|How lucky we were.|
Written by Curryman on Friday, 3rd Oct 2014 23:28
Ian Holloway often used to exclaim ‘how lucky we are’ and then go on to explain why he felt he and the supporters of Blackpool Football Club were lucky. So all things being even, I thought I would use a similar metaphor to start this blog.
How lucky we were. Up until a couple of seasons ago being a Blackpool Supporter was fun, even during the bad old days, and goodness knows there were many, there was always hope, always a feeling that something better may be just around the corner. It bolstered our core support which had dwindled over the bad old years and made following the ‘Pool’ just that tad bit easier. Of course the pre match drinks and general comradery of the faithful certainly helped, but there was just that suspicion that one day, one day our club would rise from the ashes of re-election and perhaps have a better future.
Travelling to places like Wigan Athletic who had recently been admitted from non- league football made even our abysmal ground seem quite palatable, and after all we could still chant to them that they were a plucky small club, unlike ourselves who we thought were bigger than them! How things change.
Gradually we started to see a progressive rise through the leagues, a promise of a new ground; a promise of a retractable roof; a promise of a retractable pitch; many promises of new training facilities; a promise of this and that and the other and yet we still wait to see when, if ever, the majority of these promises are met. My bet is that they won’t be.
Arriving in the Championship, with our two sided ground, we were certainly not expected to stay for very long but, we surprised everyone by not only staying but consolidating our position to the extent that we attracted someone from overseas to invest in the club. A benefactor who provided money for our continued climb through the leagues. The rest, as they say is history.
Let us be honest, most of the ground was built with money provided from outside the club, the football league, etc. The Armfield Stand, opened with great trumpeting of the achievement was again funded, in the main, by outside help. The Gene Kelly had to go and a Gene Kelly mark 2 with roof to boot was put in its place to accommodate our climb to the Premier League. Who, in those dark forlorn days of the old fourth division on a freezing cold wet night in Aldershot or Hartlepool would have dreamt it, yes things would get better, but not that much better.
That was the pinnacle and now we are on the slippery slope back down to where we belong, oblivion, Hades, we seem to have somehow sold our soul to the Devil or is it someone else that has done the deed? When you sell your soul to the devil, you are giving your life to him in return for an object or ability of great power. You are also signing a pact chaining you to him, which makes you serve under his dark ungodliness. There are no distinct changes in Personality, Physical Appearance, or emotions. Unless that is what you traded your soul for. Usually, when one sells their soul, they get something of untold power. This 'power' usually causes the human psyche to become one that is corrupted by greed, power, lust, and violence. Make your own mind up if this description fits anyone we know.
In the 1950’s and maybe before there was a journal sold in Blackpool by the name of Billy’s Weekly Liar. Printed in Preston, its motto was ‘Smile Dammit, Smile’. It was of its time and I remember seeing it as a child. Headlines such as ‘Unconscious Skeleton found on Beach’, ‘Mersey Tunnel stolen by Cat Burglars’ were some of the selling points. A story about a three foot fortune teller who had escaped from prison by head-butting a warder in the privates had the headline ‘Small Medium at Large’. It was worth buying for the laughs and contained stories that were just not true. The good news is, it seems to have been resurrected under the name Karl Oystons Weekly Column. The Blackpool Gazette have given a stage for this comedian to transfix us with his weekly fabrications, deceptions and general porky pies, and he hasn’t let us down at all, each week is a revelation as to how his mind works, and do we believe him? Of course we don’t due to the general nonsense and garbage that has been spouted over the years. Anyone who has the temerity to criticise his modus operando is also likely to receive a letter from his solicitors, Drivel, Malarkey, Twaddle and Balls, threatening a court appearance if they do not tow the line.
So, Messrs Drivel, Malarkey, Twaddle and Balls what will I be saying wrong if I reiterate a promise made by the Chairman to back the manager and sign some Flotsam and Jetsam from Premier League clubs? It seems to me that two players who are more like driftwood or seaweed and have basically been nowhere near the Premier League do not fulfil that promise. Of course, and I write this before they have kicked a ball in anger for BFC, I may be proved wrong and I hope I am, but once again we see the gradual lowering of the standard of players being brought in to the club. Seriously though it could be that our fantastic training facilities, the cold showers, the chance to wash your own kit and bring your own sandwiches etc is far too underwhelming for the spoiled brats in the cosseted Premier League, therefore we have to look at Sunday and local league teams to ensure the bench is kept full.
