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Another year in the basement league next year 17:00 - Mar 17 with 1059 viewsdurham_exile

Sadly we are going backwards.

Not remotely looking like a promotion winning team.

Just as well we have sufficient points on the board already because this is a very poor side totally incapable of winning a game against moderate opposition.

Grim times indeed.

Humes out McGreal out

Up the U's

Of course we could win the last 9 games and finish 7th yet!
[Post edited 17 Mar 2018 20:35]

Durham_exile

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Another year in the basement league next year on 22:36 - Mar 17 with 991 viewsLeadbelly

We don't look like a promotion winning side because we are playing like nailed on relegation fodder. 11 points from 12 games in 2018 is hopeless.

Today we had more possession, more shots, more efforts on target and yet at no point after the penalty miss did I feel we would get anything from the game. The conditions weren't great but Yeovil coped better. They don't look like a good team but they are a team. We resemble a group of strangers who have just met to play a game some of them have never even seen.

Season ticket renewals will be interesting. Increasing number of fans will need to see meaningful changes before spending good money again because the last two seasons have been really poor but, even worse, there has been very little enjoyment to be had.

Some will argue that I'm not a real supporter. Fair enough, my real love is Leeds Utd, but I've been attending Us games since 1992 and been a season ticket holder for about 20 years. It has meant a lot to me over those years but, unlike a dog, my devotion is not unconditional. I won't be spending £300 to keep doing something that I'm simply not enjoying anything like as much as I should be. Sadly, nothing the club has done of late persuades me that things are going to change for the better any time soon.

Poll: Safe standing at football; yes, know or don't know?

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Another year in the basement league next year on 23:28 - Mar 17 with 982 viewsmfb_cufc

I thought the performance today was far better than the Barnet game, though that is not saying a lot. For all our domination we just didn't look like scoring, after the pathetic Szmodics missed the penalty. That was mainly down to the appalling final ball at the end of any attack. Leadbelly said Yeovil were a team. So they might be, but for me they were they worst team we have played at home this season. That includes Forest Green who we thrashed early on. That was what made today even more frustrating. Then of course we had the usually mystifying McGreal team selection. Wright at left wing-back, though he was not too bad today. No Stevenson again. How can someone who is going to be a Premier League player with Wolves next season, not get a game for a crap League 2 side. Especially as Szmodics offered absolutely nothing again, accept for giving the fans a good laugh when he was announced as MOTM. Where was Dickenson? Then there is the disgraceful Guthrie, who I think could have played his last game for us after his antics today. First of all he was trying to get the ball off Szmodics for the penalty, then after playing just for himself all game, he disappears down the tunnel when subbed.

From a team looking good for a least a play-off spot at Christmas, we are now a club in absolute turmoil. The manager and most of the out of contract players need to go, and start afresh again next season. The biggest frustration of the lot is this is not likely to happen with the current lack of ambition from the owner.

mfb

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Another year in the basement league next year on 23:44 - Mar 17 with 980 viewsLeadbelly

Another year in the basement league next year on 23:28 - Mar 17 by mfb_cufc

I thought the performance today was far better than the Barnet game, though that is not saying a lot. For all our domination we just didn't look like scoring, after the pathetic Szmodics missed the penalty. That was mainly down to the appalling final ball at the end of any attack. Leadbelly said Yeovil were a team. So they might be, but for me they were they worst team we have played at home this season. That includes Forest Green who we thrashed early on. That was what made today even more frustrating. Then of course we had the usually mystifying McGreal team selection. Wright at left wing-back, though he was not too bad today. No Stevenson again. How can someone who is going to be a Premier League player with Wolves next season, not get a game for a crap League 2 side. Especially as Szmodics offered absolutely nothing again, accept for giving the fans a good laugh when he was announced as MOTM. Where was Dickenson? Then there is the disgraceful Guthrie, who I think could have played his last game for us after his antics today. First of all he was trying to get the ball off Szmodics for the penalty, then after playing just for himself all game, he disappears down the tunnel when subbed.

From a team looking good for a least a play-off spot at Christmas, we are now a club in absolute turmoil. The manager and most of the out of contract players need to go, and start afresh again next season. The biggest frustration of the lot is this is not likely to happen with the current lack of ambition from the owner.


Nothing will change unless Cowling decides something needs to change. As he is in this for the long term and his way of running a football club is not a model adopted by any other chairman I'm not holding my breath.

Poll: Safe standing at football; yes, know or don't know?

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Another year in the basement league next year on 09:58 - Mar 18 with 934 viewsHungryStudent

We've become far too rigid and not attacking enough... Statistically we have the 5th best defence in the league but the 14th best attack... Season is over now, let's throw caution to the wind and actually attack teams more freely.... It's not as if we dont have the players to do it! (Senior, Dickenson, Wright, Shodipo)

Sort the contracts ASAP and start building again for next year. Use this time now to get game time into the young lads (James, Diaz Wright, Junior, Gondoh, Rooney, Issa, Senior) that are good enough to step up. Start experimenting with tactic's/formations etc...

McGreal made some funny decisions yesterday that IMO shows his lack of experience:

1) Lapslie and Comley pairing AT HOME in a game we needed to win!.. Both dynamic and combative neither creative... Game was calling out for a bit of Stevenson dictation.

2) Szmodics in CAM... What a waste, the lad is our top goalscorer, can find space and get in behind the opposition and yet McGreal chooses to stick him in midfield which totally restricts him from getting into dangerous area's further forward. He's not a midfielder! If we want to get the most out of him we need to be playing him uptop.

3) Playing a formation which depends heavily on fullbacks who can get get back and forth and put a quality delivery into the box.... Neither KVY or Drey are known for their delivery... Don't play this formation, play to the personnel you have available.

Frustrated is an understatement regarding this season. Now is the time to sort the men from the boys, who want's to be here, who want's to play for the manager and who's looking to move elsewhere.
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Another year in the basement league next year on 11:02 - Mar 18 with 918 viewsgerry_us

Another year in the basement league next year on 09:58 - Mar 18 by HungryStudent

We've become far too rigid and not attacking enough... Statistically we have the 5th best defence in the league but the 14th best attack... Season is over now, let's throw caution to the wind and actually attack teams more freely.... It's not as if we dont have the players to do it! (Senior, Dickenson, Wright, Shodipo)

Sort the contracts ASAP and start building again for next year. Use this time now to get game time into the young lads (James, Diaz Wright, Junior, Gondoh, Rooney, Issa, Senior) that are good enough to step up. Start experimenting with tactic's/formations etc...

McGreal made some funny decisions yesterday that IMO shows his lack of experience:

1) Lapslie and Comley pairing AT HOME in a game we needed to win!.. Both dynamic and combative neither creative... Game was calling out for a bit of Stevenson dictation.

2) Szmodics in CAM... What a waste, the lad is our top goalscorer, can find space and get in behind the opposition and yet McGreal chooses to stick him in midfield which totally restricts him from getting into dangerous area's further forward. He's not a midfielder! If we want to get the most out of him we need to be playing him uptop.

3) Playing a formation which depends heavily on fullbacks who can get get back and forth and put a quality delivery into the box.... Neither KVY or Drey are known for their delivery... Don't play this formation, play to the personnel you have available.

Frustrated is an understatement regarding this season. Now is the time to sort the men from the boys, who want's to be here, who want's to play for the manager and who's looking to move elsewhere.


The major problem is NOBODY wants to play for the manager!
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Another year in the basement league next year on 11:17 - Mar 18 with 915 viewsPinault_Noir

Yes Peter I see what you say and repeat my concern on your other thread regarding decline.

'Hungry student' speaks with positivity and indeed plausible solutions; but will they be grasped? I doubt it.

Mick says we were better than v Barnet but not good enough and yet in the views of many we have good players here. Decline should not be an option.

Whalers states that Mr Cowling has no intention to change anything and indeed these last ten years he has remained somewhat resolute. But they have been, unfortunately, those years of gradual decline.

I am grateful for him being around, ensuring we have a club to support and one that is on a strongish footing. I am extremely grateful for the Tiptree facilities and his overal vision is laudable; but appointing continually from within narrows the field and inevitably results in a diminuition of potential.

We now have management that as Hungry student says continues to show inexperience - the reason presumably for continual different XIs on the pitch.............and is it also the cause of Guthrie's and other's disinterest?
If so, then it is the players who also find the current manager unintelligible; it isn't just me. There is precious little passion or motivation and the decline since Christmas alone exemplifies the whole. The poor chap just cannot 'do it'. Give him his old job back and find someone who has the relevant experience. It's too important not to.

Am I alone in feeling that this continual slide has the horrid feel of 1988, 1989, and so on about it? We know where that led and I cannot deny some anxiety about next season. 8th last year - and not worthy of it - currently bottom half and clearly worthy of it; so next year where?
I'm not a pessimist - a realist - but clearly with only 2772 there yesterday I am not alone in being worried. Maybe we'll get 6 at Morecombe [if you stay in the warm Durham!] and all will be well but Whalers' comments about his season ticket are understandable because he is a true supporter whatever he says.

I do feel that Hungry student is spot-on with his positivity - we could put this right - but will we? Decline is a slow gradual process and it usually needs a bit of a kick to derail it. Who is going to do that for us?

Up the U's

Regards Durham - are you really going on Tuesday?
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Another year in the basement league next year on 12:13 - Mar 18 with 899 viewsdurham_exile

Another year in the basement league next year on 11:17 - Mar 18 by Pinault_Noir

Yes Peter I see what you say and repeat my concern on your other thread regarding decline.

'Hungry student' speaks with positivity and indeed plausible solutions; but will they be grasped? I doubt it.

Mick says we were better than v Barnet but not good enough and yet in the views of many we have good players here. Decline should not be an option.

Whalers states that Mr Cowling has no intention to change anything and indeed these last ten years he has remained somewhat resolute. But they have been, unfortunately, those years of gradual decline.

I am grateful for him being around, ensuring we have a club to support and one that is on a strongish footing. I am extremely grateful for the Tiptree facilities and his overal vision is laudable; but appointing continually from within narrows the field and inevitably results in a diminuition of potential.

We now have management that as Hungry student says continues to show inexperience - the reason presumably for continual different XIs on the pitch.............and is it also the cause of Guthrie's and other's disinterest?
If so, then it is the players who also find the current manager unintelligible; it isn't just me. There is precious little passion or motivation and the decline since Christmas alone exemplifies the whole. The poor chap just cannot 'do it'. Give him his old job back and find someone who has the relevant experience. It's too important not to.

Am I alone in feeling that this continual slide has the horrid feel of 1988, 1989, and so on about it? We know where that led and I cannot deny some anxiety about next season. 8th last year - and not worthy of it - currently bottom half and clearly worthy of it; so next year where?
I'm not a pessimist - a realist - but clearly with only 2772 there yesterday I am not alone in being worried. Maybe we'll get 6 at Morecombe [if you stay in the warm Durham!] and all will be well but Whalers' comments about his season ticket are understandable because he is a true supporter whatever he says.

I do feel that Hungry student is spot-on with his positivity - we could put this right - but will we? Decline is a slow gradual process and it usually needs a bit of a kick to derail it. Who is going to do that for us?

Up the U's

Regards Durham - are you really going on Tuesday?


Pinault, these are grim times indeed.

As things stand and if the match is on then yes I am going on Tuesday night.
I write "if the match is on" because even Lancashire has seen snow and presently our Village in Durham is in the midst of another blizzard. Probably 6 inches of lying snow and two foot of drifting white stuff.

The A66 is currently closed and so with the M62 also challenging unless there is a big change the match will be off (again). Trans Pennine routes are all bad at the moment.

As regards yesterday, I have watched the "highlights" and we once again missed chances. The penalty was woeful from Szmodics.

JM must go at the end of the season.

No one seems to know where Brennan Dickenson was yesterday either.

Our form since that brilliant win against Coventry has been relegation standard and some might ask where is the next win coming from.

I remain optimistic but it becomes even harder to see the glass half full when the team are woeful.

Following Soccer Saturday yesterday the number of ex U's scoring is legendary - Andy Bond and Kayode Odejayi the latest on the score sheets for their respective clubs.

