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Wor Al protests: What are they thinking?

Posted on June 27th, 2009 | 74 Comments |

Bedsheets oot for wor Al this time?
Bed-sheets oot for wor Al this time?
So; the NUSC (Newcastle United Supporter’s Club) have issued a call to arms, calling for Mike Ashley to immediately appoint Alan Shearer as manager.

Speaking on the planned wor Al insurgency, NUSC spokesman Colin Whittle said:

“The time has come to show the outside world that the supporters of Newcastle United are ready to move on and get behind the club.

“We believe that the appointment of Alan Shearer would send out a massive signal to potential buyers and, most importantly, the fans, who have so far been ignored.”

Hmm, what signal would that be exactly? That they want to scare off all potential bidders with their bellicose demands and threats, and keep Ashley as the owner of the club, perhaps?

Speaking of a potential future takeover bid of the new owners (whoever they may be), Whittle goes on to add:

“At the moment, a fans’ buyout is not a realistic possibility, but in the medium term we would like to be able to create substantial funding to buy into the club. We have been approached by a number of individuals who are looking to invest – individuals who can’t buy the club outright but who have sufficient funds to buy into it – with the very long term aim of fan ownership of the club.”

So what happens if the new owners (whoever they are) don’t want to sell the club, or a share of it? Or if they do, what if NUSC feel that the price is too high? Is it bedsheet time again? Will this be encouraging news for anyone who may be putting in a bid? To be told; “We’ll tell you who the manager is going to be, and we’ll tell you when we’re ready to buy the club off you” (not that this will happen anytime soon in reality!).

Also speaking on the campaign, Mark Jensen from Newcastle United fanzine, “The Mag” said:

“Its a no-brainer” (it certainly is, Mark, though not in the sense that you mean it).

He added:

“The fans want Shearer and any future owners would be mad not to see Alan’s potential. By coming together, as representatives of various sections of the fan base we believe that it will send a powerful message of unity that will be picked up by potential owners.”

If it is picked up by the potential owners, they will be absolutely delighted, I’m sure.

Steve Hastie, from fellow fanzine, “True Faith” also chipped in, revealing the solid foundations behind the NUSC’s thinking:

“The fans need to get resolution to this long running saga. It was particularly encouraging to hear potential owners talk about official fans involvement in the club, not as a token but a true partner”.

Here of course, he is referring to highly questionable newspaper “revelations” that Singaporean land bankers, “The Profitable Group” want to return Alan Shearer to the managers position and increase the influence of the fans in the running of the club in a similar manner to Barcelona. This is a claim that the group have since distanced themselves from; although the “owners” part would also imply that he was also referring to the fake bid by Mackem “WUM”, Rick Parker, who issued a joke press release saying that he also wanted to reinstall Shearer as manager with a “£30 million tranfer kitty” and fans running the club.

When will the madness all end?

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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74 Responses

  1. Good post. I quite agree that any ‘protest’ or ‘demonstration’ will only be counter-productive at the moment.

    What amazes me most is the number of reputable NUFC sites that are backing this action.

    Workey, we seem to be swimming very much against the flow on this one.

  2. Afternoon Worky. Good article by the way. I am incredulous that these people cannot see the potential damage of coming out with such daft stuff at any time let alone at such a critical part of the negotiations. Would you want to buy a club where the fans feel they have the right to demand certain actions of the owners, to protest with bedsheets to hammer home the message for the national media to lap up and cause further embarrasement to be heaped on the club? If I were a potential owner I would take this as a taster of things to come and run a mile. Do some people never learn?

  3. Afternoon Hugh

    ‘What amazes me most is the number of reputable NUFC sites that are backing this action.’

    I genuinely can’t imagine how they cannot perceive the damage this will do.

  4. “Workey, we seem to be swimming very much against the flow on this one.”

    Personally, I don’t care, Hugh. It’s as if NUSC are doing everything they can to ruin the sale of the club. From what Steve Hastie was saying, it also seems that their actions may be influenced by unreliable reports from “a source” in the newspapers, and a Mackem joker!

    Their seeming limitless stupidity is just a godsend for both the tabloid press (who can just wind them up and set them off at will with completely made up reports), and the Mackems too!

