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The Money Men Cometh ?

By Odd-Shaped Vagaries
May 10 2015

Imposed schizophrenia.                                                                       Portentous times loom. It seems we are being softened up to the prospect of an ’essential’ cash injection that will allow us to have our on-field, rugby expectations met. 

Many of us have spied the glinting, viscious hook concealed amongst the ‘filthy lucre‘, and recoiled; but still we know, deep down, there are stormy seas around our island, grey clouds looming. Is it a matter of time before we are told we must swallow hook, line and sinker, or see our idyllic beach overwhelmed by tsunami; that we are caught between our fracturing rock and an emotionally hard plaice [sic]?


I am a club for life man. That is ‘club’, not franchise or corporate identity. A club man through good times and bad, though it must be said the good times have been fabulous and the bad, well, less so.


I have been here before. I have two clubs, Leicester Tigers and Leicester City, and the fact I no longer live near to my hometown does not change that; but time has been unkind.


I have seen the nature of professional football clubs change. Fifty years ago, and more, clubs were part of and belonged, in spirit at least, to their local communities; but with the advent of ludicrous amounts of money have become the playthings of egos and a means of I don’t know what financial ‘benefit’ to their investors, whilst the grass roots supporters have become disenfranchised customers.


In Leicester City’s case, even though they often moved up and down between the top divisions it was hard for me to see them eventually fall away, unable to compete financially; to go bankrupt. They were rescued from oblivion by local support, however, and whilst they fell down the rankings they nonetheless kept their street cred’ and expectations were adjusted accordingly.


The vultures were circling though, and they were ‘reinvigorated’.


This brought success and their upward momentum was, and is, gratifying, but somewhat hollow. It no longer feels as if I am part of the club, nor as if any effort I make on their behalf has any bearing on their progress. Leicester City F.C. is, to me, now a corporate entity where their future will depend upon investment; the bond that was there when the crowd roared from the heart in a wind blown Filbert Street and the supporter seemed to matter is broken; now the magic is purely personal. It is still my club, but the spell is broken.


So do I wish they were playing Grimsby now, or do I want them very much to keep their Plumpyship staus? Am I fearful the money men may walk away from the ‘club’ leaving a black hole? That would seem to be an impending dilema at Tigers.


Welford Road has heart and soul. Mutterings have abounded this has been gradually diluted as the professional era has evolved, but the feeling of being included, of being part of the club and making a difference is alive and fundamental. I would hate to see a repeat of the City scenario take this away.


So is success on the field worth such sacrifice? Indeed, would it necessarily follow that massive investment would bring either success or sacrifice? Sadly, I think professionalism has created an exponential monster, albeit a very fine and shiny monster, and I don’t think it will want to go back in it’s box. I shall probably be torn in two directions - twice - but until then I shall enjoy the ride.


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The Money Men Cometh ? (IP Logged)
10/05/2015 16:42
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015:05:23:14:13:37 by Tiggs.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Stopsy (IP Logged)
10/05/2015 17:00
I was wondering about whether I could cease to follow the Tigers if I stopped supporting them in a new non-Members Club guise. I think the answer is no. I was never a big City fan, I used to enjoy going in the early 70s and yet my reaction when my wife told me they had won yesterday was "Yes! well done City" so there is still some affection there.

Look at yesterday, Chairman - ex player, DOR ex player, Forwards coach ex player, attack coach ex player. Ben, Tom, Dan, Sam ex Academy. It is still a club rooted in Leicester(shire), whether it ceases to be that and becomes a club domiciled in Leicester, time will tell.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Purebob (IP Logged)
10/05/2015 17:44
Tigers are my team. Have been since I was 16.

All the attributes of Tigers gel with me: obduracy, the alchemy in truning indifferent signings into stunners, the Leicestershire and English core, Welford Road, ex players on the coaching staff and board, members ownership, all that.

All of those attributes do not transfer if you peel off the Tigers sticker and tape it over Toulon's logo. It would be more successful perhaps but it would not be Tigers.

I would follow the ethos not the badge wheever it went.

Donate now to Cancer research

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
melton tiger (IP Logged)
10/05/2015 18:32
For me

...almost completely from football. I follow the Mariners mostly from the armchair when I'm not at Welford Road and when I am on the iphone at half time and full time. Conference football does have its charms though - the little community clubs I've gone to - Histon, 600 Grimsby fans arrive and look for the town centre - there isn't one, it is no more than a village suburb to Cambridge. Cost me 20 to get me and 3 kids in - the admission prices certainly have charm. But when something is rotten at the top and you don't want to participate in that it makes it rather pointless because it takes away the aspiration. The players seem to work hard though and don't get paid alot and seem to have bonded with the fans very well. On average over 17% of the average home crowd have travelled to away games - that will dwindle if we get promotion because the prices will go up.

