Getting Angry with Greg Mitchell 7th February

This column needs a new title. I’m not angry any more. I could sit here and rant again about last night, Neilson’s lack of coaching ability, about his “team’s” lack of cohesion, passion or grit, about the spin that the club will use to mask the failings, about Galbraith’s dress sense but what’s the point? I could bang on until the cows come home but it won’t make any difference.
Does “Being disappointed with Greg Mitchell” have the same ring? What about disillusioned? Because that’s how I’m feeling at the moment. I wanted Newcastle to win last night but only because I hoped it would be the start of changes within the club that we love. I don’t think it will though and that saddens me deeply. There’s an old management training soundbite that a mistake is only a problem if you don’t learn from it and by that adage we’ve got some pretty big problems. We’ve blown two three goal leads in five days, blown countless other leads recently, we’ve under-estimated Newcastle twice. These are all the fault of Corey Neilson but who cares?
I referred in the previous paragraph to the Panthers as the team that we love but it’s pretty hard to love them when they don’t love us back very often. I’m not talking about the results although they would and have been used to mask things for a short while. How do you love someone or something that shows little or no regard for you? It’s like thinking you’re in a friendship or relationship but the other side never replies to your texts and isn’t bothered about the fact that they don’t reply. Panthers just want our adoration, they’re not interested in anyone with a different opinion to theirs to the point when they won’t even acknowledge your opinion. The Cage is awash with stories of member’s of the management ignoring or being off hand with disgruntled fans. They can’t treat people like this, at least, not for long. No matter how much you love someone or something everyone has a breaking point and I think that point is being reached for many people.
They’re probably not bothered though. What’s a few people falling by the way side when we’ve got attendances like we have? Who cares if a 10, 15, 20 year fan is replaced by someone who is new to the game and has no expectations or ideas of what is good, bad or indifferent. There’s always plenty of people sat around me that are obviously pretty new to the game and, quite frankly couldn’t care less about it, they’ve just come in for a (fairly expensive) warm and a (very) expensive (and insipid, lifeless and gassy) drink with their friends. I’m get sick and tired of asking these people to sit down when they turn up late in the middle of play and want to spend the next five minutes deciding who should be sitting in which seat whilst play is going on. The management must love these people, they don’t care win lose or draw, they’re all adults so they’re paying top money and they have similarly low standards when it comes to food and drink.
The management should be bothered about the loss of the longer standing fans. They might not spend as much, they might not make as much noise but they’re the real life blood of this team, the people who are or were in love with the team. The club should be listening to their pain, not stampeding over them to get at the new breed of fans. We’re forever being told that Panthers have a good business model but a good business listens to the unhappy customers. Those cheesy restaurant signs that say “If you like what we do tell your friends, if you don’t tell us” might make you want to vomit but they’ve got a point. If you fail to pay attention to your customers you lose them eventually no matter what your business.

I applaud Elliot Stanley’s letter to Neil Black and hope it’ll generate some sort of response but I think it’s more likely that it’ll just generate a lot of spin. He’ll get a reply along the lines of Neil sharing his concerns and see that they’re investigated but nothing will happen. Someone will wave a balance sheet under his nose and he’ll simply decide that everything is really alright. I wish I could be more optimistic, I really do but experience makes it hard to look on the bright side.
As for me, I’m beginning to think I’ve reached the point I’ve talked about above. I want to stay around, I want to feel passionate about my club but I want something to feel passionate about. I also want a team that cares about how I’m feeling rather than just seeing me as donor. You can stick a fork in this season – it’s done. I’m not going on Tuesday. There’s nothing sinister about this, it’s not a protest I’ve got to go to my daughter’s parents evening at school but I’ve got to seriously consider whether I want to be there on Sunday or whether I’ve got better ways to spend my money. As I write this there are approximately 55 days until the play-off final and I can’t wait for each day to pass. I want out of this season but for how long? Will I still care come September? Who knows if I’ll come back and more importantly who’ll care?
I’m sorry if this article disappoints any fans of my more blood and thunder style but I don’t really feel I have it in me this week. The people who can give that back to me aren’t listening to me any more. I can only hope they make the right decisions without my input.


8 Responses to “Getting Angry with Greg Mitchell 7th February”

  1. 1 grumpyminer February 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    This is superb!
    It sums up my feelings exactly, you can only take so much apathy then you begin to not care back!
    I don’t expect anything to change before the end of the season and am reluctant to part with £600+ for a season ticket for 2011/12 if the club do not react and try to solve these problems.

  2. 2 Gary Brown February 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Corey has lost the players and he must shoulder the blame for our poor performances but what right have certain players ( we know who they are ) to continue doing their own thing on the ice regardless of instuctions given . Come on Danny bring these clowns to order!

  3. 3 matt February 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Hi never met you but read your articles. This one hits a real point me and the wife have been feeling for a while. I,d love to make a stand but then I,ll miss a game I love, yes I know love the game not the panthers. I find myself watching the other sides and almost wishing go on score more than us. The fight these other clubs have is second to non. Being born and bred nottingham how many times have I heard forest are to bigger club to go down. Where are they now. Well maybe on their way back up but no one is to big to go down. I love sport if my team wins lose or draw but they have to have Passion. Cheers Matt ….

  4. 4 Big panther pete February 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I agree with everything that has been said and written in the last few days. I did as many watch the news today and once again 30 secs or so and a statement from panthers management and or the reporter taking the news from the web site. Why cant someone and or management / the coach do a public statement whats wrong with their voice being heard instead of always a reporter, that is what makes me angry. I will be going on tuesday night but will be walkin out early if the performance of the team has not changed and the remainder of the tickets bought for the rest of the season i will be applying for a refund!



  5. 5 Mark February 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Nailed exactly how I feel. I’ve been to one game since the 27th December, (Hull), and I won’t be going back this season. Time was I’d kill myself to get to every game but apathy is obviously contagious, the Panthers attitude has obviously rubbed off on me.

  6. 6 bertmonkey February 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    A very sad read from a fan who is usually so passionate about his team. 😦

  7. 7 Pete Walch February 8, 2011 at 12:35 am

    It happens to us all eventually. After being an avid Panther follower from the back end of 82/83 season until the end of 2008, I haven’t been since. Have they missed me? No I don’t think so.

  8. 8 Stefan February 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I am one of those new breed of fans you speak so lovingly about. I am now in my 3rd season watching the Panthers. I am 19 and now living in Peterborough and previously Cardiff, but traveled what was the 360 (now 120) mile round trip to see my hometown team as often as I could. I still do. Not because of the booze, the night out, or even to see friends (I will often go on my ownas my friends cannot afford it). I go to see a team, and a sport that I love. I have my thresholds, of course I do. We win, sometimes we deserve the glory, sometimes not. The same goes with defeats. The recent results are inexcusable, I know this. But I, as with many of my friends, refuse to give in on the team, or sport that we have adopted. I understand the pain of the long time fans who have not seen a league win since the early 80’s, but if we turn our back on the team, we turn our back on the sport. I assume you all love the sport that once dissappeared from organised play in Britain? If all Panthers fans right this secod turned round and said that they will not go to see the richest club in the country, then the entire sport may not be able to keep afloat. An extreme example, I know. I also know that it would never happen. A small number of die hard fans would still go, but they would not be enough. This sounds over dramatic and maybe it is. But this is how I feel. Forget the club, it feels like people are turning their backs on the sport that I love. Things have to change, yes, but will they change if you stay? mabe so, maybe not. But why walk away from the club/sport, because once you do, you’ve declared no caring either way? So does that prove a point? My oppinion? No. (Sorry this practically turned into a second column).

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