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Lansdown and Ashton have beaten me.


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20 minutes ago, FallenRobin said:

This is my first post and also my last post but after the events of the last few days or should I say weeks it has led me to want to express how I feel about the football club I followed for almost all of my life and in excess of four decades. I am unloading. 

 

 

Football as we all know is a series of highs and lows and is bred on passion and desire and an ongoing thought that all is possible. Or should I say hope is eternal.

 

Bristol City as a club is historically placed in around the low 30th position in the all-time leagues. So the history has essentially been moving between the second and third levels of football and very rarely has the club ventured into the fourth level or indeed into the highest level now known as the Premier League.

 

Bristol and Bristol City in particular is rather an anomaly when it comes to footballing performance. If we look at the size of the city it is abnormal in the fact it has never had a Premier League football club. There are 50 clubs that have had premier League football. So in the case of Bristol City you have to say that the club in terms of crowd potential or supporter potential has dramatically underperformed for all of its history.

 

When you add in the fact the club is located far from other English Premier League clubs the potential catchment area far exceeds that of just the Bristol and local Bristol population.

 

After the 1980s when the club almost ceased existence there has been a period of normality in the sense that club has bounced from the level two and level three football leagues.

 

The last 20 years have been essentially the years of ownership of Mr Lansdown. Based on the league position he has replicated exactly what the club has been achieving in its history.

 

The ownership of Mr Lansdown has provided and ownership that has interest in the city of Bristol but also a British ownership that is seen as stable and supportive of the local football team. As a billionaire Mr Lansdown is one of the richest people in the country and has seen fit to invest and spend some of his fortune on the sporting clubs of Bristol.

 

The most notable expenditure has been to create a new Ashton gate. Which was greatly needed as the ground was on two sides almost derelict and had seen no real investment for over 40 years. Of course the investment in the ground is different to investment in the football team as it is a tangible asset that has an ongoing value. During this phase of investment the football club and the stadium were separated. This has been explained as a requirement to maximise the return on the stadium performance as an income generator. We were also told him not to be concerned as the overarching ownership remains the same. However it should be very clear the football club does not directly own its ground anymore. We were told not to be concerned as of course the owner of both entities is the same person. Up until now or even up until any time in the future that is no cause for concern however it does leave the potential to sell the Ashton Gate stadium to a third party or indeed so the football club without the ground. Or it could be said that the link between the various sports and the Ashton gate area redevelopment for a new basketball ground and various other facilities such as a hotel is actually a real estate project and would have an intrinsic value should the owner decide to sell in future. It is certainly not true that money has been spent without some regard to receiving a future repayment of the money loaned or made into share capital. What we do have is an excellent championship football stadium. It will remain extremely disappointing that the full potential of Ashton Vale was not available to us due to the planning restrictions placed on that site. I called the ground a championship ground due to its overall capacity which places it in a league of championship stadium (31 st by capacity in England that matches our historic league position more or less) .. The only slightly surprising aspect of the Ashton Gate development was that with the real estate that has been subsequently purchased it would have been possible to move the stadium to have enabled the correct redevelopment of the Dolman stand and the Atyeo stand. So yes we have a great facility compare to the dilapidated buildings that existed before but it just demonstrated how far the club have fallen behind. We should thank Mr Lansdown for investing in this capital project because without it the club was quite clearly behind almost all other top two division football club stadium facilities. It would also make the club far easier to sell if Mr Lansdown ever considered moving away from Bristol city football club.

 

Additional to this there is in progress the building of a new training facility. Again this has been long overdue and is an area where the club has been deficient compared to comparable teams at the level we are playing out. So in some senses it is still a case of catching up. But we are catching up.

 

This is where the positive aspects of the club have been progressed under Mr Lansdown though what has been highlighted over the last 5 to 6 weeks is that on the pure footballing level there is much to be desired in terms of a genuine strategy to make Bristol City a Premier League football club.

 

Since we have returned to the championship after a very impressive promotion from league one under Steve C the picture has been somewhat confused. Under Steve C we achieved a promotion I would suggest almost in an old fashion sense. The manager defined a very clear playing style and recruited the players to match it and created an incredible sense of togetherness and team spirit. We have seen this in the past under the guidance of Gary Johnson who did a similar job of putting together hungry young players who were out to prove their ability at a higher level. So we do understand what it takes to make a successful football side. But during this period what has seem to be lacking is an overarching policy or strategy at the football club to create a sustainable long-term success.

 

We have  at various points in time made a play to suggest we are creating a pathway of youth development to 1st team and we wish to become a powerhouse of youth development and providing opportunity for players to develop their football in careers. However as soon as we find a number of players breaking through into the first team we then fall into the trap when presented with money to spend on reverting to type and going out and try to buy players for an instant success. There does not appear to be a clear footballing strategy that will take Bristol City from being a team bouncing between the second and third level is a football and a genuine prospect of a Premier League and sustainable Premier League football club. In recent years we have seen clubs with less resources with less spending, less finances progress to the Premier League and stay there. It is very hard to understand what is the underlying strategy Bristol city football club has under Mr Lansdown to genuinely change the perception of the club from also rans into a potential Premier League side.

 

We will return now to the youth team and the development of young players for first-team football. When there is the possibility to invest outside a Financial Fair play into the youth and Academy it feels bizarre almost that Bristol City does not have a category one Academy. After the fantastic work of Amy Knighton to obtain the category two status it could have been of envisaged that once we had returned to the championship that the club would want to become the regional centre of young player development and of course recruitment of major talent in the Southwest. If you compare the incredible facilities of Southampton who have returned to the Premier League some years ago and maintains the Premier League position with little difficulty and with an incredible development of youth players through to their first team. You can see that there are strategies that the the club could follow (if you take into account the regional pool that Bristol city could have )there was a possibility for Bristol city to by now have dramatically progressed its ability to attract and hold onto major youth talent. It is very clear the club does not believe that is a viable strategy for its future . That's in itself may not be a problem as there are other examples of clubs competing at our level without having an academy the prime example would be Brentford FC who got rid of the youth academies and rely on an under 23 football team and picking up ex Premier League discarded players or players discarded from other leagues in Europe. It is a choice but Bristol City does not appear to have made any choice and is neither doing one thing or the other.

