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Bristol stirring from its slumber (in the Telegraph)


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2 minutes ago, Moments of Pleasure said:

And Hull 2008, don't forget the Live on Sky Sports Dean Windass Hull play off final defeat in 2008.

How could I forget the "Richest game in world football" ??? ✖️

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If/when we finally do get promoted the sports writers will have a lovely time.

Dig this copy out, change the words "is finally stirring" to "has finally stirred". 

Print.

Edited by ExiledAjax
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6 minutes ago, OneCity said:

An article just like that comes along every few years. First read it during the Terry Cooper years. Then again in Jordan's first stint. It returned under Scott Davidson's tenure, when Russel Osman promised promotion 'within 5 years'.

The 'stirring from slumber' tag line, with all its promises and potential, has been knocking about for a very long time.

Perhaps they should rephrase it to "Rip van Winkle" tag line! 

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1 hour ago, Nogbad the Bad said:

Say what you like about Barton, but no doubt he's well known in the football world.

 

Well known but I wouldn't say he's same level of appointment that Pearson is. 

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29 minutes ago, TomF said:

Well known but I wouldn't say he's same level of appointment that Pearson is. 

Joe Jordan wasn’t a renowned coach in 89/90. Should have referenced them as renowned characters rather than coaches.

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Maybe it is the effect of Big Nige but I have read far worse articles on Bristol & it’s’ football woes.

Lots of the cliches are mentioned because they are true, even if there are a couple of obvious inaccuracies here.

At least the references to the plucky former non leaguers are few, I can’t understand why any article on this topic even mentions them. You don’t see an article on Nottingham that says neither club are in the top flight at present, do you?

A club that is approaching 30 years since it was in the second tier & has been non league far more recently really isn’t worth serious consideration.

 

 

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Interesting read - thanks for posting

The point about 8 managers in 10 years, while slightly inaccurate does make a reasonable point - if you stretch it out to 2010 it's another 2 managers because we saw the back of Gary Johnson & the appointment/subsequent departure of Coppell.

Growing up I have noticed this about City, Rovers too to an extent, will go through periods where thy might have one of the longest serving managers in the division and at other times will average at least 1 a season. Ultimately it shows that when the right decision is made, both clubs commit to it (and give it time to bear fruit).

I'm looking forward to seeing how NP works with the club to "define our identity" - possibly the most thought provoking comment from his early interviews.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TomF said:

Well known but I wouldn't say he's same level of appointment that Pearson is. 

Agree, but to be fair it did say renowned, not esteemed.

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We also get references in these type of articles to lots of Londoners coming here and gentrifying the place. We've had a population increase of about 60k in 30+ years, lot's from the African sub continent, lot's from Pakistan and lot's from Europe, these people will not have gentrified the place. What we definitely have had are people from other parts of the country coming in and affecting the local areas, more so than Londoners. But obviously there have been some but, it's lazy journalism to lay the gentrification of an area to one group of people, rather than society as a whole changing to the modern way of life.

The Bristol Post re run their articles every few months, we should be grateful it's only every few years we hear this twaddle.

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1 hour ago, ExiledAjax said:

If/when we finally do get promoted the sports writers will have a lovely time.

Dig this copy out, change the words "is finally stirring" to "has finally stirred". 

Print.

Shaken not stirred.  0-0-Heaven !

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30 minutes ago, Bazooka Joe said:

Ashton Gate was a dilapidated shell !?

He obviously hasn't been to some of the grounds/stadiums that I've had the dubious pleasure of visiting.

Apart from the Dolman AG was a dilapidated three sided shell. The Wedlock’s and Williams were ancient and poorly designed as was the more recent Dolman before the redevelopment.  The construction of Atyeo improved AG into a two sided shell.

The current AG is really excellent. Still restricted in terms of capacity tho but I can’t see anywhere else to create another tier similar to the top tier of the Lansdown.

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As a Glos cricket fan I am biased, but to infer Glos have not "struggled with the burden of sporting glory" is conveniently forgetting the 8 one-day trophies we have won since 1999. As mentioned above, these articles have been appearing since the early 70s from my memory, and no doubt for many decades before that.  They have called the Bears quite well, but to suggest that both us and the Gas have suddenly started to put Bristol on the "football map" after 2 managerial appointments followed by a couple of wins seems a bit hasty..

