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Gibbo

Some parallels with Newcastle...

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For a long time now I''ve despised Newcastle Utd, with their fans always whinging about how they should be in the top 4, they deserve better for turning up with 40,000+ every game etc, etc...  They had a small taste of the BIG time for a couple of seasons and it spoilt them really and raised expectations to a level the club could not continually support - ultimately the disatisfaction of these fans at the team not achieving their raised expectations will have had an effect on the situation the club is in now...

Talking to a mate down the pub the other day, it feels to me that a lot of parallels can be draw between them and us really - we had a couple of good seasons that raised fans expectations (however the club was being ran the same as it always had, and realistically we got lucky that our ''cheap'' signings came good as well as a few excellent loans - we were never going to sustain that level without changes to the board).  These expecations have not been lowered since dropping back down from the prem - how often do we go on about the fact that we get 25,000+ a game, more than a lot of prem sides, we deserve better, etc...

Obviously we are on a slightly smaller scale, but it made me kind of see why Newcastle fans are how they are - Just wonder how other clubs view us now... Hopefully not leaning towards the Newcastle fans! :-)

In my opinion there are only 2 solutions to the decline of both clubs really - a.) Rich investor comes in to throw BIG money at the problem, or b.) Club bottoms out in the lower leagues and gradually builds upwards momentum again (i.e crowds dropping back down to 8-13k again while we play the likes of Grimsby or Lincoln, surely that''s got to lower expecation again, as it doesn''t get much worse!).

Looks like both clubs will most likely be taking the first step towards solution b.) soon unfortunately... :-(

 

 

 

 

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Hi Gibbo a very interesting read and I can see some of your points that relate to both clubs.

However I have never despised Newcastle for their aspirations. They have a proud history, winning the league and the FA Cup many times in the past, but for many reasons, most of them unknown to us as we are not Newcastle fans, they haven''t achieved to those fans'' expectations. The same could be said of us.

I don''t know how old you are, but I would say age can have a relevance with expectations that certain fans have. I saw my first game in the early 70s where we are up and down between the top two divisions, but competing at least in the top division, gradually we got better and were in the top division for a long time, albeit were relegated, but came straight back up. Then the Premiership was founded and in that season finished third. Then came Europe (we had qualified for Europe previously, but English clubs were banned for a period). That is the history which matched my expectations then. A great club playing passing football and competing in the top league.

Since then we have gone down but in the pecking order in the English club table. The reasons why can be argued forever, but we are now facing going back to where we were 50 years ago, and have been heading that way for the past two seasons at least. Some of us would say for a lot longer than that.

Yes we had the play off season, and the promotion season. But what happened? Fan expectation too high? Not for me. For me it was more about the expectations and decision making by those who run the club. Since relegation we have been playing with fire. Just drifting/sinking to where we are now.

Of course there are many outside factors which many fans come up with, too much money/private benefactors/Sky TV. The list is endless.

In truth though we are simply not good enough, or consistent enough to do better than we are doing now, which is just about keeping our heads above water. If we go down I really can''t see us coming straight back up, and if we did, to what? The board have no strategies or fresh ideas and are still trying to attract investment. For my money they need to bring more people into the mix to provide further input. And that''s just the start.

On the pitch we have to start again, whatever league we are in next season. I will be there, no doubt with most of the people who have already renewed. My expectations have not lowered, and I don''t ever expect them to. I have been to Grimsby and Lincoln before and will go to their grounds again.

A lifelong love affair doesn''t (or shouldn''t) stop with relegation or a couple of disappointing seasons, but questions have to be asked of everyone at the club and we can only hope some answers are found before too long.

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Hi Gazzathegreat,

Cheers for the reply :-)

I''m 28, although I only really got into football about 14 years ago after visiting Carrow Rd while on scout camp, so I just caught the tail end of the ''good times'' before relegation...

It''s a good point you make about age affecting expectations, I came into football quite late compared to a lot of people, so my expectations are probably similar to those of a lot of 20 odd year olds.  The 2 sucessful years you mentioned were really the first 2 for me since I started following city, whereas you would have seen the success in the 80''s and early 90''s. Expecations during them couple of years were raised for me personally, as I wasn''t used to it!

The pecking order of clubs for me was established when I first got into football, so I see Norwich, Ipswich, Southampton, QPR, Wimbledon, Palace, Shef Wed, etc as clubs that should be in and around the top flight.  So deep down I still have the expectation that Norwich should be up there, but then after many seasons of mediocracy my ''realistic expectations'' lowered a little (always got the dream though!).

What I meant with regards to expectations/crowds dropping at Carrow Rd, is that when any club goes through a period of success, more supporters will always turn up for games in addition to the lifelong fans that go through thick and thin.  With these extra supporters comes extra expectaion and extra discontent when things aren''t going well.... although possibly we don''t really have any as we''re still getting 25,000 even after several poor seasons! :-)

Regardless of what league we are in, I''ll always follow City and go to as many games as possible - Lincoln would be quite handy for me actually, it''s about 100 meters from my house ;-)

Cheers!

 

 

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Gibbo

It''s a difficult and inaccurate science measuring a fanbase. We have 20,000 season ticket holders, due in part (and the Board have openly said this themselves) to an attractive ticketing policy, and a fair few of those 20,000 are kids who have a ticket for £20 or so. While my children were young I have to admit I took advantage of the family area, though in those days - the 90s - they had to pay more than is the case today. But it worked, they were hooked and now pay full whack for a season ticket.

I know a few supporters who first came to the club in the promotion season and have not known anything before it who think we are doing well to keep in the Championship. To me that is clearly not the case, but in their experience it''s probably a justified conclusion.

My expectations are still a lot higher than theirs and I guess a lot higher than those who ultimately have the clubs'' fate in their hands.

Where did it all start to go wrong? IMO it was on promotion. The board budgeted for a return to the Championship and prepared in similar fashion. Since relegation we have sold every major asset and bought at Poundland. Simple enough maths gets us to where we are today. We can all hope, pray and wait for a solution, but it doesn''t get any easier when we all see the club we love in trouble and facing a very uncertain future.

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