Wetherby Park BCFC
Greetings from the Front Office
Wetherby Park BCFC
The Black Cats strive to be a competitive and successful football team on the pitch, and because Wetherby Park BCFC is owned by and operated for the benefit of our supporters, our work continues off the pitch.
The Wetherby Park Black Cats Football Cooperative is proud of its aim to promote the beautiful game and work for social-economic justice.
On a bitterly cold November day in 2004, tobinov was reading a Guardian Unlimited article called "The greatest internet sports games of all time" (it is still a regular feature on the site) and followed a link to an online game they called "Hat-trick" - a few days later, on November 17, tobinov established the football cooperative Birchollow BCFC in Ann Arbor, Michigan and assumed control as the Cooperative Manager.
The Black Cats had a surprisingly good start and very early on, tobinov adopted a multi-skill approach, slowly building his team around a passable-level passing standard. This provided the Black Cats with a counterattack option which has continued to pay off over time.
On July 1, 2007, after 8 successful seasons in Ann Arbor, tobinov moved the organization to Tacoma, Washington and renamed it Wetherby Park BCFC where it remains today.
On May 6, 2013, the cooperative founded it's sister team, Saint Mungo RFC in Glasgow, Scotland.
Wetherby Park Cooperative
Wetherby Park BCFC is a (albeit, fictional) cooperative trust, owned and controlled by its membership, with each member being considered an equal in collective ownership. Members consist of two groups: supporters or sponsors.
Each member is given one vote in the administration of Wetherby Park BCFC, regardless of the amount invested in the cooperative. An elected representative is appointed as the Cooperative Manager to oversee the inner workings of the football cooperative on behalf of all members. The current CM is tobinov.
All funds received from supporters and sponsors are invested back into the cooperative with a percentage going back into the community in the form of season tickets to any individual or family unable to afford admission as well as sponsorship of Youth and Adult recreational leagues in Tacoma, with an emphasis on recruiting under-served people in the community.
No supporter or sponsor is allowed to purchase naming rights or a controlling share of the cooperative.
Sponsors investment must adhere to the ethical guidelines set forth by the cooperative trust. Advertising space within Tatlin Field Tacoma, in match programs, and on the team kits of the Wetherby Park recreational leagues are given in exchange for the sponsors investment.
Equal Skill Mandate
As a guiding principle, Black Cat players must fit within the skill and wage mandate as established by the cooperative early in the team development. Recognizing the importance multi-skilled should have in the game, tobinov requires a minimum passing level and specifies that no player may exceed the primary skill or wage level of titanic unless trained above it. This approach has kept our relative expenditures down while taking full advantage of the balanced approach to the game.
Tatlin Field Tacoma
Wetherby Park BCFC has a spacious, modern home in Tatlin Field Tacoma (right). The stadium is a homage to the great Vladimir Tatlin  who's work tobinov greatly admires. With a total capacity of 75750, it can hold one quarter of the population of the City of Tacoma. Not surprisingly, it has yet to see full capacity.
|Despite the empty seats, Tatlin Field Tacoma is a considerable improvement from it's old digs, Orwell Field, in Ann Arbor (left). With a capacity of just over 23000, the Black Cats thrived in the rowdy, claustrophobic grounds of Orwell Field - But as is expected in this dollar-driven, performance-based system, success came with new demands and more revenue was required to sustain progression. Naturally, tobinov saw the opportunity to expand stadium capacity when the Cooperative moved to Tacoma, Washington.
Kit Factory, Printing Facilities, Bicycle Workshop
Wetherby Park maintains its own Kit Factory at Tatlin Field Tacoma. This allows the organization to control kit sale earnings and invest profits them back into the cooperative, to create local jobs through the hiring and training of seamsters, and it allows the cooperative to avoid investment in companies which manufacture kits offshore.
There is no direct kit sponsorship. Rather, the cooperative promotes awareness of an organization working for positive change. In honor of Jacques, the cooperative supports the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) , where he and his brother Orwell were adopted on January 2, 2001.
In addition to the kit factory, the cooperative operates its own in-house printing facilities. All tickets, match programs, posters and announcements are printed at Tatlin Field Tacoma. A percentage of ticket and program sales cover basic printing costs and staff while a majority is reinvested into the community.
In 2010, the cooperative identified the need to reduce traffic congestion around Tatlin Field Tacoma and after exploring various mass transit options, decided to open the WPBC Bicycle Workshop for the manufacture and service of our quality commuter bikes, the Black Cat. All players and staff are issued a Black Cat bike to commute into practice/work and Supporters are given discounted rates for purchase.
Our Benevolent Punk Revolutionary Klezmer Brigade!
Our Benevolent Punk Revolutionary Klezmer Brigade! love their team, they love to make music, and they love their ale. They are merry and loud, rowdy and proud but always respectful to the away crowd - Hence, the OBPRK Brigade slogan:
The OBPRK Brigade have a core group of musicians (who obviously lead the festivities) and are supported by the another Wetherby Park institution, Heady Brewery. Heady's brews single batch specialty beer for each weekends match. Supporters "Hit the Heady" for tasty beverages and fresh, homemade meat pies before home matches. It is from Heady's that the OBPRK Brigade begins their march, Keg-Cart in tow, to Tatlin Field Tacoma.
And of course, as always, the visitors are welcome to join us - the more the merrier! Of course, we will send you home drunk, happy and winless!
Before moving to Tacoma, Wetherby Park BCFC was known as Birchollow BCFC and our supporters, the Black Cat Brigade, liked to sing!