  5. Afternoon Deb.

    Yes, I agree. I can’t come up with a reason why all those sites would back this action other than frustration. But we all feel that at the moment.

  6. Workey, I’m sure NUSC have their own agenda but I would hope that, since there are no practical plans for fan ownership at the moment, they’d want stability at the club rather than trying to rock the boat with pointless ‘demands’.

    Maybe they just feel the need to try and flex their muscles.

  7. I agree we’re all frustrated but the naivety being shown by quite a few of our fans is laughable. I am just responding to an article on Ed’s blog regarding two fitness coaches leaving because they have not received the necessary assurances from the club for next season. This has turned into a MA demon, further incompetence rant etc by Ed winding everyone up. My point is when Shearer took over for his 8 week stint he was allegedly appalled at the level of fitness of the squad and upped the anti considerably. Could it be the fitness coaches weren’t really rated and the club wanted shot of them, in which case it’s a sensible course of action by the club not to prolong their contracts and clear the way for other appointments?

  8. Hugh

    I would guess some of them are attention seekers who like to see their name in the media and are more than a little upset that the club haven’t taken more notice of them.

  9. Hi Worky

    Fine thanks just catching up on some projects I need to have completed by early next week unfortunately. How about yourself?

  10. geordie deb says:
    June 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm (Edit)

    “Hi Worky

    Fine thanks just catching up on some projects I need to have completed by early next week unfortunately. How about yourself?”

    I’m shouting at my computer and banging on the table today mostly, Deb!

  11. ‘I’m shouting at my computer and banging on the table today mostly, Deb!’

    I shout at my computer most days but the IT dept normally tell me the problem is user error, sigh….
    Try not to get too angry with it

  12. Hope they’ve changed the ‘Boycoutt’ banner before it’s aired on the news again, can’t come across again as being a bunch of thick geordies!

  13. I’m surprised that these “thick Geordies” didn’t reflect on the influence the last protests had on our search for a manager to follow Keegan. Didn’t they stop to think, even for one second that this could have a similar effect on our search for a new owner?

    On second thoughts, no. I’m not surprised at all really!

  14. I always hoped that they were just trying to be a bit clever, like “BoycOUTt”. But that isn’t the case.

  15. “Could it be the fitness coaches weren’t really rated and the club wanted shot of them, in which case it’s a sensible course of action by the club not to prolong their contracts and clear the way for other appointments?”

    If that’s the case why would Liverpool hire them?

  16. 52 times

    ‘If that’s the case why would Liverpool hire them?’

    Good question, when you think we had one of the most unfit teams and the highest injury records, I have no idea why a club like Liverpool would want to appoint our fitness team. Allegedly Shearer was appalled at the fitness level of our squad and made them up training quite a bit when he came in for his 8 week stint.
    It always amazes me that ‘results, performance and common sense’ don’t seem to enter into the equation when football clubs employ people.

  17. Have I missed something?

    Where does it say that we should protest?

    I believe the groups calling for Shearer to be appointed would have been better served calling for ‘a’ manager to be appointed, anyone!

    Everday that goes by I feel we should be closer to a sale as Ashley or the potential new owner surely wouldn’t want the club to be this rudderless for this long.

    But then nothing happens and I think it’s de ja vu from last season. I really wouldn’t be suprised if we don’t have a new owner when the season actually starts!

  18. Stuart79 says:
    June 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    “Have I missed something?

    Where does it say that we should protest?”

    You do have a point there, Stuart, they were calling more for a “campaign”. But what would be involved exactly in a “campaign” to immediately reinstate Shearer as manager?

    ps. Also, what would happen if new owners came in and appointed someone else as manager?

  19. Worky,

    I’m getting the impression their on about a media campaign of sorts.

    That can be the only campaign surely?

    However, were led to believe the people buying us are from either US, Middle East or Far East.

    Will these people have even heard of these groups let alone hear their appeals?

    I’m not too sure it will cause that much damage, but either way they should keep stum till we know what’s actually happening.

    We do need a manager though……

  20. It’s simple: NUSC, True Faith, The Mag, NUFC.com et al are NOT advocating any sort of protest, nor have they anything to do with the so-called bedsheet brigade.

    What’s so difficult to comprehend about that?

    Besides, I dare say the likes of Niall Mackenzie and Mark Jensen hold a fair bit of credibility, certainly more than anyone connected to any NUFC blog or message board.

  21. What the hell is the point of this? Other than getting NU$C more attention i don’t see one. It’s clear by now that Ashley will not appoint any permanent manager he just wants out and this won’t exactly endear us to potential investors.
    Good blog btw

  22. Stuart79 says:
    June 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    “That can be the only campaign surely?

    However, were led to believe the people buying us are from either US, Middle East or Far East.”

    Apologies Stuart, I was just adding a quick “ps” to my last comment there while you were already responding.

    Regarding any potential buyers for NUFC, if you were possibly about to invest £100 million (and potentially alot more in further investment) in a club which is currently in near chaos and riven by disputes, wouldn’t you have someone keeping their ear to the ground for developments around that club?

  23. ShiverMeTimbre says:
    June 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    “Besides, I dare say the likes of Niall Mackenzie and Mark Jensen hold a fair bit of credibility,”

    I agree, ShiverMeTimbre, and I’m a regular visitor to their site. However, I don’t agree with them on this issue at all.

  24. Joseph

    ‘What the hell is the point of this? Other than getting NU$C more attention i don’t see one. It’s clear by now that Ashley will not appoint any permanent manager he just wants out and this won’t exactly endear us to potential investors.’

    Completley agree with you.

  25. Neeraj

    ‘mark hulse used to work with sammy lee at bolton’

    It’s my understanding that he worked with England U21’s with Sammy Lee for a while then he went to Crystal Palace befoe joining NUFC. Apparently Sammy Lee wanted him at Bolton but he was sacked befor he could join. But you’re right in that Sammy Lee is the link

  26. ShiverMeTimbre says:
    June 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    It’s simple: NUSC, True Faith, The Mag, NUFC.com et al are NOT advocating any sort of protest, nor have they anything to do with the so-called bedsheet brigade.

    ====

    They have, as I understand it, “launched a campaign to call for the immediate appointment of Alan Shearer as club boss.” (that’s from The Journal).

    So what will that achieve? Who’s going to appoint Shearer as manager?

  27. The Impaler

    ‘I know what we SHOULD protest about. Sunderland (spit) are using well known Sunderland landmarks like the Tyne Bridge, the Millenium bridge and Bamburgh castle to promote the Stadium of S**** as a World Cup venue!’

    Bl**dy cheek! Sounds like an opportunity for someone creative to counter with an introduction to the real Sunderland…… not so photogenic. Since when has the SOL been that full?

  28. We should annex Wearside and call it Greater Tyneside. We could civilise them and maybe even teach them menial skills to give them a better chance in life.

  29. 52times says:
    June 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    We should annex Wearside and call it Greater Tyneside. We could civilise them and maybe even teach them menial skills to give them a better chance in life.

    ===

    Good idea. Naturally we wouldn’t trust them with anything as grand as thinking, but with training they might be able to lift and carry things.

  30. 52times

    ‘We should annex Wearside and call it Greater Tyneside. We could civilise them and maybe even teach them menial skills to give them a better chance in life.’

    Sadly I think it would be a waste of time. They’re beyond any kind of redemption or rehabilitation. Weirdside is a good description

  31. So what will that achieve? Who’s going to appoint Shearer as manager?

    Who knows? Nothing, probably. But the salient thing to bear in mind must be as to why the likes of NUFC.com, The Mag and True Faith-given the fact they are as far from the stereotypical, reactionary NUFC fan as you could imagine-feel the need to make a public statement on the matter. Troubling times people…

  32. Because pre-season training is days away and we’re at least 3 months behind every other Championship side. Big wage players need to be sold and we have a small, unbalanced squad as it is. I just don’t see promotion this season.

  33. From True Faith’s latest “No Surpises” editorial.

    “The Times carried an article by Barclay last week in which he put forward the proposition that supporters should raise the £75m needed to buy NUFC and run the club ourselves. Like Barcelona! For some reason Barclay used the term “hard earned cash” (his quotation marks) and I’m not sure if the inference the money people earn in the NE isn’t hard earned, which I find richly ironic coming from a man who earns money from writing about football – as if that is a proper job, worthy of admiration and respect to describe how we pay for our football up here. Or whether he means we buy our season tickets with dole money. Or maybe I’m just over-sensitive these days? It was another grotesquely poorly researched piece from a “respected” journalist (I think you’ll now understand why “respected” when used in reference to a football journalist eh?). Barclay failed to grasp the history of share-holding supporters at Newcastle United Football Club.

