Monday, November 20, 2006

20 November 2006: Forever

SaintsForever, the most popular and balanced Southampton FC fans messageboard, is no more.

Nobody seems quite sure what precipitated it happening yesterday afternoon (a comfortable away win the day before should have seen people in a good mood, right?) but after months of stress, abuse, threats and the like, Keith seems to have said 'ok, that's it'. A month or so ago the site was suspended for a few days while they decided what to do, but then re-opened. And now this... a surprise, but sadly that's the way of things.

SaintsForever was good on a number of levels: Keith ran the site himself, with the help of some admin folks, and never put advertising on the site (different from Pasoti, where I often find adverts for 'Portsmouth' related stuff in the Google Ads, obviously Google being unable to distinguish Portsmouth from Plymouth (the smell it usually enough to be able to tell)). The site got very high profile last summer, around the time of the Wilde takeover, mainly because for a while SaintsForever actually became the official unofficial mouthpiece of Michael Wilde and the consortium to speak to the fans. Indeed, even last week when a newspaper rumour began about the need to sell Wunderkind Gareth Bale in the January transfer window, Wilde issued a statement to the fans via Keith and SaintsForever. Because of this particular slant, and the raised profile overall, I suspect Keith began getting more flack than he ever expected from all sides of the equation, and just said that enough is enough. Shame, but messageboards are just databases run by enthusiasts, and that's the end of that.

Of course, this leads to the question of where the SaintsForever fans will head next to continue their chat. Longest-standing rival (from Rivals, coincidentally) is The Ugly Inside, Nick Illingsworth's largely anti-Pompey shouting page, but the degree of animosity held by average UI posters to SaintsForever means it's unlikely that will be the new home. There's ForeverSaints, a website set up to essentially mock Keith and SF, but which strangely seems to have taken on a life of its own more recently as a viable football discussion forum... who knows? Interesting thing on there is the rumour the SaintsForever WILL re-open very soon, under new management... maybe that is the answer to our Saints discussion needs?

Funny thing is, if this stuff had gone on on Pasoti it would have shut down months ago. Unless Boris was involved...

No comments: