Normally, when I sit down to write I think about explaining what went wrong in the match…goals conceded, our attitude and our approach.
This time I think it’s pointless.
We all know the routine. Ball given away in an area it shouldn’t be, players out of position, yawning chasm between midfield and everything else on the pitch, slight misfortune somewhere along the line, then cue opposition scoring a goal.
Things have escalated to such a level now that it is beyond what happens on the pitch. It is time for something to change and it needs to happen soon, or I genuinely think the club is ruined and we as fans are destined to a life supporting a club who in the near future may count a win away at Southend to be a big deal.
In fact, scrap that. The club is already ruined. It’s if we can salvage it now or not.
Forget blaming players, managers or our recruitment policy, or anything else for that matter. This club’s predicament is resting solely on the shoulders of Mike Ashley.
When we got relegated 7 years ago, lessons should have been learned but they weren’t. How the club was run should have been changed but it wasn’t.
We got away with it because we bounced back up. A few years after that we got out of jail again when it looked like we were struggling and bought big in January and had Sissoko plus more join our ranks. More short-term solutions to a bigger problem.
Those problems have grown and we are now in a position where a short-term fix isn’t an option, but Ashley doesn’t care. He is a businessman treating the football club like a business. Making decisions based on money and numbers.
He is trying to make emotionless decisions about the most emotive of subjects. He is feeding the club on fans’ hope and loyalty. We as fans are nothing but Sports Direct customers now, with the players disenchanted employees. Until the numbers change for him he doesn’t care.
This is where the problem lies you see. Soon, when playing Championship football, the numbers do change. The employees won’t take a pay cut and will search for employment elsewhere. The profits will disappear and the big company which he owns will dwindle.
It is time for us as fans to take our business elsewhere. If you were treated so badly as a customer time after time, again you’d find somewhere else to shop. It’s not easy but we as fans need to unite to force out the man who is taking from us but giving nothing in return.
It’s easy for me to say sat miles away when there are fans who have the most incredible loyalty and commitment. Those who travel the length of the country each week to watch their team. However, we need to affect his profits. The thing which matters to him the most.
It’s not easy when it means giving up forty year traditions of going to watch the black and whites, and having a few pints with your mates. It’s not easy when we would miss out on the camaraderie of getting up at 3am to travel to a game and everything which goes with that.
It’s impossible to replicate the feeling jumping around like a wild thing when the ball hits the back of the net and I understand that.
It is however time for something to change. Make a statement to him. Boycott the matches home and away, boycott Sports Direct and boycott everything linked to the finances of the club. It’s the only thing which will have an impact on him and his wallet.
We talk about the players having fight on the pitch and lacking it, so why don’t we practice what we preach.
We need to unite and fight back against Mike Ashley. He’s instilled in us a roll over and die attitude which the players have too, and I think we need to show him who we are and what we want.
I’m not in the business of telling people what they should or shouldn’t do, you understand. This is my opinion. Do what you want. But something soon needs to change and the longer that process takes, regardless of whoever is responsible for making it happen, the less time we have to save something tangible from our football club.
Stop giving Mike Ashley our money so he can no longer take what he will never have and that which is the product he craves.
Our special place of escapism. Our loyalty. Our dream of winning a trophy. Our hope.
If you liked this blog, please feel free to follow me on Twitter @DaiRees1984
(To feature like Dai, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])