Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why Should The Fans Suffer ?

Interesting blog post on BBC Football here. As usual, while there are some good comments in there, it doesn't take long for someone to cry "After all, why should the football fan suffer ?". Sigh.

First of all, as is pointed out almost immediately, when these reckless gambles pay off, the fans benefit hugely. Trophies, bragging rights, the lot. Portsmouth won their first trophy in what, 50 years ?

Secondly, clubs are driven to take these gambles in part because of fan pressure. If fans accepted that their club's income was not high enough to compete for promotion, or to avoid relegation, realised that club and players were doing their best within these constraints and took bad results or seasons on the chin, then fair enough. But what really happens is that the majority are booing the team off and whingeing on phone-ins about the club "not showing any ambition". QPR lost £19 million last year according to their accounts. If the club sold players and cut wages to the extent required to keep the yearly deficit to a manageable level (not break even, just manageable), the majority of fans (most certainly the loud majority) would throw a fit.

And thirdly, when club A spends beyond its means, wins promotion and then goes into administration a year later, sticking two fingers up at all its creditors, explain to me why the fans of club B, who played by the book and missed out on promotion should suffer ? When their club didn't even do anything wrong ?

Once again, I endorse the comments of Barry Hearn a couple of months ago. Overspending such that you end up having to go into administration is cheating. Hammer clubs who do it. Double relegation. Fans can either realise in advance that this is not the way to go about things or fucking lump it.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

QPR 3 West Brom 1

It seemed churlish not to go to this, seeing as I had already bought the ticket and I was arriving at Gatwick 12.15 lunchtime. Needless to say though my luggage took ages to be disgorged and I rolled up to Loftus Road at about 2.57pm. It's difficult to evaluate the entire situation based on one game, with the changes at the club and in my own relationship to the game in general, so for now I'll keep it relatively factual.

While 3-1 against a team in 2nd place going in is a great result, I didn't think Rangers played well at all. For sure they worked hard and stuck at it, but after a decent first 20 minutes their passing was poor to say the least. Fortunately, by that time the home team were two goals to the good, thanks in no small part to the hapless Scott Carson. I've commented on him before, when playing for Charlton, and now he looks even worse. How he played for England, and in a crucial qualifier not some pointless friendly, is beyond me. First he spilled Adel Tarrabt's low cross to present Jay Simpson with an open goal, then he allowed the not exactly prolific Matt Connolly to slide the ball through his legs after a good Rangers passing move. West Brom were soon on top despite the 2-0 deficit and Chris Brunt pulled one back after an equally good move by the visitors.

Rangers were clinging on for 20 minutes after half time but managed to stay in front thanks to some desperate blocks and decent saves from on-loan keeper Carl Ikeme. Then Akos Buzsaky's 45-yard free kick (of course intended as a cross) bounced up into the top corner with the entire visiting defence standing watching to seal the win. Indeed, Simpson and Rowan Vine both had decent chances to add a completely unrealistic gloss to the win. Of the players I hadn't seen before, Ikeme did well as I said, Matt Hill was keen but looked a little short of quality, while Tamas Priskin had almost no impact on the game at all. Given that Simpson and Tarrabt are loanees as well, and so only 6 of the starting 11 were actually QPR players, it's even more difficult to evaluate where the club is headed. I'm fairly sure that relegation isn't too much of a threat ; but what will happen in the summer, who knows. Who knows.