I am afraid that the "one in three man" Mandeville is not the answer and Guthrie is shocking at present.

Drey Wright should also be offloaded he has declined drastically.

I do not believe the hype about a £1m bid for Szmodics. he is too small and too easily injured. I am sure it was all paper talk.

If Wilshire didn't play well for Howe at AFC Bournemouth then Szmodics wouldn't either.

Better finish now, difficult to find positives at present.

Hope your weather is ok and that life is treating you well.

Up the U's.

Durham_exile

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Another year in the basement league next year on 13:07 - Mar 18 with 882 viewsLeadbelly

Another year in the basement league next year on 12:13 - Mar 18 by durham_exile

Pinault, these are grim times indeed.

As things stand and if the match is on then yes I am going on Tuesday night.
I write "if the match is on" because even Lancashire has seen snow and presently our Village in Durham is in the midst of another blizzard. Probably 6 inches of lying snow and two foot of drifting white stuff.

The A66 is currently closed and so with the M62 also challenging unless there is a big change the match will be off (again). Trans Pennine routes are all bad at the moment.

As regards yesterday, I have watched the "highlights" and we once again missed chances. The penalty was woeful from Szmodics.

JM must go at the end of the season.

No one seems to know where Brennan Dickenson was yesterday either.

Our form since that brilliant win against Coventry has been relegation standard and some might ask where is the next win coming from.

I remain optimistic but it becomes even harder to see the glass half full when the team are woeful.

Following Soccer Saturday yesterday the number of ex U's scoring is legendary - Andy Bond and Kayode Odejayi the latest on the score sheets for their respective clubs.

I am afraid that the "one in three man" Mandeville is not the answer and Guthrie is shocking at present.

Drey Wright should also be offloaded he has declined drastically.

I do not believe the hype about a £1m bid for Szmodics. he is too small and too easily injured. I am sure it was all paper talk.

If Wilshire didn't play well for Howe at AFC Bournemouth then Szmodics wouldn't either.

Better finish now, difficult to find positives at present.

Hope your weather is ok and that life is treating you well.

Up the U's.


McGreal stated last week that Dickenson would be rested as he didn't want to risk possible injury by playing 3 games in 8 days.

Poll: Safe standing at football; yes, know or don't know?

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Another year in the basement league next year on 13:36 - Mar 18 with 872 viewsbwildered

But alas, Dickenson picked up a quad injury in training on Friday, which caused him to miss Saturday’s duel.

Poll: Prediction of final place for season 2017/18 season.

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Another year in the basement league next year on 13:43 - Mar 18 with 868 viewsFruitbat

Stevenage sacked their manager today after two wins in eleven games. Our current run is two in thirteen.
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Another year in the basement league next year on 13:46 - Mar 18 with 867 viewsPinault_Noir

Thankyou Peter - indeed difficult to find positives with our club right now - very difficult.

Weather not really that different from yours I'm at 2000' and it's 2degrees. Life is calm and peaceful nay tranquil here. Thankyou - one's grateful for that and health etc.
Not saying that your witnessing a win on Tuesday wouldn't improve everything mind! There seems to be no team spirit and no 'team' at Cuckoo Farm just now.
Change needed in the summer - lots of it.
Up the underwhelming U's
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Another year in the basement league next year on 16:10 - Mar 18 with 841 viewsmfb_cufc

Another year in the basement league next year on 13:43 - Mar 18 by Fruitbat

Stevenage sacked their manager today after two wins in eleven games. Our current run is two in thirteen.


Stevenage probably have higher expectations than we do. Our owner said we have a budget that should see us finishing twelfth in League 2, so he is probably happy with our current position.

If the King of Mediocrity is given the sack, what internal muppet is next in line for the job?
Wayne Brown turned it down in the past, but he would be the obvious one. But like most fans I can see the lovely Mr Humes being given another go. Of course he could already be doing the job for all we know. Lack of transparency at the club as it is.

mfb

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Another year in the basement league next year on 17:11 - Mar 18 with 834 viewsHungryStudent

Another year in the basement league next year on 11:17 - Mar 18 by Pinault_Noir

Yes Peter I see what you say and repeat my concern on your other thread regarding decline.

