Date: 6th May 2007 at 1:58pm
Written by:

Fanzines were for the most part a negative in the cause and effect world of football for most clubs. Not so much tolerated more ignored bar the impact on programme sales, and kept at a safe distance. Given the chance clubs would even ban their sale in close proximity to the ground. The only paths open to fans would be to call for the chairman`s head on the terraces or vote with their feet. Modern day we have the forum, a real time interactive tool for fans to vent frustration, hopes and dreams. Not only are they beyond the clutches of the Brand Merchants that run our club, they are free to opt in and moderation apart an area for free speech. That is a rarity itself nowadays as our high streets die and our Prime Minister insists on a couple of miles as a safe arms distance.

Forums are free and a unique public free space albeit virtual for the meeting of minds of free thinking individuals. Millions use footy forums each week to feed the football need on the six days of the week when our teams aren`t playing. Forum communities bridge this gap perfectly. Apt then that a community trust club Lincoln City embraces all strands of opinion, so long as there is some basis of logic of course. They realise the forums are a barometer for their fans opinion. Ok sometimes it is not pleasant but it is opinion formed from a love of the club none the less. The Lincoln Imps however aspires to more than this. Its greeting ‘A busy and friendly place, to support the Imps` is a welcoming gateway to a huge resource of constructive opinion, criticism and fan humour. Fans post stats, stories and humorous anecdotes about our rivals.

Now there will never be a complete meeting of the minds, neither party would want it for a start. However the enfant terrible has grown to be a very important partner in the clubs future formative thinking. The all ticket issue, PA and atmosphere have all been addressed by the club purely from reading and responding to the forums ideas and wishes. The Trust too has an area called the three C`s for any suggested improvements.

You see independence fuels independent thinking, cultivating new ideas right or wrong. It is a shame our government cannot take that on board as its rationale for halting the mergers of big businesses. Not only does it cost jobs and wreck communities it also negates enterprise. Ideas and free thinking will move us forward faster and more cohesively as a community and nation than the stifling tactics of the monopoly. Like Pandora`s box the Internet has spawned many ills, however just as hope was the last out for her, the forums would appear to be footballs future positive.

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