Having supported the Blues for more than fifty years means it is easy to reminisce about the good old days, but going down memory lane is a bit of a dead-end. At the end of the day, we are talking about the past and many of you reading this will not have even experienced much of it.
Patrick Henry, who was an American attorney and orator once remarked, ” I know of no way of judging the future but by the past,” and certainly when it comes to how most wars begin, this is probably quite an accurate statement but does it really apply to football? Sadly, I think not. We are no longer playing on a level football field and as the rich get richer the poor get poorer, and we will never again dominate European football as we once did. Getting into European football competitions nine out of ten years was a remarkable achievement that we will never realistically surpass.
If we want to look for a quote that truly represents our current plight, then perhaps it comes from the tongue of an old French foe Napoleon Bonaparte, who apparently once said, ” The stupid speak of the past. The wise of the present. And fools of the future.”
Our current plight is a culmination of a number of factors. Poor decisions at board room level and our inability to see the pitfalls of inactivity on the transfer market being just two of them. Is it a coincidence that since Marcus Evans bought the club over 12 years ago our fortunes have steadily declined?
Now, according to former Managing Director of Football Ian Milne, the owner ” loves the Club,” and if this is indeed the case, then he sometimes has a very strange way of showing it. We know he was in favour of social distancing long before the Coronavirus Pandemic but his detachment from the Town faithful just adds to what is seen by many as a poisonous brew. From a purely footballing perspective, he seems remarkably naive to be running a football club and this naivety has brought us along the way both Simon Clegg and Roy Keane to name but two.
I would like to say positive things about our owner because far too many people who have met him consider him to be a genuinely approachable individual. Unfortunately, however, approachability is not one of his stronger hands, so you either have to be in with the in-crowd; or exceedingly lucky, to meet him face to face. This does little to convince your average Town fan that he is truly committed to the cause.
I will end with another quote but this time from the famous playwright Jane Austen. ” Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” Indeed it does but we must not perpetually dwell on it. This is where people as long in the tooth as me, probably go wrong.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich