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IGNORED

Lansdown and Ashton have beaten me.


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2 hours 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

 

Good post. Agree with all of it.

Ignore the ******* who haven't the attention span to read it and also ignore the ******* whom spend half their life on here with nothing productive to say.

2 hours 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

 

Good post. Agree with all of it.

Ignore the ******* who haven't the attention span to read it and also ignore the ******* whom spend half their life on here with nothing productive to say.

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38 minutes ago, TedsHeadIs Red said:

It’s amazing the number of times older supporters come on here and tell us they have supported City since the early Jurassic period and it’s never been as bad, they’re not renewing their season ticket, they’re in despair blah blah blah.

It’s your age gentlemen. The grumpy old man syndrome or it’s too difficult to get to the Gate because of your arthritis. Or you can’t stand all those young people making all that noise, why can’t they just watch the game quietly. And most of all, a very poor memory of just how bad it’s been in the past.

(assumes older lady supporters are much more positive)

 

Leaving aside the fact that you are an impudent young wretch, you may just have something here.  Of course I distance myself from your description of the motivations of aged gentlemen, because nobody would ever call me a gentleman.  I cannot understand why people who have watched the ups and downs of Bristol City over more than half a century can suddenly jack it all in because they do not like the appointment of a new manager.  The aches and pains of old age are difficult and awkward to live with for many Jurassic types but this should not be the butt of humour.  I have seen many older than myself gamely ascending the steps of the Dolman and taking just as long to descend.  The body may be failing some of those old contemptables but their spirit and desire to "JUST BE THERE" should be respected.  Those who fall be the wayside may just be of weaker mind and maybe weaker bladder that makes trips to Ashton Gate too difficult.

As for the noise, well most of old gits really get stuck in and sing along. If you can sing you are not dead - RESULT!  Many of us remember the past and standing on a terrace where the Dolman now stands or singing in the East End. The football was up and down in those days but we were there for the love of our club - and that is the same reason that drags many of us back and will do until they turn on the afterburners in the crematorium and burn the old fans wearing City shirts. We have not all given up the ghost yet and will hopefully haunt Ashton Gate for many years to come - in body and/or in spirit.

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3 minutes ago, The Hustler said:

Good post. Agree with all of it.

Ignore the ******* who haven't the attention span to read it and also ignore the ******* whom spend half their life on here with nothing productive to say.

Good post. Agree with all of it.

Ignore the ******* who haven't the attention span to read it and also ignore the ******* whom spend half their life on here with nothing productive to say.

Whatever. Miss those nominations league days...oh wait that wasn't us

Just now, Realist said:

Whatever. Miss those nominations league days...oh wait that wasn't us

Non league 

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33 minutes ago, Redsi2 said:

I thought it was a good post. Someone's opinions we don't have to all agree with every word. I think we are all battered by 2 seasons of uninspiring football. The highlights were sneaking away wins by 1 goal and that was more to do with our fans and the whole experience rather than the fact that we were battered for most of the game but held on for dear life. Home matches became a chore only lifted by a Clarks Pie and going with mates. Without that matchday experience watching the games at home since lockdown was like pulling your own teeth out and I couldn't wait for the season to end. Next season will be a success to me if we can get back to the gate, become excited by the football and finish higher than this season. I don't need promotion to the money pit of the Premier league to be happy.

Don't think 2018/19 was that bad- 2019/20 definitely felt worse from many angles though. I'd say in the away wins in 2018/19 and some of those away games- and some of the home games in the 15 unbeaten, the good Cup displays that we had more of the game. 2019/20 though had a lot of bad things, a lot of bad games!

2018/19 we were better in possession, 2018/19 we created more chances than in 2019/20! It sounds like a cliche but fine margins do play a role- how often did we hit the woodwork in 2018/19?

To say nothing of some terrible decisions namely the multiple Weimann disallowed goals, the penalty at Aston Villa for them and at home to Derby, there was the Semenyo straight red.

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To me it's not about what division you are in. I've watched city in all four divisions. What's important to me is the perception that something is happening. Going for the playoffs, avoiding relegation, cup run. Here's to an exciting season maybe watching some young players developing.

