Fixtures and results so far
The Meek that was
Away fans guide
Man of the match
Home and away
WSC Festive 20
What came before
Review previous campaigns covered by Cod Almighty
Put up or shut up
12 April 2005
So Positive John is off to some function organised by Leeds United fans. A number of Town supporters are up in arms. "Disgrace!" "Traitor!" "To what ends do these means serve us?" spit the unruly mobs, with sharp hammerings at their keyboards. "Who does he think he is having a night out?" whimpers a lowly lone voice. Others try to further strengthen their case pointing out how John has put this Leeds gig ahead of a function to raise money for Town. We know where his priorities really lie!
Turns out John had a sneaky ulterior motive regarding meeting the Leeds lot. "If I scratch their back they might scratch mine later on," the disciple of positivity might have opined, were he a luminous philosopher. He's more likely to have said: "What's a signed shirt and match ball if they hire out McMenemy's and raise some dosh for the Mariners?" Either way, I like it, JF. Just get them to sign a bit of paper committing themselves to what they promise. (Not that that stopped ITV Digital.)
Also turns out John wasn't asked about going to that Town function. Well, until the other night, that is. But not a problem for John. He's busy, but he'll go anyway. Not a problem. Anything for his club. Not a problem. Even when he gets ratty he signs off: "Grimsby Town at heart, your chairman". Not a problem. Until he hears Frank Worthington's jokes, at any rate.
Poor bloke though. Maybe not poor. Nor old. Digs deep, digs the club out of a hole, some fans still don't dig him. Not enough for them. "We were playing the likes of Wolves two seasons ago! Cough up more, Mr Fenty!" they demand. Ah, but to be playing the likes of Wolves again. That's our rightful place, apparently. "Cough up more, Mr Fenty!"
But the fans still moan. Before games, after games, during games. Sometimes they forget there's a game of football going on. Which they've shelled out some of their limited funds on. They also forget to support their team. Pay for the privilege of sitting in silence. Or moaning. Or belittling their own players. Sometimes the fans have a go at each other.
Every fan knows better than our John, it seems. Those-who-know-better: nip to your local bank. Take a big loan out. Hand the loan over to the club. Say thanks for having a seat in the boardroom. Show us how it should be done. And don't whinge when everyone pulls every one of your decisions apart. And don't object to juggling your day job with your new responsibilities.
He might be poor now actually. He definitely looks weary and older.
Does our John retreat to the loo at Blundell Park, close the door and curse the fans under his breath? Tear his hair out? Stamp his feet and pound his fists against the wall? Wish he could push their faces into the depths of the toilet bowl? No. Not our John. He just tells it as it is. Not quite as far as hollering from the Upper Stones: "Gossipers, desist!" But if he wants to, he can. More or less owns the club. And he'd be within his rights. Wishfully, one day he will say: "You ungrateful bastards." There's only so much a man can take. If he walked away, then we'd be... fucked.
You know we're not competing against the likes of Wolves any more. We're fighting a harder opponent, a more vicious opponent. Ourselves. Compare our 'dire straits' to other clubs. Like Cambridge and Wrexham. Take hope from those clubs like Lincoln. Realise our relative good fortune. Trust the chairman. Back the chairman. Before he turns his back on us.