Friday, 21 April 2017

Getting close to seasons end.....

.....and judging by elements of our support who are camped out on Facebook, it can't come a moment too soon.  Having suffered through the absolute worst season in Poppies history (finishing 9th in the league and winning the County Cup) many fans seem to be heading into the summer break questioning their continued allegiance to the club.

And who can blame them?

Does any club that doesn't win their division every year deserve to continue to exist?  Why should they?  If a club can't guarantee silverware surely they should be wound-up on the first Sunday after the season finishes?

Why can't football clubs understand the very simple fact of life that they must guarantee only two things - wins and promotion.  That's all.  Nothing else.

No-one wants to worry our waverers any more than this apocalyptic season has already disturbed them, but, and whisper it quietly, we have no guarantee of promotion next season either!  Not only will we still have the clubs in our division we couldn't beat this season, but our opponents will be augmented by all or some of the following clubs - Hereford, Salisbury, Royston, Farnborough, Margate, Worcester, Corby and the Scum-lite.

We will no longer be able to bask in the comfortable certainty of being a "big club" in a small league anymore.  For reasons I've never quite understood, too many of us seem to believe we are a fallen giant, simply awaiting our day to rise again.  Really?  We managed to squeak an average home attendance of just over 500 this year.  Hereford averaged over 2700.

And the lower reaches on non-league football, below Conference National (for us oldies) are awash with other, REAL fallen giants.  Stockport County still average over 3000.  Kiddy, Darlington, and Halifax all average over 1700 for home games.  Made-up clubs such as Fylde and FC United average about the 2000 mark.

Old friends Boston, Telford, Ebbsfleet and Altrincham all average well over 1000 per home match, even though Alty are rock bottom and about to join us at our lowly level next season their fans still turn up in good numbers.

When you put our relatively paltry gates against these clubs where does our incredible sense of entitlement come from?  Let's not deceive ourselves.  We are where we are for a reason.  We are not good enough to be higher.  We've all under-performed this season.  All of us.  As a club, from top to bottom.  Lumping all the blame on Marcus is simplistic in the extreme.

When we stop blaming Marcus, or Imraan or Latimer Park, and start turning up in the sort of numbers that comparable clubs do, we may start dragging our way back up the divisions.  If appreciable numbers of our "supporters" are waiting for Conference football or a shiny new ground before they deign to commit themselves again, there's every possibility this day will never happen.

Plenty of room for more supporters.....

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