Sunday, 27 April 2014


Sunday, 27th April 2014.
OUFC 1 Accrington Stanley 2 - The One that Broke The Ox's Back?

I haven't posted anything on this OUFC blog in 2 and a half years.

That's not because I haven't cared about my beloved Oxford United in all that time. It's because in December 2011 I started a new job which didn't have a 2 hour commute everyday, which was when I wrote most of my articles. So that gets that out of the way. Don't think I've been apathetic for the past 3 years, despite what you read below. I've just not found the time to update a blog regularly.

Yesterday, I left the ground at about 4.10pm, just after Accrington scored their second goal. In my head at that moment, as the jovial steward unbolted the metal gate underneath the East Stand, I had probably walked past those cold, grey-brown breezeblocks for the final time as a season ticket holder.

Below is something I posted on Yellows Forum and Facebook this morning. Despite a little tidying up it is still raw, but it accurately sums up my state of mind today. I hope - deep down - I hope it changes over the summer. But I can't see what it'll need to do so at the moment.

A Rough Reasoning for Not Renewing a Season Ticket, The Morning After.
""For me, it's less about the football itself than the general match day experience these days. Some of which the club can't do anything about - namely the fact that a lot of the regular lads I used to enjoy a pre-game and post-match drink with either don't go at all anymore, go irregularly, or go but take their kids these days so basically just turn up for the match.

For me, half the reason for going was the social side and that seems to have died over the past year. I had to call upon an emergency drinking buddy yesterday and force him to come to the game with me, after spending 2 hours drinking on my own in town- and that's the last home game of the season for god's sake!!!

But also, I'm just feeling totally alienated by the club, and opinions of what seems to be a vocal majority of other fans. 

I left when Accy went 2-0 up yesterday, not because I was pissed off at what was happening on the pitch (which I was, of course), but because my mate (a former ST holder himself and once very actively involved with organising a fan supporter group and liaising with the club) had has enough of the negative chants from the back of the East Stand. And I agreed with him. I'd rather spend an hour in the pub with him than an hour watching our season collapse as the east Stand booed and chanted against the club.

It seemed to me like people couldn't wait to start getting on the players/club's back and almost delighted in dishing out the abuse. And that's been the same all season, and for a number of years to be honest. For all the talk about us having such great fans, I see less and less evidence of it in the stands. Bunch of moaning cunts most of the time just waiting for a player to make a mistake so they can scream at him, if you ask me!

So I left early cos I didn't want to associate myself with booing and barracking players when game still in progress. Never understood that sort of shit to be honest. Same reason I decided weeks ago to not go to Northampton next week- because of the abuse Wilder will, unfairly IMHO, get from the same people that helped hound him out of the club. A viewpoint I always thought amazingly short-sighted and results since seem to have vindicated. But that's another argument and not the point I'm trying to make.

But also, I just feel a massive disconnect with the club these days. I sit there week after week in a soulless blue-seated, grey stadium, un-entertained and un-connected to the club that has been my entire life for over 20 years now.

And before anyone just thinks I'm a fickle, half-hearted fan that the club probably won't miss if I don't come up again, you may be right.

But I've had a season ticket every season but 1 (living in NZ for a year) since the 1994-95 season. And I've never missed more than a handful of home games in all that time (but for that 1 year, obviously). I've also always done at Least 15-20 away games every season in that time, but for the past 2 seasons when I've started to be more selective (money, and wanting to spend some time with family and non-football friends, mostly).

There is not a single ground that Oxford United have played a competitive 1st team game on in over a decade now that I have not been to to cheer them on at. Even the FA Trophy dives like AFC Sudbury and Tonbridge, or the fabled Conference black spots like Droylsden and Farsley Celtic!

In my home I've got the original "Welcome to the Manor" sign from atop the home dug-out, plus the "London Road Stand" sign that hung above the stairs in the right side entrance to the stand. I've also got the rusting crash-barrier that I leant against all those times back in my formative years. I absolutely adore what this club is (or should I say was?).

I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone, I know there are far more committed and die-hard fans than me, except that it's people like me that I'm sure the club will just assume will renew no matter what happens.

At the moment I'm about 80% sure I won't be renewing. And if I don't renew, I doubt I'll go to all but a handful of games. I may even cold turkey completely.

It pains me to even think that, but if I'm not entertained, not enjoying the social aspect and don't feel a part of the 'group' of fans anymore- why am I fucking going anymore? I'm sure someone will probably say "good riddance, we don't need fans like you!"

But the fact is- clubs like OUFC DO need fans like me.

I'm not sure what it'll take for me to change my mind - perhaps nothing will be able to, or perhaps it's only going to have to be a change of heart from within me to do it, regardless of external factors.

But if I'm the sort of person that is starting to think that way- I do fear for how many others must feel the same, and the impact it'll have on Oxford United Football Club."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Long live Golden Dr Otto