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It's not all doom and gloom


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Ok ok, I lured you in. Things right now are pretty bad. We've got a whole team out, are struggling to score, our defence is makeshift at best and we've got just 2 points, sitting joint bottom on account of less goals conceded. 

But look at the table. 2 wins and we'd be up in the top half and all would be seemingly rosey. We're not cut adrift and we've barely started. It would not be the first time we've had a bad start. 

Just be patient. See where we are in a week. Maybe we'll have a new striker. Players will come back from injury over the international break. 

Stop being so darn negative. 

https://youtu.be/EiUWAJswAho/

Hughes post match interview from around 4 minutes 10 "that's where we need the supporters. We need a hand"

Get behind the team when they need us most. Don't be a fair weather fan. 

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I don't see negativity just justified concern about a poor start to the season and a concerning recruitment policy.

Expressing such concern in moderate terms while still attending matches and supporting the team certainly doesn't make one a 'happy clapper' but neither does it render those of us who have supported the team through thick and thin 'fair weather fans'.

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While we are struggling, is it really that bad? We competed over 2 games with Astra, away draw with St J at a ground where we historically have struggled, lost at Parkhead against the best team in the country by a long way. The Hamilton game was a disappointment and the display poor but they put 4 past Dundee Utd only the wk before and for 20 mins we were all over them - if given our makeshift team we can compete and narrowly loose to a team fielding its strongest 11 who look crap then I think there is hope.

I think we need to get Draper back alongside Tansey in the middle as both look out of sorts in their current roles. Bringing in a new keeper is difficult but with a contsntly changing defence there is no consistent back line to build on. We need to settle for Raven - Tremarco - Devine - Williams until Meekings recovers and Tremarco can go into LB and Williams further forwards.

Goals are the problem, we dont have mobility from Lopez like Mackay or Watkins gave to chase the game and he isnt physical like Ofere was to hold the ball up. Perhaps we need to put Wedderburn up front, use his strength to hold up the ball and allow Christie, Mutombo, Roberts to get forwards and support or gather knock downs. Polworth gives nothing and should have gone in the summer with more effort on keeping Nick Ross.

Even with the limitations, I think we have more to offer with a few changes, its going to be a tough season but every team who has large number of changes struggles after the summer, those doing well - Dons, Hearts have last years squads, so given time it will improve afterall we are only 5 points off 4th place!!!!

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We've got pretty much a whole team out. Any team in the league would struggle with that. Missing both first choice centre halves who have been mainstays for 2-3 years. 

We're also lacking goals. Hughes has admitted this. He's trying hard to rectify this. 

The injuries are outwith our control. The missing striker is a problem that a process of rectifying is ongoing. 

If Arsenal and United can't identify one for £50m though then it's fair to say it's not easy.  

Aside from these issues which have impacted our form then I don't see much wrong. A couple of wins and we could be back in the top half mix. The international break will hopefully allow for injured players to return. 

Until then, I think positivity is the best solution.  

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I've got to say that I've never been so concerned about our football club. Granted, I was dreaming when I thought that the Cup success would improve our gate and attractiveness to players, but I'm really disappointed that we haven't managed to solidify our position (note: not "go to the next level" which is both a horrible expression and a pipe dream) and to make reasonable signings to replace the inevitable departure of our best players. Irreplaceable? Maybe in the short term, but there must be some rough diamonds out there as Watkins and Mckay proves!

Instead, we are exactly where we were: a small club on the periphery of the radar with a very small budget that appears to be pretty low down on players' wish list. The Cup victory doesn't appear to have made one iota of difference. JH clearly hasn't been sitting on his hands with respect to transfers but he is quoted to have said that he has been turned down by a number of signing targets. Why? Salary? Lack of training facilities? Location? Whatever the reason, we're now left to scrabble at the bottom of the barrel 3 days before the transfer window closes, with an injury list that could fill the first team!

My disillusionment isn't really with the club - they run a very tight ship and rightly so. I think it's just with the realisation that we will eventually find our level, based on the size of the core support (~2500) and our lack of resource, and that this might well not be in the premiership (but could be in an expanded top league, if that were to ever happen). Cash is king - whether borrowed, stolen or earned - and we quite simply can't compete in that market, cup winners and European candidates or not!