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59 minutes ago, Cowshed said:

What did you think of the point made about the academy?

Bristol City do not compete with Southampton in regards facilities or coaching networks. The academy certainly does not have similar numbers of players playing in its XI.

Exeter City have a wider coaching network than Bristol City. 

All aspects of the club have come a long way under SL including the academy, we have developed talent that othe clubs are willing to pay money for. I dont believe your point on Exeter. Any stats to back that up ? 

 

I dont understand some fans demanding the world . We are slowly building, and there will be setbacks. We can't put 100% into every facet of the clubs development  its not a video game and even if it was nobody on this forum should be given the controls. My faith is still in SL MA to get this club to the next level.  

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Having read war and peace I agree to loads of what he or she has written but you don’t just not support your club because you don’t agree with a new manager coming in.

As part of our staycation a few days ago and as we were local to Liverpool I took my eldest around on the Anfield stadium tour.I said to one of the guides “I had the best night of my life here”.He replied was that the European Cup semi final.Obviously is was the night of the Tin- man and 8000 city fans going mental I said and we both laughed.

Your city or your not.Its not a glory hunting thing.Loads of lows ,mediocrity and the occasional super mind blowing high.Deal with it.Its called being a supporter.

Have Liverpool or another prem big boy won the Freight Rover Trophy!! Have they ####.

p.s to the youngsters stop looking at your phones and make some noise and us old ones might join in

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28 minutes ago, Cardy said:

I thought it was a decent read & contained some very relevant thoughts. Maybe the truth hurts some by the looks of some of the replies.

i could never write as much about something I no longer care for but I can relate to a lot that the OP refers to.

Part of the reason I fell for BCFC was I have always seen it as an underperforming sleeping giant capable of realising my dream of local Premier League football. For me, that dream is currently on hold as it is very clear that the owner is either afraid of or not interested in reaching the top division.

I have a season ticket & genuinely will not be attending next season whatever the situation with COVID.

Or trying to navigate it in a division of FFP and Parachute Payments.

How do you propose to do this, financially speaking? In other words, what would you do differently to SL- while still seeking to remain compliant and not risking sanction or at the least restrictions!

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51 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bristol_City_F.C._seasons

We're literally in one of the most unbroken periods of (relative) success in our history, just to follow on from my earlier point- we've certainly had it worse.

Further reading indicates that we were in the 2nd tier for 6 years in the 1910's and then went down to Division Three South in the 7th.

I've mentioned this point a few times recentlyish 

Where we are currently, is success as in amongst the best we have ever had and is certainly the most sustained/competitive we've been over successive seasons 

Last time up barring a season that came so close, we we're utter bobbins and each season was a case of trying to not get relegated and then with S'oD we nearly did again. 

Sometimes wish, people would actually realise where we are and why that's massive cause for optimism. 

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I think, whether by design or accident, the OP in a large part set himself up for the reaction he got.

First post and he immediately starts with “this is my first post and it’ll be my last post”, then writes the longest post in weeks, concluding he doesn’t want to support the club anymore.

When you see an overly long post not everyone will read it all (I did) and those two bookends will put people off.

Many of us when opening threads “Dip in” to see if they’re worth reading - and it’s a feature of any forum that you’re more likely to read (or ignore) in some cases a post that is from a user you recognise. Similarly, it’s also a feature of any forum that humour is used (see @mozo’s response) and that would have been done whoever wrote the OP.

Its a shame, because there were some salient points on the post but they got lost in a fairly bitter anti Holden - Lansdown overall sentiment. I don’t imagine the OP is bothered as he’s not reading, but if he’d have embraced what a forum is (debate, exchange of views) as opposed to setting himself in ‘pipe bomb’ fashion the reaction would have been different.

To put it another way - I’d attack the post here but not the poster. And people not reading it fully or taking the michael doesn’t make them “Chavs”.

 

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3 hours ago, Major Isewater said:

Welcome and goodbye .

