Pointing The Finger! – 22/3/16

Immediately after the disappointment of the Blackburn Rovers defeat on Saturday I gave my suggestions concerning what we should do next and how the team and management should use the International Break productively in order to both rest up and also prepare for the next crucial batch of eight matches in April which will decide our immediate fate.

I also suggested that a change of formation as well as approach would probably serve us well as if the way we are playing at the moment continually fails to provide results, as has been the case, then you need to change it or risk more failure.

Rightly or wrongly it has always been my stated policy to provide Brentford supporters of all persuasions with the platform within this column to express their own opinions. Sometimes I agree with them to a greater or lesser extent, more often I do not, but despite our differences we all share a passion for the Bees and are in awe of what Matthew Benham has done to revitalise our club, and it also provides a catalyst for other supporters to respond and have their say.

Lately emotions and tempers have been rising and patience and tolerance are in short supply, hardly surprising given the events since the turn of the year and I can well understand why people feel the way that they do.

By sharing conflicting opinions on the club I am not trying to rebel rouse, neither am I aiming to cause mischief or gain attention for myself and I have urged us supporters many times to unite and get behind our team at such a crucial time when perhaps our ambitious plans for the immediate future are at risk should we return to the lower divisions. Inquests and recriminations can wait until later.

I fully intend to continue as I have done and today welcome back Jim Levack who has been a regular contributor to this column and he now shares his view about what is happening at the club, how we have allowed ourselves to get into this mess and what can be done to improve matters and I concur with some but not all of what he has to say:

In almost half a century of watching Brentford I can’t recall a time when the club has been more riven by division than now. Fans fighting fans, terrace arguments, acrimonious and frequently personal internet battles, the current situation is sad beyond belief.

Not even during the dark days of Webb and Noades were the fans so divided over the right way to take the club forward. I have my own personal view of where the blame lies for this rift but it’s an opinion far too unpopular and incendiary to ever share.

Irrespective of what I think, one message board has almost four thousand posts on the subject of Dean Smith and a relatively low thirteen hundred on the subject of the Co-Directors of Football.

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

Because Phil Giles and Rasmus Ankersen are Matthew Benham’s right hand men, they have inexplicably escaped much of the criticism for the current slide towards the trapdoor.

Why? Their job is, as the club widely and foolishly proclaimed last season, to identify undiscovered talent with potential to avoid paying the ludicrous transfer fees and wages that make other clubs financially unstable.

I say foolishly because the second we did so and effectively got rid of Mark Warburton – no, he wasn’t sacked but we made his position untenable – the whole football world turned against us to the extent that if we now move for a player it sets alarm bells ringing.

No problem with the concept though. The strategy makes perfect sense for a club with limited revenue streams like Brentford. But why did we feel the need to shout about it?

Strip the whole thing down and the players we’ve brought in – Woods and Colin being notable exceptions – are patently not ready to play in a thriving Championship side, let alone one fighting for survival.

Last season’s side had a great balance, strong competition for places and a ruthless edge.

If Pritchard got knocked about, Douglas was there to drag him to his feet and snarl at the bloke who did it.

Diagouraga, if the ball did get past the midfield, mopped up the bits and pieces and gave it away simply and accurately, a fulcrum if you like.

Tarkowski and Dean were a peerless combination, Gray was powerful, quick and usually clinical, the likes of McCormack couldn’t get a start.

When Pritchard wasn’t doing it we had Jota, Dallas, Toral, or even Odubajo bombing on as well as Judge, all capable of producing a moment of magic.

We effectively had a four-pronged attack as well as creative, vibrant, skilful, quick options on the bench who could change a game that was drifting away from us.

Saunders and Yennaris were plying their trade in League Two. Now they are pivotal to our survival.

Don’t think for a second I’m denigrating the current squad in any way. They are, mostly, technically strong with huge potential, but are being asked to do the job of seasoned professionals with several years knowledge of the Championship. That’s not fair or sensible.

Josh McEachran is a case in point. We were told that he was the Douglas replacement. Don’t make me laugh!

Skilful yes, intelligent occasionally, but a ball winner? I’m sorry. The sooner he casts off the Chelsea starlet tag and starts bossing games as his talent suggests he surely can, the better. He was given the opportunity when Blackburn went down to ten men and singularly failed to take it.

Now we have a midfield lacking steel and stature that is overrun on a weekly basis.

