The football fan’s dilemma

As a Notts County supporter for longer than I care to remember, I am currently in a state of disbelief. The fact that a middle east consortium with, apparently, money to spend, was prepared to take over the club, was difficult enough to believe. But, that they then employed former England manager, Sven Goran Eriksson as Director of Football, just made everything seem all the more surreal.

And, the Sven era started yesterday with a 2-1 friendly win over the old enemy from across the Trent. So, why am I not deliriously happy?

Well, there are two reasons. The first is that there have been so many false dawns, that it is difficult to believe that this one has any more substance than those that went before.

The second, is perhaps more complex. During the period I have supported Notts County, they have travelled from the very bottom division of the league to the top, back down to the third tier, back up to the top, and all the way back to the bottom again. But, one factor has been pretty much a constant. Notts County are a perennial footballing underdog. Most of the time, they have not even been the best team in the city, let alone the country. I am one of those people who has a tendency to want to back the underdog, and the fact that my team generally finds itself in that position, has confirmed my preferences.

And, I have always despised those who buy success in the footballing sense. When Notts County got to the top division in times gone by, they did so by a mixture sheer hard work and tactical nouse. And it was immensely frustrating to see the players who had worked so hard to get to the top regularly swept aside by teams full of millionaires.

So, am I now a supporter of a team which is about to buy success? Part of me hopes fervently that they will be successful. But, another part of me is uncomfortable that such success will be bought.

And, yet, I know for certain, that the days of pauper football clubs achieving success by their own blood and sweat have gone, and that money now dictates everything that happens in the game.

I just hope I can ignore these reservations and enjoy the success IF it comes

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