THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

9 June ~ The Daily Mail has targeted Supporters Direct (SD) chief executive Dave Boyle after some ill-judged Twitter remarks. But is there something more sinister beneath their typically self-righteous outrage? An ecstatic Boyle was celebrating the success of AFC Wimbledon – the vanguard of the fan-ownership movement – finally winning promotion to the Football League when he made the postings. "The Bible can **** off. This is the greatest story ever told," he tweeted, according to the paper, while also aiming remarks at MK Dons chairman Peter Winkleman and Raj Parker, the lawyer who sat on the commission that approved relocating the original Dons to Milton Keynes.

For many, that "relocation" is the English game's nadir and Boyle, like many fans, refuses to forgive and forget. In a June 7 column headlined Football chief's an offensive tweeter, the scandalised Mail insisted Boyle's remarks were "not fit for a family newspaper". Boyle wrote a letter of apology after his Twitter outburst, so why – in the era of instant electronic communication – did it take the Mail 16 days to pick up the story?

It might look like silencing an active critic before a report by a select committee of cross-party MPs into the governance of football comes out, one that could pose some difficult questions for the Premier League. Boyle gave evidence at the enquiry, part of whose remit is to answer the question: "What are the pros and cons of the supporter trust share-holding model?" There are few pros as far as the Premier League is concerned while just five per cent of the enquiry's time was given to fan's representatives.

Boyle's remarks offered up a chance for SD's right-wing opponents to deliver a blow to the whole movement. The bulk of SD's funding comes from the Premier League via the Football Stadium Improvement Fund (FSIF) levy, and Richard Scudamore's cohorts are reportedly "mightily unimpressed" with Boyle according to another Mail rant on June 8. The timing of those twin blasts – more than fortnight after the offence – is interesting. Not just because the MPs' report is due out soon, but also because SD is in talks with the FSIF over funding for the next three years.

The Mail's latest vituperative attack on Boyle was headlined Fans' group at risk after boss blunder and the campaign looks suspiciously like an attempt by a right-wing newspaper to get someone they describe as a "left-wing radical" sacked simply for advocating fan ownership. SD's chairman Pauline Green has accepted Boyle's apology so why not let it lie? Only the Mail knows the answer. Steve Menary

Comments (13)
Comment by t.j.vickerman 2011-06-09 11:19:47

The Daily Fail? Pffffff...

Comment by eighteen85 2011-06-09 11:34:45

I can think of many worse things in football than slating one of the fools that endorsed the franchising of Wimbledon FC and the appalling individual who actually arranged the heist.

Comment by Efficient Baxter 2011-06-09 12:22:34

The sooner the Mail and it's insidious and hypocritical campaigning disappear the better. But that's not likely to happen any time soon. It's clearly got a large audience somehow.

Comment by Efficient Baxter 2011-06-09 12:23:42

Damn. Its not it's. I blame the standards of English education at the country's comprehensive schools. Maybe I should write a letter to the Mail.

Comment by Eggchaser 2011-06-09 13:10:20

What I want to know is, how will this affect house prices and will it give me cancer?

Comment by Paul Rowland 2011-06-09 13:14:52

I must confess, I first read all about this Dave Boil character and his "irreverent tweeting" habit in the Daily Mail. Yes, that's right - I'm a Daily Mail reader. And proud of it.

Er, just out of interest Steve, where did YOU read about it? Go on, admit it Steve - you're another Daily Mail reader, aren't you? HA! Gotcha!

STEVE PENARY. DAILY MAIL READER.

Just think - thanks to this article, we'll soon be able to type "Daily Mail Reader" into Google, and up will come "Steve Penary".

That's the power of the internet for you, Steve ;-)

Comment by TheRedMax 2011-06-09 13:30:11

I'm only shocked that the Daily Mail didn't blame asylum seekers.
Personally I blame Maggie Thatcher.

Comment by Lincoln 2011-06-09 14:33:13

You're in danger of drifting off topic here. We need to be told who killed Princess Dianna and why. AND NOW!

Comment by 1974ddr 2011-06-09 18:30:43

Is Paul Rowland typical of the Mail's readership? I only ask because the author's name actually appears to be Menary...

Comment by Houdi Elbow 2011-06-09 20:41:41

Paul R, meet Paul S.

Comment by My Name Is Ian 2011-06-09 21:00:15

I assumed to be a joke.

Anyway, nail on head stuff from Steve there.

Comment by My Name Is Ian 2011-06-09 21:01:07

Oops - I assumed "IT" to be a joke.

I can hear the wailing sirens of the grammar police in the distance already.

Comment by donedmundo 2011-06-13 12:32:36

And what would you expect from the Forgers' Gazette?

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