U’s chairman Robbie calls for fans to back manager and team in 2014

Gazette: U’s chairman Robbie calls for fans to back manager and team in 2014 U’s chairman Robbie calls for fans to back manager and team in 2014

COLCHESTER United chairman Robbie Cowling has urged the club’s fans to stay behind Joe Dunne and his players in 2014.

The U’s have experienced mixed results at the Weston Homes Community Stadium over recent weeks and were beaten 2-1 by struggling Crewe Alexandra on Sunday.

But ahead of today’s trip to play MK Dons in League One, Cowling has called for Colchester fans to remain supportive of the team this year.

And the U’s supremo has reiterated his desire to see more people in the town get behind their local Football League side.

Cowling said: “The fans who have come along have been very supportive.

“It would just be nice to see a few more people come and watch us.

“My main message to our supporters going into the new year is to keep the faith with what we’re trying to do.

“We want the fans to stay with us and get behind us.

“I’d appeal to them not to judge us on one result – look at what we’re trying to do in the long term.

“I just want the fans to get behind the team and be positive, especially during the 90 minutes.

“I’m sure that the team that we have can do well, especially with the players that we have coming back.

“We have the likes of Freddie Sears and Gavin Massey to return and Sanchez Watt is still feeling his way back.”

Comments (61)

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5:44pm Thu 2 Jan 14

hungrystudent says...

maybe i am RC
maybe i am RC hungrystudent
  • Score: -19

8:39pm Thu 2 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

I think most people appreciate the long term plan, however short term will always be a big concern and it is plain and clear to see how easy it is for teams to drop down the divisions in just a few season, Luton, Cambridge, Darlington to name a few.
The clubs fans are more patient than a lot but it works both ways and while the team continues to get poor and inconsistent results at home attendances will not rise.
Off the pitch, more parking, better use of the bus service, more pubs/bars/restaurant
s (obv out of the clubs hands) a proper bar at the ground are all needed.
A bold but big step would be to fill in the corners, it would make such a difference to the ground, and make it feel less, cold, miserable, depressing and soulless. I understand building more seats to a ground that is about 3rd full seems strange but I think it would make a huge difference, if even just the corners at south stand?
I think most people appreciate the long term plan, however short term will always be a big concern and it is plain and clear to see how easy it is for teams to drop down the divisions in just a few season, Luton, Cambridge, Darlington to name a few. The clubs fans are more patient than a lot but it works both ways and while the team continues to get poor and inconsistent results at home attendances will not rise. Off the pitch, more parking, better use of the bus service, more pubs/bars/restaurant s (obv out of the clubs hands) a proper bar at the ground are all needed. A bold but big step would be to fill in the corners, it would make such a difference to the ground, and make it feel less, cold, miserable, depressing and soulless. I understand building more seats to a ground that is about 3rd full seems strange but I think it would make a huge difference, if even just the corners at south stand? angryman!!!
  • Score: 24

9:18pm Thu 2 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

Sorry Mr Cowling, but Sears and Massey returning wont make a sh-ts worth of difference. When they were fit and playing they were like the rest of the bunch, no different. Do you honestly expect people to turn up paying good money, then having to watch the biggest load of dross one could ever imagine. You really have to be a diehard supporter like me, often people telling me I need my head tested to keep on coming to watch every game when possible home or away. Its only because I love my club, certainly not from the entertainment level.

From my point of view the package served up at he community stadium has never been right from the very start. The food and drink have always been over priced. The parking is a problem, and having to pay another £6 for the car park or having to catch a shuttle bus adds on the costs for the working class man.

I think most Colchester supporters will agree with me, in saying that we appreciate your backing of the club, but please do not continue to expect supporters having to watch week after week the same old boring football. It's not just on one result which you mention, but every blo-dy game. That's why Roy Hodgson is not a particular popular England manager because he often tries to get his teams to play it from the back across field which then invites trouble if a ball is passed badly . It can work well okay against some teams, but if a team closes you down quickly and then pushes men forwards its curtains. Without doubt we do have some players with ability, but sadly the tactics are way out of touch.
All I can say is that Joe is wearing rose tinted glasses and if he can not see why he is failing, then he should not be in the job. Its starring me in the face every single game to what we need to change to. It just frustrates me that no one else from the club can see it as well.


.
Sorry Mr Cowling, but Sears and Massey returning wont make a sh-ts worth of difference. When they were fit and playing they were like the rest of the bunch, no different. Do you honestly expect people to turn up paying good money, then having to watch the biggest load of dross one could ever imagine. You really have to be a diehard supporter like me, often people telling me I need my head tested to keep on coming to watch every game when possible home or away. Its only because I love my club, certainly not from the entertainment level. From my point of view the package served up at he community stadium has never been right from the very start. The food and drink have always been over priced. The parking is a problem, and having to pay another £6 for the car park or having to catch a shuttle bus adds on the costs for the working class man. I think most Colchester supporters will agree with me, in saying that we appreciate your backing of the club, but please do not continue to expect supporters having to watch week after week the same old boring football. It's not just on one result which you mention, but every blo-dy game. That's why Roy Hodgson is not a particular popular England manager because he often tries to get his teams to play it from the back across field which then invites trouble if a ball is passed badly . It can work well okay against some teams, but if a team closes you down quickly and then pushes men forwards its curtains. Without doubt we do have some players with ability, but sadly the tactics are way out of touch. All I can say is that Joe is wearing rose tinted glasses and if he can not see why he is failing, then he should not be in the job. Its starring me in the face every single game to what we need to change to. It just frustrates me that no one else from the club can see it as well. . crazy comments
  • Score: 23

9:28pm Thu 2 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

angryman!!! wrote:
I think most people appreciate the long term plan, however short term will always be a big concern and it is plain and clear to see how easy it is for teams to drop down the divisions in just a few season, Luton, Cambridge, Darlington to name a few.
The clubs fans are more patient than a lot but it works both ways and while the team continues to get poor and inconsistent results at home attendances will not rise.
Off the pitch, more parking, better use of the bus service, more pubs/bars/restaurant

s (obv out of the clubs hands) a proper bar at the ground are all needed.
A bold but big step would be to fill in the corners, it would make such a difference to the ground, and make it feel less, cold, miserable, depressing and soulless. I understand building more seats to a ground that is about 3rd full seems strange but I think it would make a huge difference, if even just the corners at south stand?
Yes your right angry man regard the corners being filled in. It would make the ground feel more homely. I've always felt there was something missing especially after visiting so many other grounds where they have had new stadiums built. That's what annoys me when people go on saying we have a fantastic stadium, but in truth its rubbish.
[quote][p][bold]angryman!!![/bold] wrote: I think most people appreciate the long term plan, however short term will always be a big concern and it is plain and clear to see how easy it is for teams to drop down the divisions in just a few season, Luton, Cambridge, Darlington to name a few. The clubs fans are more patient than a lot but it works both ways and while the team continues to get poor and inconsistent results at home attendances will not rise. Off the pitch, more parking, better use of the bus service, more pubs/bars/restaurant s (obv out of the clubs hands) a proper bar at the ground are all needed. A bold but big step would be to fill in the corners, it would make such a difference to the ground, and make it feel less, cold, miserable, depressing and soulless. I understand building more seats to a ground that is about 3rd full seems strange but I think it would make a huge difference, if even just the corners at south stand?[/p][/quote]Yes your right angry man regard the corners being filled in. It would make the ground feel more homely. I've always felt there was something missing especially after visiting so many other grounds where they have had new stadiums built. That's what annoys me when people go on saying we have a fantastic stadium, but in truth its rubbish. crazy comments
  • Score: 24

10:56pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

"Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings......

It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed.

We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend.

This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different.

So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere.,
"Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings...... It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed. We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend. This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different. So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere., Noah4x4
  • Score: -29

1:51am Fri 3 Jan 14

Boris says...

Nice to see Noah's comments (is he Robbie in disguise?) but all we really need is a team with a couple of goalscorers and a few decent defenders.
The WHCS experience is horrible compared to Layer Road, but the cold wind from the corners would not bother us if there was a chance of seeing players of the calibre of Jamie Cureton, Chris iwelumo, Wayne Brown, Johnnie Jackson, Greg Halford, George Elokobi, John White, or Kem Izzet, all in their prime of course. All of these played their hearts out for the club. Now we have a team made up largely of loan players, promising youngsters, and has-beens. It seems that our two best players, the loanees Walker and Garbutt, are about to return to their parent clubs. It is really going to be a struggle, especially if Garbutt goes. As the season grinds on, the weakest clubs will become the hardest ones to beat, as they fight hardest. Some of our players don't seem to realise that they could be in League 2 next season. And that is why supporters get so discouraged.
Nice to see Noah's comments (is he Robbie in disguise?) but all we really need is a team with a couple of goalscorers and a few decent defenders. The WHCS experience is horrible compared to Layer Road, but the cold wind from the corners would not bother us if there was a chance of seeing players of the calibre of Jamie Cureton, Chris iwelumo, Wayne Brown, Johnnie Jackson, Greg Halford, George Elokobi, John White, or Kem Izzet, all in their prime of course. All of these played their hearts out for the club. Now we have a team made up largely of loan players, promising youngsters, and has-beens. It seems that our two best players, the loanees Walker and Garbutt, are about to return to their parent clubs. It is really going to be a struggle, especially if Garbutt goes. As the season grinds on, the weakest clubs will become the hardest ones to beat, as they fight hardest. Some of our players don't seem to realise that they could be in League 2 next season. And that is why supporters get so discouraged. Boris
  • Score: -8

7:06am Fri 3 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

One must agree with Boris that ideally we do need a couple of NEW strikers and defenders. But the FA/FIFA Fair Play rule now frustrates this. Our player budget cannot exceed 60% of turnover; so we must sell to buy; and who wants what we have? Players like Dominic Vose on a month by month contract are playing for their future; so are very conscious of the need to perform. Even those like Magnus on long term contracts know they will run out. Compare that to the workplace security enjoyed by most fans. Fans staying away; fans demanding lower prices (etc) further reduce turnover; and a legacy of existing long term player contracts signed by earlier managers then means we are largely stuck with what we have other than loans and youth academy prospects.

.....and no, I have no connection with Robbie Cowling. Just an honest fan that understands the real issues and has lowered his expectation whilst Joe Dunne sorts out the legacy of Ward; Boothroyd; Lambert etc. Yes, I am discouraged by where we are; but constantly moaning about anything and everything doesn't produce solutions; only more money through the gates can; and that will depend on success to a large degree. Just wish this town wake up to this and get behind the club.
One must agree with Boris that ideally we do need a couple of NEW strikers and defenders. But the FA/FIFA Fair Play rule now frustrates this. Our player budget cannot exceed 60% of turnover; so we must sell to buy; and who wants what we have? Players like Dominic Vose on a month by month contract are playing for their future; so are very conscious of the need to perform. Even those like Magnus on long term contracts know they will run out. Compare that to the workplace security enjoyed by most fans. Fans staying away; fans demanding lower prices (etc) further reduce turnover; and a legacy of existing long term player contracts signed by earlier managers then means we are largely stuck with what we have other than loans and youth academy prospects. .....and no, I have no connection with Robbie Cowling. Just an honest fan that understands the real issues and has lowered his expectation whilst Joe Dunne sorts out the legacy of Ward; Boothroyd; Lambert etc. Yes, I am discouraged by where we are; but constantly moaning about anything and everything doesn't produce solutions; only more money through the gates can; and that will depend on success to a large degree. Just wish this town wake up to this and get behind the club. Noah4x4
  • Score: -9

8:23am Fri 3 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

Noah, if you read what I'd wrote you'd have seen that I said the infrastructure around the ground will help and I'd out of the clubs hands (and if you think the park and ride which still hasn't got funding will be there by the summer I also presume you've booked a open top bus for a promotion celebration this seasons).
If you think everything is fine at the club and no change needed then great however we still have about 7,000 seats we can fill and I think their is improvements the club can do. I'm suppressed you compared us to mk, I'd be happy to pay 50p more to sit in a bar like the red dot, with a nice surrounding etc compared to standing in souless concrete stand.
I could list off all the grounds I've been to and find faults and no i don't think stating at layer rd was ever an option. In reality it doesn't matter if things change I will still keep going to watch col.u, and I'm sure the 3.000 odd core fans will too it would be just nice to have a few more there. but I suppose Noah you like the room to stretch out?
Be interesting if the club would look at the new terracing that might get introduced?
Noah, if you read what I'd wrote you'd have seen that I said the infrastructure around the ground will help and I'd out of the clubs hands (and if you think the park and ride which still hasn't got funding will be there by the summer I also presume you've booked a open top bus for a promotion celebration this seasons). If you think everything is fine at the club and no change needed then great however we still have about 7,000 seats we can fill and I think their is improvements the club can do. I'm suppressed you compared us to mk, I'd be happy to pay 50p more to sit in a bar like the red dot, with a nice surrounding etc compared to standing in souless concrete stand. I could list off all the grounds I've been to and find faults and no i don't think stating at layer rd was ever an option. In reality it doesn't matter if things change I will still keep going to watch col.u, and I'm sure the 3.000 odd core fans will too it would be just nice to have a few more there. but I suppose Noah you like the room to stretch out? Be interesting if the club would look at the new terracing that might get introduced? angryman!!!
  • Score: 2

9:07am Fri 3 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

We will when you do Mr C, you are a very good actor but not even playing a supportive role very well, change the record!
We will when you do Mr C, you are a very good actor but not even playing a supportive role very well, change the record! totallyfootball
  • Score: 6

10:39am Fri 3 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

When you sit and watch games like notts county and crewe.There is no substance in any of mr.dunnes comments.they are weak very much , l assume, like his team talks.The chairman, in my oppinion, is feeling the pinch like all of us but we only have to attend.We dont have bank role the club.The big mistake or tragedy for colchester is the lack of business men with the cash around like 40 or fifty years ago.mr. cowling must have thought he was rich enough but l reckon he is realizing just the opposite.yes we do need a fan base of 5 or six thousand but that will only come with winning matches and looking after the supporters with descent facilities. I don't care what other stadiums are like l sit in the whcs and freeze.que for most of half time for a cup of hot brown water then sit in car park for 20 minutes waiting to leave a ground that is practicaly joined to the a12.a f**k up from start to finsh.up the u's and happy new year.
When you sit and watch games like notts county and crewe.There is no substance in any of mr.dunnes comments.they are weak very much , l assume, like his team talks.The chairman, in my oppinion, is feeling the pinch like all of us but we only have to attend.We dont have bank role the club.The big mistake or tragedy for colchester is the lack of business men with the cash around like 40 or fifty years ago.mr. cowling must have thought he was rich enough but l reckon he is realizing just the opposite.yes we do need a fan base of 5 or six thousand but that will only come with winning matches and looking after the supporters with descent facilities. I don't care what other stadiums are like l sit in the whcs and freeze.que for most of half time for a cup of hot brown water then sit in car park for 20 minutes waiting to leave a ground that is practicaly joined to the a12.a f**k up from start to finsh.up the u's and happy new year. stevedawson
  • Score: 9

10:55am Fri 3 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Boris; I respect your opinion; and wholly agree that WHCS isn't perfect.

But fans have to be realistic in their expectations. Even if they plastered the walls of the WHCS concourses so that the current bars no longer share the same ambiance of the breeze block loos I doubt if most fans would drink there beyond 20 minutes. No football ground bar is ever going to have the appeal of (say) the Victoria Inn or Bricklayers Arms. You can't properly keep 'real ale' if open on merely one afternoon a week; and the current shuttle bus system and limited parking doesn't encourage people to stay for a 'session'.

The alternative of providing a proper fans 'clubhouse' (e.g. like Bradford or Orient) is only financially viable if surrounded by houses and hence regularly used by supporters on seven days a week. Given the player budget to turnover constraints of the FL/FIFA Fair Play rule is it actually surprising that the club currently seeks to maximise the revenue available from its available 'suites' by focusing on fuller high value catering and/or comedy club and music nights rather than providing a match day bar where most fans will buy no more than a coffee?

When we do get 3,500 new houses built on Severalls and Chesterwell Wood then things should change. The situation is not unlike what Stoke fans first encountered at the Britannia Stadium. Eventually the surrounding commercial infra-structure around WHCS must be developed whilst the Northern Approach Road and its proposed 'Park & Ride' will also dramatically improve access; transport and parking. But I reckon that it is not financially viable for the club itself to make too many improvements; and I would far sooner see what little money is available be spent on NEW PLAYERS rather than a cushion for me. After all; it’s a football ground; and not the Ritz.
Boris; I respect your opinion; and wholly agree that WHCS isn't perfect. But fans have to be realistic in their expectations. Even if they plastered the walls of the WHCS concourses so that the current bars no longer share the same ambiance of the breeze block loos I doubt if most fans would drink there beyond 20 minutes. No football ground bar is ever going to have the appeal of (say) the Victoria Inn or Bricklayers Arms. You can't properly keep 'real ale' if open on merely one afternoon a week; and the current shuttle bus system and limited parking doesn't encourage people to stay for a 'session'. The alternative of providing a proper fans 'clubhouse' (e.g. like Bradford or Orient) is only financially viable if surrounded by houses and hence regularly used by supporters on seven days a week. Given the player budget to turnover constraints of the FL/FIFA Fair Play rule is it actually surprising that the club currently seeks to maximise the revenue available from its available 'suites' by focusing on fuller high value catering and/or comedy club and music nights rather than providing a match day bar where most fans will buy no more than a coffee? When we do get 3,500 new houses built on Severalls and Chesterwell Wood then things should change. The situation is not unlike what Stoke fans first encountered at the Britannia Stadium. Eventually the surrounding commercial infra-structure around WHCS must be developed whilst the Northern Approach Road and its proposed 'Park & Ride' will also dramatically improve access; transport and parking. But I reckon that it is not financially viable for the club itself to make too many improvements; and I would far sooner see what little money is available be spent on NEW PLAYERS rather than a cushion for me. After all; it’s a football ground; and not the Ritz. Noah4x4
  • Score: -7

11:16am Fri 3 Jan 14

TheCaptain says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
"Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings......

It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed.

We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend.

This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different.

So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere.,
I remember on occasions fans moaning about Parkinson's tactics. For example 1-0 up with minutes to ago and running the ball into the corner.
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: "Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings...... It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed. We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend. This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different. So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere.,[/p][/quote]I remember on occasions fans moaning about Parkinson's tactics. For example 1-0 up with minutes to ago and running the ball into the corner. TheCaptain
  • Score: 3

11:54am Fri 3 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
"Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings......

It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed.

We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend.

This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different.

So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere.,
KEEP ON TAKING THE TABLETS AND YOUR WISHES MAY COME TRUE. I've watched the U's through thick and thin for 59 years and during that time I I've never seen such boring negative football as it is now in that whole time. Okay the late Dick Graham never got us promotion but what an exciting time it was. The town was buzzing. I remember we played Southend away, got four goals and Steve Leslie destroyed them with his silky skills. How we all loved he late Brian Hall with his dazzling runs down the wing. The exploits of Hunt and King in the forth tier, so don't tell me it was all mediocrity stuff. Actually being in the conference I enjoyed the games against the big dirty teams from the North. Why do people keep on blaming previous managers for the troubles. Certain players have left and gone on and done well in the championship and other divisions. Big fees were received for Brown, Lisbie, Danns, Halford, Yates Imo Cureton etc. Others left Garcia ,Tierney,Perkins, Fox, Imo, Williams, and Jackson so some sighing's were decent and made money. In life you have to speculate to accumulate. .
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: "Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings...... It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed. We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend. This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different. So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere.,[/p][/quote]KEEP ON TAKING THE TABLETS AND YOUR WISHES MAY COME TRUE. I've watched the U's through thick and thin for 59 years and during that time I I've never seen such boring negative football as it is now in that whole time. Okay the late Dick Graham never got us promotion but what an exciting time it was. The town was buzzing. I remember we played Southend away, got four goals and Steve Leslie destroyed them with his silky skills. How we all loved he late Brian Hall with his dazzling runs down the wing. The exploits of Hunt and King in the forth tier, so don't tell me it was all mediocrity stuff. Actually being in the conference I enjoyed the games against the big dirty teams from the North. Why do people keep on blaming previous managers for the troubles. Certain players have left and gone on and done well in the championship and other divisions. Big fees were received for Brown, Lisbie, Danns, Halford, Yates Imo Cureton etc. Others left Garcia ,Tierney,Perkins, Fox, Imo, Williams, and Jackson so some sighing's were decent and made money. In life you have to speculate to accumulate. . crazy comments
  • Score: 17

12:27pm Fri 3 Jan 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

The support for Colchester United has always been and will continue to be an issue. One of the biggest problems is both the local council and Essex county council. It was Colchester Council's decision to building the stadium in about the worst place possible. They moved it away from Layer Road principally because of the local residence to a place 6/7 miles away and still want to build houses around the ground. Already the floodlights are only on about three-quarter power because of the Mile End and Boxted residents and totally unnecessary parking and access restrictions have been imposed around the ground.

Essex Highways Dept., part of Essex County Council, can't even be bothered to sign post the stadium in the correct manner from the A12 and Essex County Council themselves were instrumental, in the days of Lord Hanningfield, in providing objections to the building of an M12. This latter point is one of the main reasons why businesses avoid setting up in Colchester with access by road being so poor.

Regarding the stadium itself, it would be better if all the corners were enclosed, even if seating itself was not put in at this stage. Also a proper Supporters Club room should be accommodated. A little cubby-hole inside the South Stand shows just how much supporters are valued by the club.

Lastly the football, and lets be honest here, since the ground has been opened the quality of football has, by enlarge, been very poor. No cup runs and year after year has become a weaker and weaker force regarding making an assault on the play-offs. Just what does the club offer now to it's supporters who have lost about 2,500 off the gate for most games.? Now we are in the unenviable position of what comes first the chicken or the egg (increasing support or providing exciting entertaining football worthy of support). That is now the enigma we've got The chairman has put all his eggs in one basket (youth) and unfortunately I don't believe in itself that will be enough, whilst bigger clubs also increase their investment in not only youth, but also the transfer market. Survival at league one level is becoming harder and harder and it's patently clear that the football authorities are not interested in the likes of Colchester and are only interested in those bigger city and town clubs that can command support. Long term there is no future for Colchester as a league club, as I see it, without having a passionate chairman who is willing to invest in the playing strength of the first team as well as developing good youth prospects..
The support for Colchester United has always been and will continue to be an issue. One of the biggest problems is both the local council and Essex county council. It was Colchester Council's decision to building the stadium in about the worst place possible. They moved it away from Layer Road principally because of the local residence to a place 6/7 miles away and still want to build houses around the ground. Already the floodlights are only on about three-quarter power because of the Mile End and Boxted residents and totally unnecessary parking and access restrictions have been imposed around the ground. Essex Highways Dept., part of Essex County Council, can't even be bothered to sign post the stadium in the correct manner from the A12 and Essex County Council themselves were instrumental, in the days of Lord Hanningfield, in providing objections to the building of an M12. This latter point is one of the main reasons why businesses avoid setting up in Colchester with access by road being so poor. Regarding the stadium itself, it would be better if all the corners were enclosed, even if seating itself was not put in at this stage. Also a proper Supporters Club room should be accommodated. A little cubby-hole inside the South Stand shows just how much supporters are valued by the club. Lastly the football, and lets be honest here, since the ground has been opened the quality of football has, by enlarge, been very poor. No cup runs and year after year has become a weaker and weaker force regarding making an assault on the play-offs. Just what does the club offer now to it's supporters who have lost about 2,500 off the gate for most games.? Now we are in the unenviable position of what comes first the chicken or the egg (increasing support or providing exciting entertaining football worthy of support). That is now the enigma we've got The chairman has put all his eggs in one basket (youth) and unfortunately I don't believe in itself that will be enough, whilst bigger clubs also increase their investment in not only youth, but also the transfer market. Survival at league one level is becoming harder and harder and it's patently clear that the football authorities are not interested in the likes of Colchester and are only interested in those bigger city and town clubs that can command support. Long term there is no future for Colchester as a league club, as I see it, without having a passionate chairman who is willing to invest in the playing strength of the first team as well as developing good youth prospects.. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 11

1:06pm Fri 3 Jan 14

super waluigi says...

Unfortunately, colchester united will always struggle for support, just like everything else in Colchester always does.

Until the real fans (and I mean all of us on this forum) accept that our premier leagues equivalent is Crystal Palace and our championship equivalent is Barnsley then we have no hope of being a happy club.
Our football is at times mediocre at best, other times it is fantastic, but most often it is a draw and survival. We are a team that has the foundations of a league 2 club. Even the town size suggests this.

I am not suggesting that we swallow this up and accept relegation, but mearly suggesting that we support our team in its low numbers until the time comes when we can attempt another promotion push (and at that point attract new fans).
Unfortunately, colchester united will always struggle for support, just like everything else in Colchester always does. Until the real fans (and I mean all of us on this forum) accept that our premier leagues equivalent is Crystal Palace and our championship equivalent is Barnsley then we have no hope of being a happy club. Our football is at times mediocre at best, other times it is fantastic, but most often it is a draw and survival. We are a team that has the foundations of a league 2 club. Even the town size suggests this. I am not suggesting that we swallow this up and accept relegation, but mearly suggesting that we support our team in its low numbers until the time comes when we can attempt another promotion push (and at that point attract new fans). super waluigi
  • Score: -9

1:33pm Fri 3 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

Agree with most of thd above. Like super says we have the foundation of league 2, although I don't agree with the town size, which with past decade of rapid expansion is easily as big as many championship teams.
I think realistically and maybe reasonably the best chance of increase attendance (except a decent run of form) is the development around the ground, however with the council that is a very worrying factor
Agree with most of thd above. Like super says we have the foundation of league 2, although I don't agree with the town size, which with past decade of rapid expansion is easily as big as many championship teams. I think realistically and maybe reasonably the best chance of increase attendance (except a decent run of form) is the development around the ground, however with the council that is a very worrying factor angryman!!!
  • Score: -4

2:20pm Fri 3 Jan 14

toothache123 says...

It seems to me that the problem faced by the club is how to attract new fans.

Fooball is a unique business in that it can offer customers poor value, no refunds, yet still have customers turn up at the following match! So these points aren't written with the hardened supporters in mind, more why more neutrals and casual supporters don't come through the turnstiles.

Those who have not attended for a while, or not at all, will not be aware of the quality of football, or many of the other gripes in previous comments.

I guess, therefore,that the reasons people do not come are as follows:-

1) The difficulty in getting to the ground. OK I know there are shuttle busses but people still have to get to the station to get these. We live in an age where unless you can park within 5 feet of the venue, or whoever is performing at the venue is unmissable, people will not come

2) When the stadium was first opened, the (perhaps unintentional) message was that anyone found approaching the stadium from the wrong entrance, stopping to drop off or parking in the wrong place would be arrested, imprisoned, or worse! I think this memory has lingered in the minds of many. Add to this an increase in ticket prices despite a lower league status, left many feeling unwilling to come.

3) Unless I want to decide 3(ish)months in advance that I want to attend a game, it is very expensive to watch. I would not pay the on the day ticket price, nor am I prepared to commit to buying a ticket 3 months in advance! There are many people who I know are put off a "on the spur of a moment" visit due to the pricing structure.

4) We are constantly told we have to rely on youth as there is insufficient funding for more experienced players. As per point 3, I am being asked to pay top dollar to watch youth football.

5) There are other football alternatives locally available with arguably easier access, better facilities, better opposing teams for the same price (Ipswich) or Conference football at Braintree for £15 on the day.

6) There is nothing around the ground. Whilst the club does its best with the live music etc, a bar or a restaurant is the prefered pre match choice of many.

I think the club needs to have an "open house" day where admission prices are slashed, to show what the club as to offer, give real value for money for those signing up to season tickets on the day. Although some will argue that it is unfair as they have a season ticket, I'm sure most would rather see a full(er) stadium and experience a better atmosphere.
It seems to me that the problem faced by the club is how to attract new fans. Fooball is a unique business in that it can offer customers poor value, no refunds, yet still have customers turn up at the following match! So these points aren't written with the hardened supporters in mind, more why more neutrals and casual supporters don't come through the turnstiles. Those who have not attended for a while, or not at all, will not be aware of the quality of football, or many of the other gripes in previous comments. I guess, therefore,that the reasons people do not come are as follows:- 1) The difficulty in getting to the ground. OK I know there are shuttle busses but people still have to get to the station to get these. We live in an age where unless you can park within 5 feet of the venue, or whoever is performing at the venue is unmissable, people will not come 2) When the stadium was first opened, the (perhaps unintentional) message was that anyone found approaching the stadium from the wrong entrance, stopping to drop off or parking in the wrong place would be arrested, imprisoned, or worse! I think this memory has lingered in the minds of many. Add to this an increase in ticket prices despite a lower league status, left many feeling unwilling to come. 3) Unless I want to decide 3(ish)months in advance that I want to attend a game, it is very expensive to watch. I would not pay the on the day ticket price, nor am I prepared to commit to buying a ticket 3 months in advance! There are many people who I know are put off a "on the spur of a moment" visit due to the pricing structure. 4) We are constantly told we have to rely on youth as there is insufficient funding for more experienced players. As per point 3, I am being asked to pay top dollar to watch youth football. 5) There are other football alternatives locally available with arguably easier access, better facilities, better opposing teams for the same price (Ipswich) or Conference football at Braintree for £15 on the day. 6) There is nothing around the ground. Whilst the club does its best with the live music etc, a bar or a restaurant is the prefered pre match choice of many. I think the club needs to have an "open house" day where admission prices are slashed, to show what the club as to offer, give real value for money for those signing up to season tickets on the day. Although some will argue that it is unfair as they have a season ticket, I'm sure most would rather see a full(er) stadium and experience a better atmosphere. toothache123
  • Score: 4

2:40pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Hatpeg says...

tI's the 20 minute walk each way from the nearest free parking, the cost of tickets if not booked weeks in advance, bu mostly it's the entertainment value.
You may, if your lucky, see one good game in 5, so therefore, for a casual attender, they have an 80% chance of catching a poor game,and not wanting t come back.
tI's the 20 minute walk each way from the nearest free parking, the cost of tickets if not booked weeks in advance, bu mostly it's the entertainment value. You may, if your lucky, see one good game in 5, so therefore, for a casual attender, they have an 80% chance of catching a poor game,and not wanting t come back. Hatpeg
  • Score: 4

2:47pm Fri 3 Jan 14

MattOsborne says...

Wake up and smell the coffee Cowling. Half of the problem is you and your inability to balance out the future and the present. You are the only one who can change anything right now, everything is in your hands. For a start, Dunne should have been sacked a long time ago. With hardly any improvement this season to last under Dunne and a squad filled up with loan players, which, is actually not a 'long term' plan as we all know loanees only stay for a short period.

Also, he has the ability to reduce ticket prices and encourage families to come along. With tickets for children in South Stand costing £11 is a joke. I want to take my 8 month old son to a game, but that will cost me £11 in South Stand. Why not do £1 a kid for a few games a season, with an increase in families there comes more profit on the refreshments side of things so surely making tickets £1 wouldn't hurt!?

Being out in the sticks inside the most freezing cold stadium I have ever stepped foot in is also off putting. The fact that every single public road surrounding the stadium has 'no parking on matchdays' makes it totally unaccessable to anyone. Fill in the corners of the ground, this will keep all the noise inside the ground and stop the coldness.

Another annoying thing is the stewarding. Why on earth is there more stewards than fans!? It's unbelivable. Think about all them wages on them stewards who also get to watch the match for nothing when in turn they stand their like lemons and are totally unwelcoming and ponderous to even offer their help to anyone. They just stand there- that is all.

Why is there no betting in the concourses now!? Yet another decision that Cowling has made, all because he could not come to an agreement with Bobby Swift and wanted more money. This, for me, was another enjoyable part of watching Colchester United as I loved a cheeky bet now and again.

The whole club needs a complete overhaul with the media manager needing to go (poor advertising of the club) and many other holders on from Boothroyd/Wards reign in charge. Bring in fresh blood and start again with these young local players. We need someone motivated, someone with some personality and know how.

My list could go on forever. Some positive however are the change in refreshments prices, very good to see. To be honest, that's the only change I can see in the club this season. Even the Hotshots Cafe has been a huge failure, costing just as much if not more than more reputable coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa.

Please Cowling, sort this club for once and for all before you jump ship and convert the training ground into your brand new mansion. You have to listen to us fans and get us involved for our say, for once!!!!!

Anyway, rant over. I back this club and always will as I do understand that other clubs are in the same boat but it's frustrating to see that it's the little things that need change.

Up the U's!
Wake up and smell the coffee Cowling. Half of the problem is you and your inability to balance out the future and the present. You are the only one who can change anything right now, everything is in your hands. For a start, Dunne should have been sacked a long time ago. With hardly any improvement this season to last under Dunne and a squad filled up with loan players, which, is actually not a 'long term' plan as we all know loanees only stay for a short period. Also, he has the ability to reduce ticket prices and encourage families to come along. With tickets for children in South Stand costing £11 is a joke. I want to take my 8 month old son to a game, but that will cost me £11 in South Stand. Why not do £1 a kid for a few games a season, with an increase in families there comes more profit on the refreshments side of things so surely making tickets £1 wouldn't hurt!? Being out in the sticks inside the most freezing cold stadium I have ever stepped foot in is also off putting. The fact that every single public road surrounding the stadium has 'no parking on matchdays' makes it totally unaccessable to anyone. Fill in the corners of the ground, this will keep all the noise inside the ground and stop the coldness. Another annoying thing is the stewarding. Why on earth is there more stewards than fans!? It's unbelivable. Think about all them wages on them stewards who also get to watch the match for nothing when in turn they stand their like lemons and are totally unwelcoming and ponderous to even offer their help to anyone. They just stand there- that is all. Why is there no betting in the concourses now!? Yet another decision that Cowling has made, all because he could not come to an agreement with Bobby Swift and wanted more money. This, for me, was another enjoyable part of watching Colchester United as I loved a cheeky bet now and again. The whole club needs a complete overhaul with the media manager needing to go (poor advertising of the club) and many other holders on from Boothroyd/Wards reign in charge. Bring in fresh blood and start again with these young local players. We need someone motivated, someone with some personality and know how. My list could go on forever. Some positive however are the change in refreshments prices, very good to see. To be honest, that's the only change I can see in the club this season. Even the Hotshots Cafe has been a huge failure, costing just as much if not more than more reputable coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa. Please Cowling, sort this club for once and for all before you jump ship and convert the training ground into your brand new mansion. You have to listen to us fans and get us involved for our say, for once!!!!! Anyway, rant over. I back this club and always will as I do understand that other clubs are in the same boat but it's frustrating to see that it's the little things that need change. Up the U's! MattOsborne
  • Score: 9

3:23pm Fri 3 Jan 14

clacton citizen says...

MattOsborne wrote:
Wake up and smell the coffee Cowling. Half of the problem is you and your inability to balance out the future and the present. You are the only one who can change anything right now, everything is in your hands. For a start, Dunne should have been sacked a long time ago. With hardly any improvement this season to last under Dunne and a squad filled up with loan players, which, is actually not a 'long term' plan as we all know loanees only stay for a short period.

Also, he has the ability to reduce ticket prices and encourage families to come along. With tickets for children in South Stand costing £11 is a joke. I want to take my 8 month old son to a game, but that will cost me £11 in South Stand. Why not do £1 a kid for a few games a season, with an increase in families there comes more profit on the refreshments side of things so surely making tickets £1 wouldn't hurt!?

Being out in the sticks inside the most freezing cold stadium I have ever stepped foot in is also off putting. The fact that every single public road surrounding the stadium has 'no parking on matchdays' makes it totally unaccessable to anyone. Fill in the corners of the ground, this will keep all the noise inside the ground and stop the coldness.

Another annoying thing is the stewarding. Why on earth is there more stewards than fans!? It's unbelivable. Think about all them wages on them stewards who also get to watch the match for nothing when in turn they stand their like lemons and are totally unwelcoming and ponderous to even offer their help to anyone. They just stand there- that is all.

Why is there no betting in the concourses now!? Yet another decision that Cowling has made, all because he could not come to an agreement with Bobby Swift and wanted more money. This, for me, was another enjoyable part of watching Colchester United as I loved a cheeky bet now and again.

The whole club needs a complete overhaul with the media manager needing to go (poor advertising of the club) and many other holders on from Boothroyd/Wards reign in charge. Bring in fresh blood and start again with these young local players. We need someone motivated, someone with some personality and know how.

