City at least saved some face by refusing to play patsy to Fleetwood Town and gave as good as they got to deny the champions their prize at Lincoln City’s expense.
Ironically the point gained on Friday night not only was insufficient for Fleetwood but was also too little to ensure complete safety for Lincoln and both teams got what they needed the next day, in City’s case courtesy of Mansfield beating Hayes & Yeading who are the final visitors to Sincil Bank next weekend.
To say we will all be glad of a break from this most disappointing and mediocre of seasons would be an understatement but we should be grateful for small mercies and at least a second relegation has been spared with two games to go.
For Lincoln City’s board the not inconsiderable task not only of absorbing what is presumably another significant financial loss and subsequent trimming of budget for next season at a time the fans will be expecting at least a tilt at the playoffs but in addition the weighty conundrum of the managers position.
Just looking firstly at the financial position, having spoken to disaffected season ticket holders, City will have their work cut out keeping a significant number of their support on board. Not only have the Imps put on some exceedingly poor spectacles at Sincil Bank this season but the season ticket holders have seen their not inconsiderable investment eroded by various offers and inducements in a desperate effort to get bums on seats. Again, speaking to fellow fans there’s a feeling that games at the Bank just have no sense of occasion any more and you wonder how many parents see being a mascot for example as the sort of present of a lifetime that it once was especially given the many distractions available to children these days and how many company chiefs will see matchday sponsorship as a worthwhile investment now Sincil Bank is such an unhappy place.
We turn now to the sixty four thousand dollar question: The manager’s position. The remit was, we presume or were we told? Keep City up. David Holdsworth is able to point to the fact that he has achieved this with games to spare. He has also significantly trimmed the wage bill and, again we presume, pulled in more than a few favours in operating the management of the club on a shoestring. Perhaps there was a deal, keep us up and you’re in. Either way it’s a difficult one. Again, talking to fans and reading the various fan web sites David Holdsworth has not won over a significant number of the support despite the fact that he is the only manager since Keith Alexander to actually carry out the requirements of the board of directors.
It’s very easy to criticise the board for their decisions and their actions. It’s easy on a website such as this to point the finger, be wise after the event, say I wouldn’t have done this or that and generally be a clever dick. As Nick Clegg is finding out it’s not so easy when you stick your head above the parapet and the rotten tomatoes start flying. As previously mentioned it could well be that this seasons shoestring finances will look like a fortune next term and the faithful will be expecting more than another relegation battle. If the board thought this season was bad it might seem like a walk in the park next Christmas. I wish them well and I’m glad it’s not my decision.