AT Luton Town we’ve certainly been through the mill a few times over the last eight years, so you have to feel a certain amount of sympathy for the fans of Rushden & Diamonds, a club slithering inelegantly down the pan as I write these very words.
They’ve been chucked out of the BSP, they’ve gone into administration and now it seems neighbours Kettering Town FC is swooping on their ground like a greedy gannet.
However, on the other hand, it is hard to feel too sorry for a club that only got where it did due to the wealthy patronage of that geezer from Doc Marten’s about 20 years ago. Rushden & Diamonds didn’t even exist in early 1992, so given what’s now happening, it’s tempting to think their meteoric rise into League One came too quickly for their own good, and now they’re paying the penalty.
Personally I find it far more sad when a club with a long history, and an ageing fan-base, hits difficulties. Those cases are very different from the ‘New Kids on the Block’ who shoot up the leagues thanks to cash injections only to crash back to earth soon after. The latter remind me of the kids of the Thatcher generation – entrepreneurial yuppies who live beyond their means, forgetting that stock which rises can also plummet.
I’m sure the Rushden & Diamonds case is complicated and in certain ways unique, but I stil feel it was much worse when long-established clubs like Accrington, Bradford Park Avenue, Newport, Barrow and Chester were allowed to collapse in years gone by.
I’m sure some folk will look at Rushden & Diamonds’ current plight and wonder how long it will be before something similar occurs to a certain Crawley Town?