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Don't Blame Cotts


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Getting really fed up of people blaming the easy target that is Cotts. In my view he is being made to look the fall guy here when in reality he is the only one holding this club together at the moment. He has 15 or 16 players to work with and atleast 5 of them are not good enough at this level. Evidence suggests he had no backing or real support from the board whatsoever in the summer and clearly showed how he felt about that in tonight interview "we have now got to try & do a whole summers recruitment in a month" or words to that effect. No manager out there will be able to come in and do a better job with these players - as a group they simply aren't good enough at this level and there simply aren't enough of them.

I'm not saying that Cotts is beyond some blame because clearly he is (formation, subs, tactics) but clearly he cares & atleast he is sweating blood & tears to try and make best of the situation. From what I can see he is getting next to no support from those around him - from the Owner to the DOF (?).

Steve Lansdown (Owner) - We don't see him much any more & we don't hear enough from him. 

Jon Lansdown (Vice Chairman) - Again very quiet lately and provides no inspiration at all any more.

Keith Dawe - Supposedly the Chairman but I don't really see the point of him at all. Not a leader in any shape or form. We never hear from him and many of us wouldn't recognise him if we passed him in the street. Quite happy to walk across the pitch holding the trophy last May but of no use whatsoever in turning this club around. Pointless.

Doug Harman (Chief Exec) - Who? What does he do and what is he supposed to be doing? Not necessarily responsible for success on the pitch but surely you would expect to visibly see some leadership of the club in one form or another. I'm pretty sure this is the role that Colin Sextone performed and let's be honest we all knew who he was & what he was trying to achieve.

Keith Burt - His primary role has to be around the identification and recruitment of players isn't it? On that basis alone he shouldn't even still be in the job. What does he do all week / month / season? The squad size & recruitment levels are embarrassing & more akin to a Southern League club. Appears to have been of no support to Cotts at all over the last 6 months & it makes you wonder what their working relationship really is.

What a mess from top to bottom.

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I've put this on another thread but it's relevant here too...what do people expect from our Board, a weekly press conference to give their views to the world on our predicament?

How many other clubs' Boards are consistently visible, giving their views on the running of their club in a public, high profile way?

I don't know of any. The Board at most clubs are 'faceless' - they just get on with what they do behind the scenes. 

Have you seen the Man U chairman giving the media and fans a view on LVG's boring brand of football? No

It's not their job, and nor sure it be.

Every big organisation has a communications team and it's their job to represent the organisation to its external stakeholders on a regular basis both proactively and reactively. It's not the Board's job.

A football club is no different, the manager is used most regularly by the communications team as the spokesperson.

For some reason football fans demand access to views, opinions and confidential matters from every single member of their club...they feel they have the right to know absolutely everything because they are mostly wildly passionate about their club. And that's great.

But this 'access all areas' demand is unrealistic and doesn't happen in other industries...

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Is it the board that picks the same losing team and formation every week?

Is it the board that doesn't make subs?

Is it the board that cant attract players here?

Is it the board that watch a different game to the fans every week?

No, it's not.  Cotts is at fault for team performances, he should carry the can for on the pitch failings. 

I've heard rubbish about keeping him so that he can bring us back up, why?  To take us back down again in the first season?

Cotts out.  The guy is a deluded moron. 

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How many bloody times does it need to be said? The money was there for transfers as shown with our bids for Grey and Gayle. Wages were not even an issue. For whatever reason Cotts was unable to get these deals accross the line and he had no back up plan.

He messed up entirely in the summer and lost us any momentum we had from promotion.

He recently said before the window opened there were no irons in the fire and that has proven to be the case. 

The bloke is incompetent and established Championship bor upcoming players simply do not want to play for him for whatever reason.

The blame falls 100% at Cotts door as he is the manager and ultimately responsible for these things. 

A great league one manager but clearly out of depth at Championship level. 

For what it's worth if I was the owner he would have been sacked in the summer(I said this at the time) as he is not the right man to push Bristol City onto the level we inspire to be.

The only thing the board need to be held accountable for is for continuing to employ him when they should have got rid either in the summer or in December when it was clear we were in real danger. Now we're in a position of if we sack a new man has very little time to evaluate the squad and scout players. However if we stick with him we run the risk of almost certain relegation and another disappointing transfer window with very few if any reinforcements. Catch 22 situation.

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Nobody knows how much work these guys do, I am guessing substantial, so to criticise as if one does and slate them is utterly ridiculous. Emotion I understand, frustration also but the words you use Cardy to talk, especially, about Keith Burt are a pretty poor choice given what I have said here.

Everyone in positions of decision making are culpable for what has gone wrong, everyone. To single anyone out and in any detail is just playing a guessing game and unfair.

I think what we do know or can surmise from the resultant evidence on the pitch is that a strategic error was made in the summer to expend too much effort on high profile targets and not enough on more realistic ones or 'plan b'. That has to be a collective error. It must have been decided around a conference table with all present what the strategy should have been; there is no chance anybody would have got up from that strategy meeting in fundamental disagreement over transfer policy perhaps with the exception of Steve Lansdown because he can but to think he would allow the adoption of a transfer policy that he disagrees with is of course far fetched.

There seems to have been a fundamental miscalculation of how, even with such a successful season, City would be perceived by the sort of targets the club sought. And with 2015-16 just 8 months or so away when, at the end of it, parachute payments will be nigh on 3 times what they will be at the end of this season it is probably true to suggest that going down and coming back up again, even if done in 1 year, will just tilt that mountain a few gradients steeper. All the more reason why it is unfathomable how and why the summer strategy in 2015 went so horribly wrong. Did the club employ some consultants? Do they even exist for such a task that entails a lot of psychology. If they did its not worked and if they didn't why not? Perhaps in the future there is going to be a real need for some real experts in the game to come in and consult with clubs when the internal structure may not be up to scratch for a 'game changing' promotion. League 1 to the Championship is a bigger game changer today than it has ever been and that monumental step up is only going to increase and fairly exponentially in about 2 years from now.

Within the nitty gritty of that summer of 2015 we know we are reaping the end result of it. We simply have to remain in this division whatever it takes.

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29 minutes ago, havanatopia said:


...can surmise from the resultant evidence on the pitch is that a strategic error was made in the summer to expend too much effort on high profile targets and not enough on more realistic ones or 'plan b'. That has to be a collective error. It must have been decided around a conference table with all present what the strategy should have been...

Agree with everything you say, and think it's well-put. However, Cotterill has gone to great pains to stress his right of veto over transfers and that he is only willing to accept Championship players.

Now, ultimately this position was accepted by the board when they could have refused and made his position impossible by insisting on lower league.

But ultimately I suspect the position started from SC and I find it hard to condemn a decision to back a manager who has just won you the league (albeit with a team of players who were clearly too good for the division).

So I'd suggest that while there needs to be equal responsibility, one man is more equal than others. 

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