You’re not paranoid if they’re really after you

13 01 2014

Semi-pro football has so much of a selective appeal it would be safe to assume that those who “love the footy” will dismiss it in the blink of an eye because, these people will probably say that semi-pro football lacks finesse. If these people ventured beyond their prejudices they would find something that’s a good deal more vibrant than they assume.

Although semi-pro football is generally more sedate and well-mannered than “proper football” the fans of semi-pro football can be just as passionate. Mangotsfield United’s “Inter Village Firm” (IVF) like to display flags at the Southern League matches they attend;


The IVF are an avowedly anti-fascist group, the small red flag and the “Mangos” banner are expressions of this outlook. Unfortunately the display of flags like these has caused trouble for the IVF and the club;

Club Statement On Ground Regulations

By MUFC Reporter, 12th Jan 2014 

After receiving a number of complaints regarding the issue of smoke bombs and the displaying of flags of a political nature at The Glass Consultants UK Stadium the following statement has been issued by the board of Mangotsfield United Football Club.

The club received six separate complaints in December regarding smoke bombs and political orientated banners being displayed at the ground. Following these complaints there was a dialogue between the club and The FA. As a result of the discussions, the ground regulations have been updated to include best practice guidance as recommended by The FA. 

The new regulation reads as follows:

In accordance with The FA’s best practice guide, the use of flares or smoke bombs at the ground are not permitted. Also the displaying of banners, posters or stickers that are of a political nature is not permitted at the ground.

In 2014 overt displays of anti-fascist messages are now “too political” for football to tolerate. This club’s statement led to an IVF statement

“Today the club released the above statement on the use of pyrotechnics and flags of a political nature at the ground. The IVF is extremely disappointed by the decision but not overly surprised. We’ve been told in recently weeks about complaints to the GFA and Southern League which, in turn were passed on to the FA. It’s a shame that those who felt the need to complain did not go to the supporters in question or the club before heading to the powers above. We’d like to go on record to thank club Secretary Dave Jones and the board for their support regarding these issues and the fight they showed when standing up to the FA. It’s no surprise however that the Football Association has leaned on the club in this way leaving Mangotsfield United between a rock and a hard place.

We understand that in the last couple of months there has been a lot of negative press about the use of pyrotechnics in football grounds that on the whole has been poorly researched and fear mongering. We do however understand that in the currently footballing climate pyrotechnics can be deemed dangerous and we shall cease using them at home games. 

Since the start of the season the IVF have taken to displaying Antifascist flags to show our stance a club for everyone. No matter your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or class everyone is welcome at Cossham Street. We do believe that displaying this stance has indeed put numbers on gates at Cossham Street and won us a lot of followers worldwide. It is baffling how someone can find Antifascist flags offensive given the recent history of Britain. If the FA feels that political banners posters and flags have no place in football it will be interesting to see what comes of the Kick It Out, Show Racism The Red Card & Justin Campaing’s stand. This is an Association that does allow the advertisement of betting, alcohol, pay day lending companies and rather bizarrely at Yate Town a local MP. Again however, we respect the wishes of the club and shall not use political banners, posters or stickers at home games.

We’d like to reaffirm our stance that this is not of the clubs doing, they’ve merely had their arm twisted by men in suits in an office in north London. We will continue to back Mangotsfield United Football Club in every way possible long into the future.

Mangotsfield is United.”

It’s difficult to understand out why anyone would object to the display of anti-fascist flags but someone has.

It beggars belief that a body which professes allegiance to equality on it’s website, and officially sanctions initiatives like “Kick Racism Out Of Football”, would object to a group of fans that are willing make their own strong statement on anti-fascism and anti-racism.  It makes you wonder what the local and national FAs be scared of.

The issue seems to be related to what I was saying about fans using “the wrong sort of politics. I’ll illustrate this idea with a couple of examples from the Greater Glasgow area. 

Celtic’s Green Brigade used the wrong sort of politics and suffered so much vilification– including allegations of police harassment – they’ve virtually disbanded. The party that forms the ruling group in the Scottish Parliament, on the other hand, recently used a St. Mirren match for political advertising purposes. This SNP’s advertising was tolerated.


The FA’s outlook is utterly perverse, every right thing fan should be appalled. It was heartening to see that many people on twitter were appalled, for example a Spurs fan group declared their solidarity with the IVF


The Llandudno Jet Set would like to add our small and insignificant voice to this gesture of solidarity.




3 responses

19 02 2014
5 02 2014
Simon Young

i always say ‘follow the money’ with stuff like this. fans waving anti-fascist or anti-racist flags is wrong yet the snp advertising at st mirren is ok. the snp PAID for the advertising so their political display is ok. Of course, it’s deeper than that and about who controls the game and any discourse etc – this point is self-evident; the fa endorsed SRTRC and Poppy thing are political yet OK whereas fans saying racism is bad or anything else political is NOT ok. I’m not expressing myself very well here maybe i’ll write something later!

13 01 2014

Reblogged this on No Standing.

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