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14 minutes ago, Robbored said:

Apart from the Dolman AG was a dilapidated three sided shell. The Wedlock’s and Williams were ancient and poorly designed as was the more recent Dolman before the redevelopment.  The construction of Atyeo improved AG into a two sided shell.

The current AG is really excellent. Still restricted in terms of capacity tho but I can’t see anywhere else to create another tier similar to the top tier of the Lansdown.

Overhang the walkway at the rear of the Dolman stand, 3-4 metres before the boundary. Flats are sufficient distance to not affect their right to light. Plus there's 2 metres of walkway between the different levels at present. That gives a minimum of 5 metres or 7 rows of seats at about 180 per row equals approx 1500. Then you could extend it to the corner creating another 500. An expensive exercise for 2,000 extra seats, unless you could overhang the council owned land by the  

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4 hours ago, Mike Hunt-Hertz said:

Lifelong City fan?

It probably feels like a lifetime!

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4 hours ago, New Dazzler said:

As a Glos cricket fan I am biased, but to infer Glos have not "struggled with the burden of sporting glory" is conveniently forgetting the 8 one-day trophies we have won since 1999. As mentioned above, these articles have been appearing since the early 70s from my memory, and no doubt for many decades before that.  They have called the Bears quite well, but to suggest that both us and the Gas have suddenly started to put Bristol on the "football map" after 2 managerial appointments followed by a couple of wins seems a bit hasty..

No mention of Somerset - there's lazy journalism!

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8 hours ago, Moments of Pleasure said:

Marina Dolman, herself, says "fans have a right to demand better." Food for thought, and OTIBS, there.

@Marina's Rolls Royce, your thoughts?

Ok- I'm in complete agreement with Her Majesty.

I want better food at BS3- it's no longer acceptable to have boiled burgers with a quick flash fry and a red Source bottle which makes the Wuhan live food market look like a safer bet  .

Chargrilled is hardly difficult in these days of footie Master Chef.

 

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34 minutes ago, Midred said:

No mention of Somerset - there's lazy journalism!

image.png.59bcb29cc2760ecbb804ec6692d15514.png

They themselves no longer recognise Bristol as part of the South West, so they definitely can't be in Bristol!

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A similarly themed story in today’s Athletic. 
Seems Bristol is flavour of the month when it comes to a sad underachievers story. 

The city of Bristol – English football’s enigma 

Saturday in south-west England: Bristol Rovers found themselves in the eighth minute of stoppage time after only four had been shown on the fourth official’s board. Suddenly the Memorial Ground, which had looked a pastoral picture in the low sun, shivered.

Rovers had been 2-0 ahead and seemingly set to win for only the second time in 14 matches when the board went up. Then Shrewsbury Town scored two minutes into the four. Then Rovers goalkeeper Joe Day got a bang on the head. He had to go off. On came a 6ft 6in Dutchman, Jordi van Stappershoef. And Shrewsbury had a corner. The clock showed 97.33. The corner was cleared. But Shrewsbury came again. Another cross came in and it brought a close-range header. Van Stappershoef scampered across to push it away. It was his one touch of the game. The whistle blew, Rovers had won, Van Stappershoef was mobbed and the Tannoy played Happiness by Ken Dodd.

Saturday in south-west Wales: Bristol City were into the 10th minute of stoppage time at Swansea. City, too, had been hanging on to a 2-1 lead until 90+7. Then Antoine Semenyo struck to make it 3-1. Having lost seven consecutive matches, Bristol City had their second 3-1 away win in five days. Relieved players and staff grabbed each other and formed a post-match huddle on the Liberty Stadium pitch.

The imagery of a mobbed Rovers keeper and a smiling City circle said that on a sunny afternoon in the south west, both Bristol clubs had their new manager bounce: Joey Barton with Bristol Rovers, Nigel Pearson with Bristol City.

“We’re rocking and rolling now,” Barton said a few minutes later.

“It’s an exceptionally important win for us, for the atmosphere and us as a group of people,” Pearson said.

“Nothing’s taken for granted,” Barton added. “We’ve got to work really hard to back that performance up. But with direction and a good culture throughout a football club, amazing things can happen. People just have to believe.”

“What’s important from here is that we strive to create a culture based on sound values,” Pearson added, “wanting to work hard for each other. And enjoying it.”

