By Ron Beaumont
“If I listened long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true
Knowing that you lied straight–faced while I cried,
Still I look to find a reason to believe.”
Well I’ve listened long enough: listened to clichés, listened to assertions, promises, excuses, personal and collective criticisms and outright