McEachran and Woods are so similar it’s painful to watch, Judge has drifted into an I’ll play where I want thanks mentality to the side’s detriment, and Canos and Swift are young lads with huge potential who would benefit from a protector alongside them.

The best football teams are combinations of different characters, personalities, types of players, but if I had to pick one word to describe the current Brentford side, it would be lightweight.

Dean Smith must go posts and worse have littered social media whilst Rasmus and Phil have got off relatively lightly.

Grossly unfair in my view as they have effectively assembled this squad for Smith whose use of the word “finally” on bringing in Leandro last week was perhaps the first public hint of his frustration.

It’s far too easy to go to the other extreme and actually blame the Co-Directors of Football for everything too, as I’m sure they are moving heaven and earth to bring in loanees. Their reputations are, after all, on the line here.

I know that several quality players have been lined up for the Summer, but I’m guessing they won’t want to play in League One so we need to sort out this mess soon or I fear for our immediate future.

As Greville confirmed in his interview recently, Phil Giles comes across as a likeable, thoughtful and decent bloke doing his best and I’m sure he’s crunching the numbers to get it right, but sometimes football is – as I said at the time of Warburton’s exit – about far more than numbers.

As far Rasmus, I’m not entirely sure what his role is or the extent of his involvement at Brentford so it’s probably unfair to comment. Suffice to say that I’m sure he’s feeling the pain the same as Giles.

What I will say though is that the signings of Gogia – remember him? – and Kerschbaumer epitomise the malaise surrounding our new system.

I’ve watched Kerschbaumer closely when he’s played and although he may well become a decent player in the future, his positional awareness is poor. The best players have an unerring ability to be in the right place at the right time and if I’m honest it’s an innate ability and not one easily learned.

The ball never breaks to him because he’s constantly out of position. When it does, he’s brushed off it far too easily at the moment.

Now, after all the carefully placed pro-pieces in the media surrounding our strategy, whenever we approach a club or agent they think one of three things:

  • This lad must be better than we think if Brentford are in for him.
  • We can get more money for him if Brentford think he’s good.
  • If Brentford want him and see something in him, then bigger clubs will too so I can get him more money in wages.

Last season I read somewhere that Matthew Benham’s theory meant that a side near the bottom wasn’t necessarily bad because over the course of a campaign things even themselves out as luck plays its part. Right now though I’m reminded of the saying “you make your own luck in this game.”

The bottom line is that most Brentford fans with a brain have seen for many months that we lack steel, guile, bottle, balls, size, strength or whatever you want to call it. So why couldn’t Giles and Ankersen when the window was open?

If it’s because we don’t want to play that way and won’t abandon our principles then that’s arrant nonsense and, I hate to say it, arrogant in the extreme.

We also lack quality where it matters, but I accept that only comes at a price and, if rumours of a sudden cash squeeze are to be believed, it’s one we’re not prepared to pay whatever the outcome.

However, and here’s the stark truth, we are now staring trips to Northampton and Oxford in the face unless the squad is strengthened fast or the approach or pattern of play changes.

My fear is that a refusal to stray from the principles of finding young fringe Premier League players – unless they are exceptional talents – will not help our cause at a time when we currently need people with knowledge of this league.

To bleat on about Smith not being able to motivate the same side Lee Carsley had at his disposal is a red herring.

Carsley had Tarkowski and Diagouraga, two key players who both, in differing ways, played their part in ensuring the back four didn’t look vulnerable.

Importantly he was also given a short-term brief by Matthew Benham to steady the ship, stop the rot and stabilise by whatever means possible after the Dijkhuizen departure.

By contrast Smith has been told to work towards a longer term project with far less quality to call on. I might be wrong but I’d put a few bob on the fact that in confidential company, he isn’t happy at having his reputation put on the line by the club’s lack of activity in January, however valid the reasons for doing so.

That same lack of activity and dare I say it Big New Ambitions will, I hope, be reflected in season ticket prices for next season when people will adopt a once bitten, twice shy approach.

So what is the solution? To stick or twist? It’s a dilemma that Matthew Benham, as a gambling man, may well be relishing but I for one am not.

It’s fairly obvious to me – bring in a quick, pacy young winger on the fringes of a Premier League start and a mid-twenties defensive midfielder with a bit of bite and Championship know-how because a youngster in that role simply won’t do given our current predicament.