    “Let’s get a few facts on the table. Before Hall sold us out to Ashley and when the club was a PLC, Newcastle United had a larger proportion of season ticket holders who owned shares in the club than any other club in the UK. That figure includes Celtic, Rangers, Liverpool and Man Utd. That supporter shareholding earned us absolutely no authority in the running of the club whatsoever. The minimum lay-out for shares all those years ago was £500.

    “There is no precedent in this country for supporters buying a major club lock, stock and barrel. Manchester United Supporters Trust – the largest in the country, which has been going for almost ten years now could no sooner raise £75m for NUFC as they could the £750m for Man Utd. Scouse gob-shite Rogan Taylor, who some may remember foisted a Supporters Liaison Committee following the Toongate scandal upon us when several Mags were telling him we didn’t want it and we wanted a Shareholders Trust instead is absolutely nowhere near £75m in his newly discovered belief in supporter ownership at Liverpool FC. If the two largest clubs in the country, with the largest fan bases in the country and beyond are nowhere near being able to raise £75m and the desperately needed working capital to take those clubs forward, then does Barclay seriously expect supporters of a newly relegated club to do likewise? Particularly in a region with the highest unemployment, lowest wages, lowest number of millionaires, no billionaires and in the teeth of the most serious recession since the 1930s? No mention of this in Barclay’s piece. Hmm.

    “Nor was there any reference to the Supporters Trust being established at NUFC by the NUSC. This is a long-term project and one I wish every success to but if any group of supporters of any club in the top two divisions can get a crucial 10% shareholding in their club then they have seriously pulled off something incredible. Barclay appeared to be ignorant of what is going on in that regard.”

    http://www.true-faith.co.uk/tf/editorials.nsf/LookupUNID/E3ADD4E5B9E2B11F802575DC006F34BE?OpenDocument

  34. Shiver, I agree that these are troubling times. It is a huge worry that we aren’t prepared at all for next season and it will definitely impact on the pitch.

    But I think that fans making ‘demands’ at this time will achieve nothing except press ridicule at best and make a potential new owner question their decision to buy at worst.

    I am not at all against fans voicing their opinions but there has to be some point to it and, with nobody in a position to appoint anyone as manager at the moment, I can’t see the point of the current NUSC campaign. There is absolutely nothing to gain by it, but there may be something to lose.

  35. “For some reason Barclay used the term “hard earned cash” (his quotation marks) and I’m not sure if the inference the money people earn in the NE isn’t hard earned, which I find richly ironic coming from a man who earns money from writing about football – as if that is a proper job, worthy of admiration and respect to describe how we pay for our football up here. Or whether he means we buy our season tickets with dole money.”

    This is what pacifism gets you. Somebody seriously needs to start putting these bigots to sleep.

  36. I wouldn’t say they are demanding Shearer be appointed Hugh, it’s more a desire to see some sort of leadership in place given the fact we’re a mere four days away from the start of pre-season training.

    The sad thing is that if/when someone takes over the club, there will be an inherent distrust of them borne from the mistakes made by the previous regime. Unfair? Possibly. Understandable? Certainly.

    Then again, for all we know there could well be serious progress being made behind the scenes and a subsequent announcement made next week – we can but hope.

  37. 52times says:
    June 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    “This is what pacifism gets you. Somebody seriously needs to start putting these bigots to sleep.”

    52,

    I don’t know if you’ve read the original Patrick Barclay piece, and you may not agree with it. However you may find that it is somewhat different from the picture painted of it in that extract I posted.

    He actually writes of the distorted stereotypes of Newcastle fans peddled by his colleagues in the media, and how many Newcastle fans are actually much more sensible than the crying fat bloke stereotypes suggest.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/patrick_barclay/article6498878.ece

  38. The Times has some particularly obnoxious sports journalists where Newcastle United is concerned.

    The one that drives me into fits of rage is that ping-pong pillock and professional Toon hater Matthew Syed.

