outbursts. The accused and vilified are not given space and the official Club organ becomes nothing more than Smith's press release.”

Programme Monthly, September 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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