Oi! Lee Power we’re bored, bored, bored!
Brendan Hobbs on how Lee Power couldn’t care less about the health of our club, Swindon Town Football Club…
Can you resign as a fan of a football club?
You can from a job of course, if you’re frustrated, stymied or bored of your boss and his clueless antics – surely you’d look for something better? Something that appeals, something that promises fun, challenge and interest.
Of course you can’t resign as a football fan, not having put in over 30 years of effort and support, not when I’m this close to my carriage clock. But I have noticed a bit of sea-change in my football-supporting attitude. I really can’t be bothered to go, I do of course, but there is a reluctance that simply wasn’t there before.
I left early during the Rovers and Cobblers games – and I never go early. I was just so bored and frustrated. All this talk of the attractive ‘Swindon Way’, but honestly, the stuff I’ve been watching so far this season has been complete pigswill.
I had just managed to shrug off the memory of the shite that was served up in the previous campaign – and now it seems to be back. The final whistle at the end of last season was met with a massive amount of relief and exhaustion, much like seeing a treasured but suffering family pet finally being put to sleep. There, there, the pain is over – the autopsy can finally be started.
Except there was no autopsy, no investment, no new players of note.
And why the hell not? Autopsies are normally carried out when someone has died in suspicious circumstances – and for some reason, the death of last season and this, does seem very suspicious. In fact, the decline in health of our club over the years has been alarming, one minute it was a cheeky, smiley Zammo, the next it was a hammered, drug-addled Zammo. With droopy-eyes, sunken cheek bones, left alone and slumped in a toilet, used hypodermic poignantly rolling out of its hand.
Just say no! And it appears plenty of fans have, with attendances (and enthusiasm) dropping alarmingly this year. The non-announcement of the season ticket renewal figure should’ve been the first warning sign to be detected on the scan. I know a few season ticket holders who muttered those terrible, terrible words ‘I’m just going to pick and choose which games to go to next year’.
So what would any autopsy report contain? The season has died from a lack of investment? The squad was left malnourished over the course of the past few years and season-saving injections were not administered at the right time? The change in care personnel was not carried out correctly and shift notes not passed over in a timely manner? I think the basic reason for our slow death is obvious – neglect. We have been failed by those who are supposed to love, nurture and care it for it – and by any standards this has not happened for a while.
I tweeted after the Bolton Wanderers game on Saturday “I’m now fearing for the health of our club, it feels like it’s finally been carted off the critical wing & driven to a nearby hospice” quickly followed by “Grieving relatives all around, whilst the guy at the top is busy making calls to see how much he can flog the nearly deceased’s Ford Sierra for”
Power couldn’t care less about the ‘health’ of the club, he’s here to make money and any penny spent on team strengthening is money he losing. He’d rather sell the family estate to fund some new projects.
We’ve swapped Luongo, Byrne, Gladwin, Ajose etc etc for good money and replaced them with, well, nothing. We have a tiny, tiny squad that is threadbare when it’s at its strongest.
I don’t really blame Williams or Cooper before him, they once had their hands on some quality power tools and were expected to craft a trophy or two with them. But over the course of a few years they were sold and replaced with flint pick axes and animal bones.
The strange thing is, we’ve experienced far poorer starts than this one and been in worse financial situations, but I’ve never felt as negative towards the club as I do now. Power’s reticence to speak to the media, the lack of buzz, the lack of fans, the total lack of engagement and financial transparency. The fact he moans about low attendances, but yet does absolutely nothing to promote the club in the media, a decision that annoys me beyond belief.
Where are the adverts and posters promoting the game, where is the marketing strategy to coax fans though the turnstiles? As someone who works in the media marketing industry I find this frustrating. I take it there is no-one in the club that drives such initiatives, tries to persuade the floating fans to return and aims to reach out to the new?
A quick search on Google for ‘Things to do in Swindon in 2016’ took me to TripAdvisor’s website and if you look right at the bottom of the list the words ‘The County Ground’ do appear, very small under a subsection of ‘Other Outdoor Activities’. It appears below the Abbey Stadium, the Museum of Computing and St Mary’s Church, good grief.