Maybe easier said than done at this stage of the campaign given our cash constraints, but the financial ramifications of relegation will be far more damaging than a few extra quid shelled out now.

I’ll leave the final word to this probably over long ramble to Jeff Stelling, whose stunning on screen analysis of Aston Villa’s season and predicament made me sit up with a start.

Without detriment to our new signings – some of whom may well go on to be real assets to the club IN TIME – or our scapegoat manager, there are clear parallels to be drawn.

If you haven’t seen it take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL_zCdeIyQ8


37 thoughts on “Pointing The Finger! – 22/3/16

  1. Fair comments Jim.

    You don’t mention the BFC board or CEO which with most clubs is where the ‘pointing the finger’ invariably starts. Indeed back in 2008 I was on the point of joining the ‘sack the board’ campaign until my wife pointed out that I was actually on it!!

    I assume that the BFC board is still the final decision maker and the DoF’s and Head Coach are still I take it board appointments or is that no longer the case?

    I was just surprised that they seem to escape scot free and without a mention (unless I’ve missed it) in any ‘Pointing the Finger’ article.

    Probably better if Greville responds and tells us where the Board and CEO sit in the decision making process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said Jim Levack. A fascinating and thought-provoking analysis of “where we go from here”. I agree with at least nine out of ten observations that you make. But as much as I like Dean Smith, I remain to be convinced that he has the ability and/or the support to take us forward. His recent team selections,game plans and substitutions have not inspired a great deal of confidence! I avoid all other social media outlets, particularly Twitter, like the plague so I hope he is not getting too much personal abuse which I would abhor. He deserves the chance to remain in charge at least until the end of the season. Finally,Jim,I too, am somewhat surprised that you overlooked the Club’s Board of Directors in assessing who is to blame for the situation you so graphically describe.!!


  2. When it comes to football club Directors I’m afraid that broadly speaking I tend to share the late great Len Shackleton’s view.


    • Sorry…….the above is from me and I had trouble sending it. Greville could you delete it and allow this second effort to replace it. Thanks

      Well I suppose that is a response of some sort Jim but it is glib and unsatisfactory frankly.

      Either you or Greville chose to headline your article ‘Pointing The Finger’ and yet the board and Executive are mentioned nowhere. I have no idea now where the board fits into the hierarchy but given your dismissive response to my comment then if your view is that it’s simply stuffed with placemen who won’t rock the boat and are handpicked for their individual and collective ability to say ‘yessir’ quickly we are perhaps getting nearer to the nub of the problem.

      The club is 100% owned by Matthew Benham and as David Merritt wrote in his BU Chairman’s Statement we are of course in Matthew’s hands which I doubt is an issue for anyone other than the small minority who frequent Facebook and Twitter with their ‘look at me’ diatribes.

      However the board is there to provide ‘checks and balances’ and whilst nobody suggests that the Chairman is independent and has a voice there surely has to be some discussion going on at board level on how we have got ourselves into this situation on and off the field and with the poisonous atmosphere between the fans in different camps which is reflected in some of the comments responding to this and earlier blogs and which are now a feature of the GPG.

      I invited Greville to comment on how he sees the position of the BFC board in all of this as he is closer to the situation than any of us but either he has chosen not to or time constraints have prevented him from replying. The BFC board of course includes two elected members from the Bees United board with the other four handpicked by Matthew so if your ‘Len Shackleton’ response is a sweeping indictment of the BFC (and all other football club boards) then I gently suggest there is the issue and perhaps the setting for you and Greville to publish ‘Pointing The Finger Part Two’.


      • If I knew what then position of the BFC Board was then I would be happy to provide you all with that information a long a sI was not betraying any confidences but I can assure you that I do not know how they feel beyond what I suspect or guess. There are no hard facts with which to enlighten you all.

        As a BU Board member we do of course receive brief updates at our own board meetings from our 2 BFC Board representatives regarding the key points discussed at BFC Board meetings but these are basically snapshots and brief summaries so I am quite honestly unable to tell you any more than that.