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

I did! Thought it was a very good post, from someone who clearly feels the same as me, in respect of I haven’t got a clue what the owner now actually wants. 
You just can’t say we need a breath of fresh air and want to get into the Premier league, then 5 weeks later employ the back up to the bloke who failed!
I hope DH does well and proves me wrong, but if he can’t stand up to LJ over a four year period, and tell him where he is going wrong, it’s a bit worrying!

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3 hours 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

 

I think this is a fantastic post. Mostly an accurate assessment of our club and the way many "fans" feel. It truly is a sad state of affairs that the first thing the blind do is criticise the poster for raising his concerns about  the way it's run. That's exactly the behaviour of the blue few, which ends up with an even worse club, who aren't accountable to anyone and all down to the fear of criticism. 

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I feel for the OP... obviously well connected and knows their stuff. Having that much passion, and feeling they have to share their disappointment in such a heartfelt manner deserves respect imo 

Easy to give glib responses... At least they've put their heart and soul into it.

Tbh...the Club imo, just reflects how the rest of the world is going. We all bitch about it...it's just another entity in our lives that is changing for the worse.

We won't change it...the powers that be will control...and you either go along with it whilst moaning about how great it was in the past, or aalk away and do something that makes you more happy...simple.

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1 hour ago, Cowshed said:

 

1 hour ago, Cowshed said:

A cat 1 academy can cost in the region of two million pounds a season. Covered for seasons by a Reid or Kelly.

Southampton have covered the cost of their academy ten fold and use the cash it raises to progress the academy and bolster the first team. There is a righteous circle of capitalism there.

How much money have BCFC reinvested into their academy that has made the clubs big sums of money? Well the academy has been downsized in its reach and plays and trains its games at Wise. The money made by academy players has not been put into significantly improving the academy and increasing its coaching reach,

BCFC have a smaller development coaching team than Exeter City who do not have a cat 2 or 1 academy. Exeter do have more contact with kids one to one through out the South West. They coach more. 

Post may become a bit of a sermon now, apologies if it meanders  .. But it is not just a question of ££'s.

It is about longer term strategy. It about having coaching philosophies in place and sharing them in an effort to get talent into the club and having a joined up functioning pathway to get that talent into the XI. 

Mr Lansdown and Jon toyed with the five pillars then decided to do something else. That sounds harsh but the intent the FC and the now departed Amy Kington(seriously good at her roles!) and co had is not matched now. It is gone and it looks to be that Bristol Sport meddled in the running of the FC because they did not see merit in elements of youth development. Amy Kington was looking to run satellite centres across the South West to rival other clubs - That intent was abandoned and centres almost all of them were closed down. By? It appears Bristol Sport.  

Southampton's academy is a long term project evolving over decades and fundamental to the FC - There is always good players in the building .. A phrase used by Southampton coaches because there are, will always be because they don't fanny about with it. They do and will because its truly important.

 

I’m not saying that our Cat 2 Academy can’t be better than it is right now but it is producing to a reasonable extent. We have seen number of players who have played lower league football knocking on the door for a first team spot in addition to the ones we have sold for huge amounts in recent times. I agree more reinvestment could be made.

There are also some good players that have just signed their first pro contracts and have performed at relatively high levels as 17 year olds (Sam Bell at Yate, Sam Pearson at Bath City). So whilst we can always do better it certainly isn’t all doom and gloom imo.

I’m not sure a mid table Championship club on a budget (don’t shoot the messenger) will get full value for a £2m per year Cat 1 Academy just yet.

1 hour ago, Cowshed said:
1 hour ago, Cowshed said:
Edited by Numero Uno
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1 hour ago, Cowshed said:

A cat 1 academy can cost in the region of two million pounds a season. Covered for seasons by a Reid or Kelly.

Southampton have covered the cost of their academy ten fold and use the cash it raises to progress the academy and bolster the first team. There is a righteous circle of capitalism there.

How much money have BCFC reinvested into their academy that has made the clubs big sums of money? Well the academy has been downsized in its reach and plays and trains its games at Wise. The money made by academy players has not been put into significantly improving the academy and increasing its coaching reach,

BCFC have a smaller development coaching team than Exeter City who do not have a cat 2 or 1 academy. Exeter do have more contact with kids one to one through out the South West. They coach more. 