 

This brings me to the Lee Johnson era of the club. I really do not wish to enter into a long winded argument regarding Lee Johnson because he has just left the club and clearly is someone that had a great work ethic and tried his very hardest to achieve success in his role and he should be lauded for that. The issue during the Lee Johnson era is one that is another example of where the club has no clear strategy. Despite a wonderful cup run where the club and team started playing in a style of football which was exciting and enjoyable and indeed put the club into a different spotlight it was not to be long lived and became an exception rather than the norm of how Bristol city football club played football. During this period it was also clear that there was very little connection between the recruitment and the playing style of the team. A lot of that was due to the fact the team had no fixed playing identity as it was changed on a regular basis game to game and within the season on multiple occasions. This meant it was almost impossible to define what players were required because the target was being lost. There was also clearly a disconnect between the type of players we should be buying and the quality of players that we bought in. This period of time also coincided with a dramatic increase in the spending on player wages and transfer fees. The club during during its time in the championship has tripled its spending on wages and dramatically increase the transfer fees paid. Some notable money has been spent and some would question if it is spent wisely. On one hand you can point to the players that have been sold and indeed we have made record incoming transfer fees. Initially that money was generated from players from previous management and scouting networks. The notable fee for Jonathan Kodjia was the catalyst for the spending and transfer activity the club has been going through in the last three years. We have seen great numbers of players signed with a few players making it through to be regular first-team players. We then had our own homegrown talent sold in Joe Brian and Bobby R and then Aden Flint and subsequently Lloyd Kelly all players that had nothing to do with the scouting network instigated by Mark Ashton. You do have to give credit though to the work that Lee Johnson did on Bobby Reid and developing him into an attacking force and also the development of Lloyd Kelly through to one of the most exciting left-sided defenders in the English game. But lo and behold here we go again , signing a 30 year old centre forward and a record  club signing being a centre back. Will we make money on those deals ? It is a return to type , it is what we used to do. It is as if we forget our mistakes .

 

We now start to come to the crux of why I feel frustrated and disappointed at the actions of Bristol City. There has been an increasing level of detachment from the management of the club and the fan base. There has been an increase in the amount of dubious communication of fact. And by this I mean that the club has made numerous announcements that quite frankly have been false if we are being generous but outright lies if we are being rigourous.

 

That Lee Johnson had to leave the club was a long overdue change. He was placed in a position that he was inadequately prepared for and subsequently paid the price for that lack of preparation for the role. His inability to convey a level of leadership and clarity of thought are two elements in the skill bank of a very successful manager , and were for  Lee Johnson missing at this point in his career. I do wish him well and I do hope he learns from the experience but he is demonstrating that maybe he is more of a Sean O'Driscoll than a Pep Guardiola. Faced with a change one would have assumed (following various interviews with Mr Mark Ashton) that the club would be prepared for any eventuality. We were advised by Mr Lansdown that the club was looking to make a change to bring in fresh ideas and to take the club to another level. During what was explained to be an intensive and rigorous recruitment process we have ended up with our new head coach being one of the key people behind the failure of the previous team. This is all the more surprising as the new head coach has no management experience of note and is not someone who would be employed by any other championship side as the lead coach indeed it is questionable if even a league one club would have given him a role as a number one. We were then told that the head coach had identified a need to bring in some experience coaches. During interviews Mr Mark Ashton made it clear that it was Dean Ashton that had identified the people that he wanted to bring in and agreed with the appointment of the two new coaches. This was a blatant lie as one of the new coaches in an interview explain that they did not know Dean Holden and had to call him to find out what his ideas were for the football club going forward. This is another example of the type of cynical lying to the fans or should I say customers as the club clearly feels they are now that leads one to feel there is a lack of integrity at the highest levels at the club. The Talksport interview with Mr Lansdown , just a few weeks ago could not have been more in contrast to the announcement of Dean Holden. It was as if Mr Lansdown was talking about another football club.

 

But what the appointment of Dean Holden really highlights is that there is no underlying understanding at the club of what is required to take them from being a second and third level football team through to a Premier League football side. There is no one at the club advising the owner with any level of experience that carries any credibility in the football world. It would appear that Mr Lansdown has decided to allocate all responsibility of running the club to Mr Ashton. This is rather bizarre because Mr Ashton has left previous roles or been forced at a previous roles and not under a moment of success but rather lack off. That someone of the vast business experience of Mr Lansdown should give so much responsibility of running the football club based on no solid foundation is staggering . There is no serious intention at the club to create a footballing culture that is defined as the culture of Bristol city football club. There is no detailed mapping of how we are going to develop youth players through to the first team all playing the same type of football and with the same values skill sets and philosophy. Mr Lansdown has given the responsibility of signing players to Mr Ashton. Who continues to claim it is down to the first team coach to have the final say. If for example we take the recent signing of two new coaches neither of whom were known to the new head coach yet he was saying to the media that it was Mr Holden that made that decision. It was clearly not Mr Holden that made that decision and it was clearly not Lee Johnson who made final decisions on many players that were signed. The coach in that case was placed in a position of having to accept the players that have been put forward to him by Mr Ashton in a take it or leave it situation. There are far too many players that have been signed that were never used by the first team coach and clearly did not fit his plans. This looks to be a trend that is going to be continued. Maybe Mr Lansdown feels that due to the sales of Webster for example that Mr Ashton is doing a great job. It could be said that Mr Ashton is very good at selling players but equally that is in the administrative role and is not a football one. What is clearly missing in my eyes is the lack of clarity of football vision and I know I have repeated this now on numerous occasions but this really is the only way to Bristol City will change their history of being a second and third division club. Mr Ashton is nowhere near adequately prepared to make that change. What is worse is that during a vigorous five weeks of investigation into potential coaches to take the club forward the only solution they came up with was a coach that was already at the club and part of the failed system. If the club had a professional top-notch top-level system in place we would've had a list of ideal candidates well organised well defined long before we came to dismissing Lee Johnson. Indeed there seems to be no sense in having fired Lee Johnson if the solution is what we have today. How Mr Holden was unable to explain to Lee Johnson the error of his ways when he was number 2 ( if he was such a strong person) is rather bizarre and rather worrying. That his first decisions in his role were to say yes to the coaches that Mark Ashton proposed to him in record time is also a concern going forward. It would've been far more believable or credible on his behalf if he had identified coaches that he had worked with or now wanted to work with to be part of his team. What transpired was a rush job finding people that were readily available in record time due to the start of training. This shows the lack of preparation and the lack of detail in the application of any form of strategy for the footballing side of the club. When Mr Ashton also suggests one of the new coaches was involved in the promotion to the Premier league of a previous club, when that person was actually involved with the youth team highlights further the hyperbole (if Mr Ashton knows the truth) or incompetence (if Mr Ashton really believed it). This is another example of how the club has no credibility. Certainly for me.

 

But it's also clear that there are examples within Bristol sport of a different approach. People of course have pointed to Pat Lam and the approach with the rugby team. What is interesting in the approach to Mr Lamb is how he defined his objectives when he joined the club. What he was looking to do was to create a world-class of the field coaching team and set up to match the playing style that he wanted to introduce from you through to 1st team at the rugby club. Exactly what the football club is missing and is the crux of why I feel so disconnected with Bristol city for the first time in my life of following them.

 

The continued lies, the continued nonsense or hyperbole has to stop if the club wishes to progress. It is hard to understand if Mr Lansdown desires the situation so he can have a direct influence on the football club. Has it now become or was it always a personal plaything that he wants to do with as he wishes. He has certainly shied away from employing top-level footballing professionals that would suggest he wants to keep it that way. Anyone coming in with a level of understanding of higher level football would surely not stand for the interference of someone of the level of Mr Ashton (They would find him out in seconds) and certainly would not welcome direct influence from a club owner over their working day.

