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Watford Mailing List
Guidelines for Subscribers

1         Introduction

Welcome to the Watford Mailing List (WML).


WML is for the exchange of news, views and gossip about Watford F.C. It is a forum for fans and has no official connection to Watford Football Club.


The List may be compared to a discussion being held across a wide community with shared interests in which anyone is encouraged to participate. Its members are expected to behave in a relatively civilized manner: to observe minimum standards of courtesy, to follow some basic guidelines (see below) and not to try deliberately to wind other participants up.


As well as involving many members based locally, WML is a lifeline to our overseas members who are to be found in almost every nook and cranny on the earth’s surface from Bangladesh to the southernmost point of New Zealand.  Watford FC is its common theme, with the occasional discussion of issues affecting football more generally (by which we mean the round ball game and not the version they play in America or Down Under with egg-shaped objects).  If you post to WML, please bear in mind that your readers are widely dispersed in their location, their age and their view of the world.


This document provides Guidelines for the List. If you have just joined WML, or are thinking of joining, then read through it thoroughly in order to get an idea of how the List works.


2         History

WML was begun on August 7th 1994 by Gary Smith from South Africa. In April 1995, Tim Brennen took over the running of the List, and in November 1995 it went automated. In July 1997, the List moved to under the administration of Leo Mindel, but after protracted problems with the server WML, in June 2005, it was made into a Yahoo Group. Leo remains involved but in July 2002, responsibility for the smooth running of the list was devolved to a small group of senior members known as WAG-CM (see below).  The number of subscribers has increased steadily and fluctuates around the 340 mark.


3         How to get subscribed (and unsubscribed) to WML

3.1      Standard v Digest lists

Here is the low-down on how to use WML. You can choose to receive WML in one (or both) of two forms.


  • The "standard" list has 200+ subscribers.  Each message that is sent to the List is forwarded to these people as it is received. On busy days each subscriber may receive 50 or more individual messages.


  • For those that don't want to get a stream of mails throughout the day, there is also a digest option which consolidates all the individual messages sent to WML into 1 message per day.  The Digest currently has about 100+ subscribers.

3.2      Subscribing

You can subscribe to the List by sending an email to:- Your subscription will require approval by WML Admin so it may take a short while before you can join the List.


Alternatively, you can use your web browser to go to the List's home page at Yahoo and click on "Join This Group", which will require you to sign up as a Yahoo member (this is free but slightly tedious). Again as approval is required by WML Admin, it is not an instant process.


Normally requests for subscription are dealt with within hours rather than days.


By default, you will receive all mails individually. You can change this to the daily digest by logging in to your Yahoo account, going to the WML group and amending your preferences.


If you do not have a Yahoo ID you can e-mail the WML Admin ( requesting the change.

3.3      Unsubscribing

To unsubscribe from the list, send an e-mail to:-


making sure that the e-mail address that you are sending from is the same address as the one you subscribed with.

3.4      Suspending list mail

To temporarily suspend your account, if you are going on holiday for example, go to the WML Yahoo page and sign in with yourYahoo ID (or create a Yahoo ID if you do not currently have one).


Select "Edit Membership" and go to the section entitled "Message Delivery" and select "No email - I'll read messages on the web site."


Although you cannot read messages on the website as we do not maintain an archive, you will suspend you account from receiving any emails until you change your preference back to "individual emails", or "digest".


4         WAG and the Content Checkers:  What is their purpose? 

Watford Advisory Group (WAG) is a group of around 10 members of WML who have been on the List for some time and are considered to have experience on their side.  They serve as a forum to discuss and advise on technical and operational issues that face WML from time to time.  Five members of WAG (known collectively as WAG-CM) have undertaken responsibility for the list’s operational management and function as the ‘owners’ of WML, drawing on WAG’s advice and expertise where appropriate.   These five are:


  • Leo Mindel
  • Mark Allison
  • Jon Sinclair
  • Marc Proctor
  • Peter Goddard


The latter two have particular responsibility for overseeing the list’s content and, where necessary, enforcing the guidelines given below.  It is not intended that the present membership of WAG-CM should serve in this role indefinitely and there are mechanisms for the remainder of WAG to vote out any member of WAG-CM as they see fit.

4.1      How to contact WAG


WAG can be contacted at and its members will be glad to clarify any issue that may arise regarding the List, advise on posting or investigate any complaint.  WAG are always glad to hear WML members’ opinions.  Alternatively, you can contact Marc Proctor <>, who is based in Auckland, New Zealand, or Peter Goddard <>, based in Liverpool, UK.


Membership of WAG is not closed but is restricted to approximately 10 members at any one time.  If you feel you can add something to this group and would like to be considered for membership you should send an email to and we will be in contact.

5         Guidelines to behaviour on the List

Most of the time, WML functions very happily as a large, informal and varied discussion, where wit, humour and disagreement is welcomed.  Very occasionally, however, there is some need to co-ordinate the hundreds of voices that form the community so that our mailboxes are not filled with abuse and trivia every day.  That is the purpose of these broad guidelines which form the basis for WAG’s occasional interventions.


a) The List does not tolerate spam, blatant attempts to incite an argument, flaming or abuse, as these activities will inevitably cause the List to lose its purpose.  Swearing is also outlawed, partly because some subscribers’ email systems have content filters that reject such messages but also because messages can often be read by young children (use ast*r*sks if want to express the strength of your feelings).  Please do not send virus warnings to the List but only to WAG, who will check whether they are genuine before passing them on to the List.  It is a matter of some pride that with hundreds of subscribers WML is relatively smooth-running.

b) Do not attempt to impersonate anyone. Emails have to have your name as the author, or you must sign the email with your name, or you must be prepared to give your name to WAG, who will keep it confidential if requested.


