It’s Saturday, and although I no longer have a local football team to support since the demise of the mighty Rushden and Diamonds (which has been made worse by the fact that Kettering now use ‘our’ Nene Park ground – although they do have the good grace to keep up their tradition of losing there) it is difficult not to think of the beautiful game – at least until National Hunt racing really gets going.
Because this week we have spent some time thinking about mergers, alliances and new kids on the wildlife NGO block I couldn’t resist allocating some wildlife NGO ‘clubs’ to their positions across the English leagues. This is just a bit of fun – but may have scattered through it the occasional truth that always hurts. You see which make you laugh and which make you wince. And do comment to add your own thoughts – there is endless scope.
RSPB (Arsenal – always likely to be there at the end of the season but sometimes playing a bit poorly. Lots of promising youngsters. Have the ability to play any other team off the park – but don’t always do so. Increasingly wondering how much of their time to play in Europe)
The Wildlife Trusts (WBA – in this division at the moment but not always deserving of a place. Great history. And nick-named after wildlife (the ‘Throstles’ who play at the ‘Hawthorns’), but sometimes seem to be playing to the crowd (often the wrong crowd). Huge squad of mixed abilities. Always looking to the referee for help despite a large fan base)
National Trust (West Ham – are they really interested in the game any more or is the prospect of a new stadium somewhere nice the biggest thing on their minds? You always get a nice cake at their nice ground. Lots of nice groundstaff but not so many players on the pitch)
Marine Conservation Society (water polo stars – the only people really playing their game at the moment)
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (want to be in the top league – and, like Swansea, may get there eventually)
Plantlife (a classy team who, in an all women’s league, would play everyone else off the park. Looking for a rich Arab to inject the necessary cash to allow them to bloom fully)
Butterfly Conservation (good on the wing. Football is a winter game and that doesn’t suit these sun-lovers. When looked at closely they are the most perfectly adapted creatures and should be running the world)
Buglife (dance like a small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly (no, they’re taken!), sting like a female large ichneumon fly/wasp. Always buzzing. Can be slightly annoying to government)
Grasslands Trust (one to watch – won’t let it grow under their feet?)
Woodland Trust (maybe it’s the nature of their mission that means that they are always hitting the woodwork rather than scoring goals. Big crowd following but still looking to see the wildlife for the trees)
Pond Conservation (water-logged pitch)
Hawk and Owl Trust (a mixture of Kidderminster (harriers), Sheffield Wednesday (owls) and Crystal Palace (eagles))
Bat Conservation Trust (cricket is what they are into. Very nicely mannered and sporting, may need to get their flannels stained by a bit more diving around)
WWF (still wrestling with the issues. Finding it difficult to get the fans behind the chant ‘Put a tiger in your sustainable building regulations’)
Friends of the Earth (Plymouth – sad to see their demise and they should at least be languishing at the bottom of the table in a higher league. In this game they have a great history in front of them and behind them. Wildlife conservation is not a friendly.)
Greenpeace (Swindon – are they really in this league, I thought they played a better game than that? Much higher in the ice hockey leagues – and that is probably where we want them to excel)
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (AFC Wimbledon – they didn’t even exist a while ago but can kick a ball around with some of the big boys)
Badger Trust (on their home ground they play very well but away form is non-existent. No-one likes coming to their place but home form isn’t enough to be top of the wildlife leagues)
On Monday I will treat this issue more seriously again.