Like any supporter, my initial reaction is one of sadness, disappointment, anger and frustration. After 10 consecutive seasons as a top-flight club, the second longest in our 138-year history, it is hard for everyone to take.
It is an especially cruel blow for our supporters, who have shown tremendous faith in the club. They backed the team, home and away, in huge numbers throughout the season and it is fair to say this season they have once again been relentless in their support. I am truly sorry that we have not been able to retain our top-flight status for them.
I acknowledge that during my ownership mistakes have been made, particularly in the area of player recruitment, and as a result we have found ourselves struggling to survive in recent seasons. We had massive disruption during the summer transfer window and an unprecedented number of injuries throughout the season. These are difficulties which we have been unable to overcome and we are paying the price for that now.
We need to improve, both on and off the field, and despite the bitter disappointment of today there is a strong determination to do so throughout the club. There is significant work to be done over the summer and when the season is concluded, we intend to share our plans to move forward with our supporters”.
I’m pleased to see progress has been made with regard to Short coming forth and speaking out, but this statement begs the question as to where Short has been hiding for the last several seasons? This is exactly the kind of communication we have desired for so long, and it takes relegation to actually get him to come forth and speak. That is the disappointment.
Short’s admittance of errors being made under his ownership are welcome words that could be the foundations upon which our relationship is potentially healed, but still many questions are left unanswered here. We are one of the only clubs in the league failing to turn profits in the wake of expanded TV deals - that is quite frankly outrageous. Is an apology enough?
Furthermore, Short’s nod to the fans is another positive to take from the brief comment, and the notion we may actually be privy to future plans is a major demand of the fanbase. It is up to Short and co. now to deliver on those promises - we expect to be involved from now on and we won’t take no for an answer.
We should welcome this comment, but take it with a pinch of salt, for words don’t guarantee actions. Ellis, thank you for your comments - now it is time for you to step forth and fulfill them. Relegation hangs heavy in our hearts, and words will mean nought if you don’t continue this communication and clarity.
Next step: an interview please.
Let us know your thoughts on the matter. How does this message make you feel?