Monday, 12 July 2010

Artists United



Thu 8 Jul
Lewes

A group of artists or a football club? Well, it's both. 40 local artists have got together to put on an exhibition in support of the community group which has taken over the running of the town's football club - Lewes FC, the Rooks. This year the club is celebrating 125 years of football, which makes it one of the oldest clubs in England. So, Artists United supporting Rooks 125, to help keep the Rooks flying.

The takeover comes after a period of several years in which the club's fortunes rose, rose, and rose again, only to fall back down with a thud. A couple of years ago Lewes FC had crowned a sequence of successful seasons by winning the Conference (Blue Square) South division. This gained them promotion to the Conference Premier League, which is one tier below League 2, the lowest of the fully professional leagues. Giddy heights for a small local club.

Unfortunately the club promptly got vertigo, sacked the manager who'd got them up there, lost most of the players, and crashed straight back down again. Last year they showed that it's almost as hard to stop losing as it is to keep winning, and only avoided further relegation on the last day of the season. At the same time they found themselves virtually insolvent, and subject to a winding up order which was also averted at the last moment.

Now a number of local organisations and individuals have formed Rooks 125, which has bought the club for a nominal sum, and hopes to be able to run it as a Community Benefit Society, with all profits being used to the benefit of the community, on a democratic one-person-one-vote basis. Just like FC Barcelona.

¡Olé!

The exhibition, by the way, was superb.

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