Histon FC: ‘End of the Season’ or ‘End of the Road’?

April 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Features

For months, emotions have been high as the community has been shocked and saddened at the moves made by the Histon Football Club management.

Loyal fans have stayed away from Glassworld Stadium in droves, and the team narrowly missed relegation thanks to an own goal by Barrow in last Saturday’s final match. Team spirit is in shambles. It’s new manager blames his players in the media.

Now that the season is over and the Stutes remain in the Blue Square Premier league, perhaps it’s time for a concerted effort to resolve the dispute. Village fans are a key to the success of the club. HFC cannot exist without them. And without HFC, the village loses too. For good or bad, the village is known by many as the home to successful local football. The question in manyminds is ‘what happens next’?

This month we are running a full page story about Steve Fallon, the legendary manager who took HFC to dizzying heights in less than a decade. His firing started the breakdown in the relationship between club and community. Yet there is no bitterness as Steve told the HI Courier how his heart is still at Glassworld Stadium. This month we’ve also seen the club’s CEO, Alan Soraff, meet with parish and county officials in a move that signals a new spirit of community cooperation.

The big question is: How do we fix the rift? That’s a question that we as a community have to ponder. So we turn to you and ask for your ideas and opinions. What does HFC need to do to win back your support? Send us your comments by email, or leave them on our website. The clock is ticking – next season isn’t that far away.

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Comments

6 Responses to “Histon FC: ‘End of the Season’ or ‘End of the Road’?”
  1. wfr.editor says:

    The following was received by e-mail to mail@hicourier.co.uk

    You ask how to heal the rift between locals and HFC as far as I am concerned it was the way Steve Fallon was treated. The club is a community and lots of kids have been influenced by Steve and want to go and watch football or in my 10 year old daughters case go and meet her friends and this is the future of the club.

    They and most locals don’t care what league there in but enjoy meeting up on a Saturday afternoon and catching up. Of course it is a bonus that Histon are in the Blue Square Premier and everyone has enjoyed the ride but at what cost can it be sustained? Tony Roach’s answer was to rip out the heart (Steve) and replace him and then sack the players who I believe genuinely loved the club. He then blamed the previous regime came out with hurtful comments about Steve and then there is tree gate and what he did was lose any respect from locals. How do we fix it? Reinstate Steve Fallon for starters (if he wants to come back) and be honest about the financial situation you never know the residents may come back and dig deeper in their pockets to help.

    - Bluemoon

  2. Bumble says:

    Bring back Steve Fallon.

  3. Peter Engledow says:

    Histon FC – how do we fix the rift

    My wife and I were season ticket holders last season but will not be renewing our commitment. There will be other priorities and the antics of the last six months have left a poor impression on casual outsiders. Histon FC was a focal point by reason of its success but like all other professional football clubs its finances are shrouded in mystery.

    Several men have influenced their businesses to put resources behind the club to have their corporate names on shirts, stands and stadium etc. Presumably all of these are business expenses as advertising. Mr Baldwin made a good job of interesting these sponsors and we cannot know how far difficult trading conditions, away from football, came to disturb what had been an acceptable arrangement to both sides.

    The playing success had been in the hands of Steve Fallon but it would be very unusual if, as team manager, he was a party to the financial arrangements that underpinned the clubs’ structure. In the reflections article Steve Fallon refers to the referees dubious decision to send off Danny Wright at Oxford being in part responsible for the failure to gain promotion to the Football League.

    IF there had been promotion at the end of 08/09 the whole structure would have been different. For example, the value of advertising revenue would have been greater. The costs of the Academy would have been part covered by FA funding. The players may have given up the day jobs and would have been keen to earn more to compensate. Perhaps the realisation of how close Steve Fallon had got to promotion made the clubs’ enthusiastic financial backers have a rethink.

    The club is also underpinned by a group of volunteers who may reduce their interest to show their disappointment. Many ordinary supporters have shown their distress by finding other ways to spend their cash on Saturday afternoons. The rift is unlikely to be fixed as some of the things that have been done cannot be undone. Sacking the manager with best track record in the league was not clever. From now on the club needs to be led by people with a wise balanced view of the future and start by supporting the return of Steve Fallon if possible.

  4. stute says:

    The key to the success of HFC was Sreve Fallon and the link he forged with the local community.

    HFC can never be a ‘standard’ football club, and cannot be run as a conventional business – we are after all a village, not a town or city, and consequently it needs a different community-based approach.

    The real tragedy of the recent regime was to fail to see this and to deal some devastatingly bad blows to the link between community and club. Firing Steve, making negative comments about him in the press that later had to be apologised for and then overseeing the scandalous destruction of the woodland were testament to that terrible misjudgement.

    Whilst this catastrophic misjudgement was the fundamental problem, it was made worse by the appointment of a poor manager who then couldn’t deliver any results was the final kick in the teeth.

    To address both issues, and to start to get HFC back on track, it must make sense to get Steve reappointed – surely someone on the board at HFC must see sense?

  5. Bond says:

    Please RE-APPOINT STEVE FALLON.
    Whatever he did, the club should sort out privately. If the HFC board can’t see that the community trusts Steve Fallon and the club needs him back, then needless to say, they do not need our support.

  6. John says:

    I supported Histon for a long time. I used to wander up on a Tues evening and along with about 30 other people, we would drink tea and cheer the lads along. I eventually ended up volunteering to work at the club too, which I did for several years until the cracks began to appear.

    As ‘stute’ commented, the key to success of Histon for ten years was Steve Fallon, but unfortunately the club became a victim of its own success in some ways, that was not Steve’s fault.

    It suddenly seem to adopt illusions of grandeur which accumulated with the appointment of a new director, who had no interest in the ‘community’ that had held the club together for so long. Consequently Steve was outrageously sacked, a new manager appointed (who in turn only won 3 out of the remaining 22 games) and now he is being shown the door. Also the team were decimated after numerous contracts were relinquished, not only upsetting the remaining fans but also causing a major upheaval within the club. Under the instructions of the director a group of protected trees were also torn up from around the ground to make way for ‘training facilities’, that infuriated the Histon community and isolated the Club even more from local supporters and residents.

    Histon will never be as big as Cambridge Utd or City, its not meant to be. It should however be a place for the ‘Community’, and they should be content with that. There is no team left at the club at this time, there’s no ‘funds’ for quality players, because many of the supporters have been driven away along with their income to the club.

    Their only viable option now, in my opinion, is to accept ‘administration’ and drop into lower leagues, re-appoint Steve (if he would, after being treated the way he had), and build the club up again from scratch and hopefully the bridge it had with the community.

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