There aren’t many constants at a football club. Manager, players, boards, even fans leave. Even, as Cardiff City have found recently, your club colours and badge may change given certain, unwanted, circumstances.
Today, twelve months since our last manager left, Chris Hughton departed for Premier League Norwich City. There is a certain irony about the team we beat in the play-off final a decade ago have poached our manager, and left us in the lurch to some extent.
It was one whirlwind of a season and I’d like to thank Chris Hughton for that. His enthusiasm, his excellent man management and his motivation we’re a constant, not to mention bringing the attacking football to St. Andrew’s that we’ve craved for so long, and for that I thank him. But now it’s onwards and upwards; we need a new manager, but the question is: who would want to come to us? We’ve been linked with Ian Holloway – but we’d need to pay money for him, money that we can’t afford to spend – we’ve also been linked with the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Lee Clark (the favourite to take over) and Mick McCarthy to name but a few.
Laying it our bare, we are a club in turmoil. A thread bare squad that Premier League teams may look to poach from (Hughton will definitely be looking at players like Curtis Davies), a transfer embargo (that may well be lifted in the coming days/weeks but at present is still weighing us down), corrupt owners who, to put it plainly, don’t have a pot to do their business in, and to top that little mess off; an owner facing money laundering charges.
It sounds bleak, and I don’t know how many more times we can rise above the controversy, like a phoenix out the ashes, and overcome the adversity. One thing us as fans can do though is make sure we support the team, and support the club. The thing we can all agree on is that we are being run extremely poorly and as fans we don’t deserve to be treated like this – no one does. But we’ve survived many a kick in the teeth before yet we stand back up, ready for the next sucker punch, because that’s what we’re used to and that’s what we’ll do, for the love of our club.
Out of all of this, we need to make sure that we are the one thing that remains a constant: managers depart, players leave, but the fans – the loyal fans – are there forever. It may be hard to pledge yourself to a club where you don’t know where you money is going, but in times of adversity sticking together and pulling through is the best thing, and the only thing, us as fans can do.