I'll be at Wembley next Sunday for Pirates v Mariners, but the rot has set in there as well - GTFC are not allowed to sell any tickets, everything through SeeTickets you see so they can add their booking fees and transaction fees. Cheapest ticket over 40 for 5th grade football - a poor area like NE Lincs many won't be able to afford to go. In 1998 GTFC for the clubs 1st visit to Wembley their little ticket office sold nearly 30k tickets in two weeks - people queued for ages - all part of the fun. No we are just a transaction.

When I first starting watching Tigers in 2002, it was like stepping back in time, Saturday afternoon at Blundell Park in the early 1970s - terracing with wooden seats above - doughty local youths in the team and just deduct a syllable from the main song from the terraces. I remember being surprised at how cheap the admission price was as well. Both my boys have played for MMRFC and one or other or both has been to nearly every game with me, daughter comes occasionally too. We always had fun going to HQ together for the hated pay-off finals.

Rugby has changed for the worse, mainly the influence of the corporate and TV buck, the reduction in English / local players in the squads and now the shenanigans down the M69, salary cap cover-up, ringfencing looming. I confess the thrill is partly gone from rugby, but there is still time to save it, however I'm not sure there is anyone involved at the top wants to.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Yorkie (IP Logged)
10/05/2015 19:49
Unfortunately, for a while now, Tigers have been on the top of the slippery slope. Ownership of Tigers changed when our bonds were converted into shares and bought up.

Let's see what the next couple of years brings. Don't always believe that those currently shaping the future of the club on a day to day basis fully understand our history and club ethos.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Rich W (IP Logged)
12/05/2015 09:29
Thanks for that Rog.

Sadly I think there is much to be concerned about. I suspect we are going to have to make decisions about the club we want to be - and some of us may be disenfranchised in the process - but hopefully not all is yet lost.

It might help if we were to stand up and be counted at PRL meetings.


Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
12/05/2015 13:42
A superb piece osv, more or less mirrors my own experiences of life. I once had the 'full set' sts/membership at Filbert St., Grace Rd. and Welford. I started to go off diveball when they sacked Ramsey, not so much why they did it, he never could grasp the substutute situation but the way they did it after all he had achieved. Then the diving started, surrounding the ref at every decision, then the money men moved in and that was me finished. I am a life member at Leics. and I take the rough with the smooth there and long may it continue.
With Tigers I can see things happening in rugby which might suit many people but it won't suit me. I can accept many things but if ring-fencing comes in, Idle will goeth.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
12/05/2015 14:48
Rich W
Thanks for that Rog.
Sadly I think there is much to be concerned about. I suspect we are going to have to make decisions about the club we want to be - and some of us may be disenfranchised in the process - but hopefully not all is yet lost.

It might help if we were to stand up and be counted at PRL meetings.

Are PRL meetings public, and where and when are they held?

''It [the NHS] will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it'' Aneurin Bevan

Are you faithfull?

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
12/05/2015 17:59
Doubt if they are held in public, I assume they hold them at their London office.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
daktari (IP Logged)
14/05/2015 19:28
Inevitably we will either get a sugar daddy or the club must become even more commercial and generate large amounts of income. The path of least resistance is the former , I could live with it provided the sugar daddy signed up to the ethos , culture of the club which is very doubtful. All looking a bit pessimistic and if the example of Wasps,Sarries with Vuvuzelas to Whats new @#$%& cat, along with Opera singers and screaming MCs is anything to go by I would want no part of it. We would however be powerless to stop it if the money men cometh.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Tiggs (IP Logged)
14/05/2015 20:06
Bath have money, but none of the above ?

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Vambo (IP Logged)
15/05/2015 14:39
when I was there they had a Screaming Front Man

For those about to rock - WE SALUTE YOU

I'm the only John Wayne left in this town

Jack Daniels kicked my ass again last night

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Johns (IP Logged)
01/07/2015 11:24
Don't always believe that those currently shaping the future of the club on a day to day basis fully understand our history and club ethos.

I think you are right Yorkie, IMHO the loss of PW as an Executive is a major loss.

I would love the club to develop its commercial side (Tigers Events) however I doubt it will be able to supply the funds that will enable us to compete with the money bags. The media seem more interested in the moneybags than the clubs and the games traditions.

There will be change, regrettably that looks like a wealthy owner, a one eyed Tigers fanatic would do nicely however perhaps a wish to far.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
02/07/2015 13:28
Vuvazalas wouldn't bother me but I suppose if you let one thing in others follow and ---.

Re: The Money Men Cometh ?
Stopsy (IP Logged)
02/07/2015 21:52
Football World Cup in S Africa aside, my only knowledge experience of Vuvuzela was the obnoxious use to which they were put at Welford Rd, they were used as a means of antagonising others rather than any form of supporting.

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