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'sleeping Giants'?


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#1 Lew-T

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:15 PM

I've heard many people say in the past, that we are a sleeping giant club. I've spoken to a few away fans over the years along with general football fans and they have said with the city of our size and the big catchment area, we should be in the top division with decent past history. However, we are not a big club and only had a good spell in the 70s. Just curious to know if any of you had ideas to why we haven't been more successful? Look at cities like Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Norwich, Coventry and Leicester. All of which are roughly the same size as this city and just as passionate, but they have all been in the premier league and have a greater history than us.

Maybe this is a question for the old ones, as they have seen it all. Why are we not up there with the rest of them with past glories and decent level of football?




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#2 Brizzle Jordan

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:18 PM

Because we haven't had good enough players.

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#3 RedDave

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:23 PM

We aren't as passionate. Look at average gates over the last ten years. 40k turn up for Play off finals but 12k watch us play every week.


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#4 Lew-T

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:25 PM

Because we haven't had good enough players.


There has to be more to it than that.

#5 mcbcfc

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:25 PM

Sleeping??? more like comatosed. Bristol is a city with a village mentality, always has been. Support for sports both physically and financially has been lacking. Until this changes we will never achieve anything.

#6 Brizzle Jordan

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:27 PM

There has to be more to it than that.

Not really, football is a very simple game. The team with the better players and better teams always go the furthest. We haven't had good enough players or teams to get to the premier league.

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#7 crusader

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:28 PM

They say the North East is the hot bed of soccer - 3 prem club loads watching

Bristol / South West More playing

#8 Lew-T

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:34 PM

Not really, football is a very simple game. The team with the better players and better teams always go the furthest. We haven't had good enough players or teams to get to the premier league.


I personally do not think its just down to poor quality of players. The council have held us back in a lot of aspects, and I think sport is one of them. Another thing could be that Bristol is a nice place with a lot of other things to do than watch football. If you go to places like blackburn, there isn't a lot there but football on a Saturday. This encourages more people to watch a game

#9 myol'man

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

Not enough bums on seats I'm afraid. For a city of half a million and catchment area of double that our average crowd puts us right up there with the other sleeping giants Bradford, Huddersfield, and Preston North End!

#10 Lew-T

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:43 PM

Not enough bums on seats I'm afraid. For a city of half a million and catchment area of double that our average crowd puts us right up there with the other sleeping giants Bradford, Huddersfield, and Preston North End!


To be fair, Preston and Bradford have a good history with more top flight football and cup glories. It's only recent that they have struggled. I'll give you Huddersfield though

#11 glynriley

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:48 PM

To be fair, Preston and Bradford have a good history with more top flight football and cup glories. It's only recent that they have struggled. I'll give you Huddersfield though


What , the same Huddersfield who were the first team to win 3 consecutive league titles and have appeared in 5 FA cup finals , that Huddersfield??

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#12 sglosbcfc

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:58 PM

I would be happy with Huddersfield history, not sure they would be happy with ours though! We are going to be the team of the future, more people and more money coming into the south west, and an increasingly wealthy backer in Mr Lansdown. Stay up this season and then build for the future. There is nothing to stop Bristol City being a Premier League club, although the new stadium is vital to us holding that status for any period of time.

#13 bs3

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:01 PM

Nothing to do with passion or bums on seats .
If we had a successful team people will come but when you have spent most of your history in the lower leauge you support will reflect that.

Its more to do with poor Managers ,players and Chairman making bad mistakes.

#14 Isawjonshaw

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:06 PM

We aren't as passionate. Look at average gates over the last ten years. 40k turn up for Play off finals but 12k watch us play every week.


not sure if I agree with that, put any club of size in the 3rd tier for many moons and see the attendances, check Newcastles before Keegan arrived...

#15 beaverface

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:04 PM

not sure if I agree with that, put any club of size in the 3rd tier for many moons and see the attendances, check Newcastles before Keegan arrived...


Just checked out Newcastles attendances before Keegan and every one of their average was over 21,000 except 1991 when they averaged 16,834

That's pretty good figures in my eyes.