My list could go on forever. Some positive however are the change in refreshments prices, very good to see. To be honest, that's the only change I can see in the club this season. Even the Hotshots Cafe has been a huge failure, costing just as much if not more than more reputable coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa.

Please Cowling, sort this club for once and for all before you jump ship and convert the training ground into your brand new mansion. You have to listen to us fans and get us involved for our say, for once!!!!!

Anyway, rant over. I back this club and always will as I do understand that other clubs are in the same boat but it's frustrating to see that it's the little things that need change.

Up the U's!
Well put Matt. I used to be a regular supporter but after I was told that my grandson had to pay the full price for a seat in the West Stand I said stuff it as far as you can. Even after sending a letter to the club for the attention of Mr Cowling I received no reply back. If that's the attitude the club wants to take then Mr Cowling can fall flat on his face as far as I'm concerned.
[quote][p][bold]MattOsborne[/bold] wrote: Wake up and smell the coffee Cowling. Half of the problem is you and your inability to balance out the future and the present. You are the only one who can change anything right now, everything is in your hands. For a start, Dunne should have been sacked a long time ago. With hardly any improvement this season to last under Dunne and a squad filled up with loan players, which, is actually not a 'long term' plan as we all know loanees only stay for a short period. Also, he has the ability to reduce ticket prices and encourage families to come along. With tickets for children in South Stand costing £11 is a joke. I want to take my 8 month old son to a game, but that will cost me £11 in South Stand. Why not do £1 a kid for a few games a season, with an increase in families there comes more profit on the refreshments side of things so surely making tickets £1 wouldn't hurt!? Being out in the sticks inside the most freezing cold stadium I have ever stepped foot in is also off putting. The fact that every single public road surrounding the stadium has 'no parking on matchdays' makes it totally unaccessable to anyone. Fill in the corners of the ground, this will keep all the noise inside the ground and stop the coldness. Another annoying thing is the stewarding. Why on earth is there more stewards than fans!? It's unbelivable. Think about all them wages on them stewards who also get to watch the match for nothing when in turn they stand their like lemons and are totally unwelcoming and ponderous to even offer their help to anyone. They just stand there- that is all. Why is there no betting in the concourses now!? Yet another decision that Cowling has made, all because he could not come to an agreement with Bobby Swift and wanted more money. This, for me, was another enjoyable part of watching Colchester United as I loved a cheeky bet now and again. The whole club needs a complete overhaul with the media manager needing to go (poor advertising of the club) and many other holders on from Boothroyd/Wards reign in charge. Bring in fresh blood and start again with these young local players. We need someone motivated, someone with some personality and know how. My list could go on forever. Some positive however are the change in refreshments prices, very good to see. To be honest, that's the only change I can see in the club this season. Even the Hotshots Cafe has been a huge failure, costing just as much if not more than more reputable coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa. Please Cowling, sort this club for once and for all before you jump ship and convert the training ground into your brand new mansion. You have to listen to us fans and get us involved for our say, for once!!!!! Anyway, rant over. I back this club and always will as I do understand that other clubs are in the same boat but it's frustrating to see that it's the little things that need change. Up the U's![/p][/quote]Well put Matt. I used to be a regular supporter but after I was told that my grandson had to pay the full price for a seat in the West Stand I said stuff it as far as you can. Even after sending a letter to the club for the attention of Mr Cowling I received no reply back. If that's the attitude the club wants to take then Mr Cowling can fall flat on his face as far as I'm concerned. clacton citizen
  • Score: 7

6:51pm Fri 3 Jan 14

super waluigi says...

crazy comments wrote:
Noah4x4 wrote:
"Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings......

It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed.

We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend.

This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different.

So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere.,
KEEP ON TAKING THE TABLETS AND YOUR WISHES MAY COME TRUE. I've watched the U's through thick and thin for 59 years and during that time I I've never seen such boring negative football as it is now in that whole time. Okay the late Dick Graham never got us promotion but what an exciting time it was. The town was buzzing. I remember we played Southend away, got four goals and Steve Leslie destroyed them with his silky skills. How we all loved he late Brian Hall with his dazzling runs down the wing. The exploits of Hunt and King in the forth tier, so don't tell me it was all mediocrity stuff. Actually being in the conference I enjoyed the games against the big dirty teams from the North. Why do people keep on blaming previous managers for the troubles. Certain players have left and gone on and done well in the championship and other divisions. Big fees were received for Brown, Lisbie, Danns, Halford, Yates Imo Cureton etc. Others left Garcia ,Tierney,Perkins, Fox, Imo, Williams, and Jackson so some sighing's were decent and made money. In life you have to speculate to accumulate. .
Crazy......

Telling some one to 'stop taking tablets' and then bleating on about '59 years football experience' is no real come back to Noah's well put blog.
You could have been watching football for 159 years and still might not know as much as other people. It's a nothing comment. So if you cannot answer his remarks with opinions and facts, why bother????
As for the Old days, including the conference, yes, they were good. But again, this has no impact on the modern Col U. Infact it was a totally different game for every club, not just Col u, so in essence your 59 years experience is holding you back.

Well put Noah. Putting things in perspective with our competition is the only real gauge to how well Colchester may or may not be progressing.
[quote][p][bold]crazy comments[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: "Fill in the corners; lower ticket prices; more (no doubt free) parking; lower bar prices". Will some U's fans ever stop moaning? It's true that a few things were initially unsatisfactory; like over zealous stewarding; and silly £10 parking prices; but let's count our blessings...... It was £7 to park at MK Stadium; plus £4 a drink in the fan's Red Dot Bar. Then we got soaked by rain even in the back rows and it was even more soul-less than usual now that the upper seating is installed. We had an awful view and no seat backs at Bristol City; no legroom at Brentford; no shelter from the rain at Gillingham; wooden splinters in our backsides at Orient; whilst Oldham is just depressing; I could go on...and on..... New big empty all seated stadiums are often a far worse experience than the more relevant to actual need WHCS (it rocks when full; albeit rarely); and those that pine for a return to the discomfort of corrugated iron Layer Road can always visit the ghastly away end at Southend. This summer (2014); the Northern Approach Road and presumably its bus lanes and park & ride will be completed. This should help transform transport and parking around WHCS. This was supposed to be built some years ago and its delay is not the club's fault. The commercial infrastructure around WHCS has also been delayed by the local authorities pending this new road. With 3,500 new houses being built in North Colchester these developments MUST happen soon irrespective of any football supporter need; and hopefully this population growth will add 1,000 to our gates. It was the right option in the long haul; but timing has been unfortunate; not the least because we got relegated at Layer Road. One season in the Championship at (a full) WHCS and fan perceptions might have been hugely different. So apart from success and the prevailing style of football (admittedly a problem at times); by the start of 2014-15 we should have much less to moan about. However; my recollection is that many U's fans have moaned at the footballing tactics of every manager since Phil Parkinson in 2006-7. At least this season we have not lost in 66% of matches (winning 25%) and are now mid table. We need the stability and fitness of key playing personnel; the expiry of too many inherited long term player contracts and a couple more years of the Youth Academy to see real change. At times; with these limited resources we will will have to play a cautious unattractive defensive game to gain any points. But at least we are seeing some progress after 63 years of third and fourth tier mediocrity punctuated by two years in the Conference and two in the Championship. I won't hesitate to renew my season ticket as I feel that we are, at last, on the brink of this club actually getting somewhere.,[/p][/quote]KEEP ON TAKING THE TABLETS AND YOUR WISHES MAY COME TRUE. I've watched the U's through thick and thin for 59 years and during that time I I've never seen such boring negative football as it is now in that whole time. Okay the late Dick Graham never got us promotion but what an exciting time it was. The town was buzzing. I remember we played Southend away, got four goals and Steve Leslie destroyed them with his silky skills. How we all loved he late Brian Hall with his dazzling runs down the wing. The exploits of Hunt and King in the forth tier, so don't tell me it was all mediocrity stuff. Actually being in the conference I enjoyed the games against the big dirty teams from the North. Why do people keep on blaming previous managers for the troubles. Certain players have left and gone on and done well in the championship and other divisions. Big fees were received for Brown, Lisbie, Danns, Halford, Yates Imo Cureton etc. Others left Garcia ,Tierney,Perkins, Fox, Imo, Williams, and Jackson so some sighing's were decent and made money. In life you have to speculate to accumulate. .[/p][/quote]Crazy...... Telling some one to 'stop taking tablets' and then bleating on about '59 years football experience' is no real come back to Noah's well put blog. You could have been watching football for 159 years and still might not know as much as other people. It's a nothing comment. So if you cannot answer his remarks with opinions and facts, why bother???? As for the Old days, including the conference, yes, they were good. But again, this has no impact on the modern Col U. Infact it was a totally different game for every club, not just Col u, so in essence your 59 years experience is holding you back. Well put Noah. Putting things in perspective with our competition is the only real gauge to how well Colchester may or may not be progressing. super waluigi
  • Score: -7

7:00pm Fri 3 Jan 14

candy box says...

Robbie find a new hair dresser
Robbie find a new hair dresser candy box
  • Score: 8

2:15am Sat 4 Jan 14

Boris says...

candy box wrote:
Robbie find a new hair dresser
You're right, he is a bit old for that "bog brush" hair style. Perhaps he wants to look like a teenager.
[quote][p][bold]candy box[/bold] wrote: Robbie find a new hair dresser[/p][/quote]You're right, he is a bit old for that "bog brush" hair style. Perhaps he wants to look like a teenager. Boris
  • Score: 3

3:57am Sat 4 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Thanks Super –Walugi for your support. I stress again; that I have NO affinity with the Chairman or with the Club other than as an ordinary spectator. But it would be good if the critics did respond with financially viable constructive solutions to any perceived problems rather than simply hurl abuse and ignore the ramifications of the Division One Fair Play Rules (e.g. that our playing staff budget must not exceed 60% of turnover and that our Chairman's hands and wealth are ever more tied).

I have always supported my local team dependent upon where I was living; which I confess; over 50 years; has included Kidderminster Harriers; Aston Villa; Millwall; Bristol City and now the U’s; the latter as a passionate season ticket holder for eleven seasons; and I regularly travel away.

I respect the opinion of any fan that expresses a diverse opinion to mine about anything that happens on the pitch; such as the manager’s tactics; player (or referee) performance and similar; as long as it is fair, objective and respectful to the individual human beings concerned; given that none of our squad will ever get rich simply by ‘bleeding blue & white’. The vast majority of former U’s players are today financially no better placed than the fans of the same generation that adored them. Football is a matter of passion and opinion; and both footballers and officials expect both positive and negative criticism; but all have short careers and whilst some may possibly succeed and make £gazillions; most face a lack of job security (notably managers). Fans of minor clubs outside of the gold mines of the Premier League and Championship perhaps ought to better respect this fact.

But what I find really odd is that some of the U’s boo boys seem to focus far more dissatisfaction than I have ever witnessed before upon the stadium; transport; parking; ticket prices and similar; forgetting that a majority of U’s fans worked hard and campaigned for over thirty years to get to where we are now. The truth is that many away fans envy what we now have; and many more of our historic traditional peers languishing in Division Two and the Conference envy our Division One position. But did anybody ever believe that our short tenure in the Championship was sustainable at Layer Road with its attendances strictly limited to 6,200? Current WHCS gates are up 7% on last season; demonstrating another benchmark of progress since the crisis of the John Ward era; but I digress……

I have already mentioned my experiences at other grounds. Nowhere is colder than Oldham; nowhere is more uncomfortable than Orient. Try finding any parking provision around Bristol City or Brentford; Stevenage doesn’t even have hand wash basins in the loos. Southend has the worst ‘away end’ on the planet as regards everything. What I cannot reconcile is that many of our moaners that now seem to want what little money we might have available spent on additional creature comforts for them; rather than improving the squad of players and hence the quality of football; yet they put up with the discomfort of the corrugated iron cow sheds of Layer Road “for 59 seasons”!

Much of the debate seems to be about the cost of attending football; but with ‘early bird’ and similar our ticket prices are relevant to Division One; and via a season ticket I pay less when at Home than Away. Simply dropping ticket prices won’t ever bring in enough extra paying fans to compensate for the reduction in turnover that would then occur from our regular hard core of 2,000 fans that would also pay less. It’s then an economic fallacy that the possible extra fan spend on catering and shop goods will compensate; as the majority of extra fans probably won’t even buy a Bovril. The economics of the new FL/EUFA Fair Play Rule are such that we must increase gates with no reduction in the prevailing average revenue contribution per fan; else we will have no hope of competing as regards the player wages that will be required simply to stay in this Division. It is an inevitability of the Fair Play 60% Rule that all clubs may eventually find the natural level that their usual support base warrants. Frankly; our crowds won’t support a tenure in Division One for too long unless far more people in this town gets behind its team.

Then why should parking ever be free; when stewarding; police and parking enforcement has a cost? It is the Taylor Report that largely dictates these costs; and also those of ambulance and other similar essential public services; and not the club. Also why should the residents of North Colchester put up with being trapped in their homes by those inconsiderate people that will obstruct public roads and private drives or illegally park upon grass verges; which is exactly what happened when the stadium first opened; and had previously blighted Layer Road. This is why reasonable residential area parking restrictions are now in force around WHCS.

Sadly; the existing club car park does tend to fill up; but until the Northern Approach Road and its planned public ‘park & ride’ is available (n.b. blame Essex County Council for this delay); the railway station (£2.50) and shuttle bus (£2) is as convenient and a cheaper alternative than parking at most other Division One grounds. Frankly; I don’t recall visiting any Football League club that today offers abundant free on-street parking; and for those that “have watched football for 59 seasons”; surely they are now of an age where both local buses and the shuttle services are FREE?

I live within sight of the ground; but I choose to take a 65 bus to my favoured U’s orientated pub to meet my pals and then take the efficient shuttle bus to the ground. I too don’t want to drink badly kept keg beer in a drafty breeze block mausoleum; but I do want to watch Division One (or higher) football; even when in almost zero temperatures. My cost of transport is hence under a £5. By contrast; it’s about £7.20 by train to either Ipswich or Braintree; but then there is always Stanway Rovers; or Chelmsford or Witham Town if you really want to burn some fossil fuels and find free parking.

Sadly; it may simply be an economic reality that attending Division One Football under the new Division One Fair Play Rule is becoming unaffordable to some fans; just as Premier League Football has become unaffordable to a previous demographic. Here; I have utter sympathy with such fans; but life isn’t fair in so many other ways. Frankly; I despair that our youngsters are struggling to get on the housing ladder and must pay for university fees; also that London rail commuters have once again been screwed by above inflation increases; and supermarket and home fuel costs are soaring; but let’s blame Governments for these economic conditions and not lower league football clubs that are probably also feeling the same pinch.

If Colchester United crowds fall as a result of this economic reality; and hence our turnover falls; then our player wage budget must also fall; then our ultimate destiny may well lie in Division Two or the Conference; where I will continue to support the U’s (as my local club). But I have read nothing in this or any other forum to suggest that anybody wants anything other than better players and better on the pitch performances and ultimately Championship football; hence the inevitability of even higher overheads and therefore the higher costs to the spectator that such status will inevitably bring. But I would prefer that to having an extra seat cushion whilst watching non-league football.

