2002/3 - The Season By Teletext


New Frontiers was asked to include a pithy 60- 80 word weekly report on City for Teletext. For the record, here’s how we saw the season. Be warned, it might not make sense now, it often didn’t then as its not easy to present a point of view in only 60 words, especially if Teletext imposed their editorial control on our submission.

May 7

We look forward to a summer rebuilding from the multitude of free transfer players. It’ll be a youthful side if you listen to the press. Let’s hope we get it right. A big thanks to all who got us through the season and all the best to those who’ll be leaving. After 2 seasons of uncertainly, it’ll be good to once again be cheering a successful side rather slagging off the board and fighting for survival.

Apr 30

So it wasn’t to be, but at least we made it through the season. Our depleted squad wasn’t strong enough to take us all the way. However, we should be proud of everyone of them for the way they’ve battled through the season, their futures uncertain. If they can show the same commitment next season, then we’ll be realistic promotion challengers. Thanks lads, and a win at Oxford would be a nice way to end the season.

Apr 23

Just 2 games to go and even with our recent dip in form, we’re still very much in the promotion race. Given our off the field season. We’ve no reason to be as high in the table, but the players have got us here and can go all the way. Let’s hope a big crowd on Saturday can inspire us to another win to regain our play off place.

Apr 16

We didn’t quite make it a six point weekend and its still all to play for. With 2 very winnable games over Easter we’re still right in contention. With so many players out of contract this summer, whatever division we’re in next season, we’ll have to recruit several new players. Last time we went up from Div 3, we nearly went straight up again. I’d have no more fears with a new side in Division 2 that I would in Division 3.

Apr 9

With a blank weekend behind us, its back to action on Saturday with everything still to play for. If we can keep up our recent form then promotion is ours. But if we slip, then we might not even make the play offs. Personally, and despite the financial incentives, I’d rather go up automatically rather than risk the lottery of the play offs. With our small squad, a further 3 games might just be beyond us.

Apr 2

Well done The Trust and thanks for all your hard work in securing our future. However, there probably lies ahead an even harder task in reducing costs to match income. The Trust showed they were up to it last week when they released 3 players. But The Trust will only succeed if they get the backing of every one. Let’s keep up the good work both on and off the pitch.

March 26

So nearly 3 points last Saturday, but still a very worthwhile point. With Southend on Saturday, we can maintain our promotion push. Some of the players are looking shattered, but still they’re performing heroics game after game. Its looking unlikely that we’ll be able to make any significant signings before tomorrow’s transfer deadline. However, for once, I’m not complaining about the players we’ve got.

March 19

With 3 straight wins we’re right back in the promotion race. But like our financial plight, there’s still a long way to go. Its been heartening to see the side pulling together over recent weeks, working their socks off for each other. Every one a hero. Only 8 games to go, keep it up lads.

March 12

I thought I’d got lost last Saturday when I saw the Roker lads with their collection buckets. Thanks lads, hope you enjoyed the game and best wishes for the rest of the season. Once again we have a big weekend coming up. Bournemouth on Saturday and another administration deadline looming. Another must win game, if we put together 3 or 4 straight wins we’d be promotion favourites.

March 5

Popped along to my local non-league club last Saturday, I saw Harrow lose to Aldershot. The Shots, minus Ray Warburton (suspended if you’re wondering) look set for promotion to the Conference. The home team, with a neat ground but scant council support, gets by. If the worst comes to the worst at City, I’ve got a well-run local side to support whilst knowing Aldershot have risen again from bankruptcy.

Feb 26

News that we survived another deadline was a relief but also frustrating. We raise another pot of money to get us to another deadline. It was good to see Wise and Wood make their mark against Bury. Money must dictate more youngsters playing for their career rather than old pros playing for a pension. If we get something at Rushden, no one can deny us the right to be fighting for promotion. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get a result.

Feb 19

Another week gone, another deadline passed and we’re still hanging on. As we’ve only reached our break even attendance once this season, the only certainly is that we're still losing money on a weekly basis. Any rescue bid must address that and cover 3 months in the summer when we have no gate income. Despite the off the pitch uncertainty, there’s nothing wrong with the on pitch effort being shown at the moment. Keep it up lads.

Feb 12

The earth moved for me after Saturday’s win. I nearly fell down a hole in Stratford on the way home. Couldn’t make Shrewsbury but again we showed commendable fighting spirit. I echo Dolan’s comments. Its very quiet on the take over front with the deadline fast approaching. Saturday’s televised game gives City a great chance to show the club has a spirit and a future, possibly in Division 2 sooner than anyone dared hope just a few short weeks ago.

