|[Blog] It's Time the Club Pushed On|
Written by Warkystache on Monday, 7th Jun 2010 18:51
So, here we sit, summer 2010, World Cup just around the corner, cricket and tennis and the Tour de France dominating July and the new season in August. What have we, as ITFC fans, got to look forward to next season?
Well, for a start, some new signings would be nice. We've all heard the rumours: Chopra, Harewood, Gio, Sidwell, McCartney, Nosworthy, even Scholes and Neville have been touted, possibly by the same fans who fancied Batistuta and Ruggeri with Shaka Hislop all those seasons ago.
Truth is, we're being linked to very little at the moment, which either means a) Marcus Evans is on holiday in Jaywick as a change from Bermuda, or b) we're waiting for the freebies and loans.
Now, don't get me wrong, Marcus Evans is our saviour, and without him we'd have been where Palace are now many season ago. The bloke has come in, admittedly not a fan, and basically rescued us from a fate worse than Bradford.
OK, so he's also made Portman Road as expensive as watching many Premiership teams, but I suppose he has to make his money somewhere. My point though is this: with the only likelihood of us generating serious money being through promotion to the Premier League, shouldn't we be pushing on a bit from freebies, loans and players on cheaper wages?
When we went into administration, we were lucky. Admit it. The whole thing was bad enough without ten point deductions being added to our woes. I don't think we'd have survived that first season in the Championship had we been deducted ten points as well.
It then appeared that those in charge of the club were fighting for our very existence and so we suffered player sales and a lack of available funds for player purchases and wages.
For most fans, this was tolerable to the alternative of not having a club to support at all. We got by on decent low-cost signings and some inspired youngsters. Even Jim Magilton managed to get us competitive, swapping deadwood for commitment and not raising expectation beyond a "scrape in at the play-offs if we're lucky" mentality.
But then came Marcus Evans. And with him massive expectancy. Here we surely had the best chance of promotion we were ever likely to get, with a rich owner who was willing to pump as much cash in for new blood as was required.
Suddenly, we were paying over the odds for players, looking at improving the team ten-fold and hoping that, with the money we'd spent, we'd be bludgeoning into the play-off' like a New York Yankee quarterback running full pelt at a paper door.
But it didn't work. Never mind. It's the manager's fault. He was clearly too inexperienced. Let's go for someone with a proven track record of taking teams out of the Championship, someone who got his first managerial break in charge of a side he got promoted first time. He's also an internationally famous player, which should help us shift some shirts, and some season tickets.
And the result? We're even worse than with the freebies and loans we were relying on before. And the manager always seems to have his hands tied behind his back over signings. Because we "have a wage structure in place and don't want to break it".
Fair enough. But then think about ten years ago, when Sheepy gave George Burley permission to sign Marcus Stewart from one of our promotion rivals. It assured us of a play-off place and gave everyone a lift.
OK, it may have been a gamble wages-wise, but we did it and we went up. Surely it's time to do that again? If it means breaking the wage structure, so be it. If it means sacking the manager and going for experience, so be it. But let's push on a bit please, from CHampimid-table mediocrity. We're all worth more than that.
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