Andrew Abbott's Blog

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Back to black

Back from holidays now and no respite from the doom and gloom from Sincil Bank. At least my first article for vitals went to number one on the news now web site.

Pride of Lincolnshire?

I’ve always had this notion that our football club should have a special place in the hearts of the population and I’m just back from an area which, more than any encapsulates that vision. That area is Catalonia in Spain, to many Catalans a nation in its own right and of course Catalonia’s team is Barcelona. Everywhere you go there are Barca flags and shirts and the bars are full when they play.

Catalonia was repressed under Franco, the Catalan language was banned but the people united behind the team. Now free there is a real pride in Barca and the rivalry with Real Madrid is fierce and unrelenting. Here in Lincolnshire we’re hardly repressed, the powers that be would need to know we’re here to repress us but it does seem there is a certain loss of identity. City are never going to become another Barcelona but, rather closer to home Norwich City seem to engender the same local affection in Norfolk, not entirely dissimilar to Lincolnshire and Norwich is not entirely dissimilar to Lincoln albeit somewhat bigger.

Our neighbours from the north, never backward in coming forward, seem to have colonised the north of the county to judge by the accents. The Lincolnshire dialect is never heard so where better to underline our unique character than our football team? Oh dear! Another loss last night and we are back in the relegation zone. Any notion that we may be a bit down on our luck financially but at least we have our football club is frankly laughable. Can you imagine Uncle Bob on the pitch at half time berating the crowd like the, admittedly slightly worse for wear Delia? Are you proud to wear your shirt around the county or even the city? Thought not.

When City were relegated there was a hope that at least the club would be able to regroup and compete at the lower level. Those hopes were swiftly rebuffed by comments made by the club and of course by the team’s performance. We are told that the club cannot afford to put up for the night on a long away visit, not that many teams would stay over for a midweek match but it’s not very inspiring. Neither is what Steve Tilson told the press after the Barrow defeat;

“They were better than us and I don’t know why”

Club finances will not be helped by this Saturday’s gate which the club no doubt hope will top the psychological 2000 barrier. Not long ago the stadium rocked to 5000 plus attendances. Our gates are now nowhere near what the other supposedly big sides are getting as the supporters vote with their feet. A further relegation, once unthinkable now looks a very real possibility. Before I am accused of undue negativity I am feeling negative and I’m looking for someone, anyone to drag me out of it. I can’t think who that person may be but I’m willing to be surprised.

Rant over. For now.

Ps. Saturday 1st October is Lincolnshire Day. Huh!

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