Feb 5

Well done the lads for another 3 points last weekend. I don’t envy them with uncertain futures and the pick of the team being enticed away. Orient gives us a great opportunity to consolidate our play off place. Hope to see you there. With the ailing London Underground you’ll need plenty of time and a bit of ingenuity to get from Kings Cross to Leyton without any trains. I might set off on Friday night and I live in London.

Jan 29

We’ll need all the fighting spirit we showed at Hull if we’re to maintain our league position (let alone our existence). The only disheartening aspect was that our point was gained with only one player who’d graduated from our junior ranks in our starting line up. Whilst fully understanding our financial plight and the implications for bringing in new players, its asking an awful lot to have to rely on our youngsters to improve our league position.

Jan 22

We live to fight another month. The enormity of survival is obvious when it takes most of the money raised by The Supporters Trust in 12 months to cover our losses for 4 weeks. Meanwhile, farewell Super Al, we’ve lost a great keeper and one of our top paid players. It’s a double edged sword. When we make it into next season, it’ll be with a very different (and smaller and cheaper) squad. Keep the pledges rolling in.

Jan 15

It was good to see Deano at last week’s meeting of the London Branch of the Supporter’s Club. He still genuinely cares for the club and wants it to pull through its present crisis. However, as the deadline fast approaches, our future is still uncertain. No one can offer a cast iron solution, we can only hope we’ve still got a club come the weekend. See you next week.

Jan 8

It’s a long trip to the English Riviera on Saturday. For all the talk of part time football and regionalisation, a trip to Torquay holds far more appeal than a trip to Scarborough. Whilst travel costs are more and attendances maybe lower, its player’s wages which are the biggest drain on clubs and these are the same whoever we play. Whatever, Torquay are an example to lots of struggling clubs. Historically no money, they’re survived and this season they’ve shown that you don’t need a big budget to succeed.

Jan 1

Happy New Year, hope you had a good time last night. I can feel a resolution coming on. Mine has to be to keep the faith and to do that little bit extra to save the City. Hope you can join me in that. Things will not be easy, they’ll probably get worse before they get better, but hopefully the many brains of The Supporters Trust can do a better job than their predecessors. Whatever, I’m sure they won’t be allowed to run up the debts of previous regimes.

Dec 25

Merry Christmas to one and all. I hope Santa brought you just what you wanted. I’m afraid there was no bundle of notes to save the club in my stocking this morning. Gorge yourself on turkey today and then let’s hope we see the stuffing of the Boston turkeys tomorrow. And we’ll take care of the leftovers of Hull on Saturday.

Dec 18

Lincoln should provide an opportunity for 3 points to maintain our push for the top third of the table and end of season success. I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, there are no good teams in our division. Just some confident teams playing well together. Early season and November proved we can play well and win as a team, so we’ve got as much right as any one else to be up near the top.

Dec 11

Our cup dreams are over and ahead lies the long road to salvation and maybe promotion if recent league forms continues. It is almost a year since Craig announced his decision to sell and we’re not really any further forward on securing our future. Confucius say "If you’re stood still, then you’re really moving backwards", that’s what’s happening to us at the moment.

Dec 4

We go into Saturday’s cup game on the back of a run, let’s hope it’s the opposition who have the runs come 4:45. It provides a welcome diversion from the harsh realities of the last few days. A chance to dream of fame and glory. Whatever happens off the field, good performances on it can only help. And if the player’s wages are under threat, then no one can blame them if the want to move on.

Nov 27

It was good to see Ricky Sbragia in the news last week. When he was with City, he was the only club employee to regularly buy the fanzine. And more good news with 2 well deserved wins, showed we can battle and scrape wins. The importance of a class in form striker was obvious. And JB’s recent talks with the Trust will surely please most supporters. The bigger battles will continue to be off the pitch.

Nov 20

Another week, more rumours, conspiracy theories and in fighting. Oh for the days when the action took place on the pitch. I’m not sure if I (or City) could stand another takeover battle. With attendances dropping towards 3,000, its clear we’re not generating the money we need to be solvent, there again, not many clubs do. JB, despite all his hard work has as yet failed to convince the appropriate bodies that his ideas are the way forward.

Nov 13

It was good to see a win on Saturday, I’d almost forgotten what one was like. And a bit of excitement too. 2 set piece goals and a well taken winner. With Jon Mc exceeding my expectations, it made for a good afternoon. We could do with more of the same against Swansea on Saturday, if only to help balance the books. Johnny B’s warning last week re our finances means a good cup run won’t come amiss.

Nov 6

Howarth, another youngster gone before he proves his worth in our first team. And again, for the ridiculous "undisclosed" fee. Why the secrecy? It just adds to rumours re our financial viability. Let’s hope "Super Al" keeps fit, if not we might be after another keeper. Dolan had no faith in Collinson in the summer, he signed 2 keepers rather than play him. Silly really, a keeper we don’t play whilst we apparently continue to pay Basham despite him leaving. Madness or what?