 

So I find myself in this horrible dilemma I do not support how the club is being run I do not support the appointment of Dean Holden. I do wish him well on a personal level of course, why not, however I do wish him to fail simply because the club is delaying yet again the implementation of a footballing strategy and culture that will change for once and for all in my lifetime Bristol city football club from a grossly underachieving club to one that can finally compete at the top level. That means the Premier League.

 

That so many fans have been upset by the recent behaviour of the club is no surprise although it might well be a surprise to the club as they have been so detached from the true feelings of fans for quite some time. It is very notable that so many fans are having to justify why we have to get behind Dean Holden and of course fans will always get behind the manager at least at the start. But it is simply ridiculous that the club has gone from a situation five weeks ago of firing a manager saying they were going to make changes to take them to the Premier League (this came from the owner of the club not fans it should be added) but yet a moment of potential excitement of cleansing the last two years of frustration and boring football and disillusionment into a moment where we could all get together and get behind the club and make a big difference but what do we have? We have a situation where people are having to justify why we made such a ridiculous decision and the fan base is completely upset frustrated and disbelieving at the total mismanagement at the football club. This is yet again a huge opportunity missed to take the club forward and it really was quite simple this time yet we've managed to make it far too complex and take away a massive opportunity to create some stimulus and inertia to take the club forward. It is no different to how we made such a colossal mess of a promotion from league to how the following season for various reasons we lost all of that momentum in the space of a few months. (There were a multiple of reasons of course but the result was we made a monumental error). It has even been left to the fans to try and pretend that this was due to the issues created by COVID-19 and the financial impact it will have on the football club. This this was denied by the club of course (although normally you have to doubt what they say) but in this case it had no bearing on the decision to employ Dean Holden. It was not a cheap option it was the option they really wanted. But isn't it crazy that fans on their own to try and make sense of the appointment are creating reasons for the clubs decision that are false. After the rather divisive years of Lee Johnson it really was a chance to get the fan base back online. But instead we have an even bigger problem because so many people no longer believe it what Mr Lansdown is doing.

 

I finish by saying that I find it very hard to support Bristol city football club anymore. I do not recognise the club I do not know what they're trying to achieve and I do not understand how so much money could be spent badly. We are no closer to having a true Premier youth academy as we are to having a genuine Premier football side as we were 20 years ago. It seems the club is a personal toy of Mr Lansdown as he refuses to employ competent people of the highest order ,which he can clearly afford,  but has decided not to do. Indeed maybe it is time to put the club up for sale, there are many good owners as bad owners and with a renovated ground the club may just attract someone who can deliver what Mr Lansdown is unable to do. He can keep the rugby and enjoy the success that is coming very soon, but with football there is a huge blind side that after decades he is unwilling to address. Only he can answer why and he can also put it right, but by employing people that can advise and help him. If not his legacy will be evaporating fast. The most unsuccessful billionaire in football. So I do not want to waste my energy and my time ,my life following something that has become an entity that I cannot relate to on so many levels and has lost the soul and connection it had for me. So I am walking away. I do not believe in or support the club anymore. No not to go to another club, I will pick and choose my football from non league to Prem but my Bristol babe has died, and until there is a notable change in approach it will remain that way.

 

I do not expect others to agree and I really don’t care, it is personal it is how I feel not about how you feel. I just needed to unload.

 

I wish you all a successful season.

 

Good bye BCFC

 

Welcome and goodbye .

No one’s going to read all of your post it’s way too long . 

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I've read books shorter than this post. 

I think we just need to move on now. Whole managerial situation was poorly managed to say the least but let's see how we get on now. It may well be that Holden is the right man for the job. 

If he's dreadful and it all goes badly wrong I think that's when action needs to be taken against the board but let's hope it doesn't come to that. 

Edited by MATT BCFC
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Re the stadium not being owned by the same company as the club, and the concern about it then being possible to be sold off. Any owner can sell the ground separately, whenever they wanted to. This makes no difference.

Edited by Seneca the Younger
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It was a good read, for those who didn't bother to read it. Made some valid points and sad to lose a fellow fan because of the actions by those who run the club. 

Hope we see some of these fans come back at some point in the future. 

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You should have piped up when Lee Johnson got the job. That was a very bad error of judgement by Steve Lansdown and has finally been proven to be the case. Lansdown has finally acknowledged this and sacked Johnson.

Holden has the job now simply because Lansdown wasted four and a half years throwing good money at a dream that was never going to happen.

We can now move on. Holden will be up against it but I reckon he'll do ok.

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Why allow these people to "beat you" as you put it? Ashton is nothing but an Employee who will be gone in the not too distant future, I'm sure, and Steve Lansdown is the owner but in that role he's CUSTODIAN of the club. If he sells up we will have a replacement whether good, bad or indifferent.

The most important thing for me is the football not the bullshit that comes out of Owner/CEO. That's what attracted me to the club in the first place and only if the football remains as dreary as it has been for most of the last two seasons would I consider doing something else on a Saturday. I do not anticipate that being the case with the new manager who at least seems to have an idea of what fans are looking for.

A couple of good points you do make are:

1) Steve Lansdown has done a great job moving the facilities forward, that is the real legacy of his tenure so far.

2) In terms of sporting performance Steve Lansdown has literally achieved "par" with his £100m plus investment in golfing parlance, not an ounce more. I expected more if I'm being honest, even a single season getting battered every week in the Premier League over that period.

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7 minutes ago, gamon said:

You should have piped up when Lee Johnson got the job. That was a very bad error of judgement by Steve Lansdown and has finally been proven to be the case. Lansdown has finally acknowledged this and sacked Johnson.

Holden has the job now simply because Lansdown wasted four and a half years throwing good money at a dream that was never going to happen.

We can now move on. Holden will be up against it but I reckon he'll do ok.

Really?  Error of judgement?   Did you notice where we were when LJ took over?  Did you not notice the Carabao cup run?  Did you not watch the games from that year?  Admittedly it had run its course but we're in a much better place both on and off the field than when he arrived.

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10 minutes ago, 2015 said:

It was a good read, for those who didn't bother to read it. Made some valid points and sad to lose a fellow fan because of the actions by those who run the club. 

Hope we see some of these fans come back at some point in the future. 

In the time it takes to read the post Holden would be 10 years retired and we would have won back to back Champions Leagues.

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42 minutes ago, FallenRobin said:

This is my first post and also my last post but after the events of the last few days or should I say weeks it has led me to want to express how I feel about the football club I followed for almost all of my life and in excess of four decades. I am unloading. 

 

 

Football as we all know is a series of highs and lows and is bred on passion and desire and an ongoing thought that all is possible. Or should I say hope is eternal.

 

Bristol City as a club is historically placed in around the low 30th position in the all-time leagues. So the history has essentially been moving between the second and third levels of football and very rarely has the club ventured into the fourth level or indeed into the highest level now known as the Premier League.

 

Bristol and Bristol City in particular is rather an anomaly when it comes to footballing performance. If we look at the size of the city it is abnormal in the fact it has never had a Premier League football club. There are 50 clubs that have had premier League football. So in the case of Bristol City you have to say that the club in terms of crowd potential or supporter potential has dramatically underperformed for all of its history.

