Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Managerial Connundrum

Whether you are Cox at Mansfield, Still at Luton, Foyle at Hereford United or the recently relegated at Aldershot and Barnet the managers lot is the same. Few managers can say they have the perfect budget, fewer still can command every penny of the yearly award.  The transfer season is a double edged sword. Players on contracts are a burden that eat into what you need, but those with the freedom to leave alter the balance of the squad and change the emphasis. Having spoken to a few managers over the last few years, the squad you want and the squad you get takes compromise and irons in fires left right and centre.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs


All managers know where they are financially, they have to, but Keith Alexander knew the weekly and monthly budget to the penny and never overspent. He knew in his head how much had already been chewed up and where the scope could come from to free up some, without any need to bother the chairman at any of the clubs he was at.  But then the great KA was a unique man, the like of which the people’s game will never see again.

Most would love a clean slate or the budget that top hatter Still enjoys, but he has a mess to sort and the heavy expectation of 6000 regulars. Cox also has to separate sentimentality from reality if the Stags stampede is to continue. Simmo, practically potless in comparison has a clean slate, Boyce (hopefully) and Robinson apart, so perhaps one legacy of Holdsworth, the 44 week contract, has worked in his favour.  Then again, has it, given Oliver,  Farman and Miller could walk? Power could, but won’t as he is settled in Lincoln and blossoming, starting to show some of the ability many know he has. Confidence is a wonderful thing, with more of it the late Richard Butcher would have achieved higher than Oldham that is for sure.

Once the manager has slotted in the pieces of the jigsaw, he will then know how much he has to play with. This will also have a huge influence on who he decides to keep, as he takes a look both collectively and individually.  The fans may moan about the retained and released lists, but all managers have to marry up what they have and what they can get.  Can he get better for the money for instance, as a Joe Average might be a handy Jack of all trades even if he is a master of none?

This is how players can suddenly seem to be frozen out as the ‘moving on’ process goes on behind the scenes.  There are some brilliant antics employed by managers, including club procedure and engineered personality, formation and even sympathy issues, not to mention incredible psychological ploys – all in the club’s best interest of course. For legal reasons one cannot divulge on many ‘manager blags’ although Chris Sutton had Richard Butcher and, the now Hereford captain Sam Clucas endlessly running around a field. Character building stuff eh?  It works the other way too of course, with players becoming sick-notes who are so ill that even the magic cold sponge cannot help (some miss-sprayed Ralgex to a thigh industry has also worked temporary wonders).  When it comes to pulling the sickie the hamstring is the undoubted and almost undetectable favourite.  Nothing that a good sprint coach cannot sort of course.

Simmo does not have the best of budgets, bottom third in the BSP is the long and short of it, although he has the power of persuasion and a good knowledge of the lower Leagues and France. On the face of it £400,000 equates to £384 per week. In reality it gives scope for a much greater spread.  Some sign for as little as £250 a week at our level with non contract players getting just appearance fees, expenses board and keep. Now you can see why Keith was such a genius, because £150 an appearance for 6 weeks will allow for a loan deal, before you offer the lad the security of a contract for half a season. Garry learned from the best it has to be said.

Loans are also a great liberator for those on a shoestring. Chris Sutton got several freebies (board and keep apart), although the norm is anything up to 50% of the weekly wage. This is paid monthly on invoice, with the added benefit of the player rarely getting bonuses.  Many parent clubs will insist the player is in the starting line-up to get the much needed experience a loan is designed for.  Pulling a player back, is something the Imps have fallen foul of in the past.  There will be many battling midfielders and strikers out there this summer who are running down the last year of their contract on a thousand a week. A four to five hundred a week offer until January will appeal to a manager and his pocket calculator more than any old blarney about trying before buying.

Who Is Simmo’s Budget Boost?