Post may become a bit of a sermon now, apologies if it meanders  .. But it is not just a question of ££'s.

It is about longer term strategy. It about having coaching philosophies in place and sharing them in an effort to get talent into the club and having a joined up functioning pathway to get that talent into the XI. 

Mr Lansdown and Jon toyed with the five pillars then decided to do something else. That sounds harsh but the intent the FC and the now departed Amy Kington(seriously good at her roles!) and co had is not matched now. It is gone and it looks to be that Bristol Sport meddled in the running of the FC because they did not see merit in elements of youth development. Amy Kington was looking to run satellite centres across the South West to rival other clubs - That intent was abandoned and centres almost all of them were closed down. By? It appears Bristol Sport.  

Southampton's academy is a long term project evolving over decades and fundamental to the FC - There is always good players in the building .. A phrase used by Southampton coaches because there are, will always be because they don't fanny about with it. They do and will because its truly important.

 

Spot on regarding Amy. 
A genuine, honest and highly competent person with an incredible talent for pulling people together. 
Sad day when she was given her marching orders. 

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6 minutes ago, Portland Bill said:

I did! Thought it was a very good post, from someone who clearly feels the same as me, in respect of I haven’t got a clue what the owner now actually wants. 
You just can’t say we need a breath of fresh air and want to get into the Premier league, then 5 weeks later employ the back up to the bloke who failed!
I hope DH does well and proves me wrong, but if he can’t stand up to LJ over a four year period, and tell him where he is going wrong, it’s a bit worrying!

I'm sure the man wants promotion otherwise he's wasted millions. Ask numerous fans of other teams and they would bite your hand off to have a chairman like ours...and yes they have been to the "promised land". **** me how long have Leeds waited to get back after severe miss management 

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3 minutes ago, Realist said:

I'm sure the man wants promotion otherwise he's wasted millions. Ask numerous fans of other teams and they would bite your hand off to have a chairman like ours...and yes they have been to the "promised land". **** me how long have Leeds waited to get back after severe miss management 

Personally I’m not fussed about the money league. My point is, why sack an underachiever and replace him with  someone who helped him underachieve.

Especially when we were told we had over 100 top class candidates...........

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1 hour ago, Harry said:

For those who didn’t read the whole post, but then comment, you really ought to read the whole post. 
Whilst I don’t agree with a number of the points made, there are a number on which I do agree. 
It’s an interesting post and shouldn’t be belittled due to its length. 
 

For me, I’d never walk away from Bristol City, so I disagree with this fan’s choice to do so. But I know where his frustration comes from. 
 

The many points made about Ashton, on this post and many other posts in recent weeks, is something I’ve known about for the 4 years he’s been here. So it comes as no surprise to me and I’ve accepted the situation for what it is. 
He won’t be here much longer. He has one eye on the EFL top job, or failing that, one eye on a move to America (the tour to Florida last year was as much about Ashton’s own networking as it was for the player’s benefit). 
He’s done 4.5 years here, he’s not been that long anywhere, and he’s an ambitious bloke, so the next challenge is not far away for him. 
For as long as he is here, in charge of recruitment, then it poses a problem for the incumbent manager. It might be successful. Chances are it won’t. 
Once he’s gone, hopefully we’ll appoint a manager who can make his own team without the interference of a narcissist. 
 

So, overall some good points made, but things I’ve understood for 4.5 years and have accepted that we just have to get through this particular era, and I certainly won’t turn my back on the club during this egotistical period. 

Too long.

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The problem is that whilst the OP's post is heartfelt and to the point it is a little bit too long to bring home the point. A more concise post without the need for 3 drinks breaks, half time nibbles and post post dinner would have had a better effect on us the doting public. In my mind just a tad long to bring the point home without people wanting a nap half way through. Just an observation.

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Now I’ve been watching The City since the mid 80’s and I’ve seen some sh1te,  but never been jarred off to write that much!  I admit to not being too happy with the current situation, but it is what it is and and I can’t see us pulling up trees this season, but I’m desperate as ever for us to succeed.   Up the City!

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