EFL Chairman Shaun Harvey was effusive in his praise for City yesterday, keen to piggy-back on to our win in the Checkatrade Trophy. Apparently, he said Lincoln were “one of our clubs” whilst gushing about our achievement.
Sadly, they are hollow words from a man happy that we saved face for his madcap experiment and sycophantic pandering to the Premier League. He doesn’t care one iota about Lincoln City, here we are less than 48 hours on from the game and we’re back to being treated with contempt.
Yeovil were scheduled to face Fleetwood in the week commencing 22nd January, the very same week we beat Peterborough. They were also due to face Manchester United on Friday 26th of January. The good ‘ol FA managed to graciously shift their quarter-final game to February 6th, allowing them an extra days preparation for their eventual 4-0 defeat.
Now, because they played on Tuesday, as we did, our game against Chelsea U21s had to be played this week. That left us facing the same dilemma as Yeovil, playing a Tuesday and a Friday. Danny Cowley spoke today of a desire to move the game to Saturday, he approached Cambridge and in the spirit of fair play, they said no. Apparently it was initially due to ‘footballing reasons’, in other words we’d be tired and they want to take advantage of that.
The FA weren’t happy with that, so Cambridge changed their mind and said it was for policing reasons. Of course, the FA wouldn’t go against the boys in blue, so the game stays put. 7.45pm Tuesday, Checkatrade semi-final, 72 hours later it is back to league action.
Personally, I find it disgusting that the FA have ruled in favour of Yeovil and not of us in the same breath. It is the sort of response we’ve come to expect though, is it not? Last year we had to wait out the Nantwich decision and then were forced to play them at short notice. We might be media darlings, we might be Shaun Harvey’s favourite name to drop, but we’re still viewed with utter contempt as far as I can see.
I think it’s a bit of a poor show from Cambridge too. There’s no more history of violence between the two teams than there is Notts County or Mansfield, so playing Friday night didn’t make sense anyway, but refusing to move the tie is pretty poor form. Yeah, I know it is a game you want to win, but from a Lincoln point of view it isn’t particularly sporting.
Changing from footballing reasons to the police is pretty poor form to. It’s like being caught doing something naughty as a kid, telling the truth first out but then when the trouble starts just making up a lie to get out of it. I would imagine that policing a football game in the dark is tougher than doing it during the day, surely? The Abbey Stadium isn’t a good one to get to either, so you’re going to have a couple of thousand fans wandering around in the dark before and after the game. Policing reasons? Pull the other one Cambridge.
Danny says we don’t go to Cambridge with excuses which I guess is fair enough. Instead, we go with a desire to win and 1,500-odd supporters intending to cancel out the home support. They’re not doing well and a bad start will turn their fans quicker than a warm day turns milk.
As for changing dates, I suppose we ought to be concerned about Yeovil getting through to the final instead of Shrewsbury, because if they don’t fancy it on the 8th the FA might well shift a few fixtures around to give them a bit more time. After all, they do appear to be the favoured ones don’t they?
As for Shaun Harvey, I’d much prefer it if you’d leave us out of your media friendly sound bites, if its all the same. It is he who has caused this whole furore anyway, the B team situation and ridiculous League Three was his idea. He’s a PR disaster, always has been and despite us being the ones who did help keep the Checkatrade Trophy barely reputable, I don’t want my club used by him as propaganda for more of his awful ideas.
Pictured Top: Action from the Imps v Cambridge earlier in the season, courtesy of Graham Burrell