In the Chairman, We Clarets Trust!
I was going to write a match report of the QPR match at the Turf this Saturday but really this match was simply an end of season affair with no real incentive for any team to win except for the sake of pride.
The most encouraging aspect was to see the excellent performance from Man of the Match, Alan Mahon who provided the icing on the cake after 79 minutes putting in an excellent pass to Andy Gray to score our winner in a 1-0 defeat of QPR.
Far more important to me than the outcome of this match was to listen to our Chairman, Barry Kilby in the Foundation Lounge after the game. I was pleased to see quite a number of the Clarets Trust members also shared this interest and came along too! I would like to point out also that Barry Kilby didnt need to agree to come along and answer these questions but he did. There are many cowardly Chairman I can think of that wouldnt dare face their fans! I would like to personally thank our Chairman for the time and effort he put into the meeting.
I dont want to pre-empt the Clarets Trust Press Release and talk about the content of the meeting and the specific responses from Barry Kilby. In any case a lot of this stuff has already filtered through onto a number of Clarets websites and forums. Rather I wanted to put across a personal message on how I felt about our club and its ambitions based on Barry's responses.
The first thing that came across to me was how difficult a job Barry Kilby and his team, including Dave Edmundson must have in keeping all the footballs in the air and how we as fans are all to quick to blame the Club for not having immediate success.
I realised I am as guilty as sin in this respect, I was furious for example,over the Ade sale The short term effects of that sale could be seen in our poor performance after Christmas, as it soon became evident that we could kiss goodbye to any play-off chances in 2005/6. A similar thing happened in the previous season when we sold Blake and Chaplow.
At the time, it just seemed that the Club was hell bent on scuppering any chances of reaching the play-offs by always selling our best players after the first half of the season. This though when I analyse my emotions and having listened to our Chairman is short sighted and I can see I have fallen victim to short-termism in my desire to see this club have a pot at the top league in this country!
You have to remember I am from the old school and can remember a time when we were in the top flight and played the likes of Chelskimanuarse even beating them on a regular basis. Other folk, tending to be much younger would remember first supporting the Clarets in the dark days of the fourth division and would have seen the team rise to where we are now! Its almost like we therefore have two camps. The impatient, older ones who want to see us in the top flight again, and the younger ones who are happy with their lot. Its not quite as clear cut as that and you will find some crossover but I would say in the majority of cases thats how it stacks up.
I therefore am one of the impatient ones and can become very passionate when I see an opportunity to get out of this division scuppered by the sale of key players.
Somehow I have to rationalise this anger and ditch the short-term blinkers whilst controlling my emotions.I suspect many other fans may have to as well.
The Chairman on Saturday made me realise how difficult it was to balance ambition and financial reality. He made me realise how sometimes you cant look a gift horse in the mouth for the sake of short-term expediency. He finally convinced me that we had to let Ade go at the price on offer and how longer term this will benefit the club.
This was the first time, I have heard our chairman live and I was watching for his body language as he answered the questions! The impression I got was that Barry was a genuine guy and as passionate as the rest of us to see this club successful. What else could you expect from a Claret?
Lets face it we are all human beings, none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Its to the credit of our Chairman that at the meeting he was open and honest with us all and mentioned some of the mistakes and things he regretted doing or having to do. Who would be Chairman?
I came away from that meeting the most positive I have been in sometime. Barry Kilby and his team deserve all the support they can get from the fans. We have a Claret running our club and we have a great young manager fired up with a new contract. We are seeing the fruits of the Ade sale coming through with the excellent signings of Gray & Mahon with hopefully more to follow in the close season. In addition with the Turf sale finally going through we have cleared effectively all our debts!
Now then chaps, the footballs are back in your court, lets deliver the ambitions now expected. Lets all pull together for the sake of the club we all love
If we cant see our club in the Top Flight by the next time Steve's contract is due for renewal lets at least have established the club as a Top 10 one in this division with always a good chance of reaching the play-offs. There will never be a better time so lets all of us as Clarets, trust the Chairman and his team to deliver the goods!
Up the Clarets!