By Les Crang
As we move closer to the march of the Football Lads Alliance (hereby called the FLA) in Birmingham which I have mentioned previously, much seems to be happening in the lead up to the 24th of March.
Firstly, there seems to have been a split within the FLA, with a faction being created called the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (hereby called the DFLA). At first, I assumed they were another faction, but the FLA, on their marches have often marched with Veterans Against Terrorism (hereby called VAT). Anyway, it seems that FLA leader John Meighan, had told Simon Bean, MBE and a leader of VAT, that from the sale of FLA poppy badges (The poppy and football conundrum again) the FLA would give the Royal British Legion £1000.
Since then, no payment has been made, allegedly, therefore two members of the VAT have withdrawn from the FLA. This includes Simon Bean, MBE. He has also made a video on the DFLA Facebook page, in which he expresses this information more fully. Therefore, the DFLA, says it has 20 members on a committee and far more transparent than the FLA.
In other news, the FLA have some relative ‘big hitters’ speaking in Birmingham, including Aline Morars from the German protest group Decibel 120. This group describe themselves thus:-
We are a group of women, who will no longer stay silent about the increasing number of sexual assaults on women. With #120db we want to start a movement, which focuses on the experiences of women with criminal migrants and publish these stories. Our activists show themselves in videos, but the focus is on the subject of sex crimes of migrants against all women.
Salon magazine has been highly critical of the group in trying to take over the #metoo hashtag for Xenophobic purposes.
The FLA has also invited Anne Marie Waters to speak. Walters was previously with UKIP, but in 2017, then leader Paul Nuttall said her ‘views way above and beyond party policy’ and was removed from being a candidate in Lewisham east. She has since left and created For Britain, a far right political group.
Over at the DFLA ‘tent’, interim UKIP leader Gerrard Batten will be speaking (see poster above). He has previously spoken to VAT and offered DFLA/FLA reduced rates to be UKIP members. Batten has underlined UKIP would be representative of FLA/DFLA and VAT political interest.
We call on all people of good will to stand together in Birmingham against all forms of racism and Islamophobia. We believe that football is for all, women and men, black and white, LGBT and straight, people of all religions and none.
In many ways, Birmingham seems to be getting rather more surreal, with what looks like factionalism. This is not to mock the FLA/DFLA but it is difficult to keep up with what is occurring within this organisation. Or organisations.
Les Crang has finished his Msc in Sport Management & the Business of Football at Birkbeck in which he is writing up his dissertation on CS Lebowski, which he has discussed here previously as well as writing previously on the football collective website on #Sky25 – Sky Sports as a Disruptive Technology – And is Sky being disrupted?
Please feel free to contact Les on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter to chat.