Back in 2019, the new owner of Farsley Celtic changed the club badge, the club colours and the name of the ground to the frankly laughable Citadel. For a club regularly fighting relegation, “Breached Fort” might be a more accurate moniker. To force those changes on what is a very old club with a sound history just serves as an example of what can happen if one or two people have all the power.
Perhaps a moment here for Hereford FC supporters to count their blessings. Because we have HUST as a safeguarding body, club colours are enshrined in our Articles of Association and cannot be changed on a whim without full consent.
All those changes at Farsley haven’t increased attendances. In 2019/20, they averaged 532 through the gate. This season, it’s 477, of which we saw precisely 8 at Edgar Street last month. Their most recent home fixture midweek v Buxton drew in 253 while Kings Lynn (midweek December) saw just 237 through the gate. The latter is the fourth lowest attendance in NLN this season. For the record, the lowest is Peterborough Sports v Curzon when only 187 diehards rolled up.
Farsley’s biggest attendance was 864 for the visit of Scarborough Athletic, about 25% bigger than any other game. That’s purely down to the hordes of rampant Valley pub Seadogs – visiting fans – who outnumbered the home support.
With the return match only a few weeks after Hereford beat the Leeds club 2-0 at home, difficult to find much new to say about the citadel warriors. The Chairman admits to club cash flow problems and not communicating well enough. Celts submitted their 2021 accounts 7 months late. Their finance director resigned in January. I will leave everyone to draw their own conclusions.
Club top scorer is Frank Mulhearn with 7 League goals and 6 bookings. He didn’t play at Edgar Street, presumably injured. Mulhearn is 25, Irish and having his best season so far. Farsley generally struggle to score, much like our recent opponents Buxton.
The Celts have an indifferent home record not winning a home game until late October. Some Citadel! Prior to beating poor old Buxton recently, their previous League victory was a surprising 2-0 defeat of Kings Lynn in early December. The highlights for the Buxton game show a sloping bumpy pitch with both goalmouths cut up .. and a home side who delight in set pieces.
Farsley’s admission prices reflect the need to get people through the door. Admission is £14 for adults, £9 concessions including over 60s. Normally just pay cash or card on the door though you can pay in advance. For first timers, there is a car park right outside the ground while the club bar is one of the bigger, smarter ones in the league. All welcome, open from noon with Sky Sports on offer.
With this being the Green Football Weekend, supporters are encouraged to do green things. Such as try different milk, turn down the heating and ditch the car. I get the idea. I really do but National League North is pretty much anti-green. Clubs are in obscure places and evening matches are completely hopeless by shared transport. You can in theory travel by train to Farsley. Its 4 hours each way and you won’t return to Hereford until midnight. The cost is £90 without a railcard.
We looked at alternatives, they don’t work… let’s change our milk order instead..