Source: http://www.european-....co.uk/attn.htm

#16 Portland Bill

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:13 PM

I saw us at Newcastle in the early 90's, the crowd was about 11,000. We drew 0-0.
11,000 !!

#17 Judge Roughneck

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:15 PM

Simon Kuper is good on this, on how industrial working class towns became the football powerhouses in their respective countries. When football started to boom during the Industrial Revolution many factory towns had significant migrant populations. The football club gave the rootless diaspora something to identify with - it is these clubs that have survived and prospered, whilst locations with a stable population are seen as not traditional football hotbeds.

Size isn't everything, for example not one of the 7 biggest cities in europe has produced a European Cup winner (Istanbul, Paris, Moscow, London, St Petersburg, Berlin and Athens), and in honesty it's a lazy argument for suggesting a region should be successful at football.

#18 bs3

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:45 PM

I saw us at Newcastle in the early 90's, the crowd was about 11,000. We drew 0-0.
11,000 !!


I was at that match and at the time we was getting a lot more than that . So much for Geordie passion.
Newcastle was lucky . A chairman came in with a bit of money, an inspired choice of manager in Keegan, the premier leauge starting and sky sports deciding to adopt Newcastle has their very own team

#19 ten minutes of rough

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:47 PM

Rugger.

#20 Judge Roughneck

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:57 PM

Just checked out Newcastles attendances before Keegan and every one of their average was over 21,000 except 1991 when they averaged 16,834

That's pretty good figures in my eyes.

Source: http://www.european-....co.uk/attn.htm


presumably when they were putting seating in to comply with the taylor report.

we didn't average over 16,000 once between 1981-2007

Edited by Judge Roughneck, 25 March 2012 - 07:58 PM.


#21 cynic

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:08 PM

I was at that match and at the time we was getting a lot more than that . So much for Geordie passion.
Newcastle was lucky . A chairman came in with a bit of money, an inspired choice of manager in Keegan, the premier leauge starting and sky sports deciding to adopt Newcastle has their very own team


Newcastle have brilliant support given the size of the town.

That particular season was just about the worst average attendance in their history (16,800) other than in the 19th century. Probably due to ground improvements. We averaged 13,500 - we weren't getting anywhere near their attendances.

They had 43,000 average in the championship a couple of seasons ago and only dipped under 30,000 once since 1992 and that was 29,000.

47,000 average last season and pushing 50,000 this season.

As I say, brilliant support up there and something that we will never see in Bristol.

#22 PolskRed

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:24 PM

Newcastle have brilliant support given the size of the town.

That particular season was just about the worst average attendance in their history (16,800) other than in the 19th century. Probably due to ground improvements. We averaged 13,500 - we weren't getting anywhere near their attendances.

They had 43,000 average in the championship a couple of seasons ago and only dipped under 30,000 once since 1992 and that was 29,000.

47,000 average last season and pushing 50,000 this season.

As I say, brilliant support up there and something that we will never see in Bristol.


I was at that game as well. There may well have been ground improvements taking place but there was a huge amount of empty space in the Gallowgate End and empty seats in the stands. Not sure why the gates then were so low but I don't think it was down to ground improvements.

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Whenever i get into talking football and people ask me who i support, i'm ashamed and embarassed when i tell them


#23 Lew-T

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:23 PM

What , the same Huddersfield who were the first team to win 3 consecutive league titles and have appeared in 5 FA cup finals , that Huddersfield??


Got me there! Wasn't it in the 20s where they won 3 consecutive titles? Didn't know they appeared in 5 FA cup finals though.

#24 cheese

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:22 AM

Rugger.


Leicester

#25 CotswoldRed

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:30 AM

2 football clubs.
Rugby.
Bad luck.
Bad decisions.

Its certainly not all about passion or apathy.

A bit of luck and investment all at the same time and things can turn for any club.

Even Wigan can do it and they have very few fans and not a great deal of vociferous support.

#26 Red-Robbo

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:30 AM

You need a consistent period of top flight success to build up a decent fanbase. Maybe if we'd spent 8 years in the old first division rather than 4 - and had actually been in a cup final since 1908 - then the little kiddies of Bristol would all be wearing City replica kits rather than Man Ure etc etc.