So let’s get real folks; and consider our priorities. Whilst the current football is sometimes frustrating; (and I don’t mind moaning with you as regards that); with a mid-table Division One position and a decent 10,000 all seated stadium; we are a darn sight better placed than fans of Kidderminster Harriers; with whom I made my very first visit to Layer Road about 50 years ago; or our other peers like Southend; Wycombe; Luton; Cambridge. Let’s count our blessings.
Thanks Super –Walugi for your support. I stress again; that I have NO affinity with the Chairman or with the Club other than as an ordinary spectator. But it would be good if the critics did respond with financially viable constructive solutions to any perceived problems rather than simply hurl abuse and ignore the ramifications of the Division One Fair Play Rules (e.g. that our playing staff budget must not exceed 60% of turnover and that our Chairman's hands and wealth are ever more tied). I have always supported my local team dependent upon where I was living; which I confess; over 50 years; has included Kidderminster Harriers; Aston Villa; Millwall; Bristol City and now the U’s; the latter as a passionate season ticket holder for eleven seasons; and I regularly travel away. I respect the opinion of any fan that expresses a diverse opinion to mine about anything that happens on the pitch; such as the manager’s tactics; player (or referee) performance and similar; as long as it is fair, objective and respectful to the individual human beings concerned; given that none of our squad will ever get rich simply by ‘bleeding blue & white’. The vast majority of former U’s players are today financially no better placed than the fans of the same generation that adored them. Football is a matter of passion and opinion; and both footballers and officials expect both positive and negative criticism; but all have short careers and whilst some may possibly succeed and make £gazillions; most face a lack of job security (notably managers). Fans of minor clubs outside of the gold mines of the Premier League and Championship perhaps ought to better respect this fact. But what I find really odd is that some of the U’s boo boys seem to focus far more dissatisfaction than I have ever witnessed before upon the stadium; transport; parking; ticket prices and similar; forgetting that a majority of U’s fans worked hard and campaigned for over thirty years to get to where we are now. The truth is that many away fans envy what we now have; and many more of our historic traditional peers languishing in Division Two and the Conference envy our Division One position. But did anybody ever believe that our short tenure in the Championship was sustainable at Layer Road with its attendances strictly limited to 6,200? Current WHCS gates are up 7% on last season; demonstrating another benchmark of progress since the crisis of the John Ward era; but I digress…… I have already mentioned my experiences at other grounds. Nowhere is colder than Oldham; nowhere is more uncomfortable than Orient. Try finding any parking provision around Bristol City or Brentford; Stevenage doesn’t even have hand wash basins in the loos. Southend has the worst ‘away end’ on the planet as regards everything. What I cannot reconcile is that many of our moaners that now seem to want what little money we might have available spent on additional creature comforts for them; rather than improving the squad of players and hence the quality of football; yet they put up with the discomfort of the corrugated iron cow sheds of Layer Road “for 59 seasons”! Much of the debate seems to be about the cost of attending football; but with ‘early bird’ and similar our ticket prices are relevant to Division One; and via a season ticket I pay less when at Home than Away. Simply dropping ticket prices won’t ever bring in enough extra paying fans to compensate for the reduction in turnover that would then occur from our regular hard core of 2,000 fans that would also pay less. It’s then an economic fallacy that the possible extra fan spend on catering and shop goods will compensate; as the majority of extra fans probably won’t even buy a Bovril. The economics of the new FL/EUFA Fair Play Rule are such that we must increase gates with no reduction in the prevailing average revenue contribution per fan; else we will have no hope of competing as regards the player wages that will be required simply to stay in this Division. It is an inevitability of the Fair Play 60% Rule that all clubs may eventually find the natural level that their usual support base warrants. Frankly; our crowds won’t support a tenure in Division One for too long unless far more people in this town gets behind its team. Then why should parking ever be free; when stewarding; police and parking enforcement has a cost? It is the Taylor Report that largely dictates these costs; and also those of ambulance and other similar essential public services; and not the club. Also why should the residents of North Colchester put up with being trapped in their homes by those inconsiderate people that will obstruct public roads and private drives or illegally park upon grass verges; which is exactly what happened when the stadium first opened; and had previously blighted Layer Road. This is why reasonable residential area parking restrictions are now in force around WHCS. Sadly; the existing club car park does tend to fill up; but until the Northern Approach Road and its planned public ‘park & ride’ is available (n.b. blame Essex County Council for this delay); the railway station (£2.50) and shuttle bus (£2) is as convenient and a cheaper alternative than parking at most other Division One grounds. Frankly; I don’t recall visiting any Football League club that today offers abundant free on-street parking; and for those that “have watched football for 59 seasons”; surely they are now of an age where both local buses and the shuttle services are FREE? I live within sight of the ground; but I choose to take a 65 bus to my favoured U’s orientated pub to meet my pals and then take the efficient shuttle bus to the ground. I too don’t want to drink badly kept keg beer in a drafty breeze block mausoleum; but I do want to watch Division One (or higher) football; even when in almost zero temperatures. My cost of transport is hence under a £5. By contrast; it’s about £7.20 by train to either Ipswich or Braintree; but then there is always Stanway Rovers; or Chelmsford or Witham Town if you really want to burn some fossil fuels and find free parking. Sadly; it may simply be an economic reality that attending Division One Football under the new Division One Fair Play Rule is becoming unaffordable to some fans; just as Premier League Football has become unaffordable to a previous demographic. Here; I have utter sympathy with such fans; but life isn’t fair in so many other ways. Frankly; I despair that our youngsters are struggling to get on the housing ladder and must pay for university fees; also that London rail commuters have once again been screwed by above inflation increases; and supermarket and home fuel costs are soaring; but let’s blame Governments for these economic conditions and not lower league football clubs that are probably also feeling the same pinch. If Colchester United crowds fall as a result of this economic reality; and hence our turnover falls; then our player wage budget must also fall; then our ultimate destiny may well lie in Division Two or the Conference; where I will continue to support the U’s (as my local club). But I have read nothing in this or any other forum to suggest that anybody wants anything other than better players and better on the pitch performances and ultimately Championship football; hence the inevitability of even higher overheads and therefore the higher costs to the spectator that such status will inevitably bring. But I would prefer that to having an extra seat cushion whilst watching non-league football. So let’s get real folks; and consider our priorities. Whilst the current football is sometimes frustrating; (and I don’t mind moaning with you as regards that); with a mid-table Division One position and a decent 10,000 all seated stadium; we are a darn sight better placed than fans of Kidderminster Harriers; with whom I made my very first visit to Layer Road about 50 years ago; or our other peers like Southend; Wycombe; Luton; Cambridge. Let’s count our blessings. Noah4x4
  • Score: -8

8:08am Sat 4 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

Noah,as always very valid points and I share your passion to a certain extent, if you are a football fan you always want to see your local team do well, however the 60% rule enters into a vicious circle in many ways. The only way to get people through the doors is to put on attractive football, to do that you have to have good players and people then look at the cost, can you do that on such small gates yes and no. Is it not time to kick certain players into touch, I am sure a solid fan base would be enhanced by the team consisting of more local players, people who had an infinity with the town and its club, I would have introduced a solid bloodline two years ago, in development there is always pain but people will accept that pain if they can see improvement and know your agenda. At the moment there is no improvement and the clubs agenda apart from survival seems hidden. Cowling says get behind the team, what team? I don't understand the four corners of the ground being open but does that really have an impact on the pitch? Time for change, bite the bullet, if we are punching above our weight then lets take a drop, rebuild with youth and come back up stronger and prepared! In the meantime lets look for a new Chairman and manager as neither are forward thinking enough for me and treading water only has one outcome!
Noah,as always very valid points and I share your passion to a certain extent, if you are a football fan you always want to see your local team do well, however the 60% rule enters into a vicious circle in many ways. The only way to get people through the doors is to put on attractive football, to do that you have to have good players and people then look at the cost, can you do that on such small gates yes and no. Is it not time to kick certain players into touch, I am sure a solid fan base would be enhanced by the team consisting of more local players, people who had an infinity with the town and its club, I would have introduced a solid bloodline two years ago, in development there is always pain but people will accept that pain if they can see improvement and know your agenda. At the moment there is no improvement and the clubs agenda apart from survival seems hidden. Cowling says get behind the team, what team? I don't understand the four corners of the ground being open but does that really have an impact on the pitch? Time for change, bite the bullet, if we are punching above our weight then lets take a drop, rebuild with youth and come back up stronger and prepared! In the meantime lets look for a new Chairman and manager as neither are forward thinking enough for me and treading water only has one outcome! totallyfootball
  • Score: 6

9:12am Sat 4 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

Noah, well put together and lengthy argument, but these are all points that you've said before. I don't think anyone that goes to the ground is that bothered by it but more likely, like myself showing how hard it is to attract mates/family etc to col.u. I used to have about 10 people that would go to football most game I now struggle to get 1, as for new fans no chance. This is why I'd like to see thing done to help to attract fans.
Yes like you mentioned those grounds have many problems but I could find many positives, Stevenage has a good club house, orient close to bars restaurants etc and Southend had plans to move.
I do respect your loyalty to the club but it seems very rose tinted.
Noah, well put together and lengthy argument, but these are all points that you've said before. I don't think anyone that goes to the ground is that bothered by it but more likely, like myself showing how hard it is to attract mates/family etc to col.u. I used to have about 10 people that would go to football most game I now struggle to get 1, as for new fans no chance. This is why I'd like to see thing done to help to attract fans. Yes like you mentioned those grounds have many problems but I could find many positives, Stevenage has a good club house, orient close to bars restaurants etc and Southend had plans to move. I do respect your loyalty to the club but it seems very rose tinted. angryman!!!
  • Score: 3

9:17am Sat 4 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Exactly Totallyfootball. It is a vicious circle. We simply can't get rid of existing players and replace with better players as easily as we previously did in in earlier seasons; and today the Chairman can't write a cheque other than a donation (and why should he simply gift money for our benefit).

Hence I agree with your recommendation....."
introduce a solid bloodline of local players two years ago"...."rebuild with youth".....

But isn't that precisely what Robbie Cowling and Joe Dunne have been doing with the academy for two years? Our U18's and U21's are now defeating some excellent teams (I watch many of these games); but we do need a little patience whilst these boys mature. It's vital that fans get behind the club in the interim; else our destiny will be the Conference; as later we won't be able to pay these young men sufficient wages to retain them if we don't have the turnover. The Fair Play rule could be devastating to Col U if fans don't help insulate the club from its bite starting now; and we become realistic in our expectations both on and off the pitch.
Exactly Totallyfootball. It is a vicious circle. We simply can't get rid of existing players and replace with better players as easily as we previously did in in earlier seasons; and today the Chairman can't write a cheque other than a donation (and why should he simply gift money for our benefit). Hence I agree with your recommendation....." introduce a solid bloodline of local players two years ago"...."rebuild with youth"..... But isn't that precisely what Robbie Cowling and Joe Dunne have been doing with the academy for two years? Our U18's and U21's are now defeating some excellent teams (I watch many of these games); but we do need a little patience whilst these boys mature. It's vital that fans get behind the club in the interim; else our destiny will be the Conference; as later we won't be able to pay these young men sufficient wages to retain them if we don't have the turnover. The Fair Play rule could be devastating to Col U if fans don't help insulate the club from its bite starting now; and we become realistic in our expectations both on and off the pitch. Noah4x4
  • Score: -9

10:23am Sat 4 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

I don't expect half the folk your trying to attract know or give a s**t about the fair play rule.To get people along to watch football the team has to be winning.each time in the past we have had a good win run the next home game with the gates at a repectable 5000 the team go out and play like s**t.back to sq one.
I don't expect half the folk your trying to attract know or give a s**t about the fair play rule.To get people along to watch football the team has to be winning.each time in the past we have had a good win run the next home game with the gates at a repectable 5000 the team go out and play like s**t.back to sq one. stevedawson
  • Score: 5

10:41am Sat 4 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
Exactly Totallyfootball. It is a vicious circle. We simply can't get rid of existing players and replace with better players as easily as we previously did in in earlier seasons; and today the Chairman can't write a cheque other than a donation (and why should he simply gift money for our benefit).

Hence I agree with your recommendation.....&
quot;
introduce a solid bloodline of local players two years ago"...."rebuild with youth".....

But isn't that precisely what Robbie Cowling and Joe Dunne have been doing with the academy for two years? Our U18's and U21's are now defeating some excellent teams (I watch many of these games); but we do need a little patience whilst these boys mature. It's vital that fans get behind the club in the interim; else our destiny will be the Conference; as later we won't be able to pay these young men sufficient wages to retain them if we don't have the turnover. The Fair Play rule could be devastating to Col U if fans don't help insulate the club from its bite starting now; and we become realistic in our expectations both on and off the pitch.
Again I agree with you but if we had made concerted efforts earlier a handful of those lads would have been blooded by now, maybe more? I am frustrated because I work in that area and the youth system is chocked by people failing to give them a chance! You will probably name me five or six now that could do a job and if I went to watch I would maybe see a couple more I would push on!
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: Exactly Totallyfootball. It is a vicious circle. We simply can't get rid of existing players and replace with better players as easily as we previously did in in earlier seasons; and today the Chairman can't write a cheque other than a donation (and why should he simply gift money for our benefit). Hence I agree with your recommendation.....& quot; introduce a solid bloodline of local players two years ago"...."rebuild with youth"..... But isn't that precisely what Robbie Cowling and Joe Dunne have been doing with the academy for two years? Our U18's and U21's are now defeating some excellent teams (I watch many of these games); but we do need a little patience whilst these boys mature. It's vital that fans get behind the club in the interim; else our destiny will be the Conference; as later we won't be able to pay these young men sufficient wages to retain them if we don't have the turnover. The Fair Play rule could be devastating to Col U if fans don't help insulate the club from its bite starting now; and we become realistic in our expectations both on and off the pitch.[/p][/quote]Again I agree with you but if we had made concerted efforts earlier a handful of those lads would have been blooded by now, maybe more? I am frustrated because I work in that area and the youth system is chocked by people failing to give them a chance! You will probably name me five or six now that could do a job and if I went to watch I would maybe see a couple more I would push on! totallyfootball
  • Score: 0

5:04pm Sat 4 Jan 14

West Stand United says...

I have read with interest all the comments above and now want to add my own.

There is another team in Essex that were facing a winding up order not so long ago so finances are also tight yet they appear to have a Chairman and Manager who wants to show ambition and win promotion.

I am currently listening to them play Millwall in the FA Cup 3-1 up with two former Colchester players giving their all for the course. The same Commentary team that commentate at the WHCS have excitement in their voices and have something to get excited about, which is more than can be said for most of the Colchester games for the last year.

Perhaps Mr. Cowling and Mr. Dunne should take a trip down to Roots Hall to see how playing good football is done.

I think Jamie Cureton hit the nail in the head when he left and said Colchester have no ambition.

I also have supported Colchester for over the last 40 odd years and I have not experienced such discontent from U's fans since the days of Jonathan Crisp and under the guidance of Mr. Cowling Colchester are heading in the same direction.

Yes the Fair Play rules will have some effect on our budgets but Mr. Cowling should stop using that and us fans as the excuse for his poor discussions. Until things improve on the pitch he can forget about increased attendances and as he is in total control of Colchester United, he is the only one who can put it right.

Enough said.
I have read with interest all the comments above and now want to add my own. There is another team in Essex that were facing a winding up order not so long ago so finances are also tight yet they appear to have a Chairman and Manager who wants to show ambition and win promotion. I am currently listening to them play Millwall in the FA Cup 3-1 up with two former Colchester players giving their all for the course. The same Commentary team that commentate at the WHCS have excitement in their voices and have something to get excited about, which is more than can be said for most of the Colchester games for the last year. Perhaps Mr. Cowling and Mr. Dunne should take a trip down to Roots Hall to see how playing good football is done. I think Jamie Cureton hit the nail in the head when he left and said Colchester have no ambition. I also have supported Colchester for over the last 40 odd years and I have not experienced such discontent from U's fans since the days of Jonathan Crisp and under the guidance of Mr. Cowling Colchester are heading in the same direction. Yes the Fair Play rules will have some effect on our budgets but Mr. Cowling should stop using that and us fans as the excuse for his poor discussions. Until things improve on the pitch he can forget about increased attendances and as he is in total control of Colchester United, he is the only one who can put it right. Enough said. West Stand United
  • Score: 6

6:49pm Sat 4 Jan 14

clacton citizen says...

Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.
Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling. clacton citizen
  • Score: 14

11:21am Sun 5 Jan 14

southstand says...

West Stand United wrote:
I have read with interest all the comments above and now want to add my own.

There is another team in Essex that were facing a winding up order not so long ago so finances are also tight yet they appear to have a Chairman and Manager who wants to show ambition and win promotion.

I am currently listening to them play Millwall in the FA Cup 3-1 up with two former Colchester players giving their all for the course. The same Commentary team that commentate at the WHCS have excitement in their voices and have something to get excited about, which is more than can be said for most of the Colchester games for the last year.

Perhaps Mr. Cowling and Mr. Dunne should take a trip down to Roots Hall to see how playing good football is done.

I think Jamie Cureton hit the nail in the head when he left and said Colchester have no ambition.

I also have supported Colchester for over the last 40 odd years and I have not experienced such discontent from U's fans since the days of Jonathan Crisp and under the guidance of Mr. Cowling Colchester are heading in the same direction.

Yes the Fair Play rules will have some effect on our budgets but Mr. Cowling should stop using that and us fans as the excuse for his poor discussions. Until things improve on the pitch he can forget about increased attendances and as he is in total control of Colchester United, he is the only one who can put it right.

Enough said.
Yes good points made, why on earth did Joe let John White and Ben Coker go? John White southend captain!! can't be right. Ian Henderson now is a new player with Gordon Strachan praising his quality goal last night, Lloyd James let go for nothing, great player I thought, of course then there is Kevin Lisbie and not forgetting now goal machine Mooney who never played like that for us, why? motivation? fitness? We now have to dream about a cup run, could you see this team beating Millwall?
Surely we could play better with a bit more determination and guidance
[quote][p][bold]West Stand United[/bold] wrote: I have read with interest all the comments above and now want to add my own. There is another team in Essex that were facing a winding up order not so long ago so finances are also tight yet they appear to have a Chairman and Manager who wants to show ambition and win promotion. I am currently listening to them play Millwall in the FA Cup 3-1 up with two former Colchester players giving their all for the course. The same Commentary team that commentate at the WHCS have excitement in their voices and have something to get excited about, which is more than can be said for most of the Colchester games for the last year. Perhaps Mr. Cowling and Mr. Dunne should take a trip down to Roots Hall to see how playing good football is done. I think Jamie Cureton hit the nail in the head when he left and said Colchester have no ambition. I also have supported Colchester for over the last 40 odd years and I have not experienced such discontent from U's fans since the days of Jonathan Crisp and under the guidance of Mr. Cowling Colchester are heading in the same direction. Yes the Fair Play rules will have some effect on our budgets but Mr. Cowling should stop using that and us fans as the excuse for his poor discussions. Until things improve on the pitch he can forget about increased attendances and as he is in total control of Colchester United, he is the only one who can put it right. Enough said.[/p][/quote]Yes good points made, why on earth did Joe let John White and Ben Coker go? John White southend captain!! can't be right. Ian Henderson now is a new player with Gordon Strachan praising his quality goal last night, Lloyd James let go for nothing, great player I thought, of course then there is Kevin Lisbie and not forgetting now goal machine Mooney who never played like that for us, why? motivation? fitness? We now have to dream about a cup run, could you see this team beating Millwall? Surely we could play better with a bit more determination and guidance southstand
  • Score: 5

2:55pm Sun 5 Jan 14

West Stand United says...

Having just watched Notts Forest beat West Ham 5-0 I can see exactly why we play the way we do.

Mr Cowling wants us to be the next Hammers side as they play the same set up even if the team was made up mainly with their U21side.

It doesn't work for Alladyce so it can never work for the U's. The back four never tackled for the ball and just ran with the oncoming player....who does that remind you of ?

The midfield took the ball to the last third and lost it seeing it come straight back...who does that remind you of ?

One Striker up front to try and win the ball to see it come straight back for another attack through the oppostion midfield with all defenders backing off....who does that remind you of ?

I could go on but to see a side lose 5-0 playing the same way as we did against Notts County and have no answers or change of tactics just makes me more sure that because Mr. Cowling didn't take control at Upton Park he is trying to turn us into a side that is 2nd from bottom of the Premier League and fighting for survival.....now doesn't that really sound familiar ?
Having just watched Notts Forest beat West Ham 5-0 I can see exactly why we play the way we do. Mr Cowling wants us to be the next Hammers side as they play the same set up even if the team was made up mainly with their U21side. It doesn't work for Alladyce so it can never work for the U's. The back four never tackled for the ball and just ran with the oncoming player....who does that remind you of ? The midfield took the ball to the last third and lost it seeing it come straight back...who does that remind you of ? One Striker up front to try and win the ball to see it come straight back for another attack through the oppostion midfield with all defenders backing off....who does that remind you of ? I could go on but to see a side lose 5-0 playing the same way as we did against Notts County and have no answers or change of tactics just makes me more sure that because Mr. Cowling didn't take control at Upton Park he is trying to turn us into a side that is 2nd from bottom of the Premier League and fighting for survival.....now doesn't that really sound familiar ? West Stand United
  • Score: 1

3:34am Mon 6 Jan 14

Boris says...

southstand wrote:
West Stand United wrote:
I have read with interest all the comments above and now want to add my own.

