Football Season 2023/24

Good to read this in the sense that it shows once again that what we know and what we think we know are often miles apart.

I could name several players with a reputation for being disruptive. The real issue being that they’re gay and unwelcome. We once had a couple of high profile loanees at different times. One rumoured to have fallen out with the manager. Sleeping with a board members wife might have done it though. The other was rumoured to be destined for big things when he arrived. Barely lasted one game. Rumour was Alex Ferguson had fallen out with Flynn. Reality was that the player had been caught stealing the possessions of his own team mates.

At the moment there are very credible stories doing the rounds that the reason we’ve not started building our new Kop is related to our supporters trust refusing to release the ground release to our owners. This suits people who were glad to see the back of WST for all sorts of reasons - good and bad - but the reality is much more mundane and entirely related solely to building issues.

Lambert had long gone before Bowkett and McNally cleared the debts.
Once they departed we have sunk back into debt through a couple of abysmal transfer windows and the self funding model which has proved to be anything but self funding.

The only way the owners of a club “clear” debt is by obtaining loans leveraged against the assets of your club - ground, training ground etc. This is the twisted logic of the benign ownership model. To clear you debt is a temporary thing achieved by putting you into more debt.

One alternative is that owners put their own money in. This is termed “investment” but there isn’t a club in the UK where such owners haven’t wanted a ROI. If there’s a risk they won’t get that then all those investments suddenly become… a debt. The only difference is that you owe your owners not a financial institution. The outcome is generally litigation and witch hunts etc.

Outside of fan ownership, which thus far only Exeter have managed to sustain long term, the only other sustainable model is the one you have. Keep the debt ticking over at a low level.

Your new majority shareholder will put in an initial investment of his own money but this will largely be mythical. Nothing is given for free. Everything is leveraged against something.

Again the comparison with ourselves is interesting. A initial £2m put in by our owners. No evidence they’ve put in a penny after that. From zero debt to £3m in a season with nothing to show for it bar a better team, a documentary which is closer to fiction/fantasy and lots of ketch sales. Now from £3m to nearly £11m in a season and a prediction of £25m plus next season. The theory is that we need to build the Kop; rebuild a main stand and reach the Championship to become “sustainable”. By that time the debt will be so massive the only way out will be sale or promotion.

Those of our fans who think these figures represent what our owners have spent are naive in the extreme. It’s unlikely they’ve put in more than £2m per season. The real reason they need the lease is that it gives them greater ability to leverage against assets they don’t currently own or have yet to build.

Promotions have kept the banks away since 2015 at our club but I’m afraid we began to think we were a yo-yo club and spent ahead of the parachute payments.
Promotion works if you can keep doing it but in our case and similarly West Brom one failure and it’s over.
I admire teams like Brighton, Brentford and Crystal Palace who have been very disciplined in their approach and fully valued good recruitment.
Our head of recruitment moved to Middlesbrough and their rise has coincided with our demise.
Unless you find a hobby billionaire it’s surprisingly difficult to deal with promotion.

Keeping my eye on the Lancs Derby with the sound down. Decent game decent crowd and best of all when a team scores players and crowd celebrate knowing they can. Love that about the Championship. [Woodwork hit 3 times now]

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I have zero opposition to VAR in principle but in practice it ought not to have been introduced before sorting out the utter shambles that are the hand ball and offside rules.

If the implementation were also closer to rugby and less about a desperation to misguidedly retain the primacy of the referees final decision then it could work but…

… it’s lovely not being in the EPL and being able to just celebrate immediately you know a flag hasn’t been raised or a whistle blown.

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I never wanted it, but it’s here to stay I fear. Truth is players and fans thought it would eradicate poor decisions but ‘clear and obvious error’ and ‘serious missed incident’ are subjective terms so it can’t. Result, and it was predictable, contentious decisions move from pitch to video booth with the added complexity of should we or shouldn’t we back (undermine) the on field ref. Waiting 4 minutes for a decision in a fast moving sport is ridiculous. That said it could probably be improved by picking up best practice from rugby/cricket as you suggest and by requiring the video ref to talk the crowd through the decision making process on screen before he/she makes the final decision. But I’d dump it. More trouble than it’s worth. VAR I think is for TV fans really, rather than fans in the ground. On a related note there’s too much TV analysis/punditry. Most of it’s boring, most pundits, especially ex players, don’t appear to understand the rules and the bloke/woman expert who supports the commentator during the game is a waste of a wage.


