Behind the chants: Some honest reaction from opposition supporters to our ST sales

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

Do you know what gets to me, other than Forest Green, David Flitcroft, Steve Evans, Paul Raynor, Ollie Palmer, etc etc?

It’s when other fans chant things like ‘where were you when you were sh…’. It shouldn’t, it’s a football chant that I would happily join in with if the boot were on the other foot. It does get to me though, mainly because when we were rubbish, really rubbish, I was watching. It also gets to me because it belittles the achievements of the team over the last few years.

It also feeds an elitist element of our fanbase that think because they saw us lose to Welling, they’re ‘better’ than someone who discovered us in their front room as we beat Oldham. 

What is equally as angering is that if you ask any of those fans chanting at us what they really thought, those with half a brain would actually say what we’ve achieved is first-rate. Seriously, we don’t play Arsenal in the FA Cup every week, do we? Yet we take thousands to MK Dons, we travel in good numbers all across the country and we’ve sold out of season tickets. Our success in the FA Cup brought fans here, but the supporters have stayed. Okay, we’ve won three trophies since that FA Cup run, but our numbers have shown no signs of decline.

In the real world, football fans would love their club to be in our position. That’s why I get wound up when I hear the chanting, I really shouldn’t as it’s all part of the game, but I just do.

What really warms my cockles is reading praise for our club, not sycophantic praise from one fan trying to make friends on a forum, but the sort that largely goes unseen. That’s because it’s genuine, an appreciation from one fan of our achievements that’s in no way designed to feed our ego, nor make friends.

In the 60s we were fairly poor, but the Sincil bank terrace was often still packed

On my statistics page for this site, I get to see where a majority of my clicks come from. It’s usually Facebook, Twitter, News Now and email clients where my subscribers get my posts sent, although occasionally I see clicks coming in from a forum of another club. I’ll be honest, it’s not always complimentary and if it starts something like ‘FGR Net’ I tend to skip past; nothing good can come of looking at that. When it’s from the Vitals network I tend to have a look as, every so often, it’s courtesy of our own Vitals forum and I want to know if it’s being nice to me or not.

There have been a few clicks from such a network on George’s piece about season ticket sales and I thought I’d have a look. The source was Vital Gillingham and what I read there brightened my day. In fact, I wasn’t even due to write anything today; it’s Fe’s birthday (my partner for those who don’t know) and we’ve been wandering around Horncastle spending money I can ill afford on books and clothing I don’t really need. What I’ve read on there has prompted me to break off the relaxation and put a finger to keyboard.

I liked the praise, I liked the words coming from a group of supporters who probably didn’t intend a Lincoln fan to see them or pick up on them. What I wanted to do is replicate a couple below for you, hopefully giving you a warm glow about where we are as a club.


Blueworm – This a pretty amazing at Lincoln. From my trips there years ago I always thought of it as one of those places where the locals hardly knew the club existed.

LancsGodonRoad – Impressive marketing, it seems that they`ve only stopped selling ST`s (6,300 sold) so that they can ensure some flexibility with away fan configurations etc. Lincoln is half the size of the Medway towns and the ST prices are only slightly lower than the Gills. Well done the Imps.

ME7_Gills – Very impressive what they have achieved there, climbing the leagues and a couple of good cup runs. Quite amazing their crowds, I remember going there, they used to barely get 2,000.

Vambogills – It’s amazing what the ‘feelgood’ factor can generate. Hope ours keeps a head of steam up.

Trev_GFC – Great to see Lincoln’s crowds have rocketed since dropping out of the FL. same with others – the likes of Hereford and Stockport benefitted from good increases too. Orient. Were Wrexham another team with 2-3k crowds until dropping out? Luton have always had 8k crowds, even if they’re mostly bellends.

markinkent – I am a regular visitor to lincoln for work. If you do the away game go “uphill” before or after the game for drinks. The walk up steep hill is well worth the effort. It’s no doubt that recent success in the FA Cup and JPT helped raise the profile in the towns. Just as playoff finals did for us. The key or luck is that they built on this by winning promotions. The town council are supportive and its a feel good factor in the town. I hope they do well.

