It’s a dream we all have, isn’t it?
We all hope to see the day when our numbers come up, and we’re suddenly incredibly well off. If that happened, certainly to me, I’d be looking to invest in Lincoln City heavily, but if money were no object, what would I like to spend it on at the club? Here are a few pie in the sky ideas for you to mull over as a bit of fun.
Almost every club has stars that help them achieve success, but when that player decides to move to seek glory elsewhere, he attracts a hefty price tag. Normally, this will scare away many clubs, but Lincoln City could attract some massive names without restrictions on budget. Of course, some players are overpriced, and I doubt very much we’d indulge in bidding wars or allow agents to line their pockets. However, there are some amazing footballers you could buy if you won the lotto. How many from the list could we attract to Lincoln City? That would be up to the agents and club officials to agree on. What I do know is we wouldn’t want to spend lavishly on players without considering other avenues.
The Imps current training ground is a great facility, but I’d wager they’d like to add more facilities there if they could. Maybe a big lottery win would allow us to buy the adjacent field and put in an extra pitch or two. I bet the club would love a sauna and pool down there too, so the players could relax and unwind as well as recuperate in state-of-the-art facilities. Having had a tour recently too, I imagine a facility for analysing opponents on a big screen, away from the rest of the building, might be nice too.
Should we stay, or should we go? The suggestion seems to be that we’re staying put at Sincil Bank for now, so where could we spend money on the ground? The planned development of the Stacey West needs funding, so a sensible lotto winner might choose to do that, but one with deep pockets and a sense of tradition might think about altering the plans somewhat. Wouldn’t it be nice to keep the views of the cathedral? If money really were no object, and a lotto winner could happily fund a decadent little project, wouldn’t it be ideal to build on top of the current South Park End? A second-tier there wouldn’t block the views of very much; in fact, it would give some excellent views of Lincoln. That could also incorporate a retractable roof for the fan village, meaning rainy January nights could still be enjoyed by supporters wanting to soak up the excellent pre-match atmosphere.
I’m not sure how I feel about a big screen at football, but there’s little doubt it would be great for fans and sponsors alike. The ideal placement would be either in the Stacey West and St Andrews corner, above the current temporary stand, or in the opposite corner, where there seems to be plenty of space. A big screen would open up advertising opportunities and give those with limited views of the action a much better feel for what was going on in the game. Imagine this: you’re sitting on the front row of the Stacey West, right in the corner near the entrance, and a goal is scored at the other end. No longer would you have to wait until the highlights were shown at home to appreciate whether it was good or not. I experienced that view for the Sunderland game last season, and whilst being in was an honour, the view was far from ideal. A big screen would sort that.
Statues at grounds can be a little controversial, but I don’t think my money-no-object idea is in the slightest bit out there. If I won the lotto and could spend on what I wanted, I’d have a statue of Keith Alexander somewhere near the entrance to the ground. Why Keith? Because he was a trailblazer, not only in terms of what he did for the club but also as the first black manager in the EFL. He deserves to be permanently recognised at the club, and with a lotto win, we could make that happen. He helped pull the club from the brink of destruction to the edge of promotion, and his achievements should never be forgotten.
I fully appreciate what LNER have put into our club and how valuable their partnership is, but in a world where money was no object, I would sponsor the stadium and rename it. The only name I can think of that is befitting of such a ground is Sincil Bank. That’s right; I’d put enough money in to buy the stadium naming rights for the entire duration of my lifetime and return it to our old name. There’s something very romantic about our ground, the longevity of it and how we’ve completely revamped it without cashing in, and that history has always seen us named Sincil Bank. Mind you, in the absence of a lotto win, I can identify it as the LNER Stadium. It’s better than some of the other options I’ve seen!
Players, statutes, ground names: there are so many things you could do if you were a lottery winner looking to inject huge sums of cash into the club. I think they all come with a caveat though – there would be no decadence, nothing irresponsible or threatening to the club’s future. Clive Nates and the current board have created a sustainable business model, a football club respected by industry insiders and supporters. While we’d love to see an Ipswich Town-style spending spree, it wouldn’t be befitting our ethos and values or our sustainable model. For now, we’ll stick with that, but you never know – if those numbers come up, you might be able to watch replays of the goals at a game and maybe even sit in the fan village on a frosty night and enjoy your Curry Jacks.