Oct 30

This season is turning into a repeat of last season, dip in form, shapeless on the pitch and even more uncertainty off it. I’m not sure how the same players that got us to the top of the table in August now seem so clueless. Answers on a postcard to Terry Dolan. he silly thing is that we’re still close to a play off place, the rest are as bad as us!

Oct 23

I suppose a point was better than nothing on Saturday. Once again we squandered chances and conceded silly goals. It was just like watching England. Things were no better last night. Hopefully we can continue scoring on Saturday but eradicate our defensive mistakes. But there again, everyone wants to do the same. We’re rapidly slipping back to the bad old ways of last season. We should leave the old guard behind after our game at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Oct 16

We’re just 4 points off the top despite only one win in 4. We’ve nothing to fear except failure itself. There isn’t a good team about, if we’d won a couple more games we’d be clear, things would be rosy. Without the rose tinted glasses. I’m not excited about the possibility of Jon McCarthy’s return. He didn’t make his mark back at Vale and got injured at Donny. Let’s remember the legend at his best.

Oct 9

Where City went, UEFA boldly follow. They want to permit joker signings outside the transfer window. We’ve done that for years. Fortunately, we’ve shuffled the pack and got something better. Lee Cook being the latest ace. Its still early doors, but judged on one performance, I’d prefer Lee in our side, rather than Jon McCarthy, now a City (and Port Vale) legend who already this season has probably gone down in the opinion of Vale fans.

Oct 2

Owen, Nistlerooy, Duffield, Parkin. Spot the link, strikers who’ve recently gone through a scoring drought. 2 have come out, the others will shortly. As they say, class is permanent. There were a few bad habit creeping back in last Saturday, we stopped playing to our strengths. Let’s hope Dolan and co sorts it before Exeter. We’re still just 4 points off the top so there’ s still plenty to play for over the coming weeks.

Sept 25

Coming away on Saturday, the bloke behind me (him again!) thought our season was finished. I’m not sure how, when we made so many chances, he could say that. If Big Jon had (and he should’ve) put a couple away we’d have won, probably comfortably. However, as so often, first to score wins (but even that was debatable). Looking forward, we can get back on track on Saturday. Hopefully the recent blip won’t see our attendance plunge!

Sept 18

4 points, 2 clean sheets and second place from 2 home games and still we’re disappointed. Its amazing what a couple of wins do for expectations. 2 solid performances, certainly we’d have lost to the likes of Rushden previously. We’re riding high in the table and other teams are taking notice of us. With the news about the continued uncertainty about our home, its good to see us producing the goods on the pitch.

Sept 11

Tomorrow, Thursday is the monthly Supporters Club’s London & South meeting. Its 8 o’clock at the White Horse on Newburgh St, parallel to Carnaby St. We’ve fans travelling from Brighton and York, if you’re anywhere in between get yourself down. Always a lively evening, the branch offers a chance to pull on a real City shirt and in the past has offered priority big match tickets. And we all say. Let’s have some more big matches starting on Saturday.

Sept 4

It was real backs to the wall stuff at Swansea, but we came through. Off the pitch, we’ve to resolve what to do with probably the best 3 keepers in the division. Ability wise, neither Fettis nor Beresford will be happy in the reserves. Whilst all the time, Howarth is being paid in the hope of a transfer windfall. That’s one, maybe 2 class keepers too many. Whatever, I’m sure Super Tel will get it right.

Aug 28

Another good all round team display on Monday, its only a pity we couldn’t convert all our supremacy into more goals. Looking at the team, there are few stars, no Barnes, no MacPhail, no Lyons, no Jackson; just solid performances all round. We seem to have team spirit and commitment, both sadly missing in recent seasons. At our level, a confident team is a successful team. Long may it continue.

Aug 21

Given his appalling injury record, its good to see Peter Duffield amongst the division's top scorers. Even better with a team-mate is alongside. Although its very early days, any successful team needs at least 2 potent strikers. And with Rogerio Carvalho in reserve, you could say its even better than watching Brazil. So get along to Bootham Crescent now we're winning.

Aug 14

Some things never change. Did you see Carlisle’s opening day crowd, over 10,600. They constantly get crowds that their league position doesn’t warrant. A case study for any club wanting to pull in more fans. There weren’t too many high spots at Macc, but at least we got a draw. A dodgy curry after the game meant I missed last night’s game, but hey, its only the first week an there’s still a long way to go.

Aug 7

I’d hoped that by now we’d be united behind the new regime and have a team capable of improving on last season’s strong finish. At least we’ve reached this point and even that seemed doubtful just a few months ago. Off the pitch, it seems that everything that Batchelor does raises the heckles of someone. On the pitch, let’s hope the behind the scene changes will lead to better (and more consistent) results.