There is another team in Essex that were facing a winding up order not so long ago so finances are also tight yet they appear to have a Chairman and Manager who wants to show ambition and win promotion.

I am currently listening to them play Millwall in the FA Cup 3-1 up with two former Colchester players giving their all for the course. The same Commentary team that commentate at the WHCS have excitement in their voices and have something to get excited about, which is more than can be said for most of the Colchester games for the last year.

Perhaps Mr. Cowling and Mr. Dunne should take a trip down to Roots Hall to see how playing good football is done.

I think Jamie Cureton hit the nail in the head when he left and said Colchester have no ambition.

I also have supported Colchester for over the last 40 odd years and I have not experienced such discontent from U's fans since the days of Jonathan Crisp and under the guidance of Mr. Cowling Colchester are heading in the same direction.

Yes the Fair Play rules will have some effect on our budgets but Mr. Cowling should stop using that and us fans as the excuse for his poor discussions. Until things improve on the pitch he can forget about increased attendances and as he is in total control of Colchester United, he is the only one who can put it right.

Enough said.
Yes good points made, why on earth did Joe let John White and Ben Coker go? John White southend captain!! can't be right. Ian Henderson now is a new player with Gordon Strachan praising his quality goal last night, Lloyd James let go for nothing, great player I thought, of course then there is Kevin Lisbie and not forgetting now goal machine Mooney who never played like that for us, why? motivation? fitness? We now have to dream about a cup run, could you see this team beating Millwall?
Surely we could play better with a bit more determination and guidance
Dunne kicking out John White was the stupidest move since Lambert kicked out Johnnie Jackson. There is every chance that the Shrimpers will be in the same league as us next season so it will be good to see our hero return as opposition captain.
Never mind CUFC knocking out Millwall, what about Sheff U knocking out Lambert's Aston Villa? That should have been our match. How sweet would that have been? Only thing is, can you see the present Col U team travelling to a Premiership side and beating them?
Anyway, if we want to see another of our old boys in action, we shall have Craig Fagan coming here with Gillingham next week. Last time he came back to face us, we thrashed his team, but they went on to get promoted to the Premiership. I wonder how he is performing these days.
[quote][p][bold]southstand[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]West Stand United[/bold] wrote: I have read with interest all the comments above and now want to add my own. There is another team in Essex that were facing a winding up order not so long ago so finances are also tight yet they appear to have a Chairman and Manager who wants to show ambition and win promotion. I am currently listening to them play Millwall in the FA Cup 3-1 up with two former Colchester players giving their all for the course. The same Commentary team that commentate at the WHCS have excitement in their voices and have something to get excited about, which is more than can be said for most of the Colchester games for the last year. Perhaps Mr. Cowling and Mr. Dunne should take a trip down to Roots Hall to see how playing good football is done. I think Jamie Cureton hit the nail in the head when he left and said Colchester have no ambition. I also have supported Colchester for over the last 40 odd years and I have not experienced such discontent from U's fans since the days of Jonathan Crisp and under the guidance of Mr. Cowling Colchester are heading in the same direction. Yes the Fair Play rules will have some effect on our budgets but Mr. Cowling should stop using that and us fans as the excuse for his poor discussions. Until things improve on the pitch he can forget about increased attendances and as he is in total control of Colchester United, he is the only one who can put it right. Enough said.[/p][/quote]Yes good points made, why on earth did Joe let John White and Ben Coker go? John White southend captain!! can't be right. Ian Henderson now is a new player with Gordon Strachan praising his quality goal last night, Lloyd James let go for nothing, great player I thought, of course then there is Kevin Lisbie and not forgetting now goal machine Mooney who never played like that for us, why? motivation? fitness? We now have to dream about a cup run, could you see this team beating Millwall? Surely we could play better with a bit more determination and guidance[/p][/quote]Dunne kicking out John White was the stupidest move since Lambert kicked out Johnnie Jackson. There is every chance that the Shrimpers will be in the same league as us next season so it will be good to see our hero return as opposition captain. Never mind CUFC knocking out Millwall, what about Sheff U knocking out Lambert's Aston Villa? That should have been our match. How sweet would that have been? Only thing is, can you see the present Col U team travelling to a Premiership side and beating them? Anyway, if we want to see another of our old boys in action, we shall have Craig Fagan coming here with Gillingham next week. Last time he came back to face us, we thrashed his team, but they went on to get promoted to the Premiership. I wonder how he is performing these days. Boris
  • Score: -7

8:43am Mon 6 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

clacton citizen wrote:
Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.
Some “lifelong U’s fans” may be as long on age as me; but very selective as regards memory and facts…….

After our brief flirtation with the Championship; and in pursuit of such ambition (post our relegation from it); big bucks ‘managerial investments’ made by Robbie Cowling at WHCS; Paul Lambert (45.24%) and then Aidy Boothroyd (43.1%); achieved better (U’s) managerial career WIN percentages than either of U’s legends Dick Graham (42.59%) or Phil Parkinson (42.25%) did at Layer Road; albeit over shorter periods; but in aggregate (86 matches) their combined tenure is statistically significant.

Parky did manage to concentrate more wins into a single season to gain us promotion; but it took him almost 190 matches to get there. My perception is that too many fickle U’s fans have never been patient enough to allow any manager at WHCS even half of that tenure to see what they can build (n.b. one appreciates that Lambert wasn’t sacked etc.); forgetting our previous limited ambition over 70 years ‘BP’ (Before Parkinson) when we languished below our current league status.

It is a remarkable fact that Lambert (45.24%); Boothroyd (42.25%); Ward (29.73%) and Dunne (30.43%) have ALL achieved better WIN records at WHCS than ANY manager achieved at Layer Road other than Parky in the 21st Century. We hence remain in our longest sustained period above the fourth tier in our entire 76 year history.

Indeed; since our re-entry to the Football League; our previous best ever league position before our promotion in 2005/06 was 11th in the third tier in 2003/04. Yet at WHCS; we have consistently ended EVERY season except for season 2012-13 in the top half of the table. How is that "going to the dogs under Cowling" or "lacking ambition"?

It is true that towards the end of 2011-12 we saw very worrying trends under Ward; but we still finished a creditable tenth. The first half of 2012-13 was then a disaster. Joe Dunne inherited a shocking relegation threatened position from Ward; and Joe tried to respond to some fans long-standing criticisms of past WHCS managerial tactics by introducing passing fluent adventurous football without having the personnel with the skills to successfully deliver that. The result was a sequence of nine consecutive defeats at this time last year; but he managed to dig us out of the hole that Ward had put us in and fortunately we stayed up.

I might agree that the style of football at WHCS has often been a disappointment; as was our recent flirtation with the relegation zone; but to suggest that the Chairman has lacked ambition or that we have (overall) witnessed any less WINNING or any less successful football since our move to WHCS is patently untrue. We have had one poor season at WHCS (last year) under the legacy of Ward.

This; last and in future seasons; FL/EUFA Fair Play rules won’t permit a big bucks approach unless somebody is benevolent (stupid?) enough to make a ‘donation’. So is it any surprise that we have now turned to a manager that “bleeds blue & white” that will accept such financial constraints? Then realising that we can no longer buy success on our small gates/turnover; Cowling has invested in a quality youth academy that has already produced Gilbey; Bonne & Szmodics. It’s hence a waste of time some fans speculating about what new players we might or could buy; or moaning about an over dependence on player loans and youth; as we can’t buy players until we can escape from the long term wage contracts of the existing squad established by John Ward.

This season; under Joe Dunne we have suffered merely 8 defeats (33%); which is only bettered by eight clubs; mainly those above the play-off positions. If some fans don’t like the often gritty/ugly style of football necessary to achieve this utilising the existing squad then they are entitled to vote with their wallets; but gates are up 7% at the half way stage.

However; our current 15th position is higher than our season’s end position in all but four seasons at Layer Road (including our two years in the Championship) ever since our re-entry to the Football League!

So please don’t insult our chairman by complaining about a “lack of ambition”; and our manager about his “lack of success”. Joe has had merely 69 matches to get us into this higher league position than our previous historic (Layer Road) best; when Parky had 187.

As I see things; the choice is now this; either (a) we play risky attacking adventurous football and allow the new Fair Play Rule equilibrium between turnover and player wages to drag us down to our natural heritage levels in the fourth tier or Conference; or (b) lacking the player skills within the inherited squad; and with many of our more exciting attacking players injured; we dig in and sometimes play gritty/ugly football to consolidate and improve our league position; so extending our longest period in the third tier (and above); pending the youth academy bearing fruit.

I suggest that the first (a) is actually the route most lacking in ambition. Arsenal (initially) had to be “boring boring” before becoming the most attractive and leading side of today. If anybody can offer a better solution to get us back into the Championship; we would all love to hear it; but insults and calls for the chairman to “resign” or “sack the manager” ignore the facts and add nothing constructive to this debate.
[quote][p][bold]clacton citizen[/bold] wrote: Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.[/p][/quote]Some “lifelong U’s fans” may be as long on age as me; but very selective as regards memory and facts……. After our brief flirtation with the Championship; and in pursuit of such ambition (post our relegation from it); big bucks ‘managerial investments’ made by Robbie Cowling at WHCS; Paul Lambert (45.24%) and then Aidy Boothroyd (43.1%); achieved better (U’s) managerial career WIN percentages than either of U’s legends Dick Graham (42.59%) or Phil Parkinson (42.25%) did at Layer Road; albeit over shorter periods; but in aggregate (86 matches) their combined tenure is statistically significant. Parky did manage to concentrate more wins into a single season to gain us promotion; but it took him almost 190 matches to get there. My perception is that too many fickle U’s fans have never been patient enough to allow any manager at WHCS even half of that tenure to see what they can build (n.b. one appreciates that Lambert wasn’t sacked etc.); forgetting our previous limited ambition over 70 years ‘BP’ (Before Parkinson) when we languished below our current league status. It is a remarkable fact that Lambert (45.24%); Boothroyd (42.25%); Ward (29.73%) and Dunne (30.43%) have ALL achieved better WIN records at WHCS than ANY manager achieved at Layer Road other than Parky in the 21st Century. We hence remain in our longest sustained period above the fourth tier in our entire 76 year history. Indeed; since our re-entry to the Football League; our previous best ever league position before our promotion in 2005/06 was 11th in the third tier in 2003/04. Yet at WHCS; we have consistently ended EVERY season except for season 2012-13 in the top half of the table. How is that "going to the dogs under Cowling" or "lacking ambition"? It is true that towards the end of 2011-12 we saw very worrying trends under Ward; but we still finished a creditable tenth. The first half of 2012-13 was then a disaster. Joe Dunne inherited a shocking relegation threatened position from Ward; and Joe tried to respond to some fans long-standing criticisms of past WHCS managerial tactics by introducing passing fluent adventurous football without having the personnel with the skills to successfully deliver that. The result was a sequence of nine consecutive defeats at this time last year; but he managed to dig us out of the hole that Ward had put us in and fortunately we stayed up. I might agree that the style of football at WHCS has often been a disappointment; as was our recent flirtation with the relegation zone; but to suggest that the Chairman has lacked ambition or that we have (overall) witnessed any less WINNING or any less successful football since our move to WHCS is patently untrue. We have had one poor season at WHCS (last year) under the legacy of Ward. This; last and in future seasons; FL/EUFA Fair Play rules won’t permit a big bucks approach unless somebody is benevolent (stupid?) enough to make a ‘donation’. So is it any surprise that we have now turned to a manager that “bleeds blue & white” that will accept such financial constraints? Then realising that we can no longer buy success on our small gates/turnover; Cowling has invested in a quality youth academy that has already produced Gilbey; Bonne & Szmodics. It’s hence a waste of time some fans speculating about what new players we might or could buy; or moaning about an over dependence on player loans and youth; as we can’t buy players until we can escape from the long term wage contracts of the existing squad established by John Ward. This season; under Joe Dunne we have suffered merely 8 defeats (33%); which is only bettered by eight clubs; mainly those above the play-off positions. If some fans don’t like the often gritty/ugly style of football necessary to achieve this utilising the existing squad then they are entitled to vote with their wallets; but gates are up 7% at the half way stage. However; our current 15th position is higher than our season’s end position in all but four seasons at Layer Road (including our two years in the Championship) ever since our re-entry to the Football League! So please don’t insult our chairman by complaining about a “lack of ambition”; and our manager about his “lack of success”. Joe has had merely 69 matches to get us into this higher league position than our previous historic (Layer Road) best; when Parky had 187. As I see things; the choice is now this; either (a) we play risky attacking adventurous football and allow the new Fair Play Rule equilibrium between turnover and player wages to drag us down to our natural heritage levels in the fourth tier or Conference; or (b) lacking the player skills within the inherited squad; and with many of our more exciting attacking players injured; we dig in and sometimes play gritty/ugly football to consolidate and improve our league position; so extending our longest period in the third tier (and above); pending the youth academy bearing fruit. I suggest that the first (a) is actually the route most lacking in ambition. Arsenal (initially) had to be “boring boring” before becoming the most attractive and leading side of today. If anybody can offer a better solution to get us back into the Championship; we would all love to hear it; but insults and calls for the chairman to “resign” or “sack the manager” ignore the facts and add nothing constructive to this debate. Noah4x4
  • Score: -17

12:13pm Mon 6 Jan 14

super waluigi says...

clacton citizen wrote:
Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.
I am glad that Noah has taken the time out to reply to you. Thankfully, as a result I don't have to.

But I will say this......
The fact that you think that a fan who has supported a club longer than another simply knows more about the club, holds no more weight than me suggesting that you living in Clacton holds less weight than me supporting Col u as a Colchester resident!!!!!!

Oh, and one more thing, try and bring more to the table. Some facts or even unbiased opinion is better than 'my dad is bigger than your dad' mentality.
[quote][p][bold]clacton citizen[/bold] wrote: Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.[/p][/quote]I am glad that Noah has taken the time out to reply to you. Thankfully, as a result I don't have to. But I will say this...... The fact that you think that a fan who has supported a club longer than another simply knows more about the club, holds no more weight than me suggesting that you living in Clacton holds less weight than me supporting Col u as a Colchester resident!!!!!! Oh, and one more thing, try and bring more to the table. Some facts or even unbiased opinion is better than 'my dad is bigger than your dad' mentality. super waluigi
  • Score: -11

12:26pm Mon 6 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

super waluigi wrote:
clacton citizen wrote:
Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.
I am glad that Noah has taken the time out to reply to you. Thankfully, as a result I don't have to.

But I will say this......
The fact that you think that a fan who has supported a club longer than another simply knows more about the club, holds no more weight than me suggesting that you living in Clacton holds less weight than me supporting Col u as a Colchester resident!!!!!!

Oh, and one more thing, try and bring more to the table. Some facts or even unbiased opinion is better than 'my dad is bigger than your dad' mentality.
Morning Super W, have to agree with you on that comment, but also would have to add that you would have only had to watch for the past three seasons to see that todays demise or current situation has been on the cards for a while irrespective of your time as a supporter. I just hope for the clubs sake some positive action happens soon or I win the lottery and test Mr C's resolve!
[quote][p][bold]super waluigi[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]clacton citizen[/bold] wrote: Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.[/p][/quote]I am glad that Noah has taken the time out to reply to you. Thankfully, as a result I don't have to. But I will say this...... The fact that you think that a fan who has supported a club longer than another simply knows more about the club, holds no more weight than me suggesting that you living in Clacton holds less weight than me supporting Col u as a Colchester resident!!!!!! Oh, and one more thing, try and bring more to the table. Some facts or even unbiased opinion is better than 'my dad is bigger than your dad' mentality.[/p][/quote]Morning Super W, have to agree with you on that comment, but also would have to add that you would have only had to watch for the past three seasons to see that todays demise or current situation has been on the cards for a while irrespective of your time as a supporter. I just hope for the clubs sake some positive action happens soon or I win the lottery and test Mr C's resolve! totallyfootball
  • Score: -5

1:42pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed.

However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement.

Let's keep the faith.
I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed. However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement. Let's keep the faith. Noah4x4
  • Score: -7

1:54pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed.

However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement.

Let's keep the faith.
Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today.
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed. However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement. Let's keep the faith.[/p][/quote]Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today. Noah4x4
  • Score: -8

7:23pm Mon 6 Jan 14

clacton citizen says...

super waluigi wrote:
clacton citizen wrote:
Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.
I am glad that Noah has taken the time out to reply to you. Thankfully, as a result I don't have to.

But I will say this......
The fact that you think that a fan who has supported a club longer than another simply knows more about the club, holds no more weight than me suggesting that you living in Clacton holds less weight than me supporting Col u as a Colchester resident!!!!!!

Oh, and one more thing, try and bring more to the table. Some facts or even unbiased opinion is better than 'my dad is bigger than your dad' mentality.
You reckon you know it all then. Just how long have you been a going to watch Colchester? Be interesting to know. Got to be honest I have been to Braintree this season to watch a few games and thoroughly enjoyed it. While Cowling runs Colchester I will never set foot in the ground again.
[quote][p][bold]super waluigi[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]clacton citizen[/bold] wrote: Someone that has supported Col Utd for only eleven seasons, now reckons he knows it all about the club. A few other people on this site have been lifelong supporters and know a dam sight more that he ever will. The club has gone to the dogs under Cowling.[/p][/quote]I am glad that Noah has taken the time out to reply to you. Thankfully, as a result I don't have to. But I will say this...... The fact that you think that a fan who has supported a club longer than another simply knows more about the club, holds no more weight than me suggesting that you living in Clacton holds less weight than me supporting Col u as a Colchester resident!!!!!! Oh, and one more thing, try and bring more to the table. Some facts or even unbiased opinion is better than 'my dad is bigger than your dad' mentality.[/p][/quote]You reckon you know it all then. Just how long have you been a going to watch Colchester? Be interesting to know. Got to be honest I have been to Braintree this season to watch a few games and thoroughly enjoyed it. While Cowling runs Colchester I will never set foot in the ground again. clacton citizen
  • Score: 10

12:47am Tue 7 Jan 14

Boris says...

Gordon Bennett, you really don't know when to give it a rest, do you? Noah has given us some very constructive comments based on his 11 years of watching our team home and away, and others have rightly defended him against your pusillanimous criticisms. Yet you still bang on about having been watching the U's for longer than him. Well so what? I have been watching them since Benny Fenton's time, which is probably about as long as you, but i claim no credit for that. I am a former shareholder in the club, but i claim no credit for that either. But I am really impressed that Noah finds the time to set out his very sensible arguments so clearly. I don't agree with everything he says, but that doesn't matter, he is to be respected as someone who wants to see our club flourish, and has some worthwhile ideas to that end, which the CUFC management ought to be reading with due humility. You, on the other hand, do not appear to have any constructive ideas. You would do better to think more carefully before posting.
Gordon Bennett, you really don't know when to give it a rest, do you? Noah has given us some very constructive comments based on his 11 years of watching our team home and away, and others have rightly defended him against your pusillanimous criticisms. Yet you still bang on about having been watching the U's for longer than him. Well so what? I have been watching them since Benny Fenton's time, which is probably about as long as you, but i claim no credit for that. I am a former shareholder in the club, but i claim no credit for that either. But I am really impressed that Noah finds the time to set out his very sensible arguments so clearly. I don't agree with everything he says, but that doesn't matter, he is to be respected as someone who wants to see our club flourish, and has some worthwhile ideas to that end, which the CUFC management ought to be reading with due humility. You, on the other hand, do not appear to have any constructive ideas. You would do better to think more carefully before posting. Boris
  • Score: -9

1:17am Tue 7 Jan 14

Boris says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
Noah4x4 wrote:
I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed.

However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement.

Let's keep the faith.
Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today.
Just as well you put in that clarification, Noah. In 1956/57, the U's finished third, one point behind Ipswich Town and Torquay United. If Benny Fenton had scored his penalty against ITFC, we would have been promoted, and Alf Ramsey's team would have stayed down. During that season, Anthony Eden was replaced as prime minister by Harold Macmillan. It was the club's greatest season till, finally, in 2005/06, Phil Parkinson got us promoted to the second tier.
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed. However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement. Let's keep the faith.[/p][/quote]Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today.[/p][/quote]Just as well you put in that clarification, Noah. In 1956/57, the U's finished third, one point behind Ipswich Town and Torquay United. If Benny Fenton had scored his penalty against ITFC, we would have been promoted, and Alf Ramsey's team would have stayed down. During that season, Anthony Eden was replaced as prime minister by Harold Macmillan. It was the club's greatest season till, finally, in 2005/06, Phil Parkinson got us promoted to the second tier. Boris
  • Score: -7

8:59am Tue 7 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Boris wrote:
Noah4x4 wrote:
Noah4x4 wrote:
I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed.

However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement.

Let's keep the faith.
Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today.
Just as well you put in that clarification, Noah. In 1956/57, the U's finished third, one point behind Ipswich Town and Torquay United. If Benny Fenton had scored his penalty against ITFC, we would have been promoted, and Alf Ramsey's team would have stayed down. During that season, Anthony Eden was replaced as prime minister by Harold Macmillan. It was the club's greatest season till, finally, in 2005/06, Phil Parkinson got us promoted to the second tier.
Thanks Boris; I respect your constructive comments and factual response.

Having to go back half a century to find a higher league finish than those I previously identified proves my point. Since moving to WHCS our WIN percentages and our league positions represent the most successful sustained period in our history. Only once in five completed seasons at WHCS have we failed to end up in the top half of Division One and at 15th place today; we are only three points from entering those dizzy heights once again.Yes; we have had a blip (2012-13); but it isn't terminal.

Clacton Man; I too have been to Braintree Town three times this season; where vision from the corrugated iron stand is impaired; it is freezing cold when queuing for the burger van; there is limited protection from wind or rain; parking is limited; it’s a long walk from either railway station; bus transport is infrequent; pitch drainage is awful and susceptible to postponement; and the only benefit is the lovely (but over-crowded) small club house/bar and a lower ticket price. You also have to leave earlier than the final whistle of an evening game; else you will miss the last train back to Clacton/Colchester. Extra time means a £18 taxi fare (as I found to my cost).

The Braintree Club and its fans are desperate for a new venue like ours; but let’s be respectful to them as (like us) they have worked their way up in non-league football and I hope that one day their dreams of Division One football are realised as their LOYAL fans deserve reward for their FAITH.

What some people can't seem to get their heads around is that BOTH clubs are massively punching above their weight/budget. Football will sometime be ugly and it’s often a dog-fight. Braintree Town has LOST 8 games from 24; that’s exactly the same as the U’s; so it seems rather odd to flee to Clockhouse Way if you want less disappointment!

If the squad that Braintree can afford on their gates (under Fair Play Rule) was in Division One they would probably lose most weeks; but I won’t be so arrogant to suggest that if the U’s were back in the Conference we would win every week; as our better players would depart given the reduction in gates/wages; and that suggestion would also be disrespectful to sides like Luton and Cambridge; where once again their fans have stayed LOYAL despite a few years of adversity. One can’t compare winning sequences in non-league with the third tier. If some fans do want to return to watching non-league football; then fair enough; I applaud you supporting your local NON-LEAGUE team (Braintree); but if you want to watch Division One please come to WHCS.

Remember that it took the U’s SEVENTY years to get into the Championship and Parky had 187 games to get us promoted to that status. Joe Dunne has had fewer than SEVENTY matches; and yet if our current 15th place is sustained it will be our seventh highest finish since our re-entry to the Football League.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed. However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement. Let's keep the faith.[/p][/quote]Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today.[/p][/quote]Just as well you put in that clarification, Noah. In 1956/57, the U's finished third, one point behind Ipswich Town and Torquay United. If Benny Fenton had scored his penalty against ITFC, we would have been promoted, and Alf Ramsey's team would have stayed down. During that season, Anthony Eden was replaced as prime minister by Harold Macmillan. It was the club's greatest season till, finally, in 2005/06, Phil Parkinson got us promoted to the second tier.[/p][/quote]Thanks Boris; I respect your constructive comments and factual response. Having to go back half a century to find a higher league finish than those I previously identified proves my point. Since moving to WHCS our WIN percentages and our league positions represent the most successful sustained period in our history. Only once in five completed seasons at WHCS have we failed to end up in the top half of Division One and at 15th place today; we are only three points from entering those dizzy heights once again.Yes; we have had a blip (2012-13); but it isn't terminal. Clacton Man; I too have been to Braintree Town three times this season; where vision from the corrugated iron stand is impaired; it is freezing cold when queuing for the burger van; there is limited protection from wind or rain; parking is limited; it’s a long walk from either railway station; bus transport is infrequent; pitch drainage is awful and susceptible to postponement; and the only benefit is the lovely (but over-crowded) small club house/bar and a lower ticket price. You also have to leave earlier than the final whistle of an evening game; else you will miss the last train back to Clacton/Colchester. Extra time means a £18 taxi fare (as I found to my cost). The Braintree Club and its fans are desperate for a new venue like ours; but let’s be respectful to them as (like us) they have worked their way up in non-league football and I hope that one day their dreams of Division One football are realised as their LOYAL fans deserve reward for their FAITH. What some people can't seem to get their heads around is that BOTH clubs are massively punching above their weight/budget. Football will sometime be ugly and it’s often a dog-fight. Braintree Town has LOST 8 games from 24; that’s exactly the same as the U’s; so it seems rather odd to flee to Clockhouse Way if you want less disappointment! If the squad that Braintree can afford on their gates (under Fair Play Rule) was in Division One they would probably lose most weeks; but I won’t be so arrogant to suggest that if the U’s were back in the Conference we would win every week; as our better players would depart given the reduction in gates/wages; and that suggestion would also be disrespectful to sides like Luton and Cambridge; where once again their fans have stayed LOYAL despite a few years of adversity. One can’t compare winning sequences in non-league with the third tier. If some fans do want to return to watching non-league football; then fair enough; I applaud you supporting your local NON-LEAGUE team (Braintree); but if you want to watch Division One please come to WHCS. Remember that it took the U’s SEVENTY years to get into the Championship and Parky had 187 games to get us promoted to that status. Joe Dunne has had fewer than SEVENTY matches; and yet if our current 15th place is sustained it will be our seventh highest finish since our re-entry to the Football League. Noah4x4
  • Score: -12

10:07am Tue 7 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

I like facts that back up constructive opinion……. here are another couple that should offer encouragement to the faithful....

The current Division One Form Statistics based on the last 8 games (e.g. one sixth of a season); puts the U’s in a credible 8th place (hence equivalent to ‘play-off’ form) having W3; D3; L3; during which time we have lost to what are perceived to be “bottom clubs” Notts County; Crewe and Tranmere Rovers.

However; Notts County are 7th in the current form table and Crewe 10th; so their actual league positions are rather misleading (albeit that we losing to them has enhanced their position). Just like the U’s last year; both are struggling to escape from the legacy of an awful start to the season; but are now hitting some very decent form. So why did so many fans expect that beating them would be a ‘gimme’ just because they are still in the relegation zone?

The same current form table puts Leyton Orient in the bottom half; and Wolves and Peterborough would have relegation worries if their recent slump continued. Most of the high flying teams that still have to come to WHCS are in a worse run of current form too; so isn't that encouraging we having taken points from them away from WHCS.

Football is a funny old game football as regards the margin between success and failure. Another intriguing statistic is that after 24 games; we have the 11th meanest defence in the division. Now who would have expected that with our goal difference? Our first half of the season problem has been largely at the other end; and with Watt; Massey; Sears; Wright (Drey); Bonne (etc.) injured for so long;and Jabo playing under pain killers; and Clinton Morrison not scoring more than 3 goals in 50 games; is that surprising? Get them fit; and who knows.....
I like facts that back up constructive opinion……. here are another couple that should offer encouragement to the faithful.... The current Division One Form Statistics based on the last 8 games (e.g. one sixth of a season); puts the U’s in a credible 8th place (hence equivalent to ‘play-off’ form) having W3; D3; L3; during which time we have lost to what are perceived to be “bottom clubs” Notts County; Crewe and Tranmere Rovers. However; Notts County are 7th in the current form table and Crewe 10th; so their actual league positions are rather misleading (albeit that we losing to them has enhanced their position). Just like the U’s last year; both are struggling to escape from the legacy of an awful start to the season; but are now hitting some very decent form. So why did so many fans expect that beating them would be a ‘gimme’ just because they are still in the relegation zone? The same current form table puts Leyton Orient in the bottom half; and Wolves and Peterborough would have relegation worries if their recent slump continued. Most of the high flying teams that still have to come to WHCS are in a worse run of current form too; so isn't that encouraging we having taken points from them away from WHCS. Football is a funny old game football as regards the margin between success and failure. Another intriguing statistic is that after 24 games; we have the 11th meanest defence in the division. Now who would have expected that with our goal difference? Our first half of the season problem has been largely at the other end; and with Watt; Massey; Sears; Wright (Drey); Bonne (etc.) injured for so long;and Jabo playing under pain killers; and Clinton Morrison not scoring more than 3 goals in 50 games; is that surprising? Get them fit; and who knows..... Noah4x4
  • Score: -14

6:01pm Tue 7 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

Zimma frame supporters?we want the young blood who scream shout and sing.lower the entrance for the under eighteens.
Zimma frame supporters?we want the young blood who scream shout and sing.lower the entrance for the under eighteens. stevedawson
  • Score: 8

10:09pm Tue 7 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

Completely agree with the above comment. Attracting the young fans is critical, I was just like most kids in town, loved football but supported a glory team up untill one day a mate took me to Colchester and for quid I was addicted at the age of 11, 3 decades later sadly that addiction still stands.
The club is ok at attracting younger fans, however why not make it a pound for any under 11 in any stand and 5 for the under 16 and then 10 for those in full time education. Also with about 7.000 spare seats why not offer each local school complementary tickets to a game for children parents and teachers?
Also well done Noah, good point on the form guide, shows not all doom and gloom but if you add in a couple more games then it suddenly changes, like all stats I suppose can be easily manipulated.
However what I really agree in is the Braintree thing I don't see why any ind would want to travel half hour for a league two below our own and facilities aloft worse for a team not doing that well who don't play particularly good football and with travel more expensive than going to cuckoo farm!
Completely agree with the above comment. Attracting the young fans is critical, I was just like most kids in town, loved football but supported a glory team up untill one day a mate took me to Colchester and for quid I was addicted at the age of 11, 3 decades later sadly that addiction still stands. The club is ok at attracting younger fans, however why not make it a pound for any under 11 in any stand and 5 for the under 16 and then 10 for those in full time education. Also with about 7.000 spare seats why not offer each local school complementary tickets to a game for children parents and teachers? Also well done Noah, good point on the form guide, shows not all doom and gloom but if you add in a couple more games then it suddenly changes, like all stats I suppose can be easily manipulated. However what I really agree in is the Braintree thing I don't see why any ind would want to travel half hour for a league two below our own and facilities aloft worse for a team not doing that well who don't play particularly good football and with travel more expensive than going to cuckoo farm! angryman!!!
  • Score: 7

12:07am Wed 8 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

I believe that the current WHCS youth prices are under 18's £8.50 and under 8's are just a £1; so your proposal Angryman!!! is (near as) already in place.

I don't think these discount prices apply in all parts of the ground; but that has more to do with the grumpy old men that will moan that they don't want to be "surrounded by kids". Thinking about it; under 8's concessions may be limited to the East Stand. Here I am not sure. But with kids in for a quid; is that limitation so unreasonable?

I also know that the U's have often dished out loads of free complementary tickets via schools (and more via the Army). Also local children's football teams are regularly paraded pre-match etc. The trouble is that some parents then moan to the school that they are being coerced into attending football (e.g having to take their child) against their wishes; or claim hardship (can't afford an adult ticket). The U's then can't simply give these parents a free ticket as every other adult without a child will then complain.

Another problem is that willing adult A cannot bring along a child of B unless child welfare rules are met (such as the person being CRB checked). That means that any willing parents can't so easily help teachers; who in turn may see this as an out of hours duty and not be willing. Then a child might attend with a willing teacher (or perhaps football team coach); enjoy the experience and later the parent will refuse to bring the child again.

This is where one admits being out of town is a disadvantage. As an ten year old I used to attend Kidderminster Harriers alone; but don't tell them; as we snook in for free under the fencing and across the railway tracks."Kids for a quid" is probably the best overall 'safe' solution.

I do think there are other constructive things that can be done; but let's give the WHCS management credit for the many initiatives already in place. If I do have a criticism; it is that the youth concessions are not sufficiently publicised; and the U's have equalised 'seniors' at age 65.

It's merely 60 at Ipswich and Leyton Orient. With so many people retiring at 60; yet NOT in receipt of a state pension; I think this is a little unfair; notably upon any women that are not past season ticket holders and may now have to wait up to 8 years longer than they once did to get a 'seniors' concession. May be this is a major factor why more mature people seem to moan most; although my wife tells me that its natural for me in my 60th year to suffer Victor Meldrew tendencies.
I believe that the current WHCS youth prices are under 18's £8.50 and under 8's are just a £1; so your proposal Angryman!!! is (near as) already in place. I don't think these discount prices apply in all parts of the ground; but that has more to do with the grumpy old men that will moan that they don't want to be "surrounded by kids". Thinking about it; under 8's concessions may be limited to the East Stand. Here I am not sure. But with kids in for a quid; is that limitation so unreasonable? I also know that the U's have often dished out loads of free complementary tickets via schools (and more via the Army). Also local children's football teams are regularly paraded pre-match etc. The trouble is that some parents then moan to the school that they are being coerced into attending football (e.g having to take their child) against their wishes; or claim hardship (can't afford an adult ticket). The U's then can't simply give these parents a free ticket as every other adult without a child will then complain. Another problem is that willing adult A cannot bring along a child of B unless child welfare rules are met (such as the person being CRB checked). That means that any willing parents can't so easily help teachers; who in turn may see this as an out of hours duty and not be willing. Then a child might attend with a willing teacher (or perhaps football team coach); enjoy the experience and later the parent will refuse to bring the child again. This is where one admits being out of town is a disadvantage. As an ten year old I used to attend Kidderminster Harriers alone; but don't tell them; as we snook in for free under the fencing and across the railway tracks."Kids for a quid" is probably the best overall 'safe' solution. I do think there are other constructive things that can be done; but let's give the WHCS management credit for the many initiatives already in place. If I do have a criticism; it is that the youth concessions are not sufficiently publicised; and the U's have equalised 'seniors' at age 65. It's merely 60 at Ipswich and Leyton Orient. With so many people retiring at 60; yet NOT in receipt of a state pension; I think this is a little unfair; notably upon any women that are not past season ticket holders and may now have to wait up to 8 years longer than they once did to get a 'seniors' concession. May be this is a major factor why more mature people seem to moan most; although my wife tells me that its natural for me in my 60th year to suffer Victor Meldrew tendencies. Noah4x4
  • Score: -5

1:05am Wed 8 Jan 14

Boris says...

In our first season at the WHCS I remember going a couple of times with my grandson's primary school. The sports teacher was given a batch of free tickets and she wanted a few adults to help her keep order. I'm sure it encouraged some of those kids to attend.
As for the teenagers, I suppose the line has to be drawn somewhere, but it doesn't seem quite right for 18-year-olds to pay more than OAPs. Our other grandsonnow 18, has a very precarious income, on a zero-hours contract, and the same goes for a lot of young people of that age.
I also do not like the way tickets become more expensive as you approach match day. Not everyone can plan their activities 6 weeks in advance, and with the Jekyll-and-Hyde performances by the U's, many of us pick and choose the games that we see and the ones we don't. The U's pricing structure is as complex as that of an energy supplier. it would help if they kept the prices simple and reasonable.
In our first season at the WHCS I remember going a couple of times with my grandson's primary school. The sports teacher was given a batch of free tickets and she wanted a few adults to help her keep order. I'm sure it encouraged some of those kids to attend. As for the teenagers, I suppose the line has to be drawn somewhere, but it doesn't seem quite right for 18-year-olds to pay more than OAPs. Our other grandsonnow 18, has a very precarious income, on a zero-hours contract, and the same goes for a lot of young people of that age. I also do not like the way tickets become more expensive as you approach match day. Not everyone can plan their activities 6 weeks in advance, and with the Jekyll-and-Hyde performances by the U's, many of us pick and choose the games that we see and the ones we don't. The U's pricing structure is as complex as that of an energy supplier. it would help if they kept the prices simple and reasonable. Boris
  • Score: -2

8:58am Wed 8 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Some very fair comments Boris. Because I don't have grandchildren; I didn't realise that ‘kids for a quid’ (under 8's) applies only to the Early Bird purchase period. A progressive rise (via £1.50) to £2 on a Match Day isn't exactly bank breaking; but when coupled with the full adult price to create a ‘family package’; I can see how this might be a deterrent to an adult’s impulse purchase; even if merely psychological. I hence agree that the pricing structure might warrant simplification for kids/families; as the loss of revenue of offering ‘kids for a quid’ on a match day is hardly significant if it attracts a full paying adult.

