F.C Romania and UKIP, an Interesting love affair
Cheshunt is a town located 13 miles from London, in the Borough of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. It’s best known for being the home of Cliff Richard and supermarket giants Tesco. It’s also the home of FC Romania – a club with Transylvanian roots.
FC Romania was founded in 2006 and bare their nations colours on the pitch. Created by the clubs current manager Ionut Vintila, it is one of the most unique clubs in the top ten tiers of English football.
The core of the squad is Romanian through-and-through, and the football they play is a total passing game – contradicting the “long ball” tactics often used by non-league teams.
They currently rent Cheshunt FC’s Stadium, as they do not have a home of their own. The club have had an almost meteoric rise to the ninth-tier of English football, as in 2006 they were playing Sunday League football.
Furthermore, the talent they have is way above the non-league standard they currently contest in. This is partly due to the influx of professional players they attract from Romania’s top two divisions.
Now I hear you say, “how do they do that?” Well, in the Romanian lower leagues they get paid next to nothing compared to the lower leagues here in England. You might only get £500 a month over there, compared to the astronomical figures you find over here.
So with the help of their main sponsors – Conarg LTD – players work as builders during the week, earning more than double what they had in Romania – around £1,200 a month- and play football in the weekends, with the hope of possibly attracting bigger and wealthier clubs.
On the 13th of September, FC Romania were competing in the F.A Cup – one of the most prestigious and historical cup competitions in world football – against A.F.C Sudbury, a club who are a division above them. With much possession and flowing football, they managed to record a 3-1 victory against their opposition. It was the greatest result in the clubs history and after the final whistle the fans invaded the pitch to celebrate with the players.
Romanian migrants from all over London come to watch the team, that in many ways, represent their country. However, one fan strikes accord with many in a very usual way and his name is John Adams.
Adams is a proud Englishmen and an avid UKIP supporter. In his spare time he follows FC Romania. Gradually, he became a Club Secretary at the club. Many people have questioned his involvement, as it goes against his beliefs.
Initially he was a Labour follower, before Margret Thatcher swayed his vote in the 1980’s as he turned to the Conservatives.
“Back in 2010 when Davey boy [David Cameron] came along I thought ‘ohhh great he’s going to save us all’. Well he hasn’t, he’s failed, he’s struck and I’m disappointed”, he said with much passion and conviction.
Now he thinks Nigel Farage can lead this country forward saying: “When Nigel Farage came with his elk, he was saying things that made me think ‘yeah I like this guy, he sounds like me’, let’s give him a chance”
Adams states that he considers the team his “baby cubs” and that they look at him as the “old wolf”, sort of like a father figure. He gives them invaluable advice about British football and gradually that has been well received by the players. He loves football and puts that ahead of his political views.
So has there been any racial discrimination shown towards his player, because of their Romanian background? “I told them you are going to be judged, because you’re Romanian and you’re playing football in England. The spotlight is on you.”
Currently the club find themselves in the Essex Senior League and finally things are beginning to get tricky. No longer are they bossing the league, the passing game they deploy is backfiring somewhat. It’s all good playing nice football, but as John says, “they are a bit naïve when it comes to this level, I mean it’s nice playing fancy football, but a misplaced pass and it’s game over. It only takes one or two players to do that. So playing long ball isn’t a bad idea sometimes”
Despite the calls for change, they sit third in the league and promotion was the target at the start of the season. But all hope is not lost, as they remain in touching distance. In the F.A Cup the club faced their biggest task in trying to knock out Sutton United, a club who play in the Conference South, three divisions above them.
Initially they were outclassed and outmuscled with Sutton taking a 3-0 lead heading into the second half. After some much needed regrouping and talking, they came out with much grace and skill to run the visitors close in the second half, but two goals were not enough to stop Sutton progressing to the next round. Despite the loss, people were starting to stand up and take notice of this weird yet wonderful club.
F.C Romania have changed the ideas and beliefs of many fans. This is mainly due to the great football they play and the hard work ethic they show, which will only benefit English football.
The latter is why people like John Adams have taken to a club like this, because they are contributing to society – whether they are in the construction site or out on the pitch. Ultimately that is what football does; it breaks barriers and creates harmony. Long live F.C Romania.
Here’s a video of F.C Romania in action:
Picture Credits: ScaffoldRobin