There are people dying of starvation in the world, yet first world inhabitants claim to be ‘starving’ when they haven’t eaten for a few hours. There are people who don’t have enough money for a roof over their head nor clothes on their back, yet first world inhabitants claim to be ‘poor’ when they can’t afford to go out with their mates. There are football clubs in the third division, yet first world inhabitants claim to be suffering because the takeover they wanted is no more. You’d think Sunderland fans, of all people, would understand that situations are relative. They do marry theirs, after all.
A Roker Report article has taken exception to Newcastle United fans claiming that our club is ‘dying’ because the takeover has fallen through and we face the prospect of more time under our disengaged and neglectful owner. Apparently we need to get a grip for being heartbroken about no longer having the possibility of becoming a European superpower. Apparently, we don’t know we’re born.
Well, Roker Report, perhaps the EDM is still ringing in your ears but firstly you seem to have misunderstood the meaning of the word ‘re-established’ in praising Ashley for re-establishing us as a comfortable mid-table Premier League club. Average Premier League position since Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United is 13th and average Premier League position pre-Ashley was 8th. He has established us as a mid-table side, when we were anything but for the majority of the Premier League years prior to the Sports Direct era of our club. As for comfortable, is two relegations really comfortable? You ought to know, I guess.
Inferiority complexes are difficult things to live with and the wild celebrations over Henderson winning the Premier League are probably ongoing, so I’m trying to be understanding here but just like your beloved Pickford you’re reaching for something above your level. You see, when a club was 3rd, 6th, 2nd and 2nd in its first four Premier League seasons and then 4th, 3rd and 5th a few years later they enter this thing called Europe. You may have heard of it. It’s a wonderous place where you need a passport and watch your team play in fantastic cities like Barcelona, Turin and Milan. Along the way, you enjoy watching truly great players instead of shouting in an empty stand of pink seats that, ‘Will Grigg’s on fire.’
You see, when you’ve been at the top, ‘dying’ can be seen as starting to consistently fall to a level below that but when that level is still infinitely higher than yours I can see how that word must be confusing - particularly when your usual vocabulary is little more than ‘six in a row’. We haven’t had a couple of Netflix series to show you round our facilities and it’s been a while since you’ve been in our league but I can inform you that our stadium is dying, as are our training facilities. Our academy produces fewer end results than your expensively assembled cryo chamber and our manager is so average that he used to manage you. It may not be administration levels of absolute death but from where we were, it feels like a chronic disease at the very least.
Perhaps if you hadn’t ignored your own disease just because it wore a ‘FTM’ badge and taken yourself to the GP to get checked out earlier, you may not have reached terminal level three.
Enjoy Burton Albion.