However; the fact that these discount prices only apply in E8 seems perfectly reasonable to me. I can’t see a few of the grumpy men in the West Stand being happy if surrounded by under 8’s. I am also appalled by the foul language that some grumpys utter; so we should protect our children in dedicated family friendly areas.

It also seems odd that the price for an 18-21 is more expensive than for a ‘Senior’. Many youths are struggling with a combination of unemployment; low pay and student debt; and football is competing with other choice for their limited money. By comparison; many ‘Seniors’ that attend football are more financially comfortable (but obviously not all – see next). The key point is that teenage youth is where many “loyalties” are usually formed; that is why the banks fight over each other to offer student incentives. Older youths should perhaps be better targeted.

As I have said before; making retired 60-64 year olds pay full adult prices isn’t competitive when Ipswich and Leyton Orient recognise that “retirement” doesn’t mean receipt of a state pension and apply age 60. Indeed those that have been forced to ‘retire’ early through redundancy or ill health are often those suffering the greatest hardship.

However; I firmly believe that Adults should be given an incentive to buy early; and prices should rise as you near match day; albeit that the U’s probably now have too many confusing purchase zones with; Early Bird; Super Saver; Saver: Advanced; Match Day. But it works fine for railways and airlines.

I suspect one reason for this complexity is that a couple of years ago; U’s season tickets were the highest in the league. Since then; prices have admittedly been frozen and/or renewal discounted for prompt payment; when at other clubs prices may have risen. It has also always struck me as nonsense that if I miss a couple of home games the financial advantage of buying a season ticket is lost. But what the club can’t do is slash season ticket prices; as the loss of core revenue means it would have to cut the playing budget. So having made some earlier pricing errors (too much optimism on our move to WHCS?); making individual ticket prices more attractive isn’t easy without upsetting our most loyal fans; (the season ticket holders).

Then we have the Taylor Report impacts. Once a crowd exceeds a threshold; we need extra policing (etc.) and the club incurs much higher costs. One either needs to keep the optimum crowd just below that threshold or attract significantly more. Anything in-between and the marginal expense of entertaining those extra few persons will rocket. BTW; before somebody asks again; I am not Robbie Cowling; but I did work in professional sports marketing/sponsorshi
p; so have an awareness of the issues above.

Borsi & Super-Walugi
I think that there is much work/research still needed in these areas; but across the board price drops for 'Adults' are not the solution as the club must increase turnover (e.g. not necessarily fan numbers) to allow the playing budget to increase too. It's like the earlier argument that using the WHCS suites for hospitality brings in more vital revenue than if they were converted to an ordinary fans bar where most might buy a Bovril. But I do feel there is some scope for some sensible price tweaking as above.

It’s taken us almost 50 posts in this thread; but at last we do seem to be getting some constructive debate that should hopefully provide meaningful feedback for the club. It’s just a shame that we have had to grind down/bore the negative malicious contributors by producing facts and evidence. To be frank; I hope they are now annoying loyal Braintree fans!
Some very fair comments Boris. Because I don't have grandchildren; I didn't realise that ‘kids for a quid’ (under 8's) applies only to the Early Bird purchase period. A progressive rise (via £1.50) to £2 on a Match Day isn't exactly bank breaking; but when coupled with the full adult price to create a ‘family package’; I can see how this might be a deterrent to an adult’s impulse purchase; even if merely psychological. I hence agree that the pricing structure might warrant simplification for kids/families; as the loss of revenue of offering ‘kids for a quid’ on a match day is hardly significant if it attracts a full paying adult. However; the fact that these discount prices only apply in E8 seems perfectly reasonable to me. I can’t see a few of the grumpy men in the West Stand being happy if surrounded by under 8’s. I am also appalled by the foul language that some grumpys utter; so we should protect our children in dedicated family friendly areas. It also seems odd that the price for an 18-21 is more expensive than for a ‘Senior’. Many youths are struggling with a combination of unemployment; low pay and student debt; and football is competing with other choice for their limited money. By comparison; many ‘Seniors’ that attend football are more financially comfortable (but obviously not all – see next). The key point is that teenage youth is where many “loyalties” are usually formed; that is why the banks fight over each other to offer student incentives. Older youths should perhaps be better targeted. As I have said before; making retired 60-64 year olds pay full adult prices isn’t competitive when Ipswich and Leyton Orient recognise that “retirement” doesn’t mean receipt of a state pension and apply age 60. Indeed those that have been forced to ‘retire’ early through redundancy or ill health are often those suffering the greatest hardship. However; I firmly believe that Adults should be given an incentive to buy early; and prices should rise as you near match day; albeit that the U’s probably now have too many confusing purchase zones with; Early Bird; Super Saver; Saver: Advanced; Match Day. But it works fine for railways and airlines. I suspect one reason for this complexity is that a couple of years ago; U’s season tickets were the highest in the league. Since then; prices have admittedly been frozen and/or renewal discounted for prompt payment; when at other clubs prices may have risen. It has also always struck me as nonsense that if I miss a couple of home games the financial advantage of buying a season ticket is lost. But what the club can’t do is slash season ticket prices; as the loss of core revenue means it would have to cut the playing budget. So having made some earlier pricing errors (too much optimism on our move to WHCS?); making individual ticket prices more attractive isn’t easy without upsetting our most loyal fans; (the season ticket holders). Then we have the Taylor Report impacts. Once a crowd exceeds a threshold; we need extra policing (etc.) and the club incurs much higher costs. One either needs to keep the optimum crowd just below that threshold or attract significantly more. Anything in-between and the marginal expense of entertaining those extra few persons will rocket. BTW; before somebody asks again; I am not Robbie Cowling; but I did work in professional sports marketing/sponsorshi p; so have an awareness of the issues above. Borsi & Super-Walugi I think that there is much work/research still needed in these areas; but across the board price drops for 'Adults' are not the solution as the club must increase turnover (e.g. not necessarily fan numbers) to allow the playing budget to increase too. It's like the earlier argument that using the WHCS suites for hospitality brings in more vital revenue than if they were converted to an ordinary fans bar where most might buy a Bovril. But I do feel there is some scope for some sensible price tweaking as above. It’s taken us almost 50 posts in this thread; but at last we do seem to be getting some constructive debate that should hopefully provide meaningful feedback for the club. It’s just a shame that we have had to grind down/bore the negative malicious contributors by producing facts and evidence. To be frank; I hope they are now annoying loyal Braintree fans! Noah4x4
  • Score: -6

9:13am Wed 8 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

I agree Noah, one of the best posts and a good healthy debate, as to whether the club are ever likely to listen to those that pay the wages that is just a dream I feel, thank you to all that have provided facts and figures, it has been most constructive and enlightening for me anyway!
I agree Noah, one of the best posts and a good healthy debate, as to whether the club are ever likely to listen to those that pay the wages that is just a dream I feel, thank you to all that have provided facts and figures, it has been most constructive and enlightening for me anyway! totallyfootball
  • Score: -2

9:44am Wed 8 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

Mum sure for most schools it would be an easy thing to organise a trip to the football ground considering most schools do week trips to Europe etc, and as one off I wouldn't mind of they had a free ticket for parents. Considering the influx from London it might be their first trip too.
Also one off promotion, a January sale type with but one get one free might get some intrest. Or free tickets, was it not Gillingham we did this years ago funnily enough (might have been Carlisle?) not sure how many came back the game after but surely through money made from good drink etc will cover some of the losses, also it shows the club is being pro active and stops people like me moaning?
Mum sure for most schools it would be an easy thing to organise a trip to the football ground considering most schools do week trips to Europe etc, and as one off I wouldn't mind of they had a free ticket for parents. Considering the influx from London it might be their first trip too. Also one off promotion, a January sale type with but one get one free might get some intrest. Or free tickets, was it not Gillingham we did this years ago funnily enough (might have been Carlisle?) not sure how many came back the game after but surely through money made from good drink etc will cover some of the losses, also it shows the club is being pro active and stops people like me moaning? angryman!!!
  • Score: 1

10:30am Wed 8 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

angryman!!! wrote:
Mum sure for most schools it would be an easy thing to organise a trip to the football ground considering most schools do week trips to Europe etc, and as one off I wouldn't mind of they had a free ticket for parents. Considering the influx from London it might be their first trip too.
Also one off promotion, a January sale type with but one get one free might get some intrest. Or free tickets, was it not Gillingham we did this years ago funnily enough (might have been Carlisle?) not sure how many came back the game after but surely through money made from good drink etc will cover some of the losses, also it shows the club is being pro active and stops people like me moaning?
BOGOF Angryman!!! No I am not being rude to you ....

Buy One Get One Free Is one of the best ideas posted; but it should apply to a single match where the idea is to introduce a friend for free as a 'taster'. But there has to be some more sophisticated measures to back this up and avoid abuse; else routine fans that were coming anyway would simply form duo's outside of the ground and the cub hence loses money. Similarly; a season ticket holder might bring in a friend that was coming anyway (who would have paid); and that defeats the objective.

The solution is (like Ipswich) to register the names of all purchasers of tickets and seat holders on that day. To justify this they have a lucky seat draw at every game. Then perhaps allow season ticket holders to bring (say) two guests per season that have to be registered by name and cannot already be on the register (e.g... they are genuine newcomers).

One would have to allocate a seating area for the 'introduce a friend scheme' so they can sit with the season ticket holder; but I think this has lots of merit if abuse can be avoided; as the club isn't losing anything by an extra person turning up ONCE; but has everything to gain if he comes again. Needs a bit more thought; but I think it might be workable.
[quote][p][bold]angryman!!![/bold] wrote: Mum sure for most schools it would be an easy thing to organise a trip to the football ground considering most schools do week trips to Europe etc, and as one off I wouldn't mind of they had a free ticket for parents. Considering the influx from London it might be their first trip too. Also one off promotion, a January sale type with but one get one free might get some intrest. Or free tickets, was it not Gillingham we did this years ago funnily enough (might have been Carlisle?) not sure how many came back the game after but surely through money made from good drink etc will cover some of the losses, also it shows the club is being pro active and stops people like me moaning?[/p][/quote]BOGOF Angryman!!! No I am not being rude to you .... Buy One Get One Free Is one of the best ideas posted; but it should apply to a single match where the idea is to introduce a friend for free as a 'taster'. But there has to be some more sophisticated measures to back this up and avoid abuse; else routine fans that were coming anyway would simply form duo's outside of the ground and the cub hence loses money. Similarly; a season ticket holder might bring in a friend that was coming anyway (who would have paid); and that defeats the objective. The solution is (like Ipswich) to register the names of all purchasers of tickets and seat holders on that day. To justify this they have a lucky seat draw at every game. Then perhaps allow season ticket holders to bring (say) two guests per season that have to be registered by name and cannot already be on the register (e.g... they are genuine newcomers). One would have to allocate a seating area for the 'introduce a friend scheme' so they can sit with the season ticket holder; but I think this has lots of merit if abuse can be avoided; as the club isn't losing anything by an extra person turning up ONCE; but has everything to gain if he comes again. Needs a bit more thought; but I think it might be workable. Noah4x4
  • Score: -3

1:35pm Wed 8 Jan 14

U's fan says...

What great range of comments well done everybody an interesting read I hope someone at the club is reading these views both good and bad.
What great range of comments well done everybody an interesting read I hope someone at the club is reading these views both good and bad. U's fan
  • Score: 2

4:23pm Wed 8 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

U's fan wrote:
What great range of comments well done everybody an interesting read I hope someone at the club is reading these views both good and bad.
Imagine them doing that!
[quote][p][bold]U's fan[/bold] wrote: What great range of comments well done everybody an interesting read I hope someone at the club is reading these views both good and bad.[/p][/quote]Imagine them doing that! totallyfootball
  • Score: 3

4:45pm Wed 8 Jan 14

U's fan says...

totallyfootball wrote:
U's fan wrote:
What great range of comments well done everybody an interesting read I hope someone at the club is reading these views both good and bad.
Imagine them doing that!
I am sure at least one of the clubs employees is reading this I am equally sure Robbie won't be!!
[quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]U's fan[/bold] wrote: What great range of comments well done everybody an interesting read I hope someone at the club is reading these views both good and bad.[/p][/quote]Imagine them doing that![/p][/quote]I am sure at least one of the clubs employees is reading this I am equally sure Robbie won't be!! U's fan
  • Score: 3

7:07pm Wed 8 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

I think, Mr Cowling being a businessman, would be far to busy to read all these comments, in having far more important issues to deal with, and secondly being bored out of his mind in reading some of the comments that resemble a book that goes on and on and never finishes.

We can all suggest our own feelings to what we think the club can do, but at the end of the day to me,watching the football being played is the most important aspect.

If for example you went to see a top comedian and after paying out good money he was rubbish would you go again. Even if it was half price I very much doubt it. Its much the same with football. You need to try and entertain what ever the situation. That's what has disappointed me on more than a few occasions watching Colchester United the last few seasons. If I see effort even if we lose 4 0 to a far better team okay, but when I've seen some of the displays this season then I feel that I'm entitled to have a little moan.
The club is very fortunate having people like me that have supported the club through the good and bad times and that still go back for more.
I think, Mr Cowling being a businessman, would be far to busy to read all these comments, in having far more important issues to deal with, and secondly being bored out of his mind in reading some of the comments that resemble a book that goes on and on and never finishes. We can all suggest our own feelings to what we think the club can do, but at the end of the day to me,watching the football being played is the most important aspect. If for example you went to see a top comedian and after paying out good money he was rubbish would you go again. Even if it was half price I very much doubt it. Its much the same with football. You need to try and entertain what ever the situation. That's what has disappointed me on more than a few occasions watching Colchester United the last few seasons. If I see effort even if we lose 4 0 to a far better team okay, but when I've seen some of the displays this season then I feel that I'm entitled to have a little moan. The club is very fortunate having people like me that have supported the club through the good and bad times and that still go back for more. crazy comments
  • Score: 4

7:25pm Wed 8 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
Boris wrote:
Noah4x4 wrote:
Noah4x4 wrote:
I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed.

However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement.

Let's keep the faith.
Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today.
Just as well you put in that clarification, Noah. In 1956/57, the U's finished third, one point behind Ipswich Town and Torquay United. If Benny Fenton had scored his penalty against ITFC, we would have been promoted, and Alf Ramsey's team would have stayed down. During that season, Anthony Eden was replaced as prime minister by Harold Macmillan. It was the club's greatest season till, finally, in 2005/06, Phil Parkinson got us promoted to the second tier.
Thanks Boris; I respect your constructive comments and factual response.

Having to go back half a century to find a higher league finish than those I previously identified proves my point. Since moving to WHCS our WIN percentages and our league positions represent the most successful sustained period in our history. Only once in five completed seasons at WHCS have we failed to end up in the top half of Division One and at 15th place today; we are only three points from entering those dizzy heights once again.Yes; we have had a blip (2012-13); but it isn't terminal.

Clacton Man; I too have been to Braintree Town three times this season; where vision from the corrugated iron stand is impaired; it is freezing cold when queuing for the burger van; there is limited protection from wind or rain; parking is limited; it’s a long walk from either railway station; bus transport is infrequent; pitch drainage is awful and susceptible to postponement; and the only benefit is the lovely (but over-crowded) small club house/bar and a lower ticket price. You also have to leave earlier than the final whistle of an evening game; else you will miss the last train back to Clacton/Colchester. Extra time means a £18 taxi fare (as I found to my cost).

The Braintree Club and its fans are desperate for a new venue like ours; but let’s be respectful to them as (like us) they have worked their way up in non-league football and I hope that one day their dreams of Division One football are realised as their LOYAL fans deserve reward for their FAITH.

What some people can't seem to get their heads around is that BOTH clubs are massively punching above their weight/budget. Football will sometime be ugly and it’s often a dog-fight. Braintree Town has LOST 8 games from 24; that’s exactly the same as the U’s; so it seems rather odd to flee to Clockhouse Way if you want less disappointment!

If the squad that Braintree can afford on their gates (under Fair Play Rule) was in Division One they would probably lose most weeks; but I won’t be so arrogant to suggest that if the U’s were back in the Conference we would win every week; as our better players would depart given the reduction in gates/wages; and that suggestion would also be disrespectful to sides like Luton and Cambridge; where once again their fans have stayed LOYAL despite a few years of adversity. One can’t compare winning sequences in non-league with the third tier. If some fans do want to return to watching non-league football; then fair enough; I applaud you supporting your local NON-LEAGUE team (Braintree); but if you want to watch Division One please come to WHCS.

Remember that it took the U’s SEVENTY years to get into the Championship and Parky had 187 games to get us promoted to that status. Joe Dunne has had fewer than SEVENTY matches; and yet if our current 15th place is sustained it will be our seventh highest finish since our re-entry to the Football League.
Parky was with us from 2003 till 2006 so 187 games in that time don't seem to add up to me.
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: I agree with both of you. There is no complacency in my reply as we are in a dog fight where any four of a dozen teams could perish. But let's give Joe Dunne credit for getting us to the top of that pile at the half way stage; given that this time last year we looked doomed. However; the irony is that in only five season's at Layer Road have we ever been higher placed than today's15th in the third tier; and they include our promotion season and two years in the Championship; and yet some fans are still moaning about lack of ambition and achievement. Let's keep the faith.[/p][/quote]Before somebody tells me that XYZ got us to 14th place when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. I should have said in only five years at Layer Road since our re-entry to the Football League have we been higher placed than where we are today.[/p][/quote]Just as well you put in that clarification, Noah. In 1956/57, the U's finished third, one point behind Ipswich Town and Torquay United. If Benny Fenton had scored his penalty against ITFC, we would have been promoted, and Alf Ramsey's team would have stayed down. During that season, Anthony Eden was replaced as prime minister by Harold Macmillan. It was the club's greatest season till, finally, in 2005/06, Phil Parkinson got us promoted to the second tier.[/p][/quote]Thanks Boris; I respect your constructive comments and factual response. Having to go back half a century to find a higher league finish than those I previously identified proves my point. Since moving to WHCS our WIN percentages and our league positions represent the most successful sustained period in our history. Only once in five completed seasons at WHCS have we failed to end up in the top half of Division One and at 15th place today; we are only three points from entering those dizzy heights once again.Yes; we have had a blip (2012-13); but it isn't terminal. Clacton Man; I too have been to Braintree Town three times this season; where vision from the corrugated iron stand is impaired; it is freezing cold when queuing for the burger van; there is limited protection from wind or rain; parking is limited; it’s a long walk from either railway station; bus transport is infrequent; pitch drainage is awful and susceptible to postponement; and the only benefit is the lovely (but over-crowded) small club house/bar and a lower ticket price. You also have to leave earlier than the final whistle of an evening game; else you will miss the last train back to Clacton/Colchester. Extra time means a £18 taxi fare (as I found to my cost). The Braintree Club and its fans are desperate for a new venue like ours; but let’s be respectful to them as (like us) they have worked their way up in non-league football and I hope that one day their dreams of Division One football are realised as their LOYAL fans deserve reward for their FAITH. What some people can't seem to get their heads around is that BOTH clubs are massively punching above their weight/budget. Football will sometime be ugly and it’s often a dog-fight. Braintree Town has LOST 8 games from 24; that’s exactly the same as the U’s; so it seems rather odd to flee to Clockhouse Way if you want less disappointment! If the squad that Braintree can afford on their gates (under Fair Play Rule) was in Division One they would probably lose most weeks; but I won’t be so arrogant to suggest that if the U’s were back in the Conference we would win every week; as our better players would depart given the reduction in gates/wages; and that suggestion would also be disrespectful to sides like Luton and Cambridge; where once again their fans have stayed LOYAL despite a few years of adversity. One can’t compare winning sequences in non-league with the third tier. If some fans do want to return to watching non-league football; then fair enough; I applaud you supporting your local NON-LEAGUE team (Braintree); but if you want to watch Division One please come to WHCS. Remember that it took the U’s SEVENTY years to get into the Championship and Parky had 187 games to get us promoted to that status. Joe Dunne has had fewer than SEVENTY matches; and yet if our current 15th place is sustained it will be our seventh highest finish since our re-entry to the Football League.[/p][/quote]Parky was with us from 2003 till 2006 so 187 games in that time don't seem to add up to me. crazy comments
  • Score: 0

1:44am Thu 9 Jan 14

Boris says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
Some very fair comments Boris. Because I don't have grandchildren; I didn't realise that ‘kids for a quid’ (under 8's) applies only to the Early Bird purchase period. A progressive rise (via £1.50) to £2 on a Match Day isn't exactly bank breaking; but when coupled with the full adult price to create a ‘family package’; I can see how this might be a deterrent to an adult’s impulse purchase; even if merely psychological. I hence agree that the pricing structure might warrant simplification for kids/families; as the loss of revenue of offering ‘kids for a quid’ on a match day is hardly significant if it attracts a full paying adult.

However; the fact that these discount prices only apply in E8 seems perfectly reasonable to me. I can’t see a few of the grumpy men in the West Stand being happy if surrounded by under 8’s. I am also appalled by the foul language that some grumpys utter; so we should protect our children in dedicated family friendly areas.

It also seems odd that the price for an 18-21 is more expensive than for a ‘Senior’. Many youths are struggling with a combination of unemployment; low pay and student debt; and football is competing with other choice for their limited money. By comparison; many ‘Seniors’ that attend football are more financially comfortable (but obviously not all – see next). The key point is that teenage youth is where many “loyalties” are usually formed; that is why the banks fight over each other to offer student incentives. Older youths should perhaps be better targeted.

As I have said before; making retired 60-64 year olds pay full adult prices isn’t competitive when Ipswich and Leyton Orient recognise that “retirement” doesn’t mean receipt of a state pension and apply age 60. Indeed those that have been forced to ‘retire’ early through redundancy or ill health are often those suffering the greatest hardship.

However; I firmly believe that Adults should be given an incentive to buy early; and prices should rise as you near match day; albeit that the U’s probably now have too many confusing purchase zones with; Early Bird; Super Saver; Saver: Advanced; Match Day. But it works fine for railways and airlines.

I suspect one reason for this complexity is that a couple of years ago; U’s season tickets were the highest in the league. Since then; prices have admittedly been frozen and/or renewal discounted for prompt payment; when at other clubs prices may have risen. It has also always struck me as nonsense that if I miss a couple of home games the financial advantage of buying a season ticket is lost. But what the club can’t do is slash season ticket prices; as the loss of core revenue means it would have to cut the playing budget. So having made some earlier pricing errors (too much optimism on our move to WHCS?); making individual ticket prices more attractive isn’t easy without upsetting our most loyal fans; (the season ticket holders).

Then we have the Taylor Report impacts. Once a crowd exceeds a threshold; we need extra policing (etc.) and the club incurs much higher costs. One either needs to keep the optimum crowd just below that threshold or attract significantly more. Anything in-between and the marginal expense of entertaining those extra few persons will rocket. BTW; before somebody asks again; I am not Robbie Cowling; but I did work in professional sports marketing/sponsorshi

p; so have an awareness of the issues above.

Borsi & Super-Walugi
I think that there is much work/research still needed in these areas; but across the board price drops for 'Adults' are not the solution as the club must increase turnover (e.g. not necessarily fan numbers) to allow the playing budget to increase too. It's like the earlier argument that using the WHCS suites for hospitality brings in more vital revenue than if they were converted to an ordinary fans bar where most might buy a Bovril. But I do feel there is some scope for some sensible price tweaking as above.

It’s taken us almost 50 posts in this thread; but at last we do seem to be getting some constructive debate that should hopefully provide meaningful feedback for the club. It’s just a shame that we have had to grind down/bore the negative malicious contributors by producing facts and evidence. To be frank; I hope they are now annoying loyal Braintree fans!
Noah, just a few points.
If, like me, you don't hold a season ticket, they register your name as you buy your ticket (in person or on line), unless it's on match day, in which case they don't register it, supposedly to save time.
As for the West Stand, I have only ever sat there twice (once paying, once as a guest) and it seems a miserable place. It needs livening up, but only when the South Stand is full.
When the away fans were moved to the North stand, the family section was moved from E1 to E8. After a while there, my grandchildren and I tried the South stand, and they loved it, much noisier and more partisan. We never looked back. Yes, the language is fruitier, but you can hear it from E8 anyway, and kids already know all the rude words.
Finally, on the point of prices rising as you approach match day, the U's should try doing a Ryanair. Flight prices tend to rise more often than they fall, but if sales are sluggish, they reduce the prices, sometimes drastically. Passengers end up paying wildly different prices, but I don't think anyone resents it if someone has paid less than they did.
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: Some very fair comments Boris. Because I don't have grandchildren; I didn't realise that ‘kids for a quid’ (under 8's) applies only to the Early Bird purchase period. A progressive rise (via £1.50) to £2 on a Match Day isn't exactly bank breaking; but when coupled with the full adult price to create a ‘family package’; I can see how this might be a deterrent to an adult’s impulse purchase; even if merely psychological. I hence agree that the pricing structure might warrant simplification for kids/families; as the loss of revenue of offering ‘kids for a quid’ on a match day is hardly significant if it attracts a full paying adult. However; the fact that these discount prices only apply in E8 seems perfectly reasonable to me. I can’t see a few of the grumpy men in the West Stand being happy if surrounded by under 8’s. I am also appalled by the foul language that some grumpys utter; so we should protect our children in dedicated family friendly areas. It also seems odd that the price for an 18-21 is more expensive than for a ‘Senior’. Many youths are struggling with a combination of unemployment; low pay and student debt; and football is competing with other choice for their limited money. By comparison; many ‘Seniors’ that attend football are more financially comfortable (but obviously not all – see next). The key point is that teenage youth is where many “loyalties” are usually formed; that is why the banks fight over each other to offer student incentives. Older youths should perhaps be better targeted. As I have said before; making retired 60-64 year olds pay full adult prices isn’t competitive when Ipswich and Leyton Orient recognise that “retirement” doesn’t mean receipt of a state pension and apply age 60. Indeed those that have been forced to ‘retire’ early through redundancy or ill health are often those suffering the greatest hardship. However; I firmly believe that Adults should be given an incentive to buy early; and prices should rise as you near match day; albeit that the U’s probably now have too many confusing purchase zones with; Early Bird; Super Saver; Saver: Advanced; Match Day. But it works fine for railways and airlines. I suspect one reason for this complexity is that a couple of years ago; U’s season tickets were the highest in the league. Since then; prices have admittedly been frozen and/or renewal discounted for prompt payment; when at other clubs prices may have risen. It has also always struck me as nonsense that if I miss a couple of home games the financial advantage of buying a season ticket is lost. But what the club can’t do is slash season ticket prices; as the loss of core revenue means it would have to cut the playing budget. So having made some earlier pricing errors (too much optimism on our move to WHCS?); making individual ticket prices more attractive isn’t easy without upsetting our most loyal fans; (the season ticket holders). Then we have the Taylor Report impacts. Once a crowd exceeds a threshold; we need extra policing (etc.) and the club incurs much higher costs. One either needs to keep the optimum crowd just below that threshold or attract significantly more. Anything in-between and the marginal expense of entertaining those extra few persons will rocket. BTW; before somebody asks again; I am not Robbie Cowling; but I did work in professional sports marketing/sponsorshi p; so have an awareness of the issues above. Borsi & Super-Walugi I think that there is much work/research still needed in these areas; but across the board price drops for 'Adults' are not the solution as the club must increase turnover (e.g. not necessarily fan numbers) to allow the playing budget to increase too. It's like the earlier argument that using the WHCS suites for hospitality brings in more vital revenue than if they were converted to an ordinary fans bar where most might buy a Bovril. But I do feel there is some scope for some sensible price tweaking as above. It’s taken us almost 50 posts in this thread; but at last we do seem to be getting some constructive debate that should hopefully provide meaningful feedback for the club. It’s just a shame that we have had to grind down/bore the negative malicious contributors by producing facts and evidence. To be frank; I hope they are now annoying loyal Braintree fans![/p][/quote]Noah, just a few points. If, like me, you don't hold a season ticket, they register your name as you buy your ticket (in person or on line), unless it's on match day, in which case they don't register it, supposedly to save time. As for the West Stand, I have only ever sat there twice (once paying, once as a guest) and it seems a miserable place. It needs livening up, but only when the South Stand is full. When the away fans were moved to the North stand, the family section was moved from E1 to E8. After a while there, my grandchildren and I tried the South stand, and they loved it, much noisier and more partisan. We never looked back. Yes, the language is fruitier, but you can hear it from E8 anyway, and kids already know all the rude words. Finally, on the point of prices rising as you approach match day, the U's should try doing a Ryanair. Flight prices tend to rise more often than they fall, but if sales are sluggish, they reduce the prices, sometimes drastically. Passengers end up paying wildly different prices, but I don't think anyone resents it if someone has paid less than they did. Boris
  • Score: 0

9:07am Thu 9 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Crazy Comments said; "Parky was with us from 2003 till 2006 so 187 games in that time don't seem to add up to me".

That is a perfectly reasonable challenge (which I respect). Parky was appointed on 25th February 2003 and resigned on 14th June 2006; so he completed 3.42% seasons.

I realise now upon cross checking the Wikipedia data (that I had used for quick reference) against Soccerbase and Statto that the CAREER win statistics refer to all First XI games including FA Cup; League Cup etc. Parky was in charge for 187 First XI games of which almost 160 were League games. Hence; I should have more correctly said that “it took Parky almost 160 LEAGUE games to achieve promotion” (and not 190); but it doesn’t negate my argument that some fans have been overly impatient with subsequent managers (notably at WHCS) and forget how long it took Parky to bring us success.

However; the basis of the ALL (U’s) managerial career win comparisons are consistent for all (e.g. all First XI matches); so one cannot escape the fact that Lambert (45.24%) & Boothroyd (43.18%) at WHCS are amongst our most successful managers with higher career First XI win percentages than either Parky (42.25%) or Dick Graham (42.59%).

I leave this data topic with this thought. I have already proved that Ward (29.73%%) and Dunne (30.43%) at WHCS have marginally better First XI career win records than the vast majority of U’s Managers at Layer Road; for example Steve Whitton (28.73%). However; I don’t recall us ever winning many cup games under either Ward or Dunne; which suggests their league records are even better!

Then in response to Boris; I would be upset as a season ticket holder if last minute discounts in match day prices were made that produced cheaper tickets than my average costs. The differential is already too narrow to be an incentive other than it guarantees me my favoured seat. Miss more than a couple of home games and the financial advantage of a season has gone. However; within fair parameters to those that annually commit the highest and proved the club with its best cash flows; I do reckon that "introduce a friend for free" once (e.g. not exactly BOGOF) has some merit.

There is also no comparison between Ryanair and the U’s other than prices progressively rise towards the event. I visit the stadium on over 20 occasions a season and fly perhaps only once in that time. Indeed; it will only be once with Ryanair and never again; after they charged me at the airport an additional £340 (the full price of a late booked ticket) to correct my secretary’s error of single character on my boarding pass (for an advanced booked) £90 flight (which I had already paid).

I suppose this could start a new Gazette debate; who is the greater ‘devil incarnate’; Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary or Robbie Cowling? My guess is that some unfair U’s fans will never give up unjustly moaning about our Chairman who is passionate about the U's as we; but let’s get things into perspective; by comparison to O'Leary, Robbie is an benevolent angel!
Crazy Comments said; "Parky was with us from 2003 till 2006 so 187 games in that time don't seem to add up to me". That is a perfectly reasonable challenge (which I respect). Parky was appointed on 25th February 2003 and resigned on 14th June 2006; so he completed 3.42% seasons. I realise now upon cross checking the Wikipedia data (that I had used for quick reference) against Soccerbase and Statto that the CAREER win statistics refer to all First XI games including FA Cup; League Cup etc. Parky was in charge for 187 First XI games of which almost 160 were League games. Hence; I should have more correctly said that “it took Parky almost 160 LEAGUE games to achieve promotion” (and not 190); but it doesn’t negate my argument that some fans have been overly impatient with subsequent managers (notably at WHCS) and forget how long it took Parky to bring us success. However; the basis of the ALL (U’s) managerial career win comparisons are consistent for all (e.g. all First XI matches); so one cannot escape the fact that Lambert (45.24%) & Boothroyd (43.18%) at WHCS are amongst our most successful managers with higher career First XI win percentages than either Parky (42.25%) or Dick Graham (42.59%). I leave this data topic with this thought. I have already proved that Ward (29.73%%) and Dunne (30.43%) at WHCS have marginally better First XI career win records than the vast majority of U’s Managers at Layer Road; for example Steve Whitton (28.73%). However; I don’t recall us ever winning many cup games under either Ward or Dunne; which suggests their league records are even better! Then in response to Boris; I would be upset as a season ticket holder if last minute discounts in match day prices were made that produced cheaper tickets than my average costs. The differential is already too narrow to be an incentive other than it guarantees me my favoured seat. Miss more than a couple of home games and the financial advantage of a season has gone. However; within fair parameters to those that annually commit the highest and proved the club with its best cash flows; I do reckon that "introduce a friend for free" once (e.g. not exactly BOGOF) has some merit. There is also no comparison between Ryanair and the U’s other than prices progressively rise towards the event. I visit the stadium on over 20 occasions a season and fly perhaps only once in that time. Indeed; it will only be once with Ryanair and never again; after they charged me at the airport an additional £340 (the full price of a late booked ticket) to correct my secretary’s error of single character on my boarding pass (for an advanced booked) £90 flight (which I had already paid). I suppose this could start a new Gazette debate; who is the greater ‘devil incarnate’; Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary or Robbie Cowling? My guess is that some unfair U’s fans will never give up unjustly moaning about our Chairman who is passionate about the U's as we; but let’s get things into perspective; by comparison to O'Leary, Robbie is an benevolent angel! Noah4x4
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Thu 9 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

After all that can we now lay it to rest. I feel sure we now all feel a lot better.The most important thing now, is to turn up on Saturday and give the team our full support.
After all that can we now lay it to rest. I feel sure we now all feel a lot better.The most important thing now, is to turn up on Saturday and give the team our full support. crazy comments
  • Score: 0

11:52pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Boris says...

Noah, I don't know what your secretary's error was, but I agree Ryanair's penalties can be unreasonable. They are not geared to business travel and they are always looking for opportunities to charge you more. You have to have your wits about you to stop them doing this. I travel with them maybe 3 times a year and while I agree that Michael O'Leary is a highly unattractive person, my experience with Ryanair has always been good, and on one occasion i felt they went out of their way to be fair to me.
I don't like Robbie Cowling, because he forcibly deprived me of my shares in Colchester United, but the son of a friend of mine works for Robbie, and speaks well of him as a boss.
As for your concern about last-minute spectators paying less than you with your season ticket, I fear this attitude is unhelpful. Why should you care how much somebody else paid?
Once I was on a British Airways business class flight from London to Buenos Aires which cost £3000. Next to me was a lady who had paid only £600 for Buenos Aires - London - Athens and return. She had been given an upgrade. Was I bothered? Of course not, she was charming company. I expect you have been in comparable situations.
Noah, I don't know what your secretary's error was, but I agree Ryanair's penalties can be unreasonable. They are not geared to business travel and they are always looking for opportunities to charge you more. You have to have your wits about you to stop them doing this. I travel with them maybe 3 times a year and while I agree that Michael O'Leary is a highly unattractive person, my experience with Ryanair has always been good, and on one occasion i felt they went out of their way to be fair to me. I don't like Robbie Cowling, because he forcibly deprived me of my shares in Colchester United, but the son of a friend of mine works for Robbie, and speaks well of him as a boss. As for your concern about last-minute spectators paying less than you with your season ticket, I fear this attitude is unhelpful. Why should you care how much somebody else paid? Once I was on a British Airways business class flight from London to Buenos Aires which cost £3000. Next to me was a lady who had paid only £600 for Buenos Aires - London - Athens and return. She had been given an upgrade. Was I bothered? Of course not, she was charming company. I expect you have been in comparable situations. Boris
  • Score: 0

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