Alec Swann - Ingram is barking up the wrong tree

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

In the last few years, the circulation area of the Northants Telegraph has seen Rushden & Diamonds go to the wall, Kettering Town stare over the precipice at extinction and now it’s Corby Town’s turn to experience severe financial difficulties.

The refusal of a number of players to take to the field for Wednesday night’s Calor League Premier Division encounter with Poole Town was as good a sign as any that the situation is desperate at Steel Park.

And while there will be myriad reasons for the mess, which this writer doesn’t intend to go into, it was Kevin Ingram’s - the club chairman - comments concerning the aforementioned players that were particularly unpalatable.

“There are some players who are saying they are not going to play, which is sad.

“When we were not earning any money during the lean spell of matches, everyone was being paid and that includes all the non-contracted players as well.

“Now we have players who are saying ‘no pay, no play’ and that is their decision. It is a shame.

“I would have hoped they would all want to show some loyalty and support to a club that they know has problems off the field.”

For want of a better word, all of that is nonsense.

And it is the word ‘loyalty’ that stands out like a particularly sore thumb.

Quite simply, the loyalty Ingram alludes to has to be a two-way street.

In fact, it is a term that is bandied around far too easily in sporting circles where its existence is merely a default setting for a club or an individual who doesn’t get their own way.

Bitter experience has shown that when a sportsman’s contract is up a club can cast any player loose, regardless of stature, ability or length of service.

We don’t want you any more so go away. Harsh but the way of the world.

But while those who ply their trade in a sporting environment have to accept this, they should also know that while they are employed their employer meets their side of the bargain.

And in Corby Town’s instance that means meeting their financial obligations.

There is no good reason why the Steelmen players should play if the club have reneged on deals.

Is this the club showing loyalty? No, it is taking the proverbial.

So spare us the empty and pathetic rhetoric Mr Ingram and do your duty by those who expect it to be done.

Pay up or shut up.