Reality dawns, the faithful are perplexed, if not vexed, that the Lincoln City 2013/14 budget will be the same as last season. This is very much at odds with the comments made after the euphoria of the five one thumping of Hyde on BBC Radio Lincolnshire.  STMI will leave it at that, as this was the reason we remain indefinitely banned from attending games at Sincil Bank. The agreed £400,000 sum will equate to £384 per week for a 20 man squad, leaving Simmo the Enticer with a bottom 6-8 budget.  Although this hardly comes close to matching the ambition of the fans, we should not give up hope just yet.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Lincoln City has , throughout our underfunded history, survived on the loyalty of the most die-hard fans in football.   Perhaps it is of no surprise that one of the longest serving League sides has therefore failed to taste any real success, aside the odd promotion here and there.  This is typified in the words of our anthem – Take my hand, take my whole life too, because I can’t help falling in love with you. It is therefore of little or no surprise that lifetime Imps may turn away from our local club, but, we, the faithful, always return when the Mighty Imps start to punch above our financial weight on the pitch. That is the only place where it really matters. We are the only boost the manager can rely on, we must take a leap of faith to boost his war chest to ensure we can be there or thereabouts.

Though many of us have had the misfortune to become embroiled in the clandestine politics, by and large, it is the football that sustains us. The on-pitch struggle, sees even the most alienated still look for the results, still take a gander at the gossip, we are hooked, just  waiting for that spark to bring us back through the turnstiles in our thousands. It will therefore be the Lincoln City faithful that funds ‘chosen one’ Gary Simpson in his bid to regain our League status for a sixth time. We already hold the record, so we have a track record, as does our manager for making water into wine.

Few see our potential, but then financial people and analysts have long looked at football and, to put it mildly laughed. Seen from the logical side, the only tangible asset is the ground, should the club be fortunate to own it, plus the inevitable debt. The players and the turnstile clicks are ‘variables’ that can go down faster than a lead balloon. Yet they can rise too. An extra 1000 fans on the gate over a 23 game season equates to £276,000 (based on the £12 mean ticket admission fee at LCFC). During his post match BBC interview David Featherstone, who certainly appears to plough in some cash via various means, astutely  observed, as STMI have been saying for years, that fans coming through the turnstiles is the best way to boost the budget.

The fans have already responded.  In those dark days this site remained positive,  taking an optimistically realistic line. It saw readership grow to the levels I enjoyed when putting Vital Lincoln together – a site that would yield over 3,000 a year at its peak just through fans reading front page articles and making forum posts.  The all important turnstile clicks really started at the Nuneaton game when almost 500 travelled (some did not actually make it in for various reasons) and, despite a heartbreaking defeat 465 went to Alfreton. Many Imps mentioned “A proud day” beaming at one of our proudest for years. A healthy 2418 turned up for the Cambridge home game, then 2965 for the Tamworth Sincil Six-pointer, before the awesome 850 away at Hyde.

The fans have therefore been quick to respond. But the club must not prick the bubble and look to meet the fans half-way. Faith in the board and, therefore its popularity, suggests many want to see investment. But this could see a Mexican stand-off that would wreck what Gary Simpson can and will do at our wonderful football club.  We fans must take a leap of faith to a degree, but the club must show ambition too. Signings are key, but landmark ones are pricey.  Last season saw terrible season ticket sales, boosted only by the six-pack offer (the number of these sold is multiplied by 6 then divided by 23 to give a season ticket sale equivalent).

Anticipated Season ticket sales have set what is to be a growing budget, yet the six-pack is the key way for the club to meet the fans half way and therefore give the manager a decent chance for his team to hit the ground running. Times are hard on the one hand, but the City 6-pack will be the best way to test the elasticity of demand.  It is the perfect compromise for those prepared to take that leap of faith.  A quarter of the season in the hand for both club and fan.

Considering the demographic of the fan-base, largely public sector or on shift pattern,  the 6-Pack contains the flexibility to please many fans who can only make certain games. Tuesday’s are difficult, but then if one is on a 12 hour four-on four off, they are a perfect break from the daily grind. Know your market, hit the sweet spot, people have to work hard in the bread basket of Britain, but we have pride and a strong collective local identity.

The fans will ultimately respond to results on the pitch, something Gary Simpson is more than capable of doing.  Half a million got Macc to the verge of the play-offs before the player sales (7) and then injuries to an already decimated squad. There is scope for optimism irrespective of season ticket sales, although the club do need to put across a coherent but positive rhetoric. Remember the demographic,  because even payment plans are beyond many on minimum wage living week to week. Remember also that this is an entertainment business after all, so we need to be caught up in the buzz.