#27 HibbsyBCFC

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:37 AM

2 football clubs.
Rugby.
Bad luck.
Bad decisions.

Its certainly not all about passion or apathy.

A bit of luck and investment all at the same time and things can turn for any club.

Even Wigan can do it and they have very few fans and not a great deal of vociferous support.

^This

Plus Bristol is an afluent city and it's demographic was completely different to the industrial working class areas where football really took off and cemented a place in the heart of communities years ago. In more recent times, Bristol has become a place full of 'non-bristolians' a huge student population where many stay on after as well as lots of people moving here for jobs... I've always said there are a lot more Scousers in Liverpool than there are Bristolians in Bristol.

Regarding attendances it's always amazed me that there is so much amatuer football on Saturday afternoons in Bristol. I lived until I was 11 and no one played on Saturday afternoons except semi-pros... it was all Sat and Sun mornings.

Schools don't help either - up until a couple of years ago I could probably name more fee-paying independent schools than I could state secondary - all of which play rubgy and cricket far more than football. Even some of the state schools were historically more rugby orientated e.g. St Bernadettes and Wellsway.

#28 JD74

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:59 AM

I don't think there is one reason, rather a number of contributing factors:

1 - Two league teams, who for much of their history (it pains me to say) have been relatively closely matched, have split the fan base.
2 - The Downs league means may would-be regulars can't make it to games on a Saturday afternoon.
3 - Our region is traditionally more interested in Rugby, and our clubs have had success over the years (I include Bath and Gloucester in this).
4 - Our performances are not exactly headline grabbing (with the exception of the play off final season).

Edited by JD74, 26 March 2012 - 11:00 AM.


#29 myol'man

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:00 PM

^This

Plus Bristol is an afluent city and it's demographic was completely different to the industrial working class areas where football really took off and cemented a place in the heart of communities years ago. In more recent times, Bristol has become a place full of 'non-bristolians' a huge student population where many stay on after as well as lots of people moving here for jobs... I've always said there are a lot more Scousers in Liverpool than there are Bristolians in Bristol.

Regarding attendances it's always amazed me that there is so much amatuer football on Saturday afternoons in Bristol. I lived until I was 11 and no one played on Saturday afternoons except semi-pros... it was all Sat and Sun mornings.

Schools don't help either - up until a couple of years ago I could probably name more fee-paying independent schools than I could state secondary - all of which play rubgy and cricket far more than football. Even some of the state schools were historically more rugby orientated e.g. St Bernadettes and Wellsway.


Oh dear, what happened when you were 11? Are you making contact from the other side?

Edited by myol'man, 26 March 2012 - 12:01 PM.


#30 Bar BS3

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:05 PM

Whilst I do agree with most of the points above - it does go to show just how vital it is for us to retain out NPC status. That way, we are only ever one good season away from the PL, with all the exposure, excitement and money that comes with it, in order to become a regular fixture in the PL/Top NPC places.

Let's not forget that we were recently just one goal/90 mins/one wonder strike (however you want to look at it) away from this elusive place in the PL, with the rewards that come with it and a sell out crowd every week!

There is a fine line between glory and mediocrity - our problem is we always seem to fall just the wrong side of it!

One day, our time must come. Surely!!

#31 HibbsyBCFC

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:25 PM

Oh dear, what happened when you were 11? Are you making contact from the other side?


Ha ha! Should say "lived in Nottingham 'til I was 11".

#32 Puckle_red

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:42 PM

This isn't a Rugby city, it's a Football City. But Up North they don't have much to do, Bristol however is an affluent City, people have character and ambition...whereas up there they don't.

I see us as a similar size to Stoke. Stoke averaged 12000 a few years ago when struggling in the Championship, now they must be aroud 25000 and I think that's what we should expect if we were ever to get to those dizzy heights. Personally, I love the Championship, good players, well backed clubs (in the main) the leigh-weigh to play youngsters and find some gems. Attacking football, it's a good league and personally I think where we belong. Competing (like we did under GJ) to 4th, 10th and 10th is a great acheivement and again where we should be.

