‘Karmaaaaaaaaaa’, tweeted president Wael Al Qadi last night, as Bristol Rovers came from behind to inflict a late defeat on Swindon Town at the County Ground, in a replay of last month’s abandoned game. The’Karmaaaaaaaaaa’ to which Wael referred was because the host club had decided to charge many supporters – and all Gasheads – the full whack for tickets, with no refunds after the abandoned game or discounts for the rearranged game. And according to Swindon Town chairman Lee Power, do you know whose fault it was? It was God’s fault.
“What happened on Saturday afternoon was an act of God and beyond the club’s control”, said Mr Power, somewhat unconvincingly. My first thought was this: what was God thinking about? There are places all over the world that desperately need water and what does God do? He dumps it all on Swindon in one go. I hope Mr Power issues a banning order to God because this sort of behaviour is unacceptable in modern football.
I had seen Mr Power’s interview a little earlier on BBC’s Points West show when he was interviewed by the excellent Ali Durden. I cannot recall the exact words Mr Power used about ripping-off Gasheads by making them pay twice to see the same game, but it ran something like this: “Thanks to God, we’ve got extra costs for this game. God doesn’t seem to want to cough up, even though it’s all his fault, so I am going to make Bristol Rovers fans pay twice. I’m not picking them out. The same would apply to any team called Bristol Rovers who visited Swindon.”
The ‘Karmaaaaaaaaaa’ to which Wael joyously referred took a long time to come, with Rovers trailing for much of the game, but with mere minutes remaining a Matty Taylor penalty and an own goal by God turned misery into joy. I made the last bit up about God, but maybe, just maybe there was a little divine intervention.
Swindon’s actions, which were opposed by their trust and many supporters, will hardly endear them to Gasheads and they can look forward to a colourful welcome when they visit the Memorial Stadium next January as they battle to stay in League One. It soils their reputation and not just with Gasheads who have known just what Swindon have been like for many years. It spreads throughout football and reputations stick.
Karma, Mr Power, is a bitch. I am not sure I wish Swindon any luck for the future but I suspect they will need a lot of it with him as chairman.