There was a fan’s forum this week in Lincoln and you may have noticed that yours truly didn’t cover it. Nor did I attend, nor did I watch at home.
I spent some time watching Sunderland ‘Till I Die once I got home on Wednesday evening, a great series on Netflix that has given me a new found respect for Chris Coleman and made me think Lewis Grabban is a bit of a tool. If you’re into football and haven’t watched it, it’s engrossing.
Anyway, you might be wondering why there’s no ‘thank you’ article this weekend. Well, it does have a limited life span. We met Stevenage as recently as December, so the article was pretty much covered then. If you missed it, click here. I’ve even done a classic match with them in the not so distant past as well, you can find that here.
What I want to talk about in my piece today is the fan’s forum, something you will notice has been omitted entirely from my site in the last week. There’s often a clamour for some sort of live blog, I noticed a live feed on the official social media channels and yet I didn’t pay any attention to it at all. Why? Because I can almost certainly guarantee that the following questions were asked.
When are we getting the new ground? Why do we leave nobody up at corners? Why can’t we stay at Sincil Bank? Will ‘insert player name here’ get a new deal?
There are pertinent questions to be asked, almost certainly about the early bird season ticket deal, but other than that these events are a PR exercise. It’s nice for players and manager to be available to fans, but the stuff that gets relayed to the supporters is standard rhetoric. Danny will politely swerve any question or recommendation about tactics because he’s paid to understand football and Bill from the Bridge McFarland Stand isn’t. Nicky, out of his comfort zone on stage, will hope Danny answers the tough questions and the players will wince through some stuff they shouldn’t have to be asked.
Liam Scully will be greeted like some sort of pantomime villain, the evil corporate entity destroying our club when the opposite is true and the whole question of a ground move will get rehashed in yet another article on Lincolnshire Live, suggesting there’s been developments when, frankly, there hasn’t.
Do I sound cynical? Maybe that’s because I am. I’m not saying the event isn’t worthwhile for some, it is, but fan’s forums are only really tasty when a club is struggling. Grimsby’s was brilliant, not for anyone from Grimsby but for us to laugh at. It was like a Carry On sketch, ‘Carry On Chairman’ where the comedy doesn’t stop. The Sheffield Wednesday one was good too, not just because Dejphon Chansiri backed Jos Luhukay, but because he sacked him the next day.
Let’s be honest, nobody watches a reality show about a functional family who don’t argue, have good jobs and get on with things do they? They watch the dysfunctional screw ups arguing and messing up their lives. People only truly enjoy the X-Factor when
they’re deaf and blind the bad acts are on at the beginning. Who wants to see a board getting a grilling when there’s little to discuss?
The furore over season tickets would have been one of the few interesting points raised but even then, nothing would come of it. I see the argument over the early bird discounts like two of my close friends falling out. It happened the other day, two people I class as friends started threatening each other on Facebook, each pushing the envelope a little further until it became uncomfortable. I could see errors in the way they both behaved and see the positive points both made. I see the ST debate a bit like that. I can understand what the club have tried to do, I can see how it’s been taken badly. I can’t say with any conviction either side is 100% wrong.
I do know that just like sitting my two mates together for a face to face chat, no good could come of the fan’s forum debate. I’ve had a read up afterwards, fans think the questions were dodged and I expected nothing less.
I wasn’t surprised to see I was right about the ground move question, a forum staple since circa 2012. The usual ‘why can’t we expand here or there’ seemed to come up too. Did the guy who thinks we should knock down the Selenity and start again pipe up? He has done the last three or four times I’ve been to these events.
If there is news to come out about the ground, it’s not going to be squeezed out of a diligent and well-prepared panel by two lorry drivers who usually spend their time fishing on the internet with outlandish statements like ‘The Cowley’s have been seen at Nottingham Forest’. It’s not going to be let slip in front of a room of waiting people by a loose-lipped board member. Like everything around our club it will be communicated on their terms, maybe badly, but on their terms.
I say ‘maybe badly’ because the way the ST message was relayed was the problem, not as much the message. Sure, the whole two-week period was short notice and I see that, but I also see the club’s side of it when they talk about budgeting, or stress that this price isn’t the actual early bird, it’s the bird earlier than the early bird. I’m no sure what that is, maybe the bird that stayed up all night and took a ride home on a milk float? It’s that bird.
Asking the manager about the future of players is never, ever going to draw an answer. He doesn’t tell Rob Makepeace about injuries in a press conference, so he’s not going to start discussing the future of his reserve left back with a room full of people, is he? No. It’s the same with someone asking about John Akinde’s strengths, do you not listen to the pre and post match press conferences? Danny is a patient and respectful man, but if I had to repeat myself as much as he did I’d start to get a bit ratty.
I’m afraid the fan’s forum brings nothing but stuff we didn’t already know, the usual barrage of moronic questions and a chance to get a photo with Danny and Nicky. That’s the only bit I’m sorry to miss out on because who doesn’t want a picture with those two winners?
By all means go along and by all means enjoy the evening, but never expect any sort of exciting revelation or titbit because with a club run as tightly as ours, it isn’t going to happen.