Andrew Abbott's Blog

Friday, 16 May 2014

Imps escape punishment after pitch incursion.

It got me on the radio and I’m not sure it sends out the right message but Lincoln City will not be sanctioned for failing to keep their supporters off the playing area at the last home game of last season.

That’s not to say I’m not relieved and pleased that the club will not have to spend precious resources on paying a fine or even losing a home game. I do wonder what the upshot will be come the final game next year though.

You never know your luck, maybe us long suffering fans and indeed club officials may just have something to celebrate and that would excuse any exuberance. Hope I’m not tempting providence there.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Anatomy of a flop.

I can’t sing. London Palladium.

To London last Saturday with pre booked rail tickets, first stop Leicester Square ticket booth to see what shows we could get in.

My wife had tickets to see the X Factor based musical “I can’t sing” for June and was disappointed to receive an e mail saying the show was to end in May so we got tickets for the afternoon matinee performance. If we’d got tickets for the evening (and very last) show we would also have enjoyed a speech from Harry Hill who co wrote it.

The strange thing was the production got rave reviews when it started and indeed was not bad at all but the Palladium is a big theatre, the biggest in the West End, and if there aren’t enough bums on seats off it goes.

Whilst admitting that there were weaknesses we really enjoyed the parody of the popular (not with me) ITV show and the finale was truly spectacular. Furthermore, leading lady Cynthia Erivo has a fantastic voice. She most certainly can sing. Even though I wouldn’t cross the room to turn on the TV to watch X Factor I found the whole exercise thoroughly worthwhile and the typical Harry Hill bonkersness shone through. I can tell you now, as I can’t spoil a show that’s finished, The Simon Cowell character descends from heaven at the start to celestial voices, then at the end he climbs into a spaceship, which actually lowers into the audience almost touching them before returning the musical guru from whence he came.

Go on Harry, only one way to end the performance. Flight!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

My budget? That's a closely guarded secret - from me.

For a man that says he has been told not to discuss his playing budget Gary Simpson talks an awful lot about it. Rather he talks a lot about the fact that he doesn’t know what it actually is.

To be honest I don’t suppose he’s on his own in not knowing precisely what the budget will be for the forthcoming season. It depends on season ticket sales and also, one would suppose, on how the season starts. If City have another good start to the season and gates are up come Christmas the board would presumably be more disposed to invest in recruitment to shore up a bid for the P thing.

Anyway, positively, Simpson told the Echo he was on the lookout for a partner for Ben Tomlinson, a striker who certainly looks the part but whose frustration when things don’t go his way often sees him incur the displeasure of the referee:-

"We need more goals and we need someone to compliment Ben Tomlinson, so we certainly need another striker.
"But we need to get goals from other areas too because, at the end of the day, goals win matches."

Indeed they do and we’d have won quite a few last season if we could have just got the ball in the net, sometimes it all looks rosy and then that final touch isn’t there:-

"I'm trying to put a bit of quality together to give more goals to give us a chance next season."

Amen to that.

"I'm speaking to quite a few players, but I'm playing blind a little bit because I don't know what I'm going to get in terms of the budget,"
"It's a difficult one at the moment because the retained list has got to come out this week.
"My budget is like a sliding scale at the moment. What I will get depends on a few factors and I'm conscious of that. There's one or two that I'd like to keep.
"And there's one or two that I might not be able to keep now, but they might still be with us come the start of the season.
"I might not be in a position, at this moment in time, too offer them this, that or the other because I don't know what I'm going to get."

Thanks Gary. I think you did mention that.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

If at first you don’t succeed - Newton.

Sean Newton and Gary Simpson spoke to the University of Lincoln student website, The Linc this week.

Whilst there was no mention of new signings the pair revealed that though reasonably satisfied with the 14th place finish they had both expected to do rather better having finished 16th the season before.

“We started really well then we had two months or eight to ten weeks where we couldn’t pick up a point and we couldn’t get a win. But then from then on we’ve been a different class, took on everyone and in the games we’ve lost we’ve been unlucky. We’ve won so many. When I look back I think it’s more frustrating than anything because we should be in the play-offs definitely,” said the Imps ever dependable defender”

“I don’t know whether the board would, but we’re a bit disappointed. We thought we could have finished a little bit higher, but we had a bad couple of months. But we have taken 38 points since January 1st, so we haven’t done too badly when we got everyone back and added one or two to the squad", chipped in the manager.

I’m sure you’d know by now if the board were disappointed Gary.

Newton, never one to beat around the bush, will be pleased to hear that City have started early in their recruitment drive and with more possibly to follow:-

“Most definitely, you can see from January 1st to now, I think we’d be second or top of the league. We’ve definitely got a good squad to go on with maybe one or two additions to make us better in other areas, then I think we’ll have a go next year,” he said.

Simpson returned to a familiar theme:-

“With what we’ve had and what we could afford, I think we’ve done OK. We’ve had to work hard, there’s no two ways about it and my staff have worked tremendously hard.”

With news of an arrival already, Imps fans will be glued to social media to glean any little titbits and hints that better times may be on the way at long last.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The rights and wrongs of it.

Well I was right about one thing and wrong about another. I said in my piece about last Saturdays match that I believed the FA would investigate the pitch invasion. I was subsequently invited on to BBC Radio Lincolnshire to discuss and it was apparent by then that an investigation was underway.

I also said that any fine would have to come out of the playing budget. The Echo puts me right on that score in an interview with Bob Dorrian in which he states the clubs position but says previous behaviour will go against the Imps:-

"My concern is the behaviour of the fans over the season will be taken into account when they review what happened on Saturday and we could be punished financially.
"If that does happen then it will not affect the playing budget, we will have to find the money somehow, but it will not come out of the professional budget."

Dorrian also mentioned something I think a lot of us were struck by:-

"I noticed that the section of the crowd where the pitch invaders came from was bigger than usual," he said. "I don't think those that went on the pitch were the regular supporters that turn up.
"After the final whistle on the last day it's not uncommon for a pitch invasion, but to have it happen before that moment is appalling behaviour and we condemn it."

Personally, I think the fact that supporters regularly come on to the pitch at the end on the season may be held against the Imps. Certainly that behaviour is not condoned by the club but do they do enough to prevent it? Enthusiasm at the end of a winning season is one thing but as we’ve said, and was discussed on the radio. It’s not as if we’ve done that much winning lately is it?