  3. Well, blaming employees (of all sorts) is an easy thing to do, and does not get you anywhere much except to disrupt. I do agree that those that need to take responsibility are the BFC board. Otherwise they are a waste of space. They have the responsibility and (presumably) authority to make the sort of changes that people are slowly beginning to realize are necessary. Naturally, dear old BU has a role here with its two directors on the BFC board charged with looking after corporate governance. At the risk of being labelled repetitious, corporate governance is mainly the business of looking after the interests of the owners of an organization. And of other stakeholders. BFC directors must have noticed that Matthew Benham’s interests at BFC are beginning to look a little shaky with dreadful results this year at all levels, not to mention apparently running at a £15m a year loss which BU admits some concern over. It’s right and proper to stick to a plan and strategy, but in the old management training sore – When you’re up to your arse in alligators, forget about draining the swamp. Perhaps it’s time to stop digging and deal with the threat.


  4. Interesting piece – thanks Jim for writing it, and Greville for sharing it.

    I completely agree that the DoF’s have not produced the talent needed to keep us competitive, and the seemingly complacent approach to our situation since Christmas leaves us on the brink. I often ask myself it the problem is the plan itself, or their execution of the plan – or both? I honestly don’t know…

    Where I differ is on DS, yes he’s come into a difficult role with many challenges, and there need to be allowances made for this. But I have to say i’m not impressed by what I have seen on the pitch since Christmas, the experimentation, the tactics, the substitutions – and possibly even the handling of players. He seems a decent, genuinely good guy who won’t cause ripples – maybe this is why we went for him….
    I’m preparing myself for league 1, sad though it may be, I felt that after Saturday, radical short term measures were needed in respect of his position, coupled with the arrival of 2 to 3 experienced loans. I’m of the view that simply continuing to do the same things with the same faces will ensure the same outcomes. However that’s not what I think will happen – hence my readiness for the trips to Northampton and alike.

    Anyway Rasmus has now given an interview to City AM – linked be below if you’ve not seen it already..



  5. Rasmus’s interview is interesting and well worth a read.
    I agree with most of what he says and agree wholeheartedly that we need to think and act differently to stand any chance of survival.
    But, and it’s a big but, there has to be balance to a bold project like this and that was always my reservation from the outset.
    The perfect balance was a strong football man like MW working alongside the stats men like Phil and Rasmus. We need to learn from that and have a strong football man with good connections working alongside them both.
    By all means bring in young players like Barbet, who clearly has something about him, for the future. But don’t expect him not to make mistakes early on as he repeatedly did with his distribution on Saturday.
    Right now we need strong, experienced men to do a job, steady the ship and allow the young talent we undoubtedly have in abundance, to flourish.
    It’s not rocket science… is it?


    • The evidence is clear and completely supports what Jim says. How do you end up with a team that lacks the key components of ball winners, strikers, pace and experience? Because of a lack of basic understanding of the needs of forming a team in general, and the Championship in particular. Q.E.D.


      • Have just read RA,s interview. Cannot say I was particularly impressed (surprise,surprise !!) A lot of what I call “management speak”; no real acknowledgement of the club’s current plight;or the team’s performances! Told,once again, that I must show more faith and patience and that the innovative strategic plan will yield results sometime in the future-but perhaps later rather than sooner!! Hardly encouraging?


  6. In any other business such abject failure to deliver would have resulted in the people responsible being jettisoned.Well the people primarily responsible are the Directors of Football & they have failed miserably in my book on a number of levels & as such should be relieved of their duties.
    As for Dean Smith,any sympathy I have for him has ebbed away following a series of unfathomable team selections,tactical blunders & substitutions.Coaches or Managers ,whatever you want to call them have been sacked for much less .I believe he is only still in post due to the hand he has been dealt by the DOF’s,Pep Guardiola would have struggled for Christ’s sake !
    As for the future,who knows? Signing young prospects on loan is not going to get us out of the hole we find ourselves in.A couple of Championship hardened loanees is the least that is required.As was said previously relying on the likes of Macca & Sam Saunders ,when last season they could barely make the bench,speaks volumes for our plight.Without this injection of experience(look no further than Rotherham) I fear the worst I’m afraid.
    As for Jeff Stellings piece ,are you sure he wasn’t talking about us ?!


  7. I wasn’t overly impressed buy RA’s interview either, firstly why not communicate directly with BFC fans first? Maybe it was done to try to shore up his image?

    I found it all a bit patronising, to my mind he is now talking us down a bit and doing the “little old Brentford” thing.

    Wasn’t so long ago we recruited well and sold at the top of the market, and then we didn’t – I wonder why?


  8. What worries me about the interview is that it implies that because of self belief, we are going to carry on doing the same regardless.


