Chip Wrappers: 01/12/2006

Every week I read the papers and worry that there'll not be enough material to make the next edition of Chip Wrappers worthwhile. However, come Thursday morning and all of those thoughts are banished as the The Reporter arrives and this week has been no different.

It was seriously looking like the review of the papers would be taking a week off, especially as the postponement of last Saturday's game meant there'd be next to no coverage of Mossley, but lo and behold, The Reporter rides to the rescue like a paper based 7th Cavalry.

I'd previously thought that the nadir of local newspaper reporting had been reached a couple of years ago when the paper felt that Stalybridge Celtic deciding not to buy a turnstile from Blackpool FC was a back page story. No more though because, as unbelievable as it may seem, it has somehow managed to make that story look like the scoop of the century.

The main story on the back page of this week's Reporter is, in brief:

Stalybridge Celtic's next opponents in the league, Worcester City, sent their assistant manager to Bower Fold last Tuesday to watch their FA Trophy game.

Yep, that's it! That's what the paper feels is the major sports story in the area this week.

Now you're probably thinking that you can't possibly make a lengthy article with a story as flimsy as that and you're right - you can't, which is why the paper has padded it out with a rundown of the assistant manager's playing history in the Football League. As always there's a quote:

A Celtic supporter said: "He was at Bower Fold on Tuesday and was seen taking copious notes on Celtic's performance."

Is it just me or does the above quote make it seem like the entire story is based on a brief conversation had in the Reporter offices on Wednesday morning? Or would it make more sense if instead of 'A Celtic supporter said' it went, 'The Reporter's sports editor who was sat at Stalybridge's game on Tuesday desperately thinking of something for his papers weekly Celtic puff piece said'?

Whatever it was it's done nothing to dissuade those who feel the paper has such a pro-Stalybridge agenda that it's bordering on being an extension of the programme. In fact it only goes to reinforce those beliefs.

At least the paper appear to have listened to some supporters who've been in contact with them because the Unibond Premier Division league table printed in this weeks paper actually resembles the real one. In fact that's more of a story than the one they've actually led with.

This week we've gone a bit 'Have I Got News For You' because we have a guest publication - The Matlock Mercury, the local paper of this coming Saturday's opponents, in which Matlock's joint manager Phil Brown is giving his views on the game at the weekend:

"They may have only won something like four out of nineteen games but they've had a couple of decent results of late and are battling for points."
Ignoring that the addition of 'something like' actually makes our record of four league wins this season sound even worse, a couple of decent results of late? Perhaps, if what you mean by couple is one - a draw against Hednesford.

"We know from past experience that there are no easy games in this league."
Was he not at the game at Seel Park in September when Matlock won 3 - 0 then?

In the cut and thrust of non-league football some stories tend to fall along the wayside and go unnoticed by a lot of people and one of those stories is the departure of Ernie Moss and his assistant from Belper Town. In an effort to clear up the confusion as to whether he was pushed or jumped, the Non-League Paper went straight to Moss to hear about what happened straight from the horses mouth:

"We weren't sacked and we didn't quit."
Well, that clears that up then.

But we finish on a quote from Mossley's manager, taken from the Oldham Chronicle's preview of tomorrow's game in Derbyshire. Talking about the game at Seel Park in September against the same opponents:

“We didn’t perform that night and it was the only time this season we have been outplayed"
And on that 'completely ignoring all those other games' bombshell we end this edition of Chip Wrappers.


Mike Smith said...
1:56 am

Stephen - I was at Belper on the day that they lost to Clitheroe and after the game I was talking to a good friend who's "on the board" who was upset that he couldn't get the rest of "the board" together to sort it out there and then ("they've all buggered off home" was the quote) - hence the 12 hour reprieve for Mr Moss - so - was he pushed or did he jump ?

Jury's out ....hmmm...