I think VAR made life impossible when it tried to measure infinitesimal differences.
It was supposed to stop howlers. Forget body parts and strange lines and go back to whether the player was clearly off side.
As for fouls etc play a couple of times at real time from a couple of angles and decide.
All these ultra slow motion replays from numerous angles confuses the matter and leads to mistakes. Ultra slow motion can make a handshake look like GBH.
This will cut down the time we forgotten fans are left freezing waiting for a millimetre decision and draining all excitement out of the game.


Well, other than the first 20 minutes of the second half, The Mighty Whites largely controlled today’s game, and banked the three points again, which keeps us in touch with the leaders, since The Foxes lost against Boro today.

Worryingly, though, both Rodon and Rutter were limping at the end.


Well, according to the meeedya, he’s proper fed up, and just wants to be away … … … he seemed to me to be pretty committed in the 15 minutes or so that he had as a substitute today,


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Any news on Sam Byram’s injury Dave?

And was Firpo as bad as usual in his place? :rofl:

No news on Sam’s (possible) injury, other than he seemed rather dischuffed to being subbed … … … may just have been a precaution, since he was already carrying an injury from a couple of games ago.

Firpo was OK today, he needs to get back up to match speed, but he did all right.

I think many of us were originally getting a wee bit carried away with the thought of us solving the left back issue with a signing from Barcelona … … … erm, maybe not. :man_shrugging:

We were quite slick up front today, and, as they say, “the only way is up.”


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Thank heavens we managed to come back from behind to win this afternoon.
Not the most convincing win but very welcome.
New Sporting Director starts Monday :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:!

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Firpo is fine going forward but a hopeless defender, he just can’t tackle. We really need a proper left back and shift Byram to the right side. Interesting that Farke is playing Gray at right back, he seems to have realised that Luke Ayling is past it!

Steady as she goes.

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More cracking entertainment at Portman Road - great goals, loadsa chances, comedy moments, a penalty finally given for manhandling in the box, a sending off, oppo manager yellow card & two rounds of fisticuffs. Perfect!

Town are going to get turned over big-time soon but for now just enjoying the ride.

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Still hoping this isn’t a dream.

Also wondering if word has got out that the new SD won’t tolerate players with the wrong attitude and they could be shown where the exit door is come January?

Can we afford to get rid of anyone?
I saw recently an estimate of our total debt to be £96 million!

It’s a hamstring it’s also a worry given his deputy. We play some scintillating football, over elaborate at times around the box tbf, but beautiful to watch. Poor finishing turned what should have been a stroll into a nervy finish. A worry for me, every sub makes us worse!

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Other than the result, I know nothing of todays game but on the evidence of the past few games I can think of half a dozen we wouldn’t miss.

There was an interesting post on the PinkUn forum this week (by someone who sounded as if he knew what he was talking about) which broke down the supposed debt & it didn’t sound as daunting as the bare figure makes it sound.

Can’t say anything more at the moment as I am off to the Cotswolds early tomorrow to scatter my late wife’s ashes in the company of two good friends who, ironically, we met 44 years ago when we all worked in Norwich (Provincial Insurance, St Faiths lane). I attended most home games with him & it’s been mutual suffering with him most of the time since.

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Been a long day but I’m taking myself to bed purring after that performance. A banana skin even before the Mullin suspension but we bossed that from start to end and arguably had 8 MOTM performances. Only 8 cos the keeper had zero saves to make; Lee didn’t get into gear for an hour and Hayden understandably tired. Unbeaten in 11 and we’re a bit like a luxury car that wasn’t used over the Summer but is getting intothe groove now. Couldn’t be happier after that. Great goal after 57 seconds. Second was even better.

Gills should have equalised and should have had a penalty but… they didn’t :slight_smile:

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I’ve seen the penalty shout, and I would have given it if I were the ref. Evens out the one we didn’t get against Mansfield, albeit that would not have changed the outcome of the game.

We are handily placed on 2nd, but as a long-suffering Wrexham supporter, I wait for the wheels to come off!