 

When you add in the fact the club is located far from other English Premier League clubs the potential catchment area far exceeds that of just the Bristol and local Bristol population.

 

After the 1980s when the club almost ceased existence there has been a period of normality in the sense that club has bounced from the level two and level three football leagues.

 

The last 20 years have been essentially the years of ownership of Mr Lansdown. Based on the league position he has replicated exactly what the club has been achieving in its history.

 

The ownership of Mr Lansdown has provided and ownership that has interest in the city of Bristol but also a British ownership that is seen as stable and supportive of the local football team. As a billionaire Mr Lansdown is one of the richest people in the country and has seen fit to invest and spend some of his fortune on the sporting clubs of Bristol.

 

The most notable expenditure has been to create a new Ashton gate. Which was greatly needed as the ground was on two sides almost derelict and had seen no real investment for over 40 years. Of course the investment in the ground is different to investment in the football team as it is a tangible asset that has an ongoing value. During this phase of investment the football club and the stadium were separated. This has been explained as a requirement to maximise the return on the stadium performance as an income generator. We were also told him not to be concerned as the overarching ownership remains the same. However it should be very clear the football club does not directly own its ground anymore. We were told not to be concerned as of course the owner of both entities is the same person. Up until now or even up until any time in the future that is no cause for concern however it does leave the potential to sell the Ashton Gate stadium to a third party or indeed so the football club without the ground. Or it could be said that the link between the various sports and the Ashton gate area redevelopment for a new basketball ground and various other facilities such as a hotel is actually a real estate project and would have an intrinsic value should the owner decide to sell in future. It is certainly not true that money has been spent without some regard to receiving a future repayment of the money loaned or made into share capital. What we do have is an excellent championship football stadium. It will remain extremely disappointing that the full potential of Ashton Vale was not available to us due to the planning restrictions placed on that site. I called the ground a championship ground due to its overall capacity which places it in a league of championship stadium (31 st by capacity in England that matches our historic league position more or less) .. The only slightly surprising aspect of the Ashton Gate development was that with the real estate that has been subsequently purchased it would have been possible to move the stadium to have enabled the correct redevelopment of the Dolman stand and the Atyeo stand. So yes we have a great facility compare to the dilapidated buildings that existed before but it just demonstrated how far the club have fallen behind. We should thank Mr Lansdown for investing in this capital project because without it the club was quite clearly behind almost all other top two division football club stadium facilities. It would also make the club far easier to sell if Mr Lansdown ever considered moving away from Bristol city football club.

 

Additional to this there is in progress the building of a new training facility. Again this has been long overdue and is an area where the club has been deficient compared to comparable teams at the level we are playing out. So in some senses it is still a case of catching up. But we are catching up.

 

This is where the positive aspects of the club have been progressed under Mr Lansdown though what has been highlighted over the last 5 to 6 weeks is that on the pure footballing level there is much to be desired in terms of a genuine strategy to make Bristol City a Premier League football club.

 

Since we have returned to the championship after a very impressive promotion from league one under Steve C the picture has been somewhat confused. Under Steve C we achieved a promotion I would suggest almost in an old fashion sense. The manager defined a very clear playing style and recruited the players to match it and created an incredible sense of togetherness and team spirit. We have seen this in the past under the guidance of Gary Johnson who did a similar job of putting together hungry young players who were out to prove their ability at a higher level. So we do understand what it takes to make a successful football side. But during this period what has seem to be lacking is an overarching policy or strategy at the football club to create a sustainable long-term success.

 

We have  at various points in time made a play to suggest we are creating a pathway of youth development to 1st team and we wish to become a powerhouse of youth development and providing opportunity for players to develop their football in careers. However as soon as we find a number of players breaking through into the first team we then fall into the trap when presented with money to spend on reverting to type and going out and try to buy players for an instant success. There does not appear to be a clear footballing strategy that will take Bristol City from being a team bouncing between the second and third level is a football and a genuine prospect of a Premier League and sustainable Premier League football club. In recent years we have seen clubs with less resources with less spending, less finances progress to the Premier League and stay there. It is very hard to understand what is the underlying strategy Bristol city football club has under Mr Lansdown to genuinely change the perception of the club from also rans into a potential Premier League side.

 

We will return now to the youth team and the development of young players for first-team football. When there is the possibility to invest outside a Financial Fair play into the youth and Academy it feels bizarre almost that Bristol City does not have a category one Academy. After the fantastic work of Amy Knighton to obtain the category two status it could have been of envisaged that once we had returned to the championship that the club would want to become the regional centre of young player development and of course recruitment of major talent in the Southwest. If you compare the incredible facilities of Southampton who have returned to the Premier League some years ago and maintains the Premier League position with little difficulty and with an incredible development of youth players through to their first team. You can see that there are strategies that the the club could follow (if you take into account the regional pool that Bristol city could have )there was a possibility for Bristol city to by now have dramatically progressed its ability to attract and hold onto major youth talent. It is very clear the club does not believe that is a viable strategy for its future . That's in itself may not be a problem as there are other examples of clubs competing at our level without having an academy the prime example would be Brentford FC who got rid of the youth academies and rely on an under 23 football team and picking up ex Premier League discarded players or players discarded from other leagues in Europe. It is a choice but Bristol City does not appear to have made any choice and is neither doing one thing or the other.

 

This brings me to the Lee Johnson era of the club. I really do not wish to enter into a long winded argument regarding Lee Johnson because he has just left the club and clearly is someone that had a great work ethic and tried his very hardest to achieve success in his role and he should be lauded for that. The issue during the Lee Johnson era is one that is another example of where the club has no clear strategy. Despite a wonderful cup run where the club and team started playing in a style of football which was exciting and enjoyable and indeed put the club into a different spotlight it was not to be long lived and became an exception rather than the norm of how Bristol city football club played football. During this period it was also clear that there was very little connection between the recruitment and the playing style of the team. A lot of that was due to the fact the team had no fixed playing identity as it was changed on a regular basis game to game and within the season on multiple occasions. This meant it was almost impossible to define what players were required because the target was being lost. There was also clearly a disconnect between the type of players we should be buying and the quality of players that we bought in. This period of time also coincided with a dramatic increase in the spending on player wages and transfer fees. The club during during its time in the championship has tripled its spending on wages and dramatically increase the transfer fees paid. Some notable money has been spent and some would question if it is spent wisely. On one hand you can point to the players that have been sold and indeed we have made record incoming transfer fees. Initially that money was generated from players from previous management and scouting networks. The notable fee for Jonathan Kodjia was the catalyst for the spending and transfer activity the club has been going through in the last three years. We have seen great numbers of players signed with a few players making it through to be regular first-team players. We then had our own homegrown talent sold in Joe Brian and Bobby R and then Aden Flint and subsequently Lloyd Kelly all players that had nothing to do with the scouting network instigated by Mark Ashton. You do have to give credit though to the work that Lee Johnson did on Bobby Reid and developing him into an attacking force and also the development of Lloyd Kelly through to one of the most exciting left-sided defenders in the English game. But lo and behold here we go again , signing a 30 year old centre forward and a record  club signing being a centre back. Will we make money on those deals ? It is a return to type , it is what we used to do. It is as if we forget our mistakes .