  39. I went and read it all after posting that. I may have been hasty there, but you can hardly blame me for that.

  40. Syed said ages back that Ferguson should be sacked as he was holding Man Utd back. I don’t think anybody takes him seriously.

  41. It’s just the vitriol that Syed manages to direct at Newcastle United which staggers me, and he perpetuates the Toon supporter stereotype the media loves to ridicule. I can’t believe The Times gives him column inches.

  42. We should make a list, just stick their name and address on a website and see what happens.

  43. ShiverMeTimbre

    ‘Then again, for all we know there could well be serious progress being made behind the scenes and a subsequent announcement made next week – we can but hope.’

    Lets hope this is the case. Weren’t there various reports a few weeks back that nothing would be concluded until the end of the month…

  44. Philip Anschutz The land, media and sports mogul is being bandied about again as the potential US buyer. May all be rubbish but I guess we will soon find out

  45. Was Anschutz one of the candidates last time? I forget.

    I remember some Chinese billionaire was – Xu or somesuch.

  46. geordie deb says:
    June 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    “Philip Anschutz The land, media and sports mogul is being bandied about again as the potential US buyer. May all be rubbish but I guess we will soon find out”

    Deb, if our luck runs true to form, we’ll probably end up with a consortium of Kim Jong Il, Freddy Shepherd and Jimmy Savile.

  47. Anschutz totally denied the link the last time we were up for sale.

    This is just blogger gossip.

    Although I reckon he might have other things on his mind as he own AEG, who were responsible for the Michael Jackson concerts thisyear at the O2.

  48. Stuart 79

    ‘Although I reckon he might have other things on his mind as he own AEG, who were responsible for the Michael Jackson concerts thisyear at the O2.’

    And he tought he was having a bad week already, could you imagine if he was a bidder then he sees the bed sheet brigade out in all it’s glory.. when it rains it tends to pour

  49. Although Deb, the yanks do like a bit of a protest if things aren’t right!

    He’ll be too busy filling in insurance forms to be thinking about buying football clubs!

  50. Worky

    ‘Deb, if our luck runs true to form, we’ll probably end up with a consortium of Kim Jong Il, Freddy Shepherd and Jimmy Savile.’

    Crikey what a mix that would be. At least ‘Jim’ll fix it’ for us..

  51. Stuart 79

    ‘He’ll be too busy filling in insurance forms to be thinking about buying football clubs!’

    LOL

  52. To be honest, I kind of agree with Shiver on this one and the article I started writing was along the lines he’s written. However, I gett time to finish it on Friday and worky has been beaten me to the punch with a totally different slant!!

    I do understand that ‘protests’ and anti-board ‘banners’ would be counter-productive and that any campaign such as the one being mooted, are likely to unfortunately drag the dregs from the bottom again.

    However, we all completely understand the frustration and personally I can relate to the feeling of wanting to do something rather than nothing. Even if it’s just a proverbial stamping of our feet.

    What it will gain is definitely open to debate but Shiver is right. Given the reputation of the organisation mentioned, their backing for such a campaign for some kind of action is as powerful as it is frightening. That they feel the need to do something and that the current owners may be pressured into making a decision because of what they represent. Which in normal circumstances is probably what we should be shying away from but in the current climate is possibly the only move which could save our season and our future.

  53. There’s a wood pigeon outside my window who keeps making his call which sounds like the tune from “Uni-ted……Uni-ted…..Uni-ted etc”.

    Bring on the season, whatever it holds for us.

  54. BBM

    Unless my memory is failing me I thought the last official word said the club was likely to be sold at the end of the month – can’t remember if it was Keith Harris? Anyway the fact that the end of the month isn’t until next week, they have had a couple of weeks to look at the books and Shearer is staying quiet makes me think that there is something imminent. If that is the case why launch a ‘campaign’ a few days before hand? Will just make us look like right planks

  55. deb – I think the ‘campaign’ in itself is only what we’ve heard so far. Statements released to the press urging some action be taken in appointing a manager. Aren’t they just saying what many of us have said? Alan Shearer is now considerably a better option than most because of the circumstances.

    It can be justified if July 1st rolls around and the sale hasn’t progressed sufficiently. What if we never get sold? There will have been a blackhole of several weeks when we literally stood still.