A miserable post, I know! On a chearier note, I will nevertheless continue to buy my season ticket to support my local team!

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Ok then. 

Two of our most valued assets have walked away from the club for absolutely nothing.  Not only have we missed out on a transfer fee for both, our board and their belief in short contracts have made sure that we did not get reimbursed for the time and resource spent on their development. Both players have moved to direct rivals within the same division.

We have replaced 4 players from a cup winning squad with players that have never played at this level and unsurprisingly they are struggling

We have no striker, needed one since Billy left... Christ we needed one before Billy left

Billy is now returning to play for one of our rivals

We have 2 points after 5 games and only scored 3 goals all season

We are suffering from an injury crisis with half the squad in A&E

We now have Cabrini as a shirt sponsor and we still don't have our strips (only team in SPFL) - when they go on sale we can only get them through JD sports and there is a very good chance we have lost a fortune on this deal by being so short-sighted. 

We are now set to lose Ryan Christie to Celtic and if our history of transfer dealings is anything to go by then he will probably go for much less than he is actually worth. 

We are yet to see the club spend any of the money they received from the sale of Billy Mckay and last years earnings.  

For the first time in our history I actually feel that County are a bigger club than us.... luckily we have the Scottish Cup win to hold them off but we need to do something quick or we will take a hiding off them this season. 

I am sick to death of hearing people say "we are only a small club" and making excuses for the board not doing their job properly.  We are literally loosing money because they are acting like a small club and failing to reward our players with contracts that would have resulted in some sort of transfer fee.  In all business you need to speculate to accumulate - the board were lucky last year that we managed to have such an amazing season because it was not for their doing.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Speculate : To take a chance on something, or some course of action, without any firm evidence to support it.

Yeah, that sounds like a really intelligent way to run a club/business :blink:

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Harry, in regard to the length of contracts, the club gave 2 to 3 years deals for Doran, Foran and Warren and there are others with 2 year contracts.  Shinnie was offered a new contract but he was never going to sign it when other clubs were sniffing about. 

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Polworth gives nothing and should have gone in the summer with more effort on keeping Nick Ross.

Couldn't disagree more. He's put in a solid graft since he's come into the team, and shown flashes of quality. If he was 28 and had 400 games under his belt, fair enough. But we're talking about an inexperienced 20 year old who's barely had any first team football. Of course he's going to make mistakes. Give the lad a break. He's only going to get better. 

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Polworth gives nothing and should have gone in the summer with more effort on keeping Nick Ross.

Couldn't disagree more. He's put in a solid graft since he's come into the team, and shown flashes of quality. If he was 28 and had 400 games under his belt, fair enough. But we're talking about an inexperienced 20 year old who's barely had any first team football. Of course he's going to make mistakes. Give the lad a break. He's only going to get better. 

Give Polworth the games, just like Ross at Dundee and he will be ok.

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There's no point in talking down any of our players - we have a paper - thin squad, like several of the other teams in this league.

Last season, we escaped long-term injuries in areas where we lacked depth - this season so far has been the opposite.

We've got several new players up front, and it's not surprising they aren't on the same wavelength - too soon to write them off as bad players I'd say.

Likewise, the youngsters who come in need time to find their roles in the team. For now, I'm worried - but not surprised, and I'm sure as hell not booing anybody.

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The problem is the club is being run as a business and not a football club. The group that have put money in (there's been a fair few) don't care about being successful on the park as long as we don't get relegated. 

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The problem is the club is being run as a business and not a football club. The group that have put money in (there's been a fair few) don't care about being successful on the park as long as we don't get relegated. 

That sounds like Rangers or Hearts but vice versa regarding winning cups.

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One of the real concerns I see is that so many of our players are on contracts only to the end of this season.  Had we started off this season as we had last season, then the prospect of another good finish in the league and perhaps another taste of Europe next year, would have seen us in a much stronger position to retain our current players and attract new players.  Hopefully our injury crisis will ease soon, our new recruits will demonstrate that they can perform at this level and we will start to make progress up the table.  However, if we have not turned things round by the end of the year and find ourselves in a relegation dog fight we will be having players queuing up to sign pre-contract agreements elsewhere.  We have rightly been seen as a club which has developed players and allowed them to move on to bigger clubs and as long as we are successful then they may hang around here a little longer - but they have not come here to play in the Championship.  If we get relegated we will lose many of our better players and there is not a chance we would bounce straight up like before.