Transfers and players agreeing to stay are key to the fans believing we have a chance at a play-off tilt. Even with a bottom 6-8 budget, Simmo’s tenacity and scouting ability will see us punch above our financial weight. That has been what Lincoln City has been about since 1884.  Passion and the desire to stand tall is what being an Imp is all about.  Do this, the fans will continue to respond, the budget will grow and we will be there or thereabouts.

Big Decision For Boyce Then?

How Doncaster Rovers allowed Andrew Boyce to slip through the net, shows how far they and former club Gainsborough Trinity have progressed, whilst the Mighty Imps have stagnated and until very recently almost fallen for good.  But our demise and Trinity’s rise look set to see a reverse after Peter Swann emerged as a contender to take over at Scunthorpe United, whilst Saviour Simmo the Sincil Enticer has taken on the challenge of rebuilding Impdom, East Midlands Football’s sleeping giant.

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STMI Biopic

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
5 Andrew Boyce 45 0 3999 4 44 2 49 37 10 0
Boyce’s Backissues  
Date of Birth 05/11/1989 (age 23)
Height 6′ 3″
Weight 12st 9lbs
Youth career Doncaster Rovers
Former Clubs Kings Lynn Gainsborough

On a positive note, Boyce, technically under contract, is keen to stay at City, despite interest from an unknown club. Worse case, Andrew, who cost us £10k, cannot leave for free as we have a further year option, plus he is under 24, thus merely offering a deal will ensure we get a fee. That said tribunals tend to lean towards a low up-front down-payment with the earn out largely coming from add-ons, that are very much performance related.  This may not help Simmo, with a budget on a par with Holdsworth’s last year, although Bob is one to sanction an increase or two, along the way. It will certainly mean that he cannot offer the lad much more money.

Then again Boyce has had to battle to stay in football and will be mindful of Simpson’s track record in developing players who have gone on to play in the Championship. A hundred quid a week is neither here or there when the right move could net a five figure signing on bonus plus a few thousand a week. An ex-winger admitted on an illuminating train journey that he was now on five figures a week plus some other goodies into the bargain. Having already curbed Boyce’s penchant for elbows, next season under Simmo should certainly see him kick-on in the right way.

A smashing lad, again in the right context, Boycey is a boss in either Box, still a bit raw, but he stepped up brilliantly from the BSN last term.  There is the early promise of a McAuley or McCombe in the lad, who put in a backs to the wall performance in every one of his 45 games last season. His 10 yellows show he is a ‘roll up your sleeves’ battler, but he is an immense presence for a young side who need leaders and men, to back up a midfield that were like rabbits between the headlights of on-rushing cars last season. But then he has some scars, earned at a young age. A Doncaster Rovers youth, he saw loans at Worksop and Mansfield Town, before leaving Donny by mutual consent.  Andrew then witnessed his club go bust, when  Kings Lynn went out of business in December 2009.

Boyce certainly put in more minutes for the cause than anyone else last season, notching up 3,999 minutes in the BSP & FA Cup. His four goals and two assists, saw him get forward for the set-pieces that were so vital to us last year.  He would then put life and limb on the line to protect our goal from wave upon wave of counters that so often threatened to tear us apart. There were so many last ditch tackles and so many vital aerial duels won, it would take all day to recount.

Keeping Boyce and Miller will be massive for the Imps. The omens are good and, if it is any help STMI beg Boycey, the lad we christened the new beast of the Bank,  to stay and see out the vital mission next season.  Give us and Simmo a season. The worst that could happen is that a League 1 side come in during the winter window as your skills are honed and your reputation grows.

Please stay Andrew your are The Sincil Bank Rock!

The Imps Goal Machines 2012/13

Jamie Taylor, Vadaine Oliver (a Sheffield Wednesday steal), Colin Larkin (Hartlepool United loanee – the Monkey Hanger turned goal hanger) and captain Alan Power played their part, but who can forget that incredible brace at Braintree for Tony Diagne (Macclesfield)? Time to look at the Lincoln City Goal machines for 2012/13.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Goals be the lifeblood 0f the people’s game, thus the strikers are not surprisingly the best rewarded, idolised by the fans.  Taylor got 15, but Vadaine Oliver was just two behind in a début season to be proud of.