'Hungry student' speaks with positivity and indeed plausible solutions; but will they be grasped? I doubt it.

Mick says we were better than v Barnet but not good enough and yet in the views of many we have good players here. Decline should not be an option.

Whalers states that Mr Cowling has no intention to change anything and indeed these last ten years he has remained somewhat resolute. But they have been, unfortunately, those years of gradual decline.

I am grateful for him being around, ensuring we have a club to support and one that is on a strongish footing. I am extremely grateful for the Tiptree facilities and his overal vision is laudable; but appointing continually from within narrows the field and inevitably results in a diminuition of potential.

We now have management that as Hungry student says continues to show inexperience - the reason presumably for continual different XIs on the pitch.............and is it also the cause of Guthrie's and other's disinterest?
If so, then it is the players who also find the current manager unintelligible; it isn't just me. There is precious little passion or motivation and the decline since Christmas alone exemplifies the whole. The poor chap just cannot 'do it'. Give him his old job back and find someone who has the relevant experience. It's too important not to.

Am I alone in feeling that this continual slide has the horrid feel of 1988, 1989, and so on about it? We know where that led and I cannot deny some anxiety about next season. 8th last year - and not worthy of it - currently bottom half and clearly worthy of it; so next year where?
I'm not a pessimist - a realist - but clearly with only 2772 there yesterday I am not alone in being worried. Maybe we'll get 6 at Morecombe [if you stay in the warm Durham!] and all will be well but Whalers' comments about his season ticket are understandable because he is a true supporter whatever he says.

I do feel that Hungry student is spot-on with his positivity - we could put this right - but will we? Decline is a slow gradual process and it usually needs a bit of a kick to derail it. Who is going to do that for us?

Up the U's

Regards Durham - are you really going on Tuesday?


Nicely Amalgamated Pinault,

Whilst I agree with most that we have plenty of problems at the club, I feel all issues should be looked at through the lenses of historical as-well as real-time perspective. Throughout our history we've bounced around in the now conference and L2. A short soar into the Championship and L1 gave us hope but the reality wasn't to be. Why?.. 100's of reasons formulated together but a large proportion based on the financials... Whether we like it or not, the correlation between attendance, income and league position is overwhelming.. Unless we have the finances to plough into the team then it makes it very difficult to compete with teams who can afford to pay better players without breaking the EFL rules. Now, there are teams who break the rules or find a loophole but is that sustainable? I'm not sure.

Our 2017/18 attendance is 16th/24th in L2 and whilst I appreciate we create a good income through other options (like events) this doesn't bode well for suspected success. The question is then, how do we improve attendances/increase income through other means?

Well that brings up so many questions but in particular Cowling's fan management. Cowling is and always has been brash and abrasive with the fans, which is why so many dislike him and subsequently stay away. He's the sort of individual who is egotistical and holds grudges easily so when someone says something about him or his plans that he dislikes, he fires from the hip straight back... But this is problematic to his own plan, because by alienating fans, he reduces his already small financial bandwidth, thus the chance of success is far smaller... If he had any nouse, he would be charitable and friendly to the fans and help drive attendances forawards through progressive ticketing policy.

There is no doubting his vision for the club. The investment in facilities and continual investment in youth (which he hopes to profit off when selling the young lads, another method of increasing our income) but he's so bloody egotistical that he can't see/wont acknowledge his own behaviour is harming his plans... Or perhaps he thinks it can't harm his plans?

I like JMc but can't help but think he's struggling to learn quickly and develop in League football. I'd like to see him impose himself more on the squad, put his stamp on things and drive passion in the players. I'd like to see him improve his game management and tactical flexibility.

My biggest concern is that I fear Cowling's enforced a yes man philosophy around the club by promoting from within, keeping the same faces for long periods (Humes, Ashby, McGreal, Ball) you fall in line with the plans and that's it. This can be a good thing as everyone is striving in the same direction, but sometimes you need a bit of questioning and alternative opinion in the debate, otherwise things can go sour.

We've got a lot of fantastic players in the squad. Good enough for L1 in my opinion. We just need to manage them correctly allowing them to utilize their potential. Out of our squad: Walker, KVY, Kent, Inniss, Dickenson, Comley, Murray, Szmodics, Senior are all L1 quality or higher.

