Terrace Trash - Close Season Thoughts
The end of the season is just about the best time to take
stock and try and look beyond the everyday mid-season worries of someone's sore
hamstring and someone else's inability to use their right foot.
The last season wasn't much to get excited about. The football peaked at
ordinary and we drifted through the season with no great passion. Problems
weren't corrected and only in the last few weeks of the season did we stop hemorrhaging
goals in every game. Fans walked out in huge numbers and the board seemed either
helpless or hopeless in the face of a seemingly insoluble debt problem. There
was plenty to have even the most sunny optimist counting their pills.
For those of us not inclined to being best disposed towards
our current boardroom regime there was plenty of opportunity to be critical.
Answers to financial questions were still not all forthcoming and the AGM
shambles did look like a group of people trying to bounce something past the
shareholders. Players were not paid and yet more left. The club failed to settle
old debts and came perilously close to being chucked out of the FA Cup. There
were pub teams that looked more professional than City.
Yet looking down from the quiet still mountain peaks of the
close season not everything is so bad. The club is still here and we are still
playing football. Admittedly the main debt is not decreasing, but enough seems
to have been done to keep the hungriest of the wolves from the door. Meadow Park
has not yet been built on and the people we suspected to have intentions of
running the club down have even been serving in the bar. There are still strange
things going on, things still being done badly - but the evidence of an evil
plan seems to now be somewhat scant.
Then there are the things to give us some real sense of hope.
The appointment of Chris Burns is a very welcome sign that we are still
rebuilding for the future. Burns could very well be an excellent manager, at the
very worst he is a man who dislikes losing and has good contacts in football at
many levels. For once we have bounced back from a potential setback in Tommy's
resignation and have still found ourselves at least as well off as were before.
Then there are indications that at long last the board may be realising the need
to listen to those around them. The introduction of Brian Godfrey and Jason
Mills on to the board should at least add a few voices of experience and sanity
to their discussions. Add to that a probable Supporters Club representative and
you have what is looking dangerously similar to the structure of a modern
football club. All that is needed is the cash.
Of course this is no road to Damascus style conversion. Some
things are still far from right. Our friendly fixture list reads like the very
definition of a wasted opportunity at a time when we still desperately need
fresh income. There still seems to be precious little innovation or direction
from the club itself, more and more fundraising is being left to the Supporters
Club. Only time will tell if enough has been done to begin making a difference
to the club's debts. City fans shouldn't feel the need to clam up or to be cowed
into failing to point out what still has to be done. However we should also have
the grace to welcome what improvements there have been and hope that
encouragement of these first steps will lead to giant strides in the future.
With the new Supporters Club structure possibly feeding into the board you have
an easy way to channel ideas and criticisms direct to where the key decisions
should be made.
By all means grumble, there is still plenty to grumble about. But things don't
change by themselves. To horribly misquote yet another US President perhaps it
is time to ask not what your football club can do for you, but what you can do
for your football club.