Saturday, October 19, 2013

Enough's enough

Today's match will see fans protesting against Jabba's reign under the banner "Time4Change". Earlier in the week, the organisers explained the motivation behind and aims of the protest to the Ronny Gill, and it all made good sense to the pair of us here at Black & White & Read All Over, as it has to NUST and the proprietors of .com.

We're perhaps less vehemently opposed to Jabba than many supporters and recognise the positives of his period of ownership - namely getting our finances in order, removing debt (except to him) and maintaining accessibility (as evidenced by the BBC's latest Price Of Football survey results and our taking the lead in the move towards more affordable prices for away tickets).

However, those positives are outweighed by the negatives: the sackings of King Kev and Chris Hughton, the rebranding of the stadium, the sponsorship deal with Wonga, the appointment of JFK and (perhaps most significantly, as the protest's organisers point out) a lack of ambition and direction that has seen us fail to capitalise on an admittedly fortuitous fifth-placed finish. Promises of investment have been repeatedly made and repeatedly broken, with little evidence that we've learned from previous mistakes.

In last weekend's interview on Sky Sports, the Silver Fox saluted the business acumen that makes Jabba a "genius" (a questionable claim, given that Sports Direct's success is largely founded on ruthless and unethical practices such as zero hours contracts), but also said our owner "sometimes can't understand how [football] works and it confuses and upsets him, and when he is upset he does things that aren't brilliant for the football club". We can only speculate as to what Jabba made of being portrayed as some kind of baffled toddler by his employee, but when even the manager is prepared to make such a statement you know it is indeed time for change.

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