Article Courtesy of: Madman at The Helm (aka Chris J. Vaughan Griffiths), World Football Pages
I had this great, big dream four years ago, and in this dream I met the football gods, including Alan Shearer and the universally unknown Canadian player who has toiled in anonymity for thousands of years. After consultation with Kevin Costner, the gods said, “Build it, and they will read it.” And I said, “Build what exactly?” And they said, “Build a newspaper that puts our game right where it should be, and fill it with all things Canadian, amateur and professional, and a sprinkle of David Beckham. And I said, “But I can’t afford to build Canada’s best newspaper,” at which point the well-mown green field before me rolled up and vanished to the whisper of, “Build it and they will support it.”
Years later, British Columbia’s football community, if not Canada’s at large, has proven the Gods wrong, and today, as you read this, the dream of putting our game at the forefront of printed media, is in much peril. This community of ours has not supported this dream with the volume of dollars and sense that World Football Pages requires to grow and prosper everyone’s game.
Personally, I’m devastated. Building WFP so that we might all laugh and learn and be better footballers and people for it, has been my 24/7 labour of love. And there are countless contributors (who have filled our pages with original Canadian material) that will be equally disappointed to know that their efforts were not entirely appreciated by the greater community. Collectively, we have made not a penny from putting a full-colour football read on the plates of BC readers, and yet WFP has promoted everyone’s game as best we can with what we have.
Maybe singularly I failed to help this community understand the value of what we have been providing. And maybe I failed in my quest to convince folk to look beyond their own playing field, for the greater good. And possibly, my ideal of building an open, non-politically-biased forum for all opinion, with value for all, is just not possible. But I don¹t think so…
Through 56 issues, WFP has featured editorial contributions from some simply brilliant, dedicated individuals (from here to HMCS Winnipeg off the coast of India) that did understand the concept of our paper. And the 100’s of pages painted since May, 2002 have been paid for by advertisers and sponsors that also believed, and appreciated the value WFP offers their businesses, clubs and associations, and our entire Canadian community. And no doubt our absolutely enthusiastic readership appreciates what we’ve been doing over here at WFP.
The trouble, simply, is that they above are the precious, glorious few that have kept this dream alive. They above, are simply not enough. Due to what can honestly, only be described as shocking apathy, a horribly large proportion of our football community has been content to reap the rewards of WFP without putting even a single dollar in. The trouble with WFP is, that a great deal of our football magistrates have turned a blind eye to the glorious possibilities this publication holds for all Canadians.
On behalf of our game, our players, teams, leagues and associations, WFP and our priceless supporters have done all we can without more tangible, bankable support available. If you are in a position to make a difference I implore you now to do so, on behalf of the dream. Over the coming days you will find examples of how to get on board, featured on WFP’s website. I would also be delighted to field any direct calls. Hopeful continuance of the printed WFP will be directly related to any and all responses, or the lack thereof.
Of course, there is no law that says you have to support WFP but hey, since we¹re the only ones we know of doing what we do, to promote you doing what you do, may I suggest you seriously consider your options.
Madman at the Helm
(aka Chris J. Vaughan Griffiths)
2012 Hamilton St
New Westminster, BC V3M 2P6
PS: For taking the time to read this, please enjoy Issues 56 and 55 online. When asked for the code to open the pdf sections, type “ipss” for #56 and “italy” for #55