Of course our injury crisis is serious but in my view the current contract situation is probably a more serious threat to our longer term success.  If we are struggling at the back end of the season and if the bulk of our players are not signed up for the following season then it will not matter a great deal to them whether we stay up or go down.  If they are signed up for a further year they will have a huge motivation for the club to avoid the drop plus we would still have them the following year in the event of us getting relegated.  It is therefore pretty urgent that the club looks to extend contracts ASAP.  And, of course, ensuring players always have at least a year on their contracts means we are more likely to get money for players who do depart.

So whilst it is not all doom and gloom at the moment and there is certainly no need to panic, it does make good sense to recognise the implications of not pulling things round and to take steps now to mitigate the potential effects of that.  If there are players in the squad with less than a year on their contracts that the manager would like to keep here then they should be told that they either renew before the January transfer window or they will be released at the end of season.  You can't stop a player leaving but at least that way you maximise the chance of getting some transfer fees into the club and you maximise the time available to find a replacement.

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Speculate : To take a chance on something, or some course of action, without any firm evidence to support it.

Yeah, that sounds like a really intelligent way to run a club/business :blink:

It's a very famous business cliché and is as relevant to our situation as any.  It isn't even speculating in the cases for Shinnie and Ross, both have left the club for absolutely nothing due to lack of foresight.  We should never have let their contracts end at age 23 when they could walk away the club without us receiving any compensation for their youth development.  When contracts were being negotiated this should have been the first thing to take into consideration.   Of course players/agents have a say in this but we should have absolutely insisted on this point for our 2 of our own. 

Why am I not surprised that you would come to defence of the club. Feel free to comment on any of the other points made in the list or all of them if you can provide a reasonable explanation for the position we are in.  I'm sure with your position at the club you will have as good an explanation 'excuse' for all the failures in that list. 

...  here's another relevant business cliché for you:

"If you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards"

 

Harry, in regard to the length of contracts, the club gave 2 to 3 years deals for Doran, Foran and Warren and there are others with 2 year contracts.  Shinnie was offered a new contract but he was never going to sign it when other clubs were sniffing about. 

 

I take your point KB but it's more in terns of Shinnie and Ross I was referring to - why have a youth system if by the time we actually produce 2 excellent SPFL players they are able to walk away from the club for free?! We have shot ourselves in the foot for the chance at a transfer fee but more concerning is that the money we've spent coaching & youth contract to get them to where they are is all down the pan. As explained above we should have insisted on this as an absolute must, if the player leaves for free the following season then good luck to them but I hope the club has now learned their lesson and will look at Polworth, Ferguson, Sutherland & Christie

The Foran contract is crazy as well? Why give any 30+ player such a long contract.  Impossible to predict injuries he's had but surely a player at his age was more susceptible and that money could have been passed around the team.  

 

 

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I am sick to death of hearing people say "we are only a small club" and making excuses for the board not doing their job properly.  We are literally loosing money because they are acting like a small club and failing to reward our players with contracts that would have resulted in some sort of transfer fee.  In all business you need to speculate to accumulate - the board were lucky last year that we managed to have such an amazing season because it was not for their doing. 

We ARE only a small club. A nationally renowned club but with a regular fan base  of around 2500 and a small budget we are undoubtedly a small club. That is quite simply a matter of fact. 

*losing 

As for the shirts, it's not a matter of when the shirts are available but that the fans buy them when they are. If you had the money to buy one in June why not keep it aside? Though I do feel a pre order system at least would help. 

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Whilst I am all for fiscal responsibility, and have espoused that opinion many times over the years as it relates to ICT, there are times when you do need to "speculate to accumulate". Every league placing is worth a significant sum (was 70K) so, although it is too late for this particular one, if a striker like Mackay could have been loaned in and paid say 2 grand a week then his goals (and I have no doubt he would haved scored some) could easily have taken us up 2 or 3 places and paid for his contract and more ! Yes, its a risk and he might not score any ... but we all know what the cost of relegation is   

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I am sick to death of hearing people say "we are only a small club" and making excuses for the board not doing their job properly.  We are literally loosing money because they are acting like a small club and failing to reward our players with contracts that would have resulted in some sort of transfer fee.  In all business you need to speculate to accumulate - the board were lucky last year that we managed to have such an amazing season because it was not for their doing. 