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Sq No Hero Goals Shots Assists
10 Jamie Taylor 15 110 8
14 Vadaine Oliver 13 81 3
8 Alan Power 11 77 6
34 Colin Larkin 8 35 1
5 Andrew Boyce 4 44 2
16 Nicky Nicolau 4 36 3
39 Conner Robinson 4 15 1
7 Adam Smith 2 44 4
14 Tony Diagne 2 11 1
20 Tommy Miller 1 14 4
15 Daniel Gray 1 8 6
37 Mamadou Fofana 1 11 0
3 John Nutter 1 6 0
4 Todd Jordan 1 9 0
23 Craig Hobson 1 6 0
Chris Bush 1 6 0

Imps Hard-men Have Cards & Scars to prove it.

The Lincoln City card count for 2012/13 stood at 87 yellows and 6 reds.  The none shall pass attitude during a hard season came at a cost, but bravery and the desire to get stuck in is often misread by refs.  

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Simmos six foot soldiers took no prisoners that is for sure, but it was of no surprise to see Andrew Boyce live up to his nickname of Bank Beast Boyce, with Miller second.  Let us hope the budget and Simmo’s powers of persuasion can keep them, as well as Vadaine Oliver, Nat Brown, Dan Gray and Tony Diagne. Because in front of Farman they have proved they can take an awful lot of stick and give plenty back besides.  Tony Diagne’s wound was probably the worst – not for the squeamish –  but Dan Gray, Miller and Boyce all have some tasty scars. Brown played 3 games injured, as did Oliver, who only reacted once (a red) to some disgraceful treatment. Especially for any young pro just making his way in the trade. 


Well played lads, it is nice to see passion is still the fashion for those who don the stripes!

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Sq No NAME Fouls Fouled YC RC
5 Andrew Boyce 49 37 10 0
20 Tommy Miller 39 33 9 0
12 Jake Sheridan 28 30 8 1
10 Jamie Taylor 30 44 6 0
37 Mamadou Fofana 28 23 6 0
8 Alan Power 46 44 5 0
14 Vadaine Oliver 48 38 5 1
6 Scott Garner 14 3 5 0
18 Jake Jones 13 20 5 0
7 Adam Smith 18 17 4 1
15 Daniel Gray 21 19 3 1
16 Nicky Nicolau 11 9 3 0
4 Gary Mills 21 19 2 1
35 Paul Turnbull 7 5 2 0
2 Paul Robson 9 2 2 0
4 Todd Jordan 13 6 2 0
14 Tony Diagne 5 2 2 0
35 David Morgan 6 12 2 0
19 Jake Thomson 5 2 2 0
30 Peter Gilbert 10 11 1 1
34 Colin Larkin 6 13 1 0
23 Craig Hobson 9 8 1 0
17 Bradley Barraclough 2 1 1 0

Lincoln City Squad Stats 2012/13

Welcome to the STMI final Lincoln City Squad statistics for 2012/13 including games and minutes played,  goals, assists, card counts, fouls and even the clean sheets and goals conceded for keepers.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Table 1 shows the keeper stats and Table 2 outfield stats.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png Keeper stats

Starts Sub Mins Saves Let Ins Shut outs Yellows
1 Paul Farman 44 1 3970 152 36 8 2
David Preece 7 1 560 21 4 0 2
27 Jake Turner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png Outfield Players

