Friday, 20 April 2012

Has this been the worst season in living memory?

Short answer - yes.

Slightly longer answer - yes, of course it f*cking has been!

More considered answer -

Although it feels like we are getting relegated every other season, in real terms we have barely suffered a handful of relegations in my Poppies supporting lifetime.  Precious few promotions either, but that's another blog entirely! 

Back in the early 1980's, just after a unified national non-league top division was set up we were the perennial Forest Green Rovers of our day in so far as always seemed to just avoid relegation.  We managed it by finishing just above the relegation zone, unlike FGR who magically seem to be major beneficiaries of the end of season Conference Cup whenever they fill one of their accustomed bottom four places.

These seasons were grim, but we had Frankie Murphy to offset the gloom and keep us warm during the cold, cold winters.  We owned our ground.  We never actually went down!  After that we achieved numerous top 5 finishes, which these days would have meant a two-leg beating against a former league giant, but back in the 80's and 90's meant bugger all to anyone.  We even sacked managers for finishing near the top of the table! 

Peter Morris's fateful return ended up with him consigning us to the drop for the first time in a generation, but even then, under Shutt we almost pulled off the FGR, Great Escape.  And, as we bounced straight back in breathtaking fashion the following season, it seems almost like we were never actually relegated!

The 2002-3 relegation was a much grimmer affair.  A season of sustained struggle, total capitulation and highly paid players barely performing.  Sounds familiar?  This horror show was then magnified by our slipping into the repellent sludge that is the Ryman League and spending a year flailing around like a dying mammoth trapped in a tar pit, whilst pygmy teams we'd never heard of jabbed us unmercifully with their spears.  Thankfully we somehow managed to finish sufficiently close to halfway up the league to be "promoted" into the newly formed Conference North division. 

From there, boosted by Imraan's big bucks, savvy business acumen and excellent organisational skills (note - two of these may be lies) we eventually managed to beat down all the little part-time teams with our squad of highly paid ex, and future Football League stars, and get back into the big time of Conference National.  And that should be the end of the story, with us back where we belong.

If only.

Although previous relegations hurt and at the time seemed like the end of the world, none of them compare to what we are going through presently.  After a season of unremitting shite, served up by supposedly quality players, where our club has been run like a hideously bad joke, we are going down to the Conference North.  At best. Where at least 2/3 of the teams are waiting to beat the crap out of us for what we did to them the last time we were there, and the denizens of Corby are already whipping themselves up into an angry, bestial sexual frenzy at the thought of finally being back in the same division as us.  We will be playing miles away from home at Non Park.  We are still hideously in debt.  Imraan still hasn't quite got around to leaving.  The man looking to replace him has a certain...reputation.  We have no Manager yet in place, and almost certainly no players.

It really is difficult to see how it could be worse!

No comments:

Post a Comment