 

We ARE only a small club. A nationally renowned club but with a regular fan base  of around 2500 and a small budget we are undoubtedly a small club. That is quite simply a matter of fact. 

*losing 

As for the shirts, it's not a matter of when the shirts are available but that the fans buy them when they are. If you had the money to buy one in June why not keep it aside? Though I do feel a pre order system at least would help. 

We are now an established SPFL club and Scottish Cup Winners.. as for attendances we are only ever going to increase the gates by showing ambition and by being a progressive club.  Apart from the big boys our attendances are competitive with others in the division.  I would like to see our net spend for this year (in terms of new contracts) compared to last and with others in the division because I am sure we are well behind the rest of them. 

No, its not a matter of simply keeping money aside for strips.  When are you more likely to buy a new strip? a) when you have just won the Scottish Cup and are competing in Europe with the hope and expectancy of the new season or b) when we are no longer in Europe, memories of the Scottish Cup win are fading* and we are 6 games in without a win and scored only 4 goals and worse yet - County are flying. That's for existing fans.  What about new fans that we could have attracted after the Scottish Cup Win, are they still likely to keep money aside for a new top? It's supply and demand.  We had the demand and still have no supply.  Also Cabrini?  The fans are paying the same price for football tops that are being made by an inferior brand ...

Imagine a new fan or a fan that is being swayed towards ICT, went to the final celebrated with the rest of us. Loved it!  ICT release 2 new nice as **** adidas tops (just for 1 season) ... guaranteed sales.  Fans delighted walking about wearing these tops, others see them and also want one.. sales spike and ICT has not only made a profit on purchases but also have recruited a new set of fans.  

An adidas ICT top is more of a pipe dream but even stay with Errea for one more season and just make sure that we have tops available for any potential new fans! If making a new deal with Cabrini ... insist that we have our new strips before now... better yet get ahead of the game and strike a deal before last season had ended!! Show a bit of organisation .... do your job.

 

* to be fair will take a long time before I forget that day  

Edited by Harry Chibber
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For the first time in our history I actually feel that County are a bigger club than us.... luckily we have the Scottish Cup win to hold them off but we need to do something quick or we will take a hiding off them this season. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County are not a bigger club than us - I'd say they are almost exactly the same size, based on gates. They are, however, a richer club simply because of the input of a rich benefactor. MacGregor's financial muscle has saved County in the past two seasons. We can't rely on the same rescue if we find ourselves in trouble come January. Cash is king and its killing football.

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Here's something to celebrate. Our run of 8 competitive games without a win isn't actually our worst ever - hurrah!

We had a run of 9 winless games from October to December 2006, but as far as I can see the record is 11 matches from January to March 2008. Wins over joke side Gretna before and after that run prevented it from being longer.

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Mutombo's dismissal sounds utterly stupid but on the plus side it does perhaps indicate a level of passion.  Mutombo's suspension might also force the manager in giving some game time to one of the youngsters.  I recall a few years ago when Butcher consistently preferred Barrowman to Rooney.  Barrowman was injured and Rooney had his chance.  The rest is history.

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The Foran contract is crazy as well? Why give any 30+ player such a long contract.  Impossible to predict injuries he's had but surely a player at his age was more susceptible and that money could have been passed around the team.  

Have to agree with that one. Probably a sentimental decision from Butcher to give his buddy one last big deal after all their years working together. Richie delivered for Butcher, and Butcher delivered for Richie. Seems fair enough, although maybe not such good business from the club's perspective! To be fair, he certainly didn't look 'past it' before his injury, so he might still come back into the team and make a significant contribution.

Since this thread is about looking on the bright side - we've had a terrible start but we aren't isolated at the bottom. In fact, one win would have us knocking on the door of the top 6. We've also now seen enough of the SPL to discern that most of the other teams aren't any better than us.

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