  9. Greville – I am sure I read somewhere that you were on the receiving end of verbal abuse at GP on Saturday. Absolutely shocking if true and hopefully the perpetrator made himself (or herself) look very stupid.

    Jim – Well written as ever, especially the bit about the Statto (just one please) working with a proper football man as DOFs. Just one thing though – I don’t remember Marcos Tébar storming through from midfield that often, given that he only played a handful of games pretty moderately!


    • No Gordy, I stepped in to stop the situation escalating and both involved will admit it wasn’t either of their finest hours, who will step up next to tell Greville what they think is so wrong with this season and their reasons why, Jim’s had 2 goes in 2 weeks so I suppose he is on hold, it’s very healthy to keep knocking everything, it’s just what we need and I know you guys enjoy it.


      • Matt,
        I would like to think that you and I could talk Brentford for hours over copious amounts of drink and still have different, similar and shared views on all matters at the end of it. We are not robots so we cant all think alike.
        Nick Logan from the start of the season until now has in my opinion, admirably, stuck to his opinion not to allow so much as a whisper of discontent to waver his support of Brentford. You’re on his inside right and I am on the other side of the spectrum perhaps inside left with the lad with split Liverpool / Brentford tendencies way out even on my left flank. Greville and Jim are in my opinion very central but not completely in agreement with each other or parties either side of that 6 man line up.
        What unites us is Brentford FC and my biggest disappointment this year is the abuse fans are prepared to give each other on the GPG primarily but also on Facebook and Twitter. I regret I got sucked into that.

        One fan, whose opinion I would often listen too, called me out for suggesting he might be more able to afford to go home and away to support Brentford than others. Laughable. Worse was to come from another fan and unfortunately I bit and said both of them had little man syndrome in retaliation.

        That got me barred from the GPG by its owner who completely ignored the comments and personal mail that I had received from them! In hindsight, that is probably more to do with history than anything else. We simply don’t like each other and there is no disguising it. But he is still a Brentford fan.

        What is undeniable this year is that the players signed in the summer have not been good enough.
        Back in early August after one performance Kerschbaumer was singled out as poor by comparison to the trouble maker he was bought to replace. Its a game of opinion and maybe mine was clouded because I like the player he replaced and one that you had not been impressed with for a long while, Jonathan Douglas.

        Now my daughter and I and my nephew have season tickets and attend every home game we can and my daughter has seen us lose only three times in two seasons as a season ticket holder. Call it bad luck or a sixth sense but her other activities, singing, dancing, gymnastics, or her epilepsy have conspired to mean she has missed many of the defeats we have seen but hardly any of the wins or draws.

        I have missed four this season due to hernia and ruptured tendons operations, but I find time every day to read about Brentford on BBC, Sky, The GPG, Twitter and talk about Brentford at every opportunity I can with friends.
        I buy and wear the shirts home and away every season and training tops both for me, my daughter and my nephew. (Some people actually think wearing a football shirt is Sad??? Thankfully for the clubs coffers me and many others do not share that opinion).
        I bring new people to matches when either of the kids cant come by upgrading their season tickets to Adult. I have bought scarves as a first match present to each virgin supporter that I have introduced.
        I drink Guinness in the Hive served by Graham and Anne and all the other staff and I buy food from all of the Braemar outlets for all of us at every game (albeit not all on one day).

        So I think that I SUPPORT the club, I think that I SUPPORT the team.

        I do not however, feel that I am NOT PROPERLY supporting the team just because what I have to say may be deemed as negative by fans whose opinions may be different to mine.

        A classic anecdote to finish. I was a fan of Terry Butcher for what I saw him trying to achieve with a bunch of players that were NOT assembled by him in any shape or form.(They were ironically scouted by the same man who has continues to hold a scouting role at the club). I had had an ankle operation and was a regular visitor to the training ground so I was judging with my eyes.
        I am not a fan of Dean Smith who finds himself in the same predicament albeit he is the Head Coach and the first remit of that role is that he does not get to start afresh with “his players” at the clubs expense of offloading the others or not being able to prevent them seeing out their contracts whilst they rot in the reserves.

        The Brentford Managerial statistics for both are almost identical. Go Figure!!!!!!!!

        Maybe we have learnt from our mistakes and maybe we haven’t!!!




