March 29 2017
Yorkshire Carnegie managed to halt the slump in results at the weekend with a home win against Richmond. This result guarantees our lads a place in the play-offs. To cap it all the sun shone on Headingley Carnegie stadium throughout the match. Perfect! All is well in LS6.......
It is slowly dawning on the serried ranks of Carnegie supporters ( supporter = one who attends games) and followers (those who like them to win but don't go to games) that there is a serious bout of tailoring going on at the club. Well Leeds was the centre of the tailoring industry I can hear you say. Yes it was but the club is cutting it's cloth metaphorically. Effectively we are downsizing to prepare for the absence of the Carnegie sponsorship which ends shortly. Reverting to the Tykes suffix does not, in any way, compensate for the loss of the reported £1 million pounds per year and the advantages (albeit squandered ones) that money gave us.
I realise that we will not be making marquis signings for next season and that the squad will be smaller than the current one. I did not, however, realise that the club would be kicking players out whilst under contract in the guise of releasing them early to enable them to explore other opportunities. Will the club be reducing the non- playing staff? I bet we are stuck with the 6 figure rent we pay for using Headingley ( and will be doing so for the next 8 or 9 years)
We always see our academy as a great asset. I would suggest that it is an underused asset given the success that buying in "experienced" players has manifestly failed to deliver. Products of the academy can be seen throughout the premiership. There are people who think that we are doing OK and that finishing 2nd in the league is a real achievement. Can I point out that the paying public are voting with their feet. 1100 at Sunday's match.How long before we have 3 - figure gates rattling aroung the stadium? As one sage put it "We can all be accomodated on the western terrace". Perhaps that is the plan. At least we would not need so many stewards then. Unless the club are aiming to give us one each.
It occurs to me that we can still get promoted. It is about as likely as Leicester City winning the football Premiership so of course it is possible. Will that solve anything? Our squad is not good enough without the addition of more "experienced" players. Same model = same result. To change the model will require time and vision. The announcement of the coach for next season suggests that the vision is distorted if not absent.
The uncertainty hanging over players and their contracts will do nothing to boost confidence in the two remaining league fixtures and the not too distant play-offs. The sun may shine over LS6 but thunderclouds are gathering over our little corner of it.