Would it be great to see City in the Premier League? Yeah, why not, but for me the Championship is excellent and we should enjoy competing in it...as long as we stay up.

#33 The Jock

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:53 PM

I've heard many people say in the past, that we are a sleeping giant club. I've spoken to a few away fans over the years along with general football fans and they have said with the city of our size and the big catchment area, we should be in the top division with decent past history. However, we are not a big club and only had a good spell in the 70s. Just curious to know if any of you had ideas to why we haven't been more successful? Look at cities like Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Norwich, Coventry and Leicester. All of which are roughly the same size as this city and just as passionate, but they have all been in the premier league and have a greater history than us.

Maybe this is a question for the old ones, as they have seen it all. Why are we not up there with the rest of them with past glories and decent level of football?


I await the on slaught again here for this.I am going to say it any how.Give me a second to put the chip on my shoulder in the deep frier.City never had enough Scotsman,look at Leeds and Forest and Liverpool.Almost every club ever to win anything in England had plenty off Scots on the field or off the field coaching.

#34 Scoliver92

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:54 PM

Just checked out Newcastles attendances before Keegan and every one of their average was over 21,000 except 1991 when they averaged 16,834

That's pretty good figures in my eyes.

Source: http://www.european-....co.uk/attn.htm

Remember newcastle are a one club city though, whereas we have 2 clubs

#35 CotswoldRed

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:08 PM

This isn't a Rugby city, it's a Football City. But Up North they don't have much to do, Bristol however is an affluent City, people have character and ambition...whereas up there they don't.


Do some of them fancy being our local politicians? Just a thought.

#36 Murraysrightplum

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

This isn't a Rugby city, it's a Football City. But Up North they don't have much to do, Bristol however is an affluent City, people have character and ambition...whereas up there they don't.


Wow, really?

Even if that was true (which it isn't), you are saying there are things to do in Bristol that mean people don't want to play football? What are they then?

The truth is that most (obviously not all) footballers come from inner city council estates. Bristol (like any other big city) has many of them and some proper rough ones at that. So there is no reason why there shouldn't be enough kids playing football in the street night and day to be good enough to become professionals. They are clearly just not brought on by a club in the area. In fact my brother is a PE teacher at a very rough inner city school in bristol and most of his kids get signed up by Arsenal/Chelsea/Spurs training camps at 11-12, which means they can't play for anyone local or even the school. Why the hell would they want to play for City?

It's catch 22, until the club have some success then the good youngsters will go over to the bigger clubs/academies and our academy gets the leftovers so we need to improve recruiting or do it earlier and get the kids signed up as early as possible and then actually develop them...

Edited by Murraysrightplum, 26 March 2012 - 01:23 PM.


#37 glynriley

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:15 PM

I await the on slaught again here for this.I am going to say it any how.Give me a second to put the chip on my shoulder in the deep frier.City never had enough Scotsman,look at Leeds and Forest and Liverpool.Almost every club ever to win anything in England had plenty off Scots on the field or off the field coaching.


Not so Mr Jock. 4 of the top 10 appearance makers in City's history are Scottish. We've always had a fair sprinkling since the early 70's.

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#38 Puckle_red

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:19 PM

Wow, really?


Although another standard Bristolian charactetristic; we generally speaking don't think a lot of ourselves and our surroundings.

Either way, we're going off topic, personally it makes or breaks my weekend but for a mild majority around here it's just a game, whereas up north and other places, it's EVERYTHING it is their life. I just personally think it doesn't mean enough to enough people.

#39 Kingswood Robin

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:25 PM

I saw us at Newcastle in the early 90's, the crowd was about 11,000. We drew 0-0.
11,000 !!


The reason our crowds are so poor is our poor history. I often quote this Newcastle example. Get some sustained success on the field and the crowds will come.

Why haven't we been successful? I think you'd have to have been born in the Victorian age to answer that one. During our early years in the league we were very successful. Easily the biggest club south of Birmingham (nothing of note in London at that time). We lost to Man U in the cup final in 1909 and were arguably a bigger club. What caused a successful team to be relegated from the old Div 1 in 1911, never to return until 1976? Oh what might have been.