 

We now start to come to the crux of why I feel frustrated and disappointed at the actions of Bristol City. There has been an increasing level of detachment from the management of the club and the fan base. There has been an increase in the amount of dubious communication of fact. And by this I mean that the club has made numerous announcements that quite frankly have been false if we are being generous but outright lies if we are being rigourous.

 

That Lee Johnson had to leave the club was a long overdue change. He was placed in a position that he was inadequately prepared for and subsequently paid the price for that lack of preparation for the role. His inability to convey a level of leadership and clarity of thought are two elements in the skill bank of a very successful manager , and were for  Lee Johnson missing at this point in his career. I do wish him well and I do hope he learns from the experience but he is demonstrating that maybe he is more of a Sean O'Driscoll than a Pep Guardiola. Faced with a change one would have assumed (following various interviews with Mr Mark Ashton) that the club would be prepared for any eventuality. We were advised by Mr Lansdown that the club was looking to make a change to bring in fresh ideas and to take the club to another level. During what was explained to be an intensive and rigorous recruitment process we have ended up with our new head coach being one of the key people behind the failure of the previous team. This is all the more surprising as the new head coach has no management experience of note and is not someone who would be employed by any other championship side as the lead coach indeed it is questionable if even a league one club would have given him a role as a number one. We were then told that the head coach had identified a need to bring in some experience coaches. During interviews Mr Mark Ashton made it clear that it was Dean Ashton that had identified the people that he wanted to bring in and agreed with the appointment of the two new coaches. This was a blatant lie as one of the new coaches in an interview explain that they did not know Dean Holden and had to call him to find out what his ideas were for the football club going forward. This is another example of the type of cynical lying to the fans or should I say customers as the club clearly feels they are now that leads one to feel there is a lack of integrity at the highest levels at the club. The Talksport interview with Mr Lansdown , just a few weeks ago could not have been more in contrast to the announcement of Dean Holden. It was as if Mr Lansdown was talking about another football club.

 

But what the appointment of Dean Holden really highlights is that there is no underlying understanding at the club of what is required to take them from being a second and third level football team through to a Premier League football side. There is no one at the club advising the owner with any level of experience that carries any credibility in the football world. It would appear that Mr Lansdown has decided to allocate all responsibility of running the club to Mr Ashton. This is rather bizarre because Mr Ashton has left previous roles or been forced at a previous roles and not under a moment of success but rather lack off. That someone of the vast business experience of Mr Lansdown should give so much responsibility of running the football club based on no solid foundation is staggering . There is no serious intention at the club to create a footballing culture that is defined as the culture of Bristol city football club. There is no detailed mapping of how we are going to develop youth players through to the first team all playing the same type of football and with the same values skill sets and philosophy. Mr Lansdown has given the responsibility of signing players to Mr Ashton. Who continues to claim it is down to the first team coach to have the final say. If for example we take the recent signing of two new coaches neither of whom were known to the new head coach yet he was saying to the media that it was Mr Holden that made that decision. It was clearly not Mr Holden that made that decision and it was clearly not Lee Johnson who made final decisions on many players that were signed. The coach in that case was placed in a position of having to accept the players that have been put forward to him by Mr Ashton in a take it or leave it situation. There are far too many players that have been signed that were never used by the first team coach and clearly did not fit his plans. This looks to be a trend that is going to be continued. Maybe Mr Lansdown feels that due to the sales of Webster for example that Mr Ashton is doing a great job. It could be said that Mr Ashton is very good at selling players but equally that is in the administrative role and is not a football one. What is clearly missing in my eyes is the lack of clarity of football vision and I know I have repeated this now on numerous occasions but this really is the only way to Bristol City will change their history of being a second and third division club. Mr Ashton is nowhere near adequately prepared to make that change. What is worse is that during a vigorous five weeks of investigation into potential coaches to take the club forward the only solution they came up with was a coach that was already at the club and part of the failed system. If the club had a professional top-notch top-level system in place we would've had a list of ideal candidates well organised well defined long before we came to dismissing Lee Johnson. Indeed there seems to be no sense in having fired Lee Johnson if the solution is what we have today. How Mr Holden was unable to explain to Lee Johnson the error of his ways when he was number 2 ( if he was such a strong person) is rather bizarre and rather worrying. That his first decisions in his role were to say yes to the coaches that Mark Ashton proposed to him in record time is also a concern going forward. It would've been far more believable or credible on his behalf if he had identified coaches that he had worked with or now wanted to work with to be part of his team. What transpired was a rush job finding people that were readily available in record time due to the start of training. This shows the lack of preparation and the lack of detail in the application of any form of strategy for the footballing side of the club. When Mr Ashton also suggests one of the new coaches was involved in the promotion to the Premier league of a previous club, when that person was actually involved with the youth team highlights further the hyperbole (if Mr Ashton knows the truth) or incompetence (if Mr Ashton really believed it). This is another example of how the club has no credibility. Certainly for me.

 

But it's also clear that there are examples within Bristol sport of a different approach. People of course have pointed to Pat Lam and the approach with the rugby team. What is interesting in the approach to Mr Lamb is how he defined his objectives when he joined the club. What he was looking to do was to create a world-class of the field coaching team and set up to match the playing style that he wanted to introduce from you through to 1st team at the rugby club. Exactly what the football club is missing and is the crux of why I feel so disconnected with Bristol city for the first time in my life of following them.

 

The continued lies, the continued nonsense or hyperbole has to stop if the club wishes to progress. It is hard to understand if Mr Lansdown desires the situation so he can have a direct influence on the football club. Has it now become or was it always a personal plaything that he wants to do with as he wishes. He has certainly shied away from employing top-level footballing professionals that would suggest he wants to keep it that way. Anyone coming in with a level of understanding of higher level football would surely not stand for the interference of someone of the level of Mr Ashton (They would find him out in seconds) and certainly would not welcome direct influence from a club owner over their working day.

 

So I find myself in this horrible dilemma I do not support how the club is being run I do not support the appointment of Dean Holden. I do wish him well on a personal level of course, why not, however I do wish him to fail simply because the club is delaying yet again the implementation of a footballing strategy and culture that will change for once and for all in my lifetime Bristol city football club from a grossly underachieving club to one that can finally compete at the top level. That means the Premier League.

