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If you want to make Meadow Lane a better place


Son of Berti

I have a confession to make. I feel sorry for Forest fans.

They so desperately want the Cloughie years to return; to be European Champions again. But the facts of the matter are that those days will never be repeated – so long as money falls from the Sky into the lake of professional football to make the big clubs richer, the small clubs poorer, and the gap filled by the ‘also-ran’ clubs, which currently seems to stretch from the middle of the Premiership into the top half of League One, bigger.

But let’s leave the fans from across the Trent to dream their impossible dream and, instead ask ourselves a more realistic question. One which can only be both asked, and answered, with rose-tinted specs removed and after swallowing a course of medication prescribed to cure UES (Unrealistic Expectation Syndrome).

Are Notts County an ‘also ran’ club or now consigned to become a small club?

 

The last two or three seasons have shown conclusively that to be successful in League One, and then hold head above water in the Championship, the primary requirement of any football club is to have either an oligarch as owner with an ego only slightly smaller than his bank balance, or the income generated by regular 5-figure home-match attendance figures. Preferably both. Members of the jury, as evidence, I lay before you AFC Bournemouth.

It is now 20 years since I first moved to Nottingham and became a Pie-head. In that time I have seen the Club fall from second-tier grace and then since zebedee between the third and forth tiers.

Sadly, in the same period of time, I have also seen average Meadow Lane attendance figures fall from five figures to lower-half four figures.

Sadly, his profligacy has not been supported by a growth in turnstile income and, until fans start returning to watch Notts in greater numbers, I rather fear that our once great football club may well not yet have reached the depths of its descent because even Mr Trew’s apparent willingness to fritter away his money will come to an end if attendances at home matches don’t start to grow.

Being cynical – if the expectation of seeing a return on his investment disappears, he will surely call it a day and quit while he shows no sign of winning.

 

While I understand that football is an entertainments business and that the fans will decided whether the entertainment on offer represents a worthy return on their money, I can’t help wondering whether, if the absent fans had attended more than just the last away match of each of the previous two seasons, the Club would still have found itself back in the basement division once again?

All the signs, pre-season, are that Ray Trew understands that the fans want to be entertained. To be able to leave Meadow Lane on a Saturday evening feeling buoyed up and thrilled; wanting more. He has chucked what could turn out to be the last throw of his dice by putting up a substantial playing budget and investing in a manager who wants to play a thrilling brand of football that gets bums off seats, let alone on them.

We hope that the close-season player dealings will turn out to be astute and that we have a successful season ahead.

But….. the final, vital, piece to complete this jig-saw of success is now in the pockets of us, the Notts County fans. If we truly want our club to be successful, then we have to pay our part in making it so. It won’t happen in an empty stadium.

Corrupting the final lines of a quite brilliant set of lyrics: “If you want to make Meadow Lane a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change”! Only when we return in numbers to Meadow

Lane will our football club start to climb up the league again. The blame game has to stop here. It’s up to us now. So let’s do this Club proud and support it in the truest sense of the word.



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I think many of our fans would love the Sirrel era back, though I do think we need to bring some form of unity and push behind this season. I have witnessed how we lift the games when we are right behind the lads but I wouldn't so much questions the fans, as people have their reasons for not attending.

What we really need a positive start and some good results early on.

I am convinced with the hard work many fans put in, we will start to reap the rewards. Two relegation fights have taken it's toll a bit but we need to fight for the difference. I always like to say 'It's our club, our passion' which drives Notts forward.

Good write up Dougie, I found it very interesting.

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Yes, we need to see more fans attending games but this naturally come with the results. We need to rebuild and amend the fan base, making match days at Meadow Lane the place to be. Very good read!


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Fantastic article. The thing is, it's a bit of a symbiotic relationship. Fans have not been as eager to come to games in the last two seasons because the football on display has been pretty poor, and it becomes a vicious circle in that then an owner might think "well, what's the point in investing then?". Not to mention the disappointments in seeing so many good players leave the club on a free, thus leaving the club without money that could be crucially reinvested. But hopefully, based on how things are going, this is changing. The Ladbrokes deal could prove one of the greatest things that has happened to this club because the signings are there and the intent is there.


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Excellent article @Son of Berti,a great rallying call.The chairman and manager are doing their bit so it's now up to the players to do their bit and give the absent Notts fans a reason to return.


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Florist fans are right to dream of repeating past glories, and they may feel that with the money they have had they should have done better. but if you aim for the stars you may get off the ground. 


 


Without the dream that someday Notts will find a manager to lead us to the promised land we may as well give up now. I don't go to a game hoping that I will be entertained by 2 sides playing good football, and at the end of the season we will be reasonably placed in the top half of the division.  


 


I want a team that believes it can do the impossible every week, and beat anyone who we play.


 


Last season we  let some of the best players go, brought in aging has beans and never looked like winning at home. Who in there right mind would want to go and watch what was served up then. They don't come to see me when I am bad!!


 


we have an aging support base and we need to get younger people interested. The next generation of supporters will not want to watch a team that is happy to stay afloat. How can mid table in div 1 compete in the playground with Man U/ City, Chelski,and the arsenil etc.


 


We need the dream, we need unrealistic expectations and we need a team that is aiming to fulfil them.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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