It was the first Saturday to feature both Bristol clubs winning for almost five months and the updated tables showed that, even with a rush of positivity, City’s three points left them 11th in the Championship before Tuesday night’s games. Rovers’ win took them to 19th in League One. For City, the play-offs are a realistic ambition again, but it will require an extended sequence of victories, but Rovers remain one of seven clubs fearing League Two. Were both Bristol clubs to be in their same divisions next season or the season after that, it would be a disappointment for one and an achievement for the other.

And beyond Bristol? Well, football shrugs. After all, what has this place ever done? Bristol City — the Robins — have never won the league title. They have never won the FA Cup, nor the League Cup. Bristol Rovers — the Gas — have never won the top-flight title either, nor the FA Cup or League Cup. Bristol City have at least tasted top-flight English football, most recently in 1980, though many will not consider that to be recent. Bristol Rovers have never made it to the top division; they did come sixth in the old Second Division in 1959.

Consequently, the city of Bristol has never staged a European football fixture. It has never staged a Premier League fixture. Yet Bristol is accepted on various population/boundary measurements as the seventh-largest city in England. It has, moreover, an organised football tradition dating back to 1883 when a team called the Black Arabs were formed on Stapleton Road. They would quickly morph into Bristol Rovers. Bristol’s credibility, infrastructure and location meant it was one of the FA’s chosen 12 host cities in its unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Bristol is English football’s enigma. Over the past week, since the clubs’ two new managers were appointed, The Athletic has spoken to those involved today and historically to understand why Bristol, the city, does not fulfil its potential.


Is Bristol a football city? When the question is raised, the answers come in a rush:

Gary Mabbutt: “Absolutely”.

Bobby Gould: “Oh yeah, it’s got the passion.”

Danny Wilson: “Yes, absolutely, within football people know how big Bristol is and its potential.”

The inevitable next question is: So why has Bristol underachieved for decades?

Gary Mabbutt: “It’s a difficult one to explain, that.”

Bobby Gould: “It’s a good question.”

Danny Wilson: “If anyone knew, it would have been addressed straightaway. It’s a difficult question.”

Gary Mabbutt may be known as a Tottenham Hotspur hero who played more than 500 games over 16 years in north London but, before joining Spurs, he was at Bristol Rovers from the age of 15. He had been born in the city and his father, Ray, played for Rovers for more than a decade. Gary was the younger brother of Kevin, who scored a hat-trick for Bristol City in a 3-1 win at Manchester United in 1978 during City’s four golden years at the top.

“Crikey!” is how Mabbutt says he responded when he heard of Kevin’s hat-trick. “Growing up with my father at Bristol Rovers, my brother played at City for a few years and I played for Rovers for a few, the whole family always followed both Bristol clubs. I still get a lot of people writing to me about the Gas or the Robins.

“The passion the Bristol public have for the game is why it’s been incredible that no Bristol team has been in the top division since the late 1970s. There is massive support in the Bristol area for both clubs. There’s a passion for rugby, of course, and there’s a passion for Somerset and Gloucester cricket as well. Still, football is the dominant sport.

“But then the money needed to elevate yourself into the top division is immense, and there have been a lot of false dawns for both Bristol clubs.”

Aged 26, Bobby Gould joined Bristol City from West Bromwich Albion in 1972 for £62,000, a club-record signing at the time. He did not stay at Ashton Gate long, moving to West Ham, but his home remained in Bristol as it does today. He returned to the city to play for Rovers in 1977 and then had two spells managing the club in the 1980s.

“I have a feel for both clubs and I want them to be successful,” Gould says. “You look at Bristol City and think: ‘They’re sleeping giants’.”

There is no lack of local interest, but ultimately, Gould says, Bristol’s failings centre on knowledge, investment and leadership. Nor has it had its transformational historical figure, such as Bill Shankly at Liverpool or Herbert Chapman at Arsenal. Or, as Gould says: “There hasn’t been somebody like Jimmy Hill who we had at Coventry. Somebody at the helm, saying: ‘This is the way’. There’s got to be a leader. It can be done.”

bristol-city-1978-scaled.jpg
Bristol City’s First Division squad of 1978-79 (Photo: Getty Images)

Hill’s assistant at Coventry, Alan Dicks, was the manager at City when they were promoted in 1976. Dicks assembled a side featuring England internationals such as Norman Hunter, Terry Cooper and Joe Royle, as well as Kevin Mabbutt. That must have cost money — in his autobiography, Hunter said he was paid more at Bristol City than at Leeds United.

