How did it come to this?

“Yeah, everybody loves a circus show
But I’m the only clown you’ll ever know
And now you can applaud my best mistake
I love you was too many words to say”
Take That – The Circus

The absolute mess that the Steelers find themselves in has been well documented on here, in the press and on the various forums, but that’s not what I want to talk about, what I want to cover is the reaction of the majority of their fanbase. Take this morning for example, it is announced that Steelers will be starting the season with a short squad (When I saw the headline ‘Steelers to start short’ I was hoping to find out that they’d replaced the entire squad with midgets, alas I was to be disappointed!) Now, I know what mine and other Panthers fans reaction would be if Corey Neilson announced that Brock Wilson’s replacement wouldn’t be arriving until after the season started, there would be uproar, and quite rightly so. Yet this news has seen barely a whimper from the majority of Steelers fan base, some are even applauding the move! What happened to the fight in them? Has the events of the summer left them beaten? It certainly appears so.

Then there is the debacle of their main sponsorship deal. The title sponsors Linked2success, haven’t paid anything to be be the main company on Steelers shirts (nothing new there it seems!) It seems that Linkedsuccess will be ‘marketing’ the Steelers through their business, a type of social network for industry. I’m not being funny but is this really what the Steelers need? They need paying customers coming through the door in numbers, I can’t see firms in Stirling, Newport or Middlesborough being that interested if Linked2success get in touch with them about watching ice hockey in South Yorkshire. If it’s been set up to try and get Steelers some corporate investment even the most slapdash of companies will do some reserch and surely give a resounding ‘no’ given the events of this summer (and previous summers come to that) However, a great bit of business from Linked2success to get this sort of exposure for free but I doubt the Steelers will get as much out of the deal.

My own personal opinion is that the Steelers cupboard is bare. Sure, they have a new ‘management’ team putting a positive spin on everything and a brand new website, but to me this looks like an empty biscuit tin, all shiny and inviting on the outside but when you open it up there’s nothing there. I have no doubt they will start the season, but as time goes on I think it will be a miracle if they finish it.

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