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
5 Andrew Boyce 45 0 3999 4 44 2 49 37 10 0
20 Tommy Miller 42 0 3809 1 14 4 39 33 9 0
8 Alan Power 38 3 3346 11 77 6 46 44 5 0
10 Jamie Taylor 37 8 3233 15 110 8 30 44 6 0
15 Daniel Gray 35 4 3092 1 8 6 21 19 3 1
12 Jake Sheridan 33 10 2989 0 47 4 28 30 8 1
37 Mamadou Fofana 29 2 2140 1 11 0 28 23 6 0
14 Vadaine Oliver 22 19 2326 13 81 3 48 38 5 1
7 Adam Smith 23 11 1964 2 44 4 18 17 4 1
16 Nicky Nicolau 18 9 1584 4 36 3 11 9 3 0
4 Gary Mills 21 1 1830 0 17 0 21 19 2 1
35 Paul Turnbull 14 1 1249 0 15 0 7 5 2 0
30 Peter Gilbert 18 0 1553 0 1 0 10 11 1 1
34 Colin Larkin 13 16 1362 8 35 1 6 13 1 0
3 John Nutter 12 1 1090 1 6 0 4 7 0 0
25 Nat Brown 10 0 900 0 8 1 8 11 0 0
2 Paul Robson 10 1 817 0 0 0 9 2 2 0
6 Scott Garner 11 5 1061 0 3 0 14 3 5 0
4 Todd Jordan 10 2 836 1 9 0 13 6 2 0
18 Jake Jones 7 6 667 0 8 1 13 20 5 0
14 Tony Diagne 7 0 610 2 11 1 5 2 2 0
35 David Morgan 6 2 539 0 6 1 6 12 2 0
39 Conner Robinson 5 14 682 4 15 1 9 12 0 0
23 Craig Hobson 5 7 460 1 6 0 9 8 1 0
18 Peter Bore 5 2 441 0 3 2 4 7 0 0
35 Luke Daley 4 1 312 0 1 0 2 3 0 0
19 Jake Thomson 3 0 270 0 1 0 5 2 2 0
9 Robert Duffy 3 0 222 0 4 0 4 7 0 0
Chris Bush 2 1 207 1 6 0 0 1 0 0
19 Aristede Bassele 1 1 47 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
36 Gomez Dali 1 3 92 0 3 0 3 1 0 1
37 Mark McCammon 1 1 112 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
17 Bradley Barraclough 0 1 45 0 0 0 2 1 1 0
11 Conal Platt 0 1 16 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
26 Geoffrey Gouveia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
38 Adam Boyd 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Reeves & Watmore On The Radar Then

Gary Simpson was at the Altrincham V FC Halifax game on Wednesday, stirring speculation that the Imps could be in for either Damian Reeves or Duncan Watmore. The two have shared a fifty-five goal partnership this season, with Reeves on 41 and Watmore on 14 in his first full season.  Gainsborough had failed to tempt Reeves last season, suggesting money is not the primary motivating factor for the 27 year old who scores for fun.

please sign our BSP 3 up 3 down petition here and thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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According to a valued source over the years, Simmo was amongst a posse of scouts at the game. He was also overheard discussing the performance of Reeves and Watmore.  Reeves on for the season had a quiet game by his standards but Watmore, just 19, looks a ready made replacement for Jamie Taylor.  He has phenomenal pace a great touch and can dribble, suggesting he can adapt to the variety of formations Simmo likes to play.

Two other Altrincham players, winger Nicky Clee and left-back Matt Doughty, also stood out and are therefore worthy of a mention.  On 68, the overlapping defender, exchanged passes before placing a right-foot drive beyond the keeper.  If Simmo cannot tempt Tony Diagne to stay, Doughty would be a versatile two-footed full-back, although at 32 he could be a gamble.  Left winger Nicky Clee also looked useful, grabbing the 48th minute opener in the 2-0 win.  His 20 yard left-foot crisp drive after a one-two set Alty on their way to a play-off confrontation with Guisely or big spending Brackley in the play-offs.

Question is will the Imps meet one of these four in opposition next season, or will they be lining up for Simmo’s resurgent Imps?

LCFC Season Ticket Comparison,£££ Cashback & Finance 2013/14

STMI look at the Lincoln City 2013/14 season ticket prices, including a comparison to last year, the cost-per-game breakdown and various discount options and fringe benefits.

please sign our BSP 3 up 3 down petition here Thankyou for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs 

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The prices for 2013/14 have seen prices maintained, although Stacey West regulars will see an increase as they move to the Co-Op or former Echo Stand. Further, the family Stand option is no longer valid  as it will house away fans, for the majority of BSP games next year. Home end fans looking for the ‘behind the goal experience’ could do so and, get a slight discount into the bargain, if they elect to get a season ticket in the South Park End. It should be noted that the Echo Stand will see a name change  and hopefully some long overdue sponsorship when the club announce a new sponsor (as a guide, in the good old Days the club got £20k per year from this). Could this have something to do with this years ‘mystery investor’.