The point here is that from the inside looking out, it is easy to miss what has happened to our club. I banged on about the booing against Colchester and I will always stand by those comments. I think it illustrates how perspective can be lost when you’re on the inside of something. All last season my mate Pete was telling me Lincoln were going to win the league; he watched us a bit but is a Manchester United season ticket holder (Ben, you might know him…). From the outside looking in, he saw success. Looking out at him, I saw tough fixtures away at Mansfield and Bury, I saw 2006’s collapse and feared the worst. Perspective.

This pre-season I think has actually been quite calm, there hasn’t been a clamour for new faces and supporters have been widely accepting of the situation we’re in; looking to establish. There has been the odd mumbling about fans stopping going if we lose a few and that sort of thing, but I think that’s bound to happen; it happens to Man Utd, it happens to Maidstone and it’ll happen to us.

What we need to really understand onto is that we’re still in the grasp of something great. These ST sales have been applauded internally, but deep down a lot of other fans are applauding them, on their forums and maybe to each other. They’ll still want to know where we were when we were shit next season, but there is grudging respect for the phenomenal rise we’ve experienced.

It’s not just down to DC and NC either, sure they’ve been the catalyst and the major factor in our rise, but you have to applaud the board and office team for where we are as a club. We’ve even got praise above for holding tickets back so we can be flexible with allocations and the like. Liam and his team are often criticised for a lot of things, but our strategy is being recognised as strong elsewhere.

It’s made me feel good on this damp and drizzly summer’s day. I’m off out tonight to smash a big ass steak at the Mall in Woodhall Spa and I shall do so with a little renewed vigour thanks to those Gillingham supporters. Hopefully, one or two of you might as well.

 

 

 

14 Comments

  1. You know what Gary, there are 3 or 4 so called old timers who sit in the seats behind us who think they are special because they were there years ago and through the non league days. But they look down on Danny’s playing methods and tactics, they don’t understand modern tactics and game plays, criticise everything, even when we are winning, which is most of the time. They are not liked by many of the surrounding fans who find their foul vitriol boring and inappropriate. Many of the new fans are better human beings than they are and so much more appreciated. These old gobshites think that they are God’s gift because they go to away games but in reality they are really not very nice people . Frankly the club would be better off without them!!!!!

    • If that is the only statement you can make regarding long serving and true supporters then heaven help you what a pathetic view of other supporters whatever their age grow up man!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I saw us lose to Welling, it was grim. It was watched by people from a London red bus going past the small ground. I didn’t see us play Arsenal in the away end in the FA cup, I had to watch from an expensive neutral box. People I know were watching Man Utd and spurs play the week we played Welling. They were there front and centre against Arsenal. I am always going to feel bitter about that. I love that Lincoln are doing great. I can’t forget that during the time we played Welling we nearly folded and no one really cared but for Dorian who stumped up the cash to save us when the crowd funded didn’t.

    If I am honest I am hoping we are a bit rubbish this season because I want to go to about 5 or 6 away games with my young daughter. No chance if we are doing well, very good chance if lower half.

    What I have loved is being able to keep in touch with so many ways fuelled by success. Hope and glory, lots of blogs, and to an extent the IFollow

    • Hope you got a myimps membership and you will stand a good chance of attending most away games depending on our allocations.

        • Not paying £15 for the queue jump? Negates all you said in your earlier post, if you don’t buy a ticket you can’t win the lottery, etc. I had MyImps last season, renewed last week, not yet missed out on any games I wanted to get to in the last 3 seasons although it got a bit squeaky at times.