Frustrating times and probably frustrating times ahead. McGreal will/should improve but how quickly is another matter. A squad with lots of potential but not the manager to provide dynamism. I'm happy to give him time and let him grow as a manager but he needs to re-think/change up his philosophy... As currently there is no way we will get promotion
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Another year in the basement league next year on 17:40 - Mar 18 with 822 viewsmfb_cufc

Another year in the basement league next year on 17:11 - Mar 18 by HungryStudent

Nicely Amalgamated Pinault,

Whilst I agree with most that we have plenty of problems at the club, I feel all issues should be looked at through the lenses of historical as-well as real-time perspective. Throughout our history we've bounced around in the now conference and L2. A short soar into the Championship and L1 gave us hope but the reality wasn't to be. Why?.. 100's of reasons formulated together but a large proportion based on the financials... Whether we like it or not, the correlation between attendance, income and league position is overwhelming.. Unless we have the finances to plough into the team then it makes it very difficult to compete with teams who can afford to pay better players without breaking the EFL rules. Now, there are teams who break the rules or find a loophole but is that sustainable? I'm not sure.

Our 2017/18 attendance is 16th/24th in L2 and whilst I appreciate we create a good income through other options (like events) this doesn't bode well for suspected success. The question is then, how do we improve attendances/increase income through other means?

Well that brings up so many questions but in particular Cowling's fan management. Cowling is and always has been brash and abrasive with the fans, which is why so many dislike him and subsequently stay away. He's the sort of individual who is egotistical and holds grudges easily so when someone says something about him or his plans that he dislikes, he fires from the hip straight back... But this is problematic to his own plan, because by alienating fans, he reduces his already small financial bandwidth, thus the chance of success is far smaller... If he had any nouse, he would be charitable and friendly to the fans and help drive attendances forawards through progressive ticketing policy.

There is no doubting his vision for the club. The investment in facilities and continual investment in youth (which he hopes to profit off when selling the young lads, another method of increasing our income) but he's so bloody egotistical that he can't see/wont acknowledge his own behaviour is harming his plans... Or perhaps he thinks it can't harm his plans?

I like JMc but can't help but think he's struggling to learn quickly and develop in League football. I'd like to see him impose himself more on the squad, put his stamp on things and drive passion in the players. I'd like to see him improve his game management and tactical flexibility.

My biggest concern is that I fear Cowling's enforced a yes man philosophy around the club by promoting from within, keeping the same faces for long periods (Humes, Ashby, McGreal, Ball) you fall in line with the plans and that's it. This can be a good thing as everyone is striving in the same direction, but sometimes you need a bit of questioning and alternative opinion in the debate, otherwise things can go sour.

We've got a lot of fantastic players in the squad. Good enough for L1 in my opinion. We just need to manage them correctly allowing them to utilize their potential. Out of our squad: Walker, KVY, Kent, Inniss, Dickenson, Comley, Murray, Szmodics, Senior are all L1 quality or higher.

Frustrating times and probably frustrating times ahead. McGreal will/should improve but how quickly is another matter. A squad with lots of potential but not the manager to provide dynamism. I'm happy to give him time and let him grow as a manager but he needs to re-think/change up his philosophy... As currently there is no way we will get promotion


Absolutely brilliant post.

I agree we have bounced around between the Leagues, but if we were to get relegated into what is now the National League I don't think we would be back within two seasons like before. Last time we were the only full time team in the Conference, now they virtually all are, and hence it is far more competitive.

mfb

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Another year in the basement league next year on 14:38 - Mar 20 with 678 viewsnoah4x4

But if relegated, then we might be able to pay players the minimum wage and HUGE win bonuses.

I don't reckon anybody now plays for pride and the shirt. So if we are already attracting maverick and mercenaries lets pay them accordingly like salespeople. The best sales folk never have large basic salaries, but they do enjoy HUGE bonuses. Players are in effect self employed as they negotiate short contracts. These MUST become performance based.

I would happily pay an extra £fiver on each home gate each time we win, provided that our overall win rate betters 40%!
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