I was going to let this go, but I really don’t feel I can without one reply – I wouldn’t be being fair to myself. The last time anything was mentioned to me about club websites was when the Westleigh one was launched, at which point I was told that the club would ‘leave the football side of things’ to me and that the Westleigh site would be the commercial arm. So you can imagine I’m a bit disappointed. Not bitter or annoyed, I understand the need for a club owned web presence, but I don’t really understand why that needs to basically be a rewritten copy of this site.
I’ve been to the club twice in the last few weeks for player signings and seen both Trev and Jim at a point when I really felt progress was finally being made about releasing info simultaneously in the paper and on the internet, but neither said anything. It would just have been a courtesy.
This site may always have been unofficial, but it hasn’t exactly been separate to the club. I’ve done everything the club has ever asked, ranging from moderating message board posts, through adding sponsorship logos, to creating entire sections like the Academy, Commercial and Community pages – even a calendar system for events on and off the pitch - which were all then left out of date or empty because no one ever sent me any info to go on them. So to read the new site has ‘everyone from the Board Of Directors down to the Playing Staff, keen to support this new venture’ grates hugely when I think of the wasted time over the years spent implementing everything the new site has, at the club’s request, only for it to be ignored.
I realise this is my personal endeavour, and despite the multitudinous requests over the years from the club for changes, the club has no responsibility for it or to me. I’m just a fan and I have no say in the way the club goes about its business.
But I’ve given 12 years of free time to ensure the club has had a solid and reputable internet presence. I’ve kept my own personal opinions out of the match reports and my message board posts, trying to be an advocate for the club in case casual readers saw my position as website editor as something ‘official’. I have 100% toed the party line and at times kicked myself for that, especially through the last two years. Even then I was accused of losing the club sponsorship revenue by posting negative match reports on what was viewed as the mouth piece of the club on the web. I’ve never sought or been offered any kind of recompense and not put independent advertising on the site so I couldn’t be accused of making money out of a hobby. I even pay to get into games, despite missing a lot of them these days doing live web updates; making notes for my own reports; and writing the match report for the non-league paper, which, incidentally, I have never been credited for.
I’ve never complained. I’ve done it all for the good of the club and because I wanted to contribute something back in return for the enjoyment I’ve had over the years watching the team. I’m not even complaining now, I’m not looking for explanations or sympathy, and I don’t need a reply to this post from anyone. I understand the situation, I’m just explaining why this has left me a little deflated.
However it won’t change anything, I’m not about to close all this down in a huff, the message boards are far too valuable. I truly hope that Trev continues to speak to fans directly through the boards and keep me in the loop with press releases like he always has done so this can still be a valid, useful resource. I would hope because of the boards it will always be the fastest and most direct route to talking to all of us.