But Hunter noted with disbelief that at Bristol, you washed your own red kit. City’s early Centre of Excellence sessions were held on the Ashton Gate car park and when Gould is asked where he trained at Rovers, his reply is: “In a park.” Gould argues that both Bristol clubs “have never gone that extra yard”. (Rovers’ record signing remains Andy Tillson from QPR for £375,000 in 1992).

Mabbutt agrees: “The extra yard is investment. There were no parachute payments then when you went down. It goes without saying, the more you invest, the better things can be.”

Wilson was City’s first managerial appointment of the 21st century. The club were in the third tier, averaging gates of 10,400, but he was optimistic: “I was very impressed with the stature of the club and its potential. They had a good following and very loyal — I’d say that of Bristol Rovers fans too. Bristolians like football.

“I thought there was a realistic chance we could be successful. The Premier League was never mentioned — we weren’t in a particularly good position in (what is now) League One and we had to get away from that first. Success was a different animal then, and there was a lot of disruption at board level. I think I had three chairmen. So it was never stable, a lot of disagreements, but they got ironed out when Steve took the leadership.”

The Steve in question is Stephen Lansdown, a Guernsey-based Bristolian billionaire who first joined the board at Ashton Gate in 1996 and became chairman in 2002, ploughing in money ever since. Under the umbrella of Bristol Sport, Lansdown has acquired a rugby club, basketball team, and Bristol Women’s football along the way; he has also tried to move Bristol City out of Ashton Gate to a new stadium nearby and the closest City have come to “the dream” of Premier League football, as Lansdown calls it, was the 2008 play-off final lost 1-0 to Hull City at Wembley.

Gary Johnson was manager, but by 2013, City were back in League One. Under Steve Cotterill, the Robins returned to the Championship in 2015. Cotterill was succeeded by Gary Johnson’s son Lee, a former City player, and they were second on Boxing Day 2017, averaging 21,000 through the gates. The Premier League was on the horizon but City fell away, as they were to the following two seasons.

Johnson was replaced by his assistant Dean Holden last summer. At the start of December 2020, City were third in the Championship, but then came a surge of injuries and a bad January bled into February. As a result, Pearson became the club’s eighth permanent manager in 11 years last week.

“Steve’s gone for experience, he’s gone for young managers; he’s thrown money at the team, he’s not thrown money at the team; he’s put money into infrastructure,” Wilson says of Lansdown. “The infrastructure is integral because you can attract a higher calibre of manager. That’s a great way to get people interested in your club. Money doesn’t do everything but it helps. It brings a different level of player, which in turn should be seen in results. The foundation is there.”

In turn, Lansdown told a story last year about asking Wilson, when he was manager, what he would do with a £1 million windfall. Wilson advised Lansdown to invest in a training ground. In the coming weeks, City are to unveil a new state-of-the-art training facility to go alongside the redeveloped Ashton Gate.

City’s home of 117 years did not grow into the 44,000-capacity venue envisaged in the World Cup bid; it is 27,000 but, as Mark Kelly, the managing director of Ashton Gate Limited and Bristol Sport, puts it, it is “Premier League-ready”.

“We have the capacity to go up another 3,000,” says Kelly. “Some of the specifications have changed — the Premier League has a manual — but the stadium was designed with the view it would be Premier League-ready.

ashton gate bristol
Ashton Gate is a Premier League-quality stadium, according to Bristol City executives (Photo: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

“A great teaser for us came in 2017 — for the stadium and Bristol Sport. We pulled Man United in the League Cup and the demand was such we could have filled the stadium three times over. We grew our membership substantially for that game and we’ve managed to retain fans from it. It gave us an indication of the appetite for Premier League football within Bristol. Anecdotally, we were told hotels and restaurants were full that night, it brought a buzz to the city. If you have that even six nights a season, it’s a start. We’re a large employer in the south west and to bring Premier League football here, everyone would benefit.”


The proposal had been to relocate Bristol City a mile away in Ashton Vale. Mabbutt and Lansdown were on Bristol’s World Cup bid panel and were delighted the city was selected ahead of others such as Leicester and Derby.

“We won that bid,” Mabbutt says, “but lost the bid for the World Cup. It would have been immense for the city. Still, Bristol was chosen and Ashton Gate has been redeveloped. Things are in place. The fire was ignited by that World Cup bid.”