    Giving Shearer an opportunity to work on a rolling contract would have allowed us to prepare properly for the coming weeks and season no matter who owns us.

    If there is a logical reason why this couldn’t have happened then fine.

  56. bowburnmag says:
    June 28, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    “deb – I think the ‘campaign’ in itself is only what we’ve heard so far. Statements released to the press urging some action be taken in appointing a manager…

    Alan Shearer is now considerably a better option than most because of the circumstances.”

    “Campaign”, “Rally”, “Fun day”. They are running out of synonyms for the word they really want to say.

    What circumstances make Shearer a better option than most, Bowburn?

  57. BBM

    ‘It can be justified if July 1st rolls around and the sale hasn’t progressed sufficiently. What if we never get sold?
    Giving Shearer an opportunity to work on a rolling contract would have allowed us to prepare properly for the coming weeks and season no matter who owns us.’

    I still refer back to the fact they talked about the end of the month for the sale of the club and I believe we should wait until then. If there is no progress and there is no communication or planned communication, then it’s a slightly different scenario.
    I still can’t see how Shearer could work on a rolling contract as he would want to buy and sell multi million pound assets that new owners may not want. I’m pretty sure he must be doing stuff in the background anyway so don’t we have the scenario already we just have no visibility to the actions that are being put in place?
    I may be looking at it through rose tinted glasses but that is what I genuinely believe.

  58. BB 61, I have very similar Woodpigeon mind-interferences in Sheffield, although the locals ’round here are mainly Owls. Both however, frequently suggest meaningful sentences through abstract hoot-call, nonetheless.

  59. There’s a particular Woodpigeon that frequents the fencepost adjacent to the Ivy in my back yard. His favourite wind-up is ‘the toooon is stoopid, the toooon is stoopid’.

    I’ve run out of pellets.

  60. worky – I just believe other managers would take longer to get acclimatised to the situation, to the club etc. The obvious con is his lack of experience. I realise his immediate stats aren’t great but personally I believe that is as much down to the situation he was in as it was his ability. Though I was left slightly disappointed.
    I just think for a lot of reasons it’s a great time to give him a go.

    deb – I guess I’m just looking at it pessimisticly now and therefore they’re just saying out loud what I’m thinking, i.e. if Wed comes without further progress, I wonder just what the management contingency really is and god help us if it heavily involves Hughton and Calderwood again.

    Rod – it’s like an episode of Woodpigeon Street.

  61. worky – to clarify, I just mean there is so much to do and I believe Shearer is essentially in the mix already and just needs to be allowed back in.

    deb – and to clarify a bit further with you, I genuinely hope you’re right and he’s doing something behind the scenes. However, again I wonder what would restrict them from reassuring us were that that case.

  62. BBM

    If you lived, Woodpigeon Street, here are the people, you wood meat; here are the people who would share the sights, the sounds! THE AIR!…Woodpigeons beat their wings (wings beat) Woodpigeons beat their wings (wings beat) to meeeeeet in Pidj, ..eon street.

    (bahh ballaa bap pa, baaabala-paaa, babadalla pa, pah pahhhhhh!)

    …..anyway.

    Worky, surely you’re drumming up as much ‘negative press’ with this ‘anti-mob’ article as Ed does with his ‘anti-Ashley’ ones?

    I think the main problem we have is a lack of ‘middle’ ground through inexcusably bad PR.

    Left or right, it all affects the centre. And personally I’d feel lost without the world-famous Cirque De Toon.

    In the words of helmet-haired Geordie Alan Price:

    “Lord, don’t stop the carnival!”

  63. ‘deb – and to clarify a bit further with you, I genuinely hope you’re right and he’s doing something behind the scenes. However, again I wonder what would restrict them from reassuring us were that that case.’

    BBM I agree with you I don’t know why they can’t say something just to reassure the fans, but looking at their track record on communicating, it seems to be a skill they are badly lacking, so I guess it’s not going to change now unfortunately.

  64. If we don’t hear anything this week I’ll be seriously concerned about the club next season.

    How long can we be totally rudderless?

    Th longer were like this the worse the finances are ging to get. We do still have to pay all these players while out income is halving!

    Very worried…….