This years renewal discount ends 18th May. Beyond that a discount is available, under the new purchases price,  which will run until 29/6/13. This will again see £20 off  for adults and concessions and a £10 discount for Juniors.  The adult and Concession prices do not include Trust membership, available for a further £15, although Juniors do still get their membership free. The former early bird scheme continues to be referred to as the ‘New purchase price’ and will run until 29/6/12, after which a full price will be in operation.  The pricing in this and the full price, payable from 1/7/12, for season tickets in all stands is the same as last season.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png £££…….CASHBACK……..£££
Remember that you can redeem any unused match stubs from last season. These are worth:  Adults £5 per voucher: Disabled & Age Concessions £3 per voucher: Juniors £1 per voucher
For every new Adult or Age Concession Season Ticket holder introduced by a 2013/14 Season Ticket holder, the Club will pay £20 cash back to the introducer whilst for every new Junior Season Ticket holder introduced by a 2013/14 Season Ticket Holder, the Club will pay £10 cash back to the introducer. There is no limit to the number of new Season Ticket holders a 2012/13 Season Ticket holder can introduce, so you could earn enough cash back to pay for your own Season Ticket!!
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The tables below detailing a comparison between last year and this, as well as the price per game and 10 month payment plan costings.
Renewals –  Co-op  / Formerly Echo Stand
2013/14 2012/13 10 insts then 10 Insts NOW £ Per game
Adult 279 279 30.29 30.29 12.13
Concession 179 179 19.44 19.44 7.78
Junior 55 55 5.97 5.97 2.39
New Purchase   – Co Op / Formerly Echo Stand
2013/14 2012/13 10 insts then 10 Insts NOW £ Per game
Adult 299 299 32.47 32.47 13
Concession 199 199 21.61 21.61 8.65
Junior 65 65 7.06 7.06 2.83
Full Price 1/7/12 – Co Op / Formerly Echo Stand
2013/14 2012/13 10 insts then 10 Insts NOW £ Per game
Adult 335 335 36.38 36.38 14.57
Concession 220 220 23.89 23.89 9.57
Junior 70 70 7.6 7.6 3.04
South Park Stand
2013/14 2012/13 10 insts then 10 Insts NOW £ Per game
Adult 245 245 26.6 26.6 10.65
Concession 150 150 16.29 16.29 6.52
Junior 55 55 5.97 5.97 2.39
New Purchase  South Park Stand
2013/14 2012/13 10 insts then 10 Insts NOW £ Per game
Adult 265 265 28.77 28.77 11.52
Concession 170 170 18.46 18.46 7.39
Junior 65 65 7.06 7.06 2.83
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 Full Price South Park Stand
2013/14 2012/13 10 insts then 10 Insts NOW £ Per game
Adult 290 290 31.49 31.49 12.61
Concession 185 185 20.09 20.09 8.04
Junior 70 70 7.6 7.6 3.04
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Fringe Benifits For those who want prawns with it
The club are also offering the following Season ticket benefits, (for those wanting a comparison we have also detailed those ‘pitched for 2011/12). We will let you decide just how innovatively and pro-actively the club are chasing business.


• Guarantee your seat at Sincil Bank Stadium for every 2012/13 league game and save money

• Preferential treatment for tickets at high profile games, other cup fixtures, and non-football events at Sincil Bank.

• Invitation to exclusive events in the Club Shop.

• FREE travel on Stagecoach buses within Lincoln on match days/evenings.

• 10% discount on match day bar drinks in the Trust Suite

• £1 OFF Official Red Imps Travel Coach tickets to all away games (subject to availability)

• Money offroom hire rates at Sincil Bank Stadium to celebrate a special occasion (see for details). (This was 50% last year)

• Each unused 2013/14 Season Ticket voucher may be submitted to claim an additional discount off your own 2014/15 Season Ticket renewal (Adults £5 per voucher/Disabled & Age Concessions £3 per voucher/Juniors £1 per voucher)

• Pay for your season ticket using our 10-monthly instalment plan with Zebra Finance.


