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May 14, 2005
Don't know how many on hear listen to Danny Baker's show on 5 Live on a Tuesday night. One of the long-running themes of his phone in show is the concept of a Totalitarian League.

Danny thinks there are too many football teams and wants to trim the entire British and Scottish leagues down to just 20 clubs. The teams selected for this new Totalitarian League will be those which embody a characteristic common to all clubs as well as having a specific quirk entirely their own.

Just posted the following case for Southend to be included:
"If we are to have a truly Totalitarian League, then it needs a club with a decent experience of totalitarianism in its worst forms. Whilst many clubs can boast sob-stories of managers or chairmen with all the people skills of a starvation deranged polar bear, I believe my club has had some uniquely bad experiences in that department which demands inclusion in theTL. I give you a list of totalitarian leader traits which were demonstrated by 2 Southend United Chairmen during the 80's and 90's. Read it and weep.

- COUP D'ETAT - 25 years ago, there was a board coup under which a local businessman (a butcher, no less) Anton Johnson seized control of the club. He then presided over:
- AUTOCRATIC ELECTIONS - sacking the manager and installed his own choice of manager
- 'UNEMPLOYMENT ON THE JOB' - club relegation to the Fourth Division, recording a club record twelve consecutive games without a win in the process
- 'LACK OF SUPPORT FROM THE PEOPLE - attendances slumping to below 2,000 just 4 years after a record attendance of nearly 32,000 and regular attendances of around 8-10,000
- 'LOW PRODUCTIVITY' - finishing in our worst ever position, 20th in the Fourth Division, narrowly avoiding re-election.
- OUT OF CONTROL NATIONAL DEBT - a tripling of club debt to over £700,000 in debt
- CORRUPTION AT THE TOP - the board dipping into the SUFC Christmas Fund and taking over £70,000, money they couldn't pay back.
- MARTIAL LAW - When fans protested about the way the club was being run, they were banned from the ground as 'hooligans'.
In 1985 Johnson was arrested and found guilty of breaching Football League regulations.

That's not all. His successor, Vic Jobson, also had a taste for dictatorial tendencies:
- CENSORING THE FREE PRESS - Banned the only local paper from covering Southend games at all
- THREATS OF EXTRADITION - He once famously quipped 'if you don't like the way I am running this club, there's always 91 other league clubs you can go and watch'.
- OPPRESSION OF POPULAR LEADERS - managed to drive to the point of resignation one of the most successful, likeable and laid-back managers Southend has ever had (Dave Webb) not once but twice
- PUBLIC APPEARANCES EVEN WHEN VERY ILL - discharged himself from hospital in order to go to a Southend game

Should there be any need for additional reasons why Southend should be in the Totalitarian league, show me any other English club who has a 100% record of beating Manchester United since the Premier League. It doesn't get much more total than having a 100% record against the English and European Champions."