          • “Negates all you said in your earlier post “Not in the slightest. My grumble is that there are now so many fans it makes it difficult to see games and I missed out on one of the biggest days of our club, I had literally been dreaming of a tie away at Arsenal for years as I play football near the ground and have done for over a decade. That I now have to pay £15 to be able to get to games because there are so many more fans that were not there when the club nearly died hardly proves my point wrong. I am not saying that I don’t see how I can be seen as unfair and it is a good thing for revenues and the club etc, I am just saying how I feel.

            The fact that four years ago this failed https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-31649234, and that two years later we sold out the away section of the Emirates (9k) will always sadden me.

  3. As a MyImps member I went to 10 away games last season and don’t imagine it will be any different next season – in fact it should be easier to get tickets as a lot of the grounds will have a higher capacity.

  4. Gary, me and you have crossed swords in the past, mainly because your view on certain fans. Firstly you called the new influx ‘tourists’ implying in my opinion that they had no right to be there because they didn’t attend a few seasons ago, secondly you were berating some who sat near you moaning and lastly the ones that moaned after a run of 4 poor performances against Colchester. I wasn’t in any of them groups but feel if they pay there hard earned money they’re entitled to an opinion. The recent influx has made it a pain to get away tickets, also probably not helped you if like before you don’t have a season ticket, but I welcome them and feel after 3 seasons they are part of us.

    • James, we have crossed swords on many occasions and as a long-term fan I respect your opinion even if I disagree with you on occasion. The main argument I beleive we had was around the FPS and ST holders.

      I’m puzzled though as I don’t feel I have ever been derogatory to new and returning fans; on the contrary, I have championed the influx of supporters. Yes, in the first instance they may have been tourists although I don’t recall I labelled them as such. However, anyone putting money into our football club is a fan, just like a tourist moving to an area they visit becomes a local and I never had a problem seeing new faces at the ground. Happy to stand corrected but I think you may be mixing me up with someone else here.

      I did do an article waaaay back after our FA Cup game against Altrincham where I lashed out at some fans around me for the abuse they were doling out on the day; I stand by that. After that game, we beat Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley and yet on that afternoon I sat in the stands listening to how rubbish the team was. Three trophies later, I believe the criticism was unjustified. I also stand by the Colchester comments as well; we had won the league and yet people were getting angry. That sort of attitude, one of entitlement, belittles everything we have achieved since the dark days of the BSP.

      I delighted you still read the blog, I sincerely hope a difference of opinion wouldn’t stop you coming up and saying hello at a game some time. In fact, I quite like a bit of verbal jousting from time to time, as long as both sides respect each other’s right to an opinion.

      • Yes we did disagree many moons ago over the FPS, I let my feelings known to Helgy face to face, in fairness he has done an excellent job fund raising even though things changed somewhat. IMHO he was not offering anything to ST holders, I wrote to Mr Cooke but like any complaint or observation it was ignored, he did little or nothing to improve the image of the club. I have since joined the FPS as well. I like you want the club to continue on the up, personally speaking I feel we have come as far as we can. I take one of your moaning fans to away fans and regularly have arguments about Akinde and the tactics we play, possession football and defending deep isn’t easy on the eye but it’s what we do best. Anyway we’ll beg to differ on fans.

      • Yeah for what it is worth I have always had you down as a defender of the new fans. You have tempered my annoyance, including the guest article on a new fan who came with her son which was superb

  5. Putting the crowds into the context of the city and surrounding population, in the Taylor years and in the old 3rd division, we regularly got crowds of 10 to 14,000. I left the UK in 1982 so saw very little if anything of the Murphy years and I can’t really speak for crowds then, but when my dad started watching the Imps in the mid 50’s after he was posted to Swinderby in his national service days the crowds were often around the 20,000 mark. The following has always been there its just that most folk are very reluctant to pay good money to watch awful football played by so called professional players who were just there to pick up a wage. Its the belief in the team and the spirit in the club again that gives me the most pleasure and long may it continue!

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