Ambition Costs ask Hull City, Doncaster and Scunthorpe.

Doncaster Rovers, Scunthorpe United and Hull City used to be League rivals to Lincoln City but all have dared to dream while we have been happy with a lot in life that sees us drop from the League  with apparently no real ambition to return. When are we likely to play Donny, The Tigers or The Iron in the League again? It hurts almost as much as the death by a thousand cuts our club is enduring.

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.pngHull City badgeDoncaster Rovers FC.pngScunthorpe United FC logo.svg


Doncaster and Scunthorpe have recently tasted the Championship on two occasions, eclipsed by Hull now back in the hallowed Premiership, but having shared fourth tier status with them all. the Imps in contrast have preferred the safe option as the way forward in what is an entertainment and results led business. Rovers and The Iron have had their downs but their set-up has enabled them to attract new owners and investment. Lincoln would have loved Peter Swann and the Wilcos millions, instead he chose the Iron over the Imps. The same can be said of Hull who also got into a mess but ambition has seen all three capture the imagination and ambition of  eager suitors, while the Imps have not. Lincoln still needed a bailout to avoid going back into admin again as attendances fell, budgets dwindled and relegation came calling to knock the final nails in the coffin to allow a Holding Company to take control.

Our rivals have put cash in on top of what the club generates on an ongoing basis, while at Lincoln £75,000 (most on that board only put in £50,000) gets you prawns for life while the faithful stump up £18 for non-League football. The manager may be generous to the board for their help but should we be, given a budget on a par with the part-timers who are beating us in front of their sub 800 gates?  The Lincoln fans have also lost their stake in a once vaunted Community club, with  1 million shares going into a Holding Company that has still not decided what is going to happen with our last remaining crown jewel  – the very church I am still banned from going to – the ground.  But naturally we should be thankful and take our frustrations out on the only bloke at fault, with the perennial manager bashing now getting into full swing ahead of a Cup tie that might just help the cause.

The succession of managers has been blamed yet in reality surely it is the constant at the heart of the club and not the variables that has to be to blame, as the fans start to question the latest to be given the poison challis.  This is one who has kept them up and with a bottom eight budget, now been lambasted that a promising start has led to mid-table mediocrity.  Normally a manager gets the push in October so the latest is doing well, but for all his hard work a growing number feel he is on borrowed time.

Cautious tactics are to blame and the under-performance of a reasonable quality squad prepared to play full-time for £350 a week plus a weekly bonus if they are in the top eight.  Is it any wonder the excuses are consistent with the manager backing a hard-working side that is struggling to score but going down narrowly to part-timers in front of 746 fans – of which 167 were travelling Imps.  These part-timers are paying some of their lads 2-3 times what Lincoln City can afford and willing to pay to fund overnight trips while the hat went round amongst Imps fans sites after we appealed for the funding of two for our team. Are we really that rinky-dink now?

Next up is part-time Southport, paying a new striker £525 a week plus accommodation and bonuses on top.  Yet Lincoln with a much bigger turnover than Port cannot compete, lost to Welling and Salisbury who have agreed to fund 15 overnight trips for their team.  Geography works against us both ways because they visitors to Sincil Bank are small enough to put in a Community stand that could be confused with a secondary school bike shed or supermarket trolley station.

Quite where Lincoln City spend their money is not something I want to go into, well not again anyway because budget questions and freedom of speech costs at Lincoln City, the former community club.  Don’t ask for any help from the Supporters Trust which is anything but a critical friend these day, that’s if it ever was, with legal action pending and a track record that brings tears to the eye. Then again so does having to doff your cap and be thankful for what we are and where we are.  The club deserves better and, when we laugh at Grimsby losing £450,000 last year just think on.  They are playing Scunthorpe next week and their crowd could top 8,000.  That is another £60,000 each in the kitty of both clubs plus the chance of £18,000 prize money.

The Mariners are not going under and continue to inspire their fans by putting in cash and not just expecting the club to generate a miracle funded by fans and commercial sponsors who will put love above the risk of being associated with a losing brand.  Alas at Lincoln the game plan is caution and we can see how that is working in the face of 16 clubs with far superior budgets who are a mix of part-time and professional NON-LEAGUE clubs.  And bar an optimistic spurt at the start of this season we can see how that is working for us as a club can’t we.  It is probably also leading to a smaller and smaller new ground as every year goes by.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Being an optimist is what being an Imp has always been about, well that and being able to lump it I’m afraid. For a start the fans need to give this manager and his players continued backing because they are the underdogs and so are we, so we need to stick together.  Given the fact that fans and citizens in an otherwise thriving city have turned their back on the lack of ambition and overpriced product, we need to don’t we? Or at least start asking the right questions of those who are custodians of a local institution that do not seem able to match the ambition we have for our club.  If they did ex-Imps might stop going to Nottingham to watch their football or sitting at home in front of the telly and adopting a Premier League pet.

Who will volunteer to turn out the light before we get our coats then?


Posted on November 3, 2013, in Financial, Uncategorized, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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