It has, however, not been straightforward. Locals sometimes speak of “Planet Bristol” when describing the sluggish pace of change and decision-making and a BBC Bristol headline from 2014 was: “Why does Bristol never build anything?” A comparison was made with Cardiff, 45 miles away. Lansdown himself has said: “Bristol as a city does undersell itself and does frustrate you sometimes.”

This perhaps leads to the external perception of Bristol as slow and genteel, not a city roused by raucous football zeal. Rovers fans such as Ash Belsten and Steve Burns have evidence to the contrary.

Belsten, 31, runs a Rovers podcast and says: “One million per cent, Bristol is a football city. But you would never believe it’s the seventh-largest city in the UK, would you? I listened to the radio yesterday and they were talking about Bristol as this little, quiet place in the south west where everyone drinks cider. It shouldn’t really be like that. We’ve got a big football rivalry, some good football history, it just seems Bristol as a city is miles behind. A lot of people say we struggle to attract players, those from the north who think house prices are expensive. There are fewer clubs around here – in the north west, there’s that corridor of about 20, 30 clubs.

“But if you give them a project to believe in, players will move, won’t they?”

That Silicon Valley idea of a cluster of clubs or businesses creating a culture and a critical mass is intriguing. It is hard to believe a Bristol club would have not won a major trophy were the city in Lancashire, for example. Yet Wilson and Gould are adamant geography did not deter any players from moving and should be an advantage.

Belsten speaks animatedly of the rivalry between the city clubs— “We don’t like each other at all”. When Rovers sold Matty Taylor to City in 2017, the first inter-club transfer for 30 years, City manager Lee Johnson received a death threat and moved house.

Burns is another example of Bristol’s deep feeling for the game. In the 1994 local elections, Burns stood as a candidate, such was the sense among Rovers fans of civic indifference to their plight. They formed a political party — the Bristol Party. “We had our first meeting at the old Rovers Supporters’ office, which is about 50 yards away from Eastville, on Stapleton Road,” Burns says.

The background was that Bristol Rovers were no longer playing in Bristol. In August 1980, the south stand at Eastville, where Rovers had played since 1897, burned down. With the ground owned by a greyhound company who staged lucrative races around the pitch, Rovers’ rent was raised so much that in 1986 they had to leave. But it was not for another home in Bristol — it was for Twerton Park in Bath. Gould was the manager and called it “Azteca Twerton — the World Cup in Mexico was on.” But for the club, it was a rupture.

Gerry Francis succeeded Gould and Rovers won promotion back to Championship level in 1990. But it was also the year of another fire, this time at Twerton, caused by Bristol City fans, nine of whom stood trial for arson.

Four years later, Rovers were still in Bath and Burns was getting 10 per cent of the vote in the Henbury ward. “There was frustration among Rovers fans about not being able to get a facility in Bristol,” he recalls. “The council were dragging their feet. It started with Rovers supporters but others joined from outside, purely in frustration at nothing getting moving. It was broader than the Twerton Park issue but that was the starting point, absolutely.

“The longer we were in Bath, the more chance we had of losing our identity, our Bristol identity. Our chairman got 15 per cent in Eastville. We felt you wouldn’t have had this problem in places like Manchester or Sheffield. The frustration is that when you look at where Eastville was, it was such a prime spot right off the M32. IKEA built there in the end and Tesco, but it had space for them and a stadium. It’s a crying shame. If we had been able to do that, the club could have been totally different.”

It would be 1996 before Rovers left Bath. They were back in the third tier and ground-sharing with Bristol RFC at the Memorial Ground. No one thought Rovers would still be there 25 years on, during which time they took 40,000 fans to Wembley for the 2007 League Two play-off final and also fell into non-League for a season in 2014. “It’s been very difficult for Rovers without the identity of your own, established home stadium,” Mabbutt says.

All the while, Rovers fans have sustained their club via schemes such as “buy-a-bulb” to upgrade the floodlights. There has been repeated talk of a new stadium. Supporters can see the potential and at least Bristol Rovers own the Memorial Ground, bought not long after they returned.

bristol-rovers-2015-scaled.jpg
Bristol Rovers celebrate their 2015 Conference play-off final win over Grimsby (Photo: Getty Images)

In 2016, they were taken over by a London-educated Jordanian businessman, Wael al-Qadi, who spoke of “evolution not revolution”. Last summer, Al-Qadi “capitalised” loans of £35 million, converting those debts into equity. As a result, Rovers are “substantively debt-free”. They have also constructed a new training ground, in Almondsbury, and moved in last October.