When visiting Tatlin Field Tacoma, you will still hear their anthem:
|Birchollow||Another faithful favorite comes from tobinov's hometown of Iowa City, Iowa:|
|O Birch-ollow Birchollow!||O Birch-ollow Birchollow!|
|Cheers to Birchollow!||A swift kick, a toe flick,||The Iowa Beer Song|
|The Brigade is here,||It's so quick, a hattrick|
|and we 'ave our beer||Onward Onward Birchollow!||In Heaven there is no beer (no beer!)|
|Cheers Cheers Birch-ollow!||.||That's why we drink it here|
|.||Oh! OH!||And when we're gone from here|
|O Vis-it-ors! Visitors!||The visitors are drunk you know||Our friends will be drinking all the beer!|
|Hello to the Vistors!||Oh! OH!|
|We welcome you with open arms||Give 'em the ol'heave-ho!||Listen to it here...  :)|
|And we'll send you home drunk!||Oh! OH!|
|Drunk Drunk! Drunk n' sorrow vis-it-ors!||when the final whistle blow-s-OH!|
|O Black Cats! Black Cats!||BIRCH-OLLOW! BIRCHOLLOW!|
|Hail our to boys in black||Forever we will follow|
|Black and gold, gold and black||We 'ave our beer|
|We 'ave your back, go on attack!||And we're forever here|
|Hail Hail Birch-ollow!||to cheer our boys|
The end of Season 55 marked the last competitive season of Wetherby Park BCFC. The roster was as follows:
|No.||Pos.||Nat.||Player Name||No.||Pos.||Nat.||Player Name|
|01||GK||Victor-Andrei Mihăilescu||11||W||Mislav Gladić|
|04||DF||Florian Le Liboux||15||MF||Jeffrey Jagielka|
|05||DF||Leif Dahle||16||MF||Retu Ranninen|
|06||DF||Vasyl Onysko||17||MF||Andrés Jiménez|
|07||DF||Vladimiro Gonzáles||18||MF||Radislav Štengl|
|08||DF||Bautista Pereyra||19||MF||Garry Gonzalez|
|10||FW||Yushi Nishimura||21||GK||Phạm Vũ Hòa|
RIP Wetherby Park featured an all-American roster as the team made it's exit.
|No.||Pos.||Nat.||Player Name||No.||Pos.||Nat.||Player Name|
|01||GK||Charlie Keen||13||MF||Darryl Burden|
|02||DF||Florian Morgan||15||MF||Emanuel Lay|
|03||DF||Joseph Edmond||16||MF||Andrés Jiménez|
|05||DF||Edwin González||21||MF||Phillip Gibbs|
|06||DF||朱 (Zhu) 长杰 (Changjie)||-|
|07||DF||Dion Blackmon||22||DF||Young Soto|
|09||F||Lee Gonzales||25||MF||Maurice Dryer|
|10||F||Russell Hanson||26||MF||Francis Banya|
|11||F||Adil Bajwa||27||MF||Jeremiah Rokus|
|Season 56 - End||Garry Gonzalez|
|Season 51 - 55||Rafael Tormo||45||20||7|
|Season 47 - 50||Ettore Ciceri||103||26||8|
|Season 42-46||Alberto Zofra||94||32||8|
|Season 37-41||Júlio César Rocha||108||28||14|
|Season 33-36||Jason Morrell||70||26||3|
|Season 28-33||Jerzy Janich||69||63||13|
|Season 24-28||Cleo Hemphill||77||55||5|
last updated 3 November 2013
|56||V.207||TBD||55||IV.20||(#7) Seventh||54||V.158||(#1) First|
|53||IV.6||(#8) Eighth||52||IV.6||(#4) Fourth||51||IV.6||(#5) Fifth|
|50||IV.6||(#1) First||49||IV.6||(#1) First||48||IV.6||(#1) First|
|47||IV.6||(#3) Third||46||IV.6||(#2) Second||45||IV.6||(#4) Fourth|
|44||IV.6||(#2) Second||43||IV.6||(#3) Third||42||V.138||(#1) First|
|41||V.138||(#2) Second||40||V.138||(#2) Second||39||V.138||(#3) Third|
|38||IV.48||(#6) Sixth||37||IV.48||(#3) Third||36||V.70||(#1) First|
|35||V.70||(#3) Third||34||V.70||(#6) Sixth||33||V.70||(#4) Fourth|
|32||V.70||(#3) Third||31||V.70||(#6) Sixth||30||V.70||(#5) Fifth|
|29||V.70||(#6) Sixth||28||VI.190||(#1) First||27||VI.190||(#2) Second|
|26||VI.190||(#2) Second||25||VI.190||(#2) Second||24||VI.190||(#3) Third|
On December 20, 2008, our beloved Jacques was put to sleep. The Cooperative felt a heavy loss after his passing and immediately redesigned their kits and kit sponsorship in his honor. The team dedicated the 37th season to Jacques and Coach Júlio César decreed Para sempre Jacqo! (Forever Jacqo)
He is deeply missed, and while the sorrow has subsided, the Black Cats continue to honor our boy, Jacques.
On November 20, 2014, Wetherby Park BCFC decided to end it's decade long campaign.
For a few months, the Cooperative decided that the team would continue to play to see through promotion back to the IV league; however, the respite was not long. On March 31, 2015, HT-Mattias announced another massive price increase and a new RoadMap™ - the document that followed nearly one month later was grossly vague and HT tried to distance development from the new price increases.
This was the last straw after eleven years of play.
So, on May 12, 2015, tobinov announced the end of the campaign and on July 1, 2015 Wetherby Park went dark.