#40 Murraysrightplum

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:26 PM

Although another standard Bristolian charactetristic; we generally speaking don't think a lot of ourselves and our surroundings.

Either way, we're going off topic, personally it makes or breaks my weekend but for a mild majority around here it's just a game, whereas up north and other places, it's EVERYTHING it is their life. I just personally think it doesn't mean enough to enough people.


That may be true but how does that show "character and ambition"? Surely it shows the opposite? I actually live in Manchester and there is loads more to do up here than in Bristol but people still want to watch/play football. Of course it helps if there are 2 world class clubs in the City...

Edited by Murraysrightplum, 26 March 2012 - 01:28 PM.


#41 Puckle_red

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:35 PM

That may be true but how does that show "character and ambition"? Surely it shows the opposite? I actually live in Manchester and there is loads more to do up here than in Bristol but people still want to watch/play football. Of course it helps if there are 2 world class clubs in the City...


Right there. However, my point is, BCFC is detail to most City fans weekend as they have other interests and things to do. I mean ambition personally such as travel, an education, work, families rather than 'lets spend our time and money watching an average football team and tie us down and stop us doing all the things we want to do.

I refer again back to Stoke, we would be similar in size if we were in a similar position. The big boys have a massive history, but our time in the 70's sometimes referred to as 'the team with the following' was too short when Leicester for example sing 'you've never won **** all' they're right!

#42 Murraysrightplum

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:44 PM

Right there. However, my point is, BCFC is detail to most City fans weekend as they have other interests and things to do. I mean ambition personally such as travel, an education, work, families rather than 'lets spend our time and money watching an average football team and tie us down and stop us doing all the things we want to do.

I refer again back to Stoke, we would be similar in size if we were in a similar position. The big boys have a massive history, but our time in the 70's sometimes referred to as 'the team with the following' was too short when Leicester for example sing 'you've never won **** all' they're right!


I think you may have the rose tints on there mate, I accept that areas around Bristol are affluent and ditto Clifton, but there are large numbers of big council estates in Bristol and some of the worst schools in the country, so there are plenty who have "nothing better to do". Manchester has it's rough areas (as all big cities) but also some really nice areas. The surrounding areas around Cheshire is rediculously posh and expensive so quite similar to Bristol in a way. The only real difference is having a successful club(s).

To put it another way, walk around Bristol city centre (as I did a couple of weeks ago) and you will see as many working class people "with nothing better to do" as you do in Manchester (as I did yesterday)...

#43 redology

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:44 PM

In the last 30 years we have not held on to our better players and youth development has not been able to counter that. If at any point we had the combination of a strong vision and squad of players to deliver we would have been up there. For a long while we were in the hangover of what happend in 1982 and now it's a struggle with the money that's involved. We have a chance if we keep on at it.... Just need to stay up and kick on!

You redz!

#44 Puckle_red

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:59 PM

I think you may have the rose tints on there mate, I accept that areas around Bristol are affluent and ditto Clifton, but there are large numbers of big council estates in Bristol and some of the worst schools in the country, so there are plenty who have "nothing better to do". Manchester has it's rough areas (as all big cities) but also some really nice areas. The surrounding areas around Cheshire is rediculously posh and expensive so quite similar to Bristol in a way. The only real difference is having a successful club(s).

To put it another way, walk around Bristol city centre (as I did a couple of weeks ago) and you will see as many working class people "with nothing better to do" as you do in Manchester (as I did yesterday)...


You're missing my point, I understand that up north some people are even allowed an education these days, but again, it's character, we're laid back and demotivated vaguely speaking, we'll do what we want to do when we want to do it.

In 30 years time who's to say Brentford aren't the 5 times Champions of Europe and Man City don't exist anymore because their fabulous owner decided to up sticks? Brentford getting 45000 every home game due to winning things. The fact is we haven't won things and when we were close, we (75% of the fans) got rid of the manager who had the best chance of getting us there!

#45 sodburyred

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:16 PM

On the newcastle comparisons...As i always say to my mates, think what could of been if Rovers wernt around. If you look at our league 1 averages and then add them we'd be matching Newcastles. We'd easily be getting over 20,000 in this league.




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