c) Impersonation of any member of Watford staff, players, directors or of former staff members or players will be met with an instant Red Card (see Discipline) and you will no longer be permitted to post to or receive the WML.


d) If you are asked by someone acting for WAG to take a thread off-list or (for example) to apologise for something, you must comply or accept any punishment that WAG deems justified.


e) If you are unsure whether something should be sent to WML, send it to WAG first (at for their review.


f) Although OCCASIONAL non-WFC related messages may be acceptable, WAG reserves the right to warn individual listees off, if WAG feels that they are abusing this, or if WAG is simply in a bad mood.


g) Libellous comments are not to be made on WML.  In all respects you (and not WML) are responsible for the content of your own postings.


h) WML is NOT a democracy and is not a free and fair society. In all respects, WML is a private list under the complete control of the serving members of WAG-CM and will remain so. If you want to exercise complete free speech and/or anonymity, you're advised to use Usenet newsgroups such as

5.1      Discipline

Fortunately, the list is almost always a friendly and co-operative community, so disciplinary cases are rare, but WAG will act swiftly when the list is compromised by breaches of the
guidelines.  WAG may take one of three courses of action, depending the
seriousness of the breach:


1)      Warning from WAG.  This can take several forms from a slap over the wrist with a wet match ticket to a big black dog with heaps of teeth.  You are asked to follow any warning that is given as it will avoid further problems.

2)      Yellow Card. This is a warning to behave yourself, and essentially says that if you misbehave again you will be given a Red Card and banned from the List.  A Yellow Card also suspends you from posting to or receiving WML for 7 days.  A Yellow Card remains on file for six months, after which it will be wiped.


3)      Red Card.  This is a final warning and will see your membership of WML withdrawn.  To date only one Red Card has been issued other than for impersonation.  It is a measure that WAG does not want to use, but will use if necessary


5.2      Appeals Procedure

If you feel that you have been unfairly treated by WAG in being issued a Red or Yellow card you may appeal against the decision within 24 hours by sending an email to  Your email should set out the grounds of your appeal clearly.  On receiving an appeal, the membership of WAG will consider the circumstances carefully and hold a vote before making a final decision as to whether to remove you from the List permanently or temporarily.

5.3      Netiquette on the Watford List

Netiquette is the chummy neologism that acts as the umbrella term for Dos and Don'ts on the Internet. Some of the points below should be taken as suggestions for how to act on WML. These are a bit like the offside law: if you contravene it you will annoy people, but are unlikely to be sent off. Other rules must be followed: break them, show no repentance, and it's an early bath for you


1. Save this document for future reference.


2. When you first join WML, get a feel for the List for a few days before sending your maiden message. It is a pleasant courtesy if you then send a few lines describing (say) yourself, the length of your Watford support, your personal Watford highlights, etc.


3. A common occurrence is that when someone sends a message expressing a view, others write back with a message saying something like "Couldn't agree more". This sort of message is a waste of time, bandwidth and energy. Worse, such messages are often compounded by the person quoting the whole of the initial message. Include only those bits of the original message that put your reply into context. 


4. On the Internet, words in capitals are taken to equate to SHOUTING.  People rarely respond positively if you shout at them.  So do try to keep it down.  Some of us are trying to sleep!


5. The fanzine website, "Blind, Stupid and Desperate" (BSaD), run by Ian Grant (aka Ig), contains masses of information about the club and is updated very regularly. Before asking WML for information, check to see if it is available on BSaD at 

While WML gives you the latest news and views, BSaD is a high-quality online fanzine, containing detailed match reports, funny bits, serious bits, along with much else. Thus the two complement each other to keep fans up-to-date with the state of Watford Football Club. BSaD also has no official connection to Watford Football Club.


6. When you post an article to WML from a newspaper or magazine, online or not, make sure you mention your source so that your readers can assess its credibility.


7.  If messages sent to a member are consistently returned to Yahoo! Groups with an error, that member is considered "bouncing." Their Yahoo! Groups account is deactivated, and group messages will not be delivered to the account. Once an account is considered bouncing, Yahoo! Groups will send a series of test messages to the member. If the test messages are returned as undeliverable, then the account will continue to bounce. However, if a message is delivered and not returned as undeliverable within five days after it was sent, the account will automatically be reactivated. Members may also manually reactivate their accounts by visiting their My Groups page


8. Keep arguments civil. If you are going to send crude insults to people, do it off-list.


9. Apparently, some people need reminding that one subscriber (or any fraction of the List) cannot and must not speak on behalf of the whole List. For example, if, in a fax to the club or an article to a magazine, you mention WML, it must be made clear that you are not speaking on behalf of the List.


10. Occasionally a List subscriber writes an article about the mailing list for some publication. WAG would be a good place to send it for advice, because there is a lot of "list experience" there.

6         One more thing...

Messages you send to  are automatically forwarded to List subscribers. There is nothing anyone else can do once you have pressed the Send button. So, think before you send: it is not unknown for messages to be dug out months and even years later, in order to point out hypocrisy, superb (or wretched) predictive skill, etc.


Another heavy consequence of this: YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MESSAGES FROM YOUR ADDRESS. Neither WAG-CM nor any other entity takes any responsibility for what you write.


Thus, if messages from your address are praiseworthy, you get the praise. Whereas, if they are appalling, libellous or in any way illegal, you also take any consequences.


If you think that shouldering all the responsibility for your own messages is too burdensome, kindly unsubscribe from the List.

7         The Happy Ending

You may have got the impression from the above that WML is a swarm of angry Hornets insulting each other on a daily basis. It isn't. In fact, we will tempt fate and tell you that only one person has ever been chucked off the List for bad behaviour. Long may it continue.




The members of WAG-CM, with the support of WAG