Thursday 11 June 2009

So, farewell then, the reserves

The reserves are the latest victim of cost cutting at The Valley. They have a useful role in providing a competitive game for fringe players, but there will be fewer of those in future. Players returning from injury could be loaned out.

In the 1950s we very rarely went to reserve games. Indeed, the only one I can remember is a Combination Cup tie against Aldershot.

In more recent years, I have taken in the odd game when we played at The Valley and I have been in London. I recall one game against Norwich City when there were two particularly vociferous Norwich supporters in the row in front of us. The referee looked as if he was about to draw his pension and looked considerably startled when my friend bellowed across the almost empty ground, 'Get a grip ref!'

We did, of course, win the reserves championship more than once under Keith Peacock. We also got into the final of the reserves competition, but went down at home to a strong Manchester United side.

If one was looking for further cost cutting measures, why not disband the first team? Those who had already paid for season tickets could still turn up and buy a souvenir programme of the match that might have been. They could use the refreshment kiosks and then take their seats for the pre-match build up. The only difference would be that no teams would emerge.

They could then spend the next 45 minutes chatting to their neighbours (which many do anyway). At half time one could still have the Valley Gold and jackpot draws and dignitaries could appear on the pitch.

It would also be a great solution to the guilt felt by early leavers.

I'm off to Amsterdam for a couple of days for a workshop I am organising with Uefa participation with contributors from the 'Big 5' leagues and other European countries on European football. No doubt when I come back Phil Parkinson will still be in charge and there will be no news on the takeover.


Luv Robin said...

That actually also means the club have accepted that the youth set-up is unlikely to produce any useful players in the near future. Without a stiffs squad there is nowhere for the lads to graduate.

Since the youth system over the last few years has proved a valuable source of excellent League Two and Conference players we might have expected to see more home grown players in the first team as the club settles into the mud.

Anonymous said...

This takeover isn't going to happen is it ?
It's taken far too long which is a very bad sign and we can't even beat off Huddersfield in a race to sign a Southend player .
I feel very pessimistic about our prospects, I feel Div 4 beckoning for the first time in our history

sillav nitram said...

i don't think the takeover's going to happen either. i think it's just someone spreading a malicious rumour. surely something would have happened by now, wouldn't it?

Suze said...

There are reports Spurs aren't entering a reserve team in their league either...