How lucky we were, but no longer, despite the massive affection we all have, and have had through years of emotional support for our team we have to come to terms with the fact that the Oystons see BFC as just another business and if it makes money it is their money not the clubs money not our money, their money to do with what they like and they certainly do that. What will occur once Wonga have been dealt with by the Financial Ombudsman is any ones guess, but it will be another few less riches for them to hide away in Promenade Up Yours Ltd and may even tempt them to go, Oh dream on dream on dear boy.
Remember the motto of Billy’s Weekly Liar? SMILE DAMMIT, SMILE. Well if it wasn’t so serious I would be bursting my seams with laughter, as it is however, crying seems more appropriate.
How Lucky we were!
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs by Curryman
Blogs 29 bloggers
Matches of Yesteryear - Cardiff v U's 11/4/98 by wessex_exile
Here we are then, after a reasonably solid but distinctly dull semi-final first leg lit up by a moment of sheer brilliance by Bramall, just one match away from a socially distanced Wembley play-off final. We may have a slight advantage, but there is of course still much to do, and I can’t imagine for a moment that Exeter will be that shot-shy again at t’other St James’ Park. It’s all about the result though, performance is irrelevant, so I’ll take an even duller 0-0 every day of the week and twice on Sundays. I hope you’re all keeping safe and well, and for those of you blessed with progeny – Happy Father’s Day!
Matches of Yesteryear - Reading v U's 11/11/2000 by wessex_exile
So, after months of uncertainty, here we finally are at the start of a well-deserved play-off campaign. I say well-deserved, though in truth the play-offs ought to have been our minimum aspiration back in August. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball – no one could have predicted back then what the world was going to become, that hundreds of thousands would perish, and that most clubs today are probably fighting for their very existence. In fact, as already mentioned by [b]MFB[/b] and [b]Durham[/b], no one could have predicted that were it not for a stirring 3-0 victory at Carlisle in our last match back in March, we wouldn’t have even been in the play-offs. During lockdown, I have been reassured by the honest and stateman-like announcements from our Chairman keeping us all updated, and never more grateful that we have him looking after the club.
Matches of Yesteryear - Millwall v U's 14/4/99 by wessex_exile
And so here we are, at what would have been the last match of the domestic season, at home to FGR, and almost certainly still in with a shout of making the play-offs – maybe even already guaranteed by now. As I look out this morning, it’s a beautiful sunny day, and I would almost certainly already be on the first leg of a train journey to be amongst the faithful at the Jobserve Community Stadium. Given the location of our opponents, I’d probably be sharing the journey with a few hundred FGR supporters too, but they’ve always been a friendly bunch whenever I’ve met them, so I wouldn’t have been too concerned about that. Instead, we sit and wait to see how and when the season may (or may not) finish – strange times indeed…
Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Accrington Stanley 13/1/04 by wessex_exile
Happy Saturday everyone…well, less of the happy actually, with rain falling freely since yesterday afternoon. Still, good weather to be in lockdown for, takes away that feeling that you might be missing out on some quality time outside. In an open letter yesterday to all supporters of EFL clubs, chairman Rick Parry stated “[i]…with or without spectators, delivering a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season remains our goal to ensure the integrity of our competitions[/i]”. If that can be achieved, it appears almost certain these will be matches behind closed doors, streamed live to all supporters – which inevitably will break the long-held Saturday 3pm blackout for televised matches. We all know why that blackout was in place, but this is a difficult time, and it requires an innovative solution.
Matches of Yesteryear - Swansea v U's 7/3/06 by wessex_exile
Good afternoon everyone, I sincerely hope you’re all doing well, and hopefully not going too cabin-feverish! Today would have been a home match against Oldham Athletic, and after our surely guaranteed epic 3-2 victory at Sixfields on Good Friday, it would be just one more victory needed to guarantee a play-off place…think I might have been out in the sun a bit too much over the last few days 😊