Imagine my shock when I looked at this website when I discovered I had been sacked after just one week.
I wouldn`t say there was uproar but a few people did express their surprise just a couple of weeks after I wasn`t sacked from that bastion of free speech the ‘Evening Post` by its fearless editor Mike Norton.
The webmaster was kind enough to give an explanation:
‘My name is Lenny 1883. I am the webmaster of this site.
As I am the person who made this decision, let me give you some facts about it.
1. Mr Blue caused absolutely no rift between the club and Bristol Rovers Vital Football.
2. The club did not put any pressure upon me to ‘sack’ him. In fact, as he is not an employee of the website, I`m not sure how he could be ‘sacked’.
3. He is being replaced by someone who I know to be independent, a lifelong Rovers fan who is also a journalist and who worked on this website for many years.
4. In other words, the new columnist is certainly not ‘board-approved’.
5. Bristol Rovers Vital Football is – and will always be – editorially independent of Bristol Rovers
So that`s all right then!
No need for any conspiracy theories, nothing untoward happened.
The webmaster has simply decided to replace me with someone ‘independent, a lifelong Rovers fan`, and the reason is?
Answers on a postcard, but I can`t say to whom because some people have better access to lawyers than me!
Doubtless my successor on here will be scathing about the attendance for the home defeat against Leyton Orient.
There were something like 3500 fewer Rovers supporters than there were for the Leeds game. It`s true that Leyton Orient are not such glamorous opposition as Dirty Leeds and that fact obviously accounted for a significant part of the drop, but not all of it.
A friend of mine went to both the Forest and Leeds games, shelling out £44 a time for the privilege of sitting in a tent in the corner of the ground (the term stadium seems more ridiculous by the day).
£44 is peanuts to the millionaires in Box Number One and to the ‘fans directors` David Brain and Ken Masters, who not only tamely accepted the swingeing ticket price increases, they actually announced them with the rider that if we did not all agree with them we obviously “Didn`t want Steve Elliott to stay.”
£44 represents just the ticket prices. You can add a lot more to that if you want to drink or eat something as well.
That`s why my friend didn`t take his children along. He is picking and choosing his games, not out of disloyalty but because it`s too bloody expensive.
I`ll bet he was secretly relieved after he saw the final 2-3 scoreline which, unfortunately, didn`t flatter a limited Orient side, who nonetheless went on to over-power us in the last half hour.
I thought we were very poor and I haven`t said that about us since Lennie and Trolls took over.
Perhaps we are just taking a little longer to get used to the new division which, as I didn`t expect, is actually a bit better than the one we used to be in.
We seem to be getting punished more often too for defensive errors and for not making the most of our chances.
The defenders have looked like total strangers in recent weeks whilst the forwards, who we know have lacked pace from the start, are now lumbering around to little effect. Captain Campbell doesn`t get the space he got in the bottom flight and ‘Super` Lewis Haldane`s lack of end product is very worrying with each passing game.
I`m not worried, yet, because I think that a) we have a decent squad and b) a decent managerial team. It`s early days (oh no – more clichés), hopefully we won`t get any major injuries and we will begin to adapt.
I say hopefully – and I am hopeful: honest – because the alternative is to revisit the grim statistics of the 2000/2001 season and recall that poor home form not only did for Ian Holloway but it did for the club too in a humiliating relegation.
That`s not going to happen this year but let`s hope Barry Bradshaw`s gung ho ‘Let`s go for it!` rhetoric from pre season doesn`t come back to bite him on the bum (not a nice thought).
Anyway, thanks very much for reading my articles on this excellent website.
My ‘independent` replacement begins next week and I hope you enjoy what he has to say!
Good luck Geoff!