Views on all things connected with that little bit of heaven down in London S.E. 7 !
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Brian would be well impressed by events at The Valley on Boxing Day
On Boxing Day I left home at 9am and returned at 3pm following a totally wasted 6 hours. That's 6 hours I'll not be getting back much like the money spent on food, drink, lottery tickets and programmes.
Who's to blame ? Well, the club would have you believe the pantomime villain is Andy D'urso. Really ? Is he totally to blame ? I think the club has put a wonderful spin on things.
Given the late, late cancellation you'd not expect Paddy, Parky, Keithy or anyone else associated with the club to say anything other than that the game could have gone ahead. Whether they were right or wrong is pretty immaterial.
You've got to wonder why there wasn't a ptich inspection at 10am at the very latest. And that should have meant one final decision. Forgetting the likes of myself, the Saints fans were travelling a long way without the option of public transposrt too.
Never mind your Friday ptich inspection which was always a pointless exercise. If that ref had declared it unfit then I doubt it'd have been called off as it clearly wasn't on the morning of the game but that didn't happen.
Only one man's opinion counted despite whatever we may think of him. Someone should have insisted on that 10am at the latest final pitch inspection.
I checked the website before leaving and via my mobile whilst travelling down but no mention of any pitch inspections or anything to suggest the game was in any doubt. Radio 5 Live was on for the journey's duration but no mention of a ptich inspection at any stage. Surely the club should have made every effort to get that message across on a day when there were many cancellations and so few games going ahead.
No announcements once at the ground ( I was there from 11.15am ). The only one I heard was the one that said the game was off when I was in Bartrams. Only then because I was standing directly by a speaker. Even then I think it was delivered by " whispering " Ted Lowe !
Many people in Bartrams didn't hear that and were totally unaware 10 to 15 minutes after the game's cancellation.
That lack of and sub-standard communication from the club isn't good enough. As I said whatever we think of Mr D'urso and subsequently his decision, it was only his view that counted. That this mess happened at this time of year only exacerbated the situation.
The club has the mobile numbers of season ticket holders, is it too much to hope that a text could have been sent to keep folk updated. No doubt costs will be cited especially at a time when our lovely new website highlights an enthusiasm to bleed you dry for any information you may want. So what against the loss of good will of many fans...... a small price to pay.
I could go on a rant about the club's inconsistent policy towards the fall and rise of the rate of vat but won't. I think it's a sad indictment of the direction the club is heading.
On top of all of the above and a nod towards poor communication again..............an article in the Boxing Day programme talks of the game against Swindon being on the Tuesday as both managers have agreed to play then in order to give the players an extra day off after playing on the Saturday even though I thought Sky dictated otherwise. Everything else I've seen suggests that it's still on for the Monday at 5.05pm. Now, like Coronation Street's Mavis Riley, I don't really know........
Given the game, I assume, will be on telly on a bank holiday on another cold day do I travel down ? Hmmmm.............guess I won't be the only one giving that some thought !
I saw my first game back in the sixties when my dad took me along on a very wet and windy day. I recall having to turn my back to the pitch because of it.....shame you can't do that sometimes now !
I sit in the East Stand with my lads who both keep the faith.
I live 75 miles from the Valley having moved away from the area in 1984 but my heart has never left !