A decade of bad decisions

  • by Graza
  • Filed: Wednesday, 11th December 2019

The situation of the club is so much more than the situation on the pitch - which is why our current issues must be the responsibility of the owners.

Poor decisions have been made recently about players - the signing of Roberto, especially - but also the new contract for Pablo Zabaleta, not changing formations, some baffling subs, rushing Michail Antonio back from injury etc.

So there is a significant body of evidence that the club's league position is, on balance, probably more the fault of the manager's than the owners'. However, as I say, the situation of the club is so much more than that.

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The large white elephant in the room is a venue that is not fit for purpose. The smug, self-satisfied, ?1m bonus arsehole-fest that has been front and centre of the least successful migration of all time doesn't help. It has effectively neutered the support, you don't get the same roar and passion driving the team on - the 12th man, as they call it.

The stadium doesn't generate much more money than the Boleyn Ground did to invest into the team. It doesn't elevate the status of the team as it is universally panned and despised by visiting supporters. Soulless and not fit for purpose.

The years of systematic under-investment and investment in ageing players with no sell-on fee and a limited shelf life have come home to roost. The sheer number of strikers we've brought in shows the lack of cohesion, the fact that bar Issa Diop we've spent the bare minimum on defenders in that period.

The fact that we went years without receiving a meaningful transfer fee for a player illustrates the lack of value in our transfer policy, largely controlled by Sullivan over the course of their ownership but even now the purse strings are firmly drawn shut. With the exception of the 2018/19 summer transfer window they have completely failed to reinvest the club's money in the on-field staff.

The unhealthy relationship they have with the media has made the club a laughing stock, infuriated fans (ours and others), alienated other club chairman ("dildo boys"/Leicester) and undermined the playing staff/managers at every turn.

The stupidity of the "my boys begged me not to sign Fonts and Snodgrass"; "Austin's got no knees"; Karren Brady "vetoing" the signing of Steve Sidwell (despite being a non football member of staff); Brady calling our fans racists; Brady every fucking week in The Sun.

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It all beggars belief - and those are just the examples off the top of my head. And the drip feeding of poison to the usual fan sites and media outlets against managers (as is prevalent right now) is not what competent owners do.

So generally the atmosphere and direction set by the ownership has been one of minimum in to survive in the Premier League, maximum money out, maximise the book value of the club to try and get out with the maximum money.

They were also trying to use their ownership to pad their own public profiles and while that has calmed a bit they made such utter nuisances of themselves it's difficult to ever empathise with them. The club is toxic from the board down, it seeps into the team and managers - no ambition, no desire beyond survival - and it's infected the stands.

The manager is not blameless, but we are where we were two years ago, two years before that, when 'The Gravedigger' (aka Avram Grant) took us down and when they fucked Zola over.

There is a constant in all of that - and it's not Manuel Pellegrini.

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