At no point since Saturday has anyone from the board come out and apologised to the fans for what is, frankly, the most disastrous season in the club’s history. We bought our season tickets last summer in hope, we followed their crappy team away, we supported them vociferously until the end. We deserve better.
2. Get a manager in place
Steve Tilson has not yet said outright that he’ll be in place next season. If he’s going, he should go this week so a replacement can be sought. If he’s staying, he should come out and say. Uncertainty helps nothing.
3. Encourage Steve Tilson to be that manager
There’s a lot of debate about this. I think Tilson needs to shoulder a lot of the blame for what’s happened. All of us can list his blunders. Beginning the planning for a League 2 campaign in 2011/12 before we were safe. Preferring 19 year old Elliot Parrish to Joe Anyon in goal. The sidelining of Jamie Clapham. Letting Scott Kerr go. His apparent ignorance that substitutions are allowed in football. Allowing his personal dislike of certain players to influence his team selections to the detriment of the club.
But we know he has a proven track record of promotion. With time, allowed to build his own team, Tilson can be our saviour. And since he played over a hundred games for Canvey Island, he’s not a complete novice on the non-league scene.
I realise this isn’t exactly the strongest endorsement. But realistically, who else is there?
The time for chopping and changing is over.
4. Consider their positions.
The list of things that have gone drastically wrong at boardroom level at Sincil Bank go all the way back to the bizarre suspension of Keith Alexander in January 2006. Fast forward to 2011 and ultimately, they’re responsible for appointing the completely inexperienced and incompetent Chris Sutton and for signing off on some of the frankly outrageous contracts he handed out. They are responsible for the decisions that led to our relegation. Perhaps some of them should seek early retirement.
5. Be realistic about next season.
The board have said nothing so far, but if when they do break their silence they say anything about the club “bouncing right back” I will rage. Of the 12 teams relegated from League 2 since 04/05, only two of those have made it back into the league. And only Torquay bounced back the season after relegation. The other club to come back, Oxford, spent four seasons in the wilderness before winning the play-offs last year. It’s unrealistic to expect us to be back in the League any time soon. It is not 1987.
A lot of us have been joking about visiting Braintree Town and their stadium made from bus shelters, but we’ll also be locking horns with Grimsby, Wrexham and Mansfield, among others. Big, experienced clubs who’ll be looking to escape just as desperately as we will be. Raising expectations will just lead to more anger and resentment if and when they’re let down.