It’s certainly a fact that a toxic atmosphere within a ground has a negative effect on performances, we only have to remember back to the brief tenure of Jamie Fullarton. At that time, it felt as if a reasonable number of fans were turning up wanting us to lose.
Now, I’m not suggesting that was the case this season. In fact, quite the opposite as I think our supporters – in the main – have been really supportive and patient, far more than the performances have deserved.
It’s an expensive hobby to follow a football team. Even if you only watch home games, it’s approaching £500 a year when you add in travel costs and maybe the occasional cuppa.
For those who go away, it must be getting on for £2,000 as a season or even more, and that’s not including any overnight stays.
We don’t do it for glory, this is Notts and anyone who does this for glory must have started watching at a very narrow point in our history.
However, most of us have pride in the club. Or at least have had pride in the club until the recent past.
Incidents such as that infamous photo accidentally published on Twitter, boardroom resignations and plenty more have made Notts fans an easy target for friends and colleagues who follow other teams.
Hopefully, we’re very close to new ownership now and we can look for closure on a period of the club’s history which will make a fascinating read should Charlie Slater, Jon Stead or anyone else with inside info over that period choose to write it in the future.
Regardless of what happens next season, it’ll be the lowest position the club has ever ended a season so what can the new owners do to help restore some pride and let fans hold their heads up high again?
Here are some ideas, in no particular order...
- Remember that you are only custodians of the club. At some point, you’ll move on. Every player who is currently at the club, will move on. I dare say some fans will also move on, but the vast majority will still be here long after you and everyone else has forgotten about us. Fans will pass the love onto their sons and daughters, they are the lifeblood of the club and they are the basis for a successful future. Treat them as that, and not as customers buying a product. We can’t decide we want our product from somewhere else, it won’t happen.
- Stay away from extravagant promises. We’ve had plenty of those. Not just Hardy, but Munto, etc. Be realistic, we’re happy with that.
- Be professional. Don’t turn it into a circus. Yes, some attention can be good, it can get some TV money, it can promote the club, but it can also turn very quickly and bite you.
- Don’t gamble big. The lower leagues are under a huge amount of pressure at the moment, just look at Macclesfield and Bury among others. The Premier League runs football, the EFL does an appalling job at looking after its members. They certainly won’t help us out if we get into trouble, so do all you can to keep us on an even keel.
- Put your ego away, it’s not about you. If we get the rewards we all hope for, you’ll get the plaudits without needing to go looking for them. It’s a bit like being a referee, you often don’t notice the really good ones.
- Appoint good people and let them get on with the jobs you’ve asked them to do.
- Certainly create that environment where it’s an expectation that the players put in the same effort on a Saturday afternoon as we fans do during the week at our jobs.
- Finally, be proud to own this fine club. Without a doubt, we’ve been through the mill in recent years. I think I read that we’ve been in a relegation battle for 13 of the last 16 years. But we have history. We have a great fanbase for a club at this level. It’s a great opportunity and we all hope to enjoy the ride.