 

That so many fans have been upset by the recent behaviour of the club is no surprise although it might well be a surprise to the club as they have been so detached from the true feelings of fans for quite some time. It is very notable that so many fans are having to justify why we have to get behind Dean Holden and of course fans will always get behind the manager at least at the start. But it is simply ridiculous that the club has gone from a situation five weeks ago of firing a manager saying they were going to make changes to take them to the Premier League (this came from the owner of the club not fans it should be added) but yet a moment of potential excitement of cleansing the last two years of frustration and boring football and disillusionment into a moment where we could all get together and get behind the club and make a big difference but what do we have? We have a situation where people are having to justify why we made such a ridiculous decision and the fan base is completely upset frustrated and disbelieving at the total mismanagement at the football club. This is yet again a huge opportunity missed to take the club forward and it really was quite simple this time yet we've managed to make it far too complex and take away a massive opportunity to create some stimulus and inertia to take the club forward. It is no different to how we made such a colossal mess of a promotion from league to how the following season for various reasons we lost all of that momentum in the space of a few months. (There were a multiple of reasons of course but the result was we made a monumental error). It has even been left to the fans to try and pretend that this was due to the issues created by COVID-19 and the financial impact it will have on the football club. This this was denied by the club of course (although normally you have to doubt what they say) but in this case it had no bearing on the decision to employ Dean Holden. It was not a cheap option it was the option they really wanted. But isn't it crazy that fans on their own to try and make sense of the appointment are creating reasons for the clubs decision that are false. After the rather divisive years of Lee Johnson it really was a chance to get the fan base back online. But instead we have an even bigger problem because so many people no longer believe it what Mr Lansdown is doing.

 

I finish by saying that I find it very hard to support Bristol city football club anymore. I do not recognise the club I do not know what they're trying to achieve and I do not understand how so much money could be spent badly. We are no closer to having a true Premier youth academy as we are to having a genuine Premier football side as we were 20 years ago. It seems the club is a personal toy of Mr Lansdown as he refuses to employ competent people of the highest order ,which he can clearly afford,  but has decided not to do. Indeed maybe it is time to put the club up for sale, there are many good owners as bad owners and with a renovated ground the club may just attract someone who can deliver what Mr Lansdown is unable to do. He can keep the rugby and enjoy the success that is coming very soon, but with football there is a huge blind side that after decades he is unwilling to address. Only he can answer why and he can also put it right, but by employing people that can advise and help him. If not his legacy will be evaporating fast. The most unsuccessful billionaire in football. So I do not want to waste my energy and my time ,my life following something that has become an entity that I cannot relate to on so many levels and has lost the soul and connection it had for me. So I am walking away. I do not believe in or support the club anymore. No not to go to another club, I will pick and choose my football from non league to Prem but my Bristol babe has died, and until there is a notable change in approach it will remain that way.

 

I do not expect others to agree and I really don’t care, it is personal it is how I feel not about how you feel. I just needed to unload.

 

I wish you all a successful season.

 

Good bye BCFC

 

Condensed version:

I didn’t want Dean Holden appointed.

(am I doing this right @BigTone?)

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45 minutes ago, FallenRobin said:

This is my first post and also my last post but after the events of the last few days or should I say weeks it has led me to want to express how I feel about the football club I followed for almost all of my life and in excess of four decades. I am unloading. 

 

 

Football as we all know is a series of highs and lows and is bred on passion and desire and an ongoing thought that all is possible. Or should I say hope is eternal.

 

Bristol City as a club is historically placed in around the low 30th position in the all-time leagues. So the history has essentially been moving between the second and third levels of football and very rarely has the club ventured into the fourth level or indeed into the highest level now known as the Premier League.

 

Bristol and Bristol City in particular is rather an anomaly when it comes to footballing performance. If we look at the size of the city it is abnormal in the fact it has never had a Premier League football club. There are 50 clubs that have had premier League football. So in the case of Bristol City you have to say that the club in terms of crowd potential or supporter potential has dramatically underperformed for all of its history.

 

When you add in the fact the club is located far from other English Premier League clubs the potential catchment area far exceeds that of just the Bristol and local Bristol population.

 

After the 1980s when the club almost ceased existence there has been a period of normality in the sense that club has bounced from the level two and level three football leagues.

 

The last 20 years have been essentially the years of ownership of Mr Lansdown. Based on the league position he has replicated exactly what the club has been achieving in its history.

 

The ownership of Mr Lansdown has provided and ownership that has interest in the city of Bristol but also a British ownership that is seen as stable and supportive of the local football team. As a billionaire Mr Lansdown is one of the richest people in the country and has seen fit to invest and spend some of his fortune on the sporting clubs of Bristol.

 

The most notable expenditure has been to create a new Ashton gate. Which was greatly needed as the ground was on two sides almost derelict and had seen no real investment for over 40 years. Of course the investment in the ground is different to investment in the football team as it is a tangible asset that has an ongoing value. During this phase of investment the football club and the stadium were separated. This has been explained as a requirement to maximise the return on the stadium performance as an income generator. We were also told him not to be concerned as the overarching ownership remains the same. However it should be very clear the football club does not directly own its ground anymore. We were told not to be concerned as of course the owner of both entities is the same person. Up until now or even up until any time in the future that is no cause for concern however it does leave the potential to sell the Ashton Gate stadium to a third party or indeed so the football club without the ground. Or it could be said that the link between the various sports and the Ashton gate area redevelopment for a new basketball ground and various other facilities such as a hotel is actually a real estate project and would have an intrinsic value should the owner decide to sell in future. It is certainly not true that money has been spent without some regard to receiving a future repayment of the money loaned or made into share capital. What we do have is an excellent championship football stadium. It will remain extremely disappointing that the full potential of Ashton Vale was not available to us due to the planning restrictions placed on that site. I called the ground a championship ground due to its overall capacity which places it in a league of championship stadium (31 st by capacity in England that matches our historic league position more or less) .. The only slightly surprising aspect of the Ashton Gate development was that with the real estate that has been subsequently purchased it would have been possible to move the stadium to have enabled the correct redevelopment of the Dolman stand and the Atyeo stand. So yes we have a great facility compare to the dilapidated buildings that existed before but it just demonstrated how far the club have fallen behind. We should thank Mr Lansdown for investing in this capital project because without it the club was quite clearly behind almost all other top two division football club stadium facilities. It would also make the club far easier to sell if Mr Lansdown ever considered moving away from Bristol city football club.

 

Additional to this there is in progress the building of a new training facility. Again this has been long overdue and is an area where the club has been deficient compared to comparable teams at the level we are playing out. So in some senses it is still a case of catching up. But we are catching up.

 

This is where the positive aspects of the club have been progressed under Mr Lansdown though what has been highlighted over the last 5 to 6 weeks is that on the pure footballing level there is much to be desired in terms of a genuine strategy to make Bristol City a Premier League football club.

 

Since we have returned to the championship after a very impressive promotion from league one under Steve C the picture has been somewhat confused. Under Steve C we achieved a promotion I would suggest almost in an old fashion sense. The manager defined a very clear playing style and recruited the players to match it and created an incredible sense of togetherness and team spirit. We have seen this in the past under the guidance of Gary Johnson who did a similar job of putting together hungry young players who were out to prove their ability at a higher level. So we do understand what it takes to make a successful football side. But during this period what has seem to be lacking is an overarching policy or strategy at the football club to create a sustainable long-term success.

