For years, it has been a widely held belief that a football club is run from the top down and that shady men in shady jobs meeting in shady mahogany-clad boardrooms are the real power houses behind modern association football clubs. But today, The Daily Stevenage can lift the lid on a secret organisation that holds the key to the real power at Stevenage Football Club. Known collectively as Borochat and masquerading as an innocent online forum for supporters of the club, our in-depth research, carried out over a number of afternoons, exposes a group of radical militant fans hell-bent on bringing the football club to its knees. Many of these hide behind false names for fear of exposure and trade ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ as measures of popularity but, for the very first time, a small group of forum posters – disillusioned with the ever more radical stance the forum has taken over recent years – has broken away from Borochat and decided to speak out.
Tony Spangles, a 23 year old ice cream salesman, takes up the story. “It started innocently enough. I would go on Borochat to discuss how poorly Greg Tansey was playing but, before long, I was contacted by one of the moderators and invited to join an inner circle. Or clique, if you like. Our sole purpose was to question anything and everything, even when we were winning. The last straw came late last season when we were instructed to post defamatory comments about the board and the direction the football club was taking off the field. I instantly knew something was up because I couldn’t care less about stuff like that. I mean, the club had not long opened a pay bar on the East Terrace so what was there to complain about?”.
Peter Winalot, a 29 year old mobile hairdresser, continues: “Even though there are only about 25 people who actually read Borochat, its influence cannot be underestimated. Some of the more extreme members started to openly question the lack of booze within the ground and, hey presto, the club opens a pay bar on the East Terrace. Coincidence? I think not”.
Some might question just how the forum is able to influence the club, especially when most forum topics appear, on the surface, to relate to what fans have had for lunch or what music they’ve been listening to. “Nobody can listen to that amount of shit indie music” says Spangles. “These are purely subliminal messages aimed at destroying my beloved club. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure of it. I mean, there’s a fella on there who’s always going on about how fantastic Freddie Mercury is. I thought at first that he was an effing idiot, but then I realised that each mention of Queen was a coded message to instigate others to launch Twitter attacks on the board of directors. If you think about it, it’s actually very sophisticated”.
Winalot continues. “I’m aware of one geezer the other week who was bigging up Tom Hitchcock, saying what a talent he was. The following week, after one substitute appearance, he’d completely changed his mind. Before you know it, Hitchcock is shipped off to MK Dons. It’s obvious that this bloke had been lent on by the Borochat hierarchy and that the board listened. I know that Hitchcock is shit, but that’s not the point”.
But Borochat’s make-up doesn’t end at fan level. Aware of this growing feral mob and its demands on the club, Stevenage FC decided to fight fire with fire. As The Daily Stevenage was about to go to press, it was approached by a Mr Barrington Weber (name changed to protect his identity) who confirms that he was once employed by the football club to infiltrate the forum. “My job was to go undercover within Borochat to not only counter the radicalism, but to spread the club’s own wider agenda” says Weber, a 37 year old chief executive officer from east London. “The club had decided long ago that there was a need to oust Graham Westley. I registered on the forum as ‘East Herts Boro’ and, before long, was able to repel any pro-Westley propaganda and had quite a following. I was soon unearthed, however, and banned from the forum indefinitely”.
Others have not had such a lucky escape. Chris Frube, a 24 year old job seeker from Pin Green, considers that he was the victim of Stockholm Syndrome. “I registered on the forum because I loved the way Phil Wallace was running my football club but, within 3 weeks, I had thrown my season ticket and milk tokens at Phil due to his intransigence in providing a pay bar on the East Terrace. It took 6 months of psychotherapy to get my brain unwashed. I’d have had an easier ride with the Scientologists”.
The final word has to go to Tommy Docket, a 57 year old distributor of free local newspapers from Bedwell. “I registered on Borochat expecting to meet some hot MILFs. The nearest I got to any action was a hand job off some old bird in the disabled toilet of Burger King. I don’t think Borochat can claim any sort of credit for this. Come to think of it, it wasn’t even on a match day”.
At the time of going to press, nobody at Borochat had been approached to provide a comment.