The fact Barton is the fifth manager in three years shows Rovers’ trajectory is not simply one way. But half an hour after Saturday’s win, defender Alfie Kilgour speaks of a “buzzing” changing room and swelling ambition.

“The gaffer’s come in — and his staff — and they’ve brought real enthusiasm and energy, which we maybe didn’t have before,” says Kilgour. “Hopefully, we can kick right on. I’ve grown up around Bristol and it’s a shame. For a city of our size, there should be a club in the top flight. At Bristol Rovers, everyone wants to kick on and one day reach the top flight. We’ve got a brand new training ground with the potential to be a Premier League training ground, beautiful pitches, great gym facilities, lots of potential. We’ve got a great fanbase as well.”

Kilgour’s youthful localism chimes with Gary Probert’s experience. Probert has been Bristol City’s academy manager for the past five years and on Saturday, he watched the under-18s beat Millwall 3-0 before driving to Swansea to see if the first team would give another debut to a homegrown player.

“We’re averaging six academy players in every match-day squad,” Probert says. “We’ve had four academy debuts already — James Morton, Sam Bell, Owura Edwards and Ryley Towler, three Bristolians and one from north Somerset. It’s a productive area, a lovely mix of the urban, inner city — which brings those stereotypical ‘street footballers’ who are one-v-one dominant — and the nice leafy suburbs down to Bath, north Somerset, Gloucestershire, which attract a different kind of family and young player. Another stereotype.”

Joe Bryan, Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Lloyd Kelly — three recent Academy graduates sold for around £35m — act as an example of what Bristol produce. There has been some sharp recruitment, too. In 2018, Adam Webster was bought from Ipswich for £3.5 million, rising to £8 million, and after one year at Ashton Gate, was sold to Brighton for £20 million, rising to £22 million. Josh Brownhill was acquired from Preston North End in 2016 aged 20 as a free agent and was sold three and a half years later to Burnley for a reported £8 million. Holden’s role in improving young players is why he was appointed manager last summer after Johnson’s departure.

The average age of City’s bench at Swansea was 19 and the academy will move into the lush new training ground opening this month.

“Obviously I’m biased,” Probert adds, “but it’s a really brilliant club. You have the consistent leadership provided by Steve and (wife) Maggie Lansdown. The infrastructure is there. It is, increasingly, set up to thrive.”


Saturday’s feelgood factor extended into Monday, but Shrewsbury and Swansea are already in the past. For Rovers, a trip to Burton Albion on Tuesday night ended in a painful 1-0 defeat after midfielder Luke McCormick was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half, the offence in question being kicking the ball away to prevent a quick Burton throw-in; for City, it’s a visit from Bournemouth on Wednesday evening.

While ten days ago neither club had a manager, it would be premature to say Bristol has successfully negotiated a historic turning point. There is still the possibility the clubs could stall again. Managerially, it is fragile: Barton’s trial for an alleged assault on Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel is heard in June; Pearson has a short-term contract expiring in May.

Above them, Lansdown and Al-Qadi are popular — Al-Qadi has stood on the terraces with supporters — but within each fanbase, there are dissenting voices. Some City followers have grumbled at Landown’s ongoing investment Bristol Bears, his table-topping rugby team, to which he replied last August: “Bristol Rugby does have a tradition of being successful, but many moons ago. Bristol City has no tradition of being successful, if we’re being honest. We’ve had 125 years of snippets of good times, I want consistent good times.”

Turning snippets into eras, this is the task. On his first day at the club, Barton said: “Somebody, at some point, is going to get Rovers right.” Yesterday Pearson, when confronted with what he calls the “P-word” (potential) said: “It is an accurate statement of fact. The foundations for success are here. The ambition for success is also here. Those two things being aligned are very important. The feeling I get is one of frustration at that word not being realised. One step at a time.”

Given where they are in the table, it might sound peculiar to say both Bristol clubs are better placed structurally than at any time in their histories to take that step. Will the undoubted potential will be fulfilled? Is this another false dawn or will it lead to a place on the map? The mystery of Bristol does at least look closer to being solved.

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10 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

I suspect I know who both of these posters are, both on OTIB!!!

I figured the first one might’ve been our erstwhile stadium announcer. Is the Iain the old Bristol Boy from your pod? 

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The author refers to City as 'the Robins', and Rovers, not as the Pirates, but as 'the Gas'

 Very odd - has the Gas now become their official nickname?

 

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