3 Years For Enticer Who Found GTF,McAuley,Hewitt,McLean, Mackail-Smith & Boydd

Gary Simpson given 3 years ? ‘Why’ or for many readers ‘Who’ you ask? But his talent stretches to Taylor Fletcher (Blackpool), McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) Hewitt (Ipswich Town) McLean, Mackail-Smith &  Boydd (Peterborough  and Brighton). Indeed it spans the top five Leagues. Peterborough United (£5 million) and Macclesfield (£1.3m plus) are still reaping the rewards of Gary Simpson’s eye for talent spotting which illustrates his ability to do it again and again. With Gary now 2-1 favourite for the Lincoln City job, is he about to do it at the club he calls his spiritual home

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Gary Simpson has earned his three year deal at Lincoln City, doing it the hard way after guiding certain relegation candidates to a late reprieve   The Imps have a long overdue real football man back man at the heart of the club, who puts player development and the game first – priorities that resonate with supporters. Gary uses a budget wisely and creates his own money. The number of players he has spotted, developed and sold on is staggering, but it is just the start for the Imps. The Lincoln City board are lucky to have him and they know it. No wonder Vadaine Oliver can’t wait for a full season under  him.

 The need is not only for someone to  restore pride, but also to build his own budget and put the clubs bank balance back in the black.  Is Simmo’s talent spotting the answer? Why not ask Taylor Fletcher (Blackpool), McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) Hewitt (Ipswich Town) McLean, Mackail-Smith &  Boydd (Peterborough  and Brighton), Tyrone Barnett (£350k), Shaun Brisley (£25ok + addons), Emile Sinclair (£200K + add-ons),  Elliott Hewitt (£150K + add-ons) Hamza Bencherif (£50K), Colin Daniel (£50k), George Donnelly (£20K + add-ons) and Ben Tomlinson or Ben Mills who both went for 5 figures plus lucrative add-ons.  He also inspired a double cup run, all based on a comparable budget to the Imps. Those transfers ensured Macc made a profit for the first time in Christendom and perhaps explained why the Silkmen went down. King blew that windfall before getting sacked.

Gary has already won back some of the fanbase with between 500 and 850 travelling to recent away games and a good thousand on the home gates.  This a fan-base he and Keith Alexander built only for it to be almost destroyed.  He has and will ensure the Imps look up to no one and give it their all. He inspires – take the  Imps survival, the cup  win at Hull, a draw with Bolton (2 mins away from the win), where he narrowly lost the replay.  So he has the credentials and, in his own words  ’deep love for Lincoln City and a desire to finish what he and Keith came so close too’. That is what we want and need along with the scrapping of 44 week contracts to ensure we get the money we deserve from his player development over the next 3 years.

The quiet man in the partnership with Keith Alexander, Gary’s love of the game, judgement and ability to work with what he has got, is as touching as his deep and genuine love for the way the game should truly be played, coached and managed.  You need fresh mud in your studs and a desire to do the miles, give the smiles and to convert young lads by teaching and gently preaching.  Not only can Simmo turn water into rapidly maturing wine, but Sheffield’s softly spoken son  has what is really needed in the current harsh environment  – he can turn a quid into seven, which with add-ons can even exceed a bakers dozen.

Gary learned to take rejection at Stoke before going on to be a legend at Boston as a player. He finished at Gainsborough and was eager to take his coaching badges.  Initially the managership mantel was thrust upon him at Gainsborough Trinity whilst still a player, then Lincoln and Macclesfield Town.  Simmo was caretaker at the Imps and Silkmen, before getting the job full-time at Macc, filling the blues shoes vacated by legend, mate and mentor Keith. Gary’s eleven match spell at the Imps saw five wins, four draws and two defeats. His 45% success rate, is something they would dearly love now, not to mention the talent spotting that turns pennies into pounds and truly astounds.

Peterborough have made millions from selling players he spotted and coached, as well as no doubt benefiting from two more of his Macc prodigal sons this season, having signed Sinclair and Brisley.  Macc also received fees for Hewitt (Ipswich),  Donnelly (Rochdale), Daniel and Tomlinson, that paved the way for new Silkmen supremo and successor King’s spending splurge.

Imps Shut Home End – Goodbye Stacey West

Despite the media  being awash with positive reports of an increase in the Imps budget for next season,  the Stacey West will be closed from next season.

 Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs 

This will mean a slight saving on the rates for the club in addition to a reduction in staffing costs. But surely that is chicken feed for a supposedly ambitious club that is looking to afford a talismanic manager the money to push for a play-off place. The mixed messages continue at Sincil Bank – buried under the title Seating Changes for next season.



for a few memories