The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Whoever heard of a worm skin rug?

13 February 2020

The Town board deserve credit for concocting a deal that not only snared Ian Holloway, but had him apparently stump up £100k of his own cash in the process. His arrival has perked us up no end. A miserable 18th position with sub-3,000 gates has been transformed to a joyous 16th with the Super New Official Site crashing under the weight of ticket orders for the Morecambe game. We must qualify that: the website server is a 1987 Casio wristwatch wired to a second-hand toaster, but still.

Timing is everything. Before his appointment, Holloway courted Bristol Rovers. Yesterday, Blackpool, another of his former clubs, sacked Simon Grayson for his part in a poor run of one win in 12 and for not being bald enough. There is an alternative reality where Anthony Limbrick did just enough to get a chance until the end of the season and Blackpool or Bristol are first up on the Quest TV highlights every week.

So from out of nowhere, Town fans suddenly have a reason to look forward to matchdays again. Those with a few miles on the clock will be wary of such a hothouse transformation. They'll think back to Ivano in 1995-96 or topping Liverpool and the table in 2001. The greater the national coverage, the bigger the implosion and the quicker it arrives. Boom, it's gone just when we were starting to enjoy it.

Throwing caution to the wind and making the dangerous assumption that this is no ordinary new manager bounce, what do we with this lottery ticket to make the winnings last? Daubney Diary fancies pushing his chips into the middle of the table and going all in like Paul Newman. Poker chips of course, I've never pushed an actual chip away in my life.

There's a hint that the club are studying their hand and thinking of a modest raise. Season tickets on sale early? Fair dos. It won't make much difference though unless we actually give people beyond the hardcore a reason to buy.

Let's go crazy and create a carnival atmosphere at BP for the remainder of the season. Aim for a sell-out every week, whatever it takes, free or reduced tickets. Seat the temporary corners and if we can't, fill them with local food and drink pop-ups. A family funzone with whatever families find fun nowadays. Traditionalists may raise eyebrows into their receding hairlines but make matchdays at Blundell Park the occasion that you daren't miss. Leave the football to Ollie. As Bottom-of-the-Barrel Diary pointed out last week, he's the type of manager who likes to win 4-0, or lose 5-4 trying. Bring it on.

Wouldn't the worst thing in the world be for us to finally get our 14,000 capacity stadium and only have 5,000 to put in it. Colchester on Tuesday gave us the ghost of stadiums present and future. One defeat in 20 and going for promotion, they had an empty fake plastic stadium. We have a rare chance to alter the club's trajectory here. Build the fanbase or at best we end up like Colchester. A miserable fifth in the table.

Bouncy castles, nice ales in a tent and nine-goal thrillers are easy. The transformation will need to go deeper than that. To generate and maintain positive momentum will require weeding out the problems seen at Bradford last week. Big Town gatherings come with the apparent acceptance that there will be anti-social behaviour. Last week at Bradford, along with wrecking a local boozer and chucking flares on the pitch, we had the bonus of racism.

We haven't been good as a club in dealing with with racism. Yesterday, Newport banned a fan for life for racist chants during our visit in the cup. Our failure to do similar in the Aswad Thomas case has been well-documented, and it seems to be a symptom of the broader problem. Thomas Turgoose found out this week, as did several others who reported racist incidents to the club last season: shining a light on the subject can make you a target for abuse and criticism.

We haven't seen a club statement on any of the cases from last season. For the club to grow and be considered a true part of the community there should be no ambiguity on its stance. The Mariners Trust have to do more as well. For them to make well intentioned comments like this yet bury their heads in the sand when divisive and hate-promoting figures come to Blundell Park makes no sense.

Just like in any job, work gravitates to the capable. Is this an area that Ollie can direct some of his seemingly limitless energy? As pointed out by Domestic Diary, Ollie has already spoken of his track record for battling racism. His disgust at Grimsby litterbugs is clear. Could he stretch this to encompass personality traits and ignorant beliefs that need binning as well?

That's yer lot apart from the news tweeted at 9.42am that Woodsy's kids had defeat for breakfast this morning. They lost 3-1 against Rotherham, probably because most of them were still in bed. Either that or the match was played yesterday, it's not clear on the SNOS. See ya.