  10. Grow up Matt please. you did yourself no favours a couple of weeks ago and you’re back again in much the same vein.

    Greville is one of the least controversial figures you find round GP so I really object to him being targeted by anyone. Well done therefore for being the knight in shining armour.


    Please don’t demonise the likes of Jim for asking questions. This has probably been the least enjoyable season for me since 2006. The whole thing has polarised opinion like I’ve never seen before. And people have every right to ask questions, even if this means (sorry to startle you) they might appreciate everything Matthew Benham has done for the club previously. You might not like it but there are many questions being asked at the moment by many fans.

    Finally, you have no idea who I am. You have no idea how long I have supported BFC. You actually have little idea of what I think. So don’t you dare tell me that I am enjoying what is going on at the moment on or off the field (though if I remember correctly, you were saying we had no chance of getting relegated and were only on a brief bad trot, so we can’t take that too seriously). If you look at what I’ve actually written elsewhere, I’ve said the time for recriminations is for after the season and it’s in everyone’s interests for the fans to unite for the common good. So which bit of that do you not understand?


  11. Demonise Jim indeed, big words for knowing Jim is upset and reading it all again, hem lost me when he said JD would snarl at opponents, he did that once and that was at Jots, grow up and did myself no favours, I don’t want to be liked by a high % of you guys, I returned as I was told that sadly an incident had been mentioned, a sorry incident that should IMO have been filed away in the shit bucket and put the record straight, as for going down, I still can’t see it but if it makes you happy then enjoy.


    • Matt
      To put your mind at rest I don’t feel demonised and like you aren’t too bothered what people think of me. I’ve always said pretty much what I think even when sometimes I shouldn’t. I did try to keep the piece as constructive as possible but to be honest it’s not easy.
      While we’re talking demonising have you seen the stuff about Judge on the GPG where Banana claims it’s a general view behind closed doors that he is not playing for the team any longer? If we’re talking negative stuff that should be filed in the shit bucket then surely it’s that… Just saying.


      • Sadly I have heard the same about Judge, so has Greville and all from different people, none of that is healthy but at least it appears factual rather than just saying Rasmus is rubbish, he may well be but I don’t have a scooby about the guy and what he does, you could say that the signings aren’t good so RS and PG are both complete pony but none of us know what they do on a daily basis, we don’t know what criteria they work to etc etc, those sort of digs at RS do me in, he’s a soft target and it may all be warranted but it’s another know nothing part of BFC that is constantly attacked, did you see Sammy leave the pitch on Saturday and go mental at DS about what AJ was up to, I find that far more worrying than a lot of the things in your last piece, that isn’t good to see.


  12. Easy to see why fans are getting into arguments with each other I guess when you get someone stooping so low as to accuse another of enjoying the fact we’re in a relegation battle. That is seriously playground stuff.

    My actual words were “chance of relegation” by the way, and given our form over two months and the ever narrowing gap, we have a chance of being relegated. What’s more, Dean Smith has admitted it, so if it’s ok I’ll trust his judgement on this rather than yours given that it’s his arse on the line.


  13. Any Bees fans looking to blame others for this car crash of a season, or worse still “diss” our best player, really are “covering up”. I get why though, it’s an admission that they’ve been proved wrong and that those with genuine concerns were right. From the outing of Dallas & JD, to the pitch, to Marinus, to the injuries, to the “only the top 6 are better”, to “wait until the players are back” to watch is go now we’ve hired DS” to “Tarks / Toums won’t be missed” to “we’ll beat the relegation fodder” to “we are safely mid table” they’ve been wrong. Rather than man up and say that the big calls have turned out to be bad calls, and to apportion responsibility accordingly, it seems easier to just blame many longstanding & very loyal fans for voicing concern.


    • What a Rebel. Some melt and type when things are bad and others enjoy the pressure, I’ll take whatever this mad season throws at me and deal with it rather than bleating about what’s gone wrong, are you sure people like me need to “man up” and if you knew me you’d know that I’m up for the fight, I know you aren’t, your constant crying on here show what you have in the locker, I’m bored with you lot again, feel free to have the last word but I do recommend you come and find me and ask me to “Grow up” or “Man up” and we can carry it on, we know that won’t happen though, don’t we?
      Enjoy your last word.


      • I’m there every week mate and will continue whatever, so don’t start nominating yourself as “superfan” because you ain’t. And a “melt” isn’t a charge that’s been put to me before, but if it makes you feel better knock yourself out.

