Imaginative title, no? We can only dream of the hours of top level boardroom meetings
that went into that decision....
"The Football Club", as if you hadn't already guessed, is a clone of the
BBC's unloveable-but-revealing "Premier Passions", with Gillingham replacing Sunderland
as subject. Connoisseurs of the genre may also recall similar studies of Leyton Orient
and Peterborough. For me, someone who is quite able to forgive the Gills' obvious
flaws (hideous ground, smattering of neanderthal fans) in favour of their hidden
virtues (admirable team, smattering of entirely charming fans), this ought to be worth
Unfortunately, "The Football Club" falls flat on its face when it comes to access,
the cornerstone of the current plague of docu-soaps. Gillingham have, it appears,
granted only minimal access to the camera crew - everything important, from team talks
to contract negotiations, remains hidden from view.
As a consequence, this is utter crap. We see managers shouting from touchlines. We see
players arsing about. We see an agent having a cuppa with the chairman. We see
endless replays of Akinbiyi's goals at the Vic. We learn precisely sod all about
A parade of shallow, curtailed interviews and savagely edited match highlights is
not a basis for a television series. There is a great programme to be made about
the everyday life of an everyday lower division club - this ain't it.
So, not a reason to rush home from the pub on Friday night. Save that honour for the
scattergun genius of "South Park" instead....