 

We have  at various points in time made a play to suggest we are creating a pathway of youth development to 1st team and we wish to become a powerhouse of youth development and providing opportunity for players to develop their football in careers. However as soon as we find a number of players breaking through into the first team we then fall into the trap when presented with money to spend on reverting to type and going out and try to buy players for an instant success. There does not appear to be a clear footballing strategy that will take Bristol City from being a team bouncing between the second and third level is a football and a genuine prospect of a Premier League and sustainable Premier League football club. In recent years we have seen clubs with less resources with less spending, less finances progress to the Premier League and stay there. It is very hard to understand what is the underlying strategy Bristol city football club has under Mr Lansdown to genuinely change the perception of the club from also rans into a potential Premier League side.

 

We will return now to the youth team and the development of young players for first-team football. When there is the possibility to invest outside a Financial Fair play into the youth and Academy it feels bizarre almost that Bristol City does not have a category one Academy. After the fantastic work of Amy Knighton to obtain the category two status it could have been of envisaged that once we had returned to the championship that the club would want to become the regional centre of young player development and of course recruitment of major talent in the Southwest. If you compare the incredible facilities of Southampton who have returned to the Premier League some years ago and maintains the Premier League position with little difficulty and with an incredible development of youth players through to their first team. You can see that there are strategies that the the club could follow (if you take into account the regional pool that Bristol city could have )there was a possibility for Bristol city to by now have dramatically progressed its ability to attract and hold onto major youth talent. It is very clear the club does not believe that is a viable strategy for its future . That's in itself may not be a problem as there are other examples of clubs competing at our level without having an academy the prime example would be Brentford FC who got rid of the youth academies and rely on an under 23 football team and picking up ex Premier League discarded players or players discarded from other leagues in Europe. It is a choice but Bristol City does not appear to have made any choice and is neither doing one thing or the other.

 

This brings me to the Lee Johnson era of the club. I really do not wish to enter into a long winded argument regarding Lee Johnson because he has just left the club and clearly is someone that had a great work ethic and tried his very hardest to achieve success in his role and he should be lauded for that. The issue during the Lee Johnson era is one that is another example of where the club has no clear strategy. Despite a wonderful cup run where the club and team started playing in a style of football which was exciting and enjoyable and indeed put the club into a different spotlight it was not to be long lived and became an exception rather than the norm of how Bristol city football club played football. During this period it was also clear that there was very little connection between the recruitment and the playing style of the team. A lot of that was due to the fact the team had no fixed playing identity as it was changed on a regular basis game to game and within the season on multiple occasions. This meant it was almost impossible to define what players were required because the target was being lost. There was also clearly a disconnect between the type of players we should be buying and the quality of players that we bought in. This period of time also coincided with a dramatic increase in the spending on player wages and transfer fees. The club during during its time in the championship has tripled its spending on wages and dramatically increase the transfer fees paid. Some notable money has been spent and some would question if it is spent wisely. On one hand you can point to the players that have been sold and indeed we have made record incoming transfer fees. Initially that money was generated from players from previous management and scouting networks. The notable fee for Jonathan Kodjia was the catalyst for the spending and transfer activity the club has been going through in the last three years. We have seen great numbers of players signed with a few players making it through to be regular first-team players. We then had our own homegrown talent sold in Joe Brian and Bobby R and then Aden Flint and subsequently Lloyd Kelly all players that had nothing to do with the scouting network instigated by Mark Ashton. You do have to give credit though to the work that Lee Johnson did on Bobby Reid and developing him into an attacking force and also the development of Lloyd Kelly through to one of the most exciting left-sided defenders in the English game. But lo and behold here we go again , signing a 30 year old centre forward and a record  club signing being a centre back. Will we make money on those deals ? It is a return to type , it is what we used to do. It is as if we forget our mistakes .

 

We now start to come to the crux of why I feel frustrated and disappointed at the actions of Bristol City. There has been an increasing level of detachment from the management of the club and the fan base. There has been an increase in the amount of dubious communication of fact. And by this I mean that the club has made numerous announcements that quite frankly have been false if we are being generous but outright lies if we are being rigourous.

 

That Lee Johnson had to leave the club was a long overdue change. He was placed in a position that he was inadequately prepared for and subsequently paid the price for that lack of preparation for the role. His inability to convey a level of leadership and clarity of thought are two elements in the skill bank of a very successful manager , and were for  Lee Johnson missing at this point in his career. I do wish him well and I do hope he learns from the experience but he is demonstrating that maybe he is more of a Sean O'Driscoll than a Pep Guardiola. Faced with a change one would have assumed (following various interviews with Mr Mark Ashton) that the club would be prepared for any eventuality. We were advised by Mr Lansdown that the club was looking to make a change to bring in fresh ideas and to take the club to another level. During what was explained to be an intensive and rigorous recruitment process we have ended up with our new head coach being one of the key people behind the failure of the previous team. This is all the more surprising as the new head coach has no management experience of note and is not someone who would be employed by any other championship side as the lead coach indeed it is questionable if even a league one club would have given him a role as a number one. We were then told that the head coach had identified a need to bring in some experience coaches. During interviews Mr Mark Ashton made it clear that it was Dean Ashton that had identified the people that he wanted to bring in and agreed with the appointment of the two new coaches. This was a blatant lie as one of the new coaches in an interview explain that they did not know Dean Holden and had to call him to find out what his ideas were for the football club going forward. This is another example of the type of cynical lying to the fans or should I say customers as the club clearly feels they are now that leads one to feel there is a lack of integrity at the highest levels at the club. The Talksport interview with Mr Lansdown , just a few weeks ago could not have been more in contrast to the announcement of Dean Holden. It was as if Mr Lansdown was talking about another football club.

 

But what the appointment of Dean Holden really highlights is that there is no underlying understanding at the club of what is required to take them from being a second and third level football team through to a Premier League football side. There is no one at the club advising the owner with any level of experience that carries any credibility in the football world. It would appear that Mr Lansdown has decided to allocate all responsibility of running the club to Mr Ashton. This is rather bizarre because Mr Ashton has left previous roles or been forced at a previous roles and not under a moment of success but rather lack off. That someone of the vast business experience of Mr Lansdown should give so much responsibility of running the football club based on no solid foundation is staggering . There is no serious intention at the club to create a footballing culture that is defined as the culture of Bristol city football club. There is no detailed mapping of how we are going to develop youth players through to the first team all playing the same type of football and with the same values skill sets and philosophy. Mr Lansdown has given the responsibility of signing players to Mr Ashton. Who continues to claim it is down to the first team coach to have the final say. If for example we take the recent signing of two new coaches neither of whom were known to the new head coach yet he was saying to the media that it was Mr Holden that made that decision. It was clearly not Mr Holden that made that decision and it was clearly not Lee Johnson who made final decisions on many players that were signed. The coach in that case was placed in a position of having to accept the players that have been put forward to him by Mr Ashton in a take it or leave it situation. There are far too many players that have been signed that were never used by the first team coach and clearly did not fit his plans. This looks to be a trend that is going to be continued. Maybe Mr Lansdown feels that due to the sales of Webster for example that Mr Ashton is doing a great job. It could be said that Mr Ashton is very good at selling players but equally that is in the administrative role and is not a football one. What is clearly missing in my eyes is the lack of clarity of football vision and I know I have repeated this now on numerous occasions but this really is the only way to Bristol City will change their history of being a second and third division club. Mr Ashton is nowhere near adequately prepared to make that change. What is worse is that during a vigorous five weeks of investigation into potential coaches to take the club forward the only solution they came up with was a coach that was already at the club and part of the failed system. If the club had a professional top-notch top-level system in place we would've had a list of ideal candidates well organised well defined long before we came to dismissing Lee Johnson. Indeed there seems to be no sense in having fired Lee Johnson if the solution is what we have today. How Mr Holden was unable to explain to Lee Johnson the error of his ways when he was number 2 ( if he was such a strong person) is rather bizarre and rather worrying. That his first decisions in his role were to say yes to the coaches that Mark Ashton proposed to him in record time is also a concern going forward. It would've been far more believable or credible on his behalf if he had identified coaches that he had worked with or now wanted to work with to be part of his team. What transpired was a rush job finding people that were readily available in record time due to the start of training. This shows the lack of preparation and the lack of detail in the application of any form of strategy for the footballing side of the club. When Mr Ashton also suggests one of the new coaches was involved in the promotion to the Premier league of a previous club, when that person was actually involved with the youth team highlights further the hyperbole (if Mr Ashton knows the truth) or incompetence (if Mr Ashton really believed it). This is another example of how the club has no credibility. Certainly for me.

 

But it's also clear that there are examples within Bristol sport of a different approach. People of course have pointed to Pat Lam and the approach with the rugby team. What is interesting in the approach to Mr Lamb is how he defined his objectives when he joined the club. What he was looking to do was to create a world-class of the field coaching team and set up to match the playing style that he wanted to introduce from you through to 1st team at the rugby club. Exactly what the football club is missing and is the crux of why I feel so disconnected with Bristol city for the first time in my life of following them.

 

The continued lies, the continued nonsense or hyperbole has to stop if the club wishes to progress. It is hard to understand if Mr Lansdown desires the situation so he can have a direct influence on the football club. Has it now become or was it always a personal plaything that he wants to do with as he wishes. He has certainly shied away from employing top-level footballing professionals that would suggest he wants to keep it that way. Anyone coming in with a level of understanding of higher level football would surely not stand for the interference of someone of the level of Mr Ashton (They would find him out in seconds) and certainly would not welcome direct influence from a club owner over their working day.

 

So I find myself in this horrible dilemma I do not support how the club is being run I do not support the appointment of Dean Holden. I do wish him well on a personal level of course, why not, however I do wish him to fail simply because the club is delaying yet again the implementation of a footballing strategy and culture that will change for once and for all in my lifetime Bristol city football club from a grossly underachieving club to one that can finally compete at the top level. That means the Premier League.

 

That so many fans have been upset by the recent behaviour of the club is no surprise although it might well be a surprise to the club as they have been so detached from the true feelings of fans for quite some time. It is very notable that so many fans are having to justify why we have to get behind Dean Holden and of course fans will always get behind the manager at least at the start. But it is simply ridiculous that the club has gone from a situation five weeks ago of firing a manager saying they were going to make changes to take them to the Premier League (this came from the owner of the club not fans it should be added) but yet a moment of potential excitement of cleansing the last two years of frustration and boring football and disillusionment into a moment where we could all get together and get behind the club and make a big difference but what do we have? We have a situation where people are having to justify why we made such a ridiculous decision and the fan base is completely upset frustrated and disbelieving at the total mismanagement at the football club. This is yet again a huge opportunity missed to take the club forward and it really was quite simple this time yet we've managed to make it far too complex and take away a massive opportunity to create some stimulus and inertia to take the club forward. It is no different to how we made such a colossal mess of a promotion from league to how the following season for various reasons we lost all of that momentum in the space of a few months. (There were a multiple of reasons of course but the result was we made a monumental error). It has even been left to the fans to try and pretend that this was due to the issues created by COVID-19 and the financial impact it will have on the football club. This this was denied by the club of course (although normally you have to doubt what they say) but in this case it had no bearing on the decision to employ Dean Holden. It was not a cheap option it was the option they really wanted. But isn't it crazy that fans on their own to try and make sense of the appointment are creating reasons for the clubs decision that are false. After the rather divisive years of Lee Johnson it really was a chance to get the fan base back online. But instead we have an even bigger problem because so many people no longer believe it what Mr Lansdown is doing.

 

I finish by saying that I find it very hard to support Bristol city football club anymore. I do not recognise the club I do not know what they're trying to achieve and I do not understand how so much money could be spent badly. We are no closer to having a true Premier youth academy as we are to having a genuine Premier football side as we were 20 years ago. It seems the club is a personal toy of Mr Lansdown as he refuses to employ competent people of the highest order ,which he can clearly afford,  but has decided not to do. Indeed maybe it is time to put the club up for sale, there are many good owners as bad owners and with a renovated ground the club may just attract someone who can deliver what Mr Lansdown is unable to do. He can keep the rugby and enjoy the success that is coming very soon, but with football there is a huge blind side that after decades he is unwilling to address. Only he can answer why and he can also put it right, but by employing people that can advise and help him. If not his legacy will be evaporating fast. The most unsuccessful billionaire in football. So I do not want to waste my energy and my time ,my life following something that has become an entity that I cannot relate to on so many levels and has lost the soul and connection it had for me. So I am walking away. I do not believe in or support the club anymore. No not to go to another club, I will pick and choose my football from non league to Prem but my Bristol babe has died, and until there is a notable change in approach it will remain that way.

 

I do not expect others to agree and I really don’t care, it is personal it is how I feel not about how you feel. I just needed to unload.

 

I wish you all a successful season.

 

Good bye BCFC

 

Ooo Roo

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12 minutes ago, BoneyardTIM said:

What a load of tosh, it's a simple choice to support your team or not. Managers, players and owners come and go but supporters stay for ever.

Something that some people seem to have forgotten, we are supporters of the team. The club is a different thing, as individuals most of us have the finance to support the team, but not the club, that's where people like SL come in. 

I think there are some people who think the club should be run like one on the downs league, we all pay our subs so we all have a say in how things are run. To my mind it's that "it's our club" mentality that has held us back for such a long time. From the financial input, to creating a ground that attracts more fans than we have had in years, most clubs in the football league would love to have a steward of the club like SL, but not in Bristol where many seem to have a deep mistrust of people with money and/or power. 

Those people bemoaning the lack of input to the running of the club are welcome to try and create their own private club that they can control, the rest of us will carry on supporting our team. Ironically, I see posts from the same people saying you can't manage a team by committee, and then saying on other threads that more people should have input to running the club, one or the other is true. 

 

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19 minutes ago, BoneyardTIM said:

What a load of tosh, it's a simple choice to support your team or not. Managers, players and owners come and go but supporters stay for ever.

Absolutely right.

Maybe Fallen Robin didn’t the grades he wanted today..............:dunno:

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