        Maybe we can discuss the issues now – not so comfortable on that score are we?


  14. As far as the BFC board’s view on the current situation is concerned I have no firm news to tell you beyond mere speculation.

    As a BU board member we are given brief summaries, updates and snapshots of selected happenings at BFC board meetings by our 2 appointed representatives on the BFC board.

    I believe that they are totally open and honest with us and we get some slight idea of what is happening but it is obviously filtered to some degree.

    There is also the issue of confidentiality to consider and whether some matters are considered too sensitive for us and indeed we are sometimes told things in confidence that of course I respect.

    In essence I would say that personally I do not have much of an impression of the type of checks and balances and opposing views that may or indeed may not be expressed at BFC board meetings.


  15. Great to see Matt and Rebel reinforcing the opening paragraph of the article… thanks guys, but I’m not sure thus bitch slapping and in fighting is going to help us.
    Remember. We all want this season to end with us still in the Championship.
    It’s a mini season now so crucial that us fans stick together.


    • I would like to echo those final two sentences of yours Jim, though I am surprised I haven’t yet been on the receiving end of the ultimate playground insult, namely that I actually want us to go down so I can turn round and say ‘told you so’. For that I suppose I should be very grateful…


  16. Greville, happy to apologise if you think i’m OOO, Not that you should be called upon to referee on a disagreement, but maybe re-read the thread again.

    Anyway i’m too invested in all of this and it ain’t healthy, time to give it a miss for while.

    Keep up the good work & UTB.


  17. Thanks for that note about the board, Greville. Naturally, some stuff will always not be for consumption outside the BFC board – payments especially. However, I would hope that you and the other BU bosrd members have sufficient feedback for your watching brief on corporate governance and that you have the opportunity to question things at the BFC board, via the two people you send there, even if it cannot be passed on outside the BU board. With the demise of the BFC independent directors like Alan that, surely, is the best way to maintain the checks and balances where BU has concerns – which no doubt it has, like most of us, at the moment.


  18. God knows we have had plenty of ups and downs over the years but this year is worse for one reason. Last season our expectations were raised to a significant degree by the team and the quality of players. So we fans divided into two groups, the ones who were upset by the changes (Non-Believers) and the ones who thought MB was a genius and we were going to defy gravity (Believers).

    So a divided fanbase goes into a season that has progressively turned worse and worse, apart from a blip when LC was briefly in charge. The result is the division is now a chasm because the first group (Non-Believers) are angry because something that wasn’t broken has been dismantled and they feared as much and they think they were right but wish they weren’t. The second group (Believers) have been clutching at successive straws and are running out of straws to hang onto and maybe will have to admit they were wrong but wish they didn’t have to and weren’t wrong.

    Wake up at the back there, this is complicated. So where do we go from here?

    MB has admitted that there was too much change too quickly, and I know I will get crucified for making this comment about the sainted Matthew, but he really has f***ed up big time. But that’s OK, provided we learn from the experience, we’ve all done it in our lives from time to time. The important thing is to fix it, but probably not now.

    If fans make a difference, and I believe they do, we have got to forget about all this and unite behind the team until the end of the season. I don’t care who was right and who was wrong, and neither must we all care who was right and who was wrong. It really doesn’t matter right now, we can tear each other to pieces after it is all over when we have or have not got out of jail.

    Me personally, I have gone progressively from Believer to Non-Believer ever since MD got fired, and admit I have posted some pretty negative stuff about BFC’s management because I think it’s sub-standard right now but let’s discuss this when it’s all over and get behind the team for now and stop all this arguing and point scoring, it’s very sad and I don’t think it is helpful. Come the end of the season I am going to want answers, and so should we all, but not right now.


  19. Well said again Abeja Española. I know we had our differences early doors this season but we don’t half agree now.

    The most ridiculous thing from the polarisation of the fans is that those of us who occupy ‘the centre ground’ ie. have been nothing but full of praise for everything our owner has achieved but have asked questions about this season, and are now seen by superfans such as Casey and Benn as being down there with the numpties who dole it out abusively on Twitter and Facebook. This is patently absurd.

    As you say, the time for analysis is the end of the season. We need points from somewhere to preserve the status we have craved for years and years. A win looks as likely as a charming, conciliatory post from Matt Casey (I’m sure he’s a nice bloke really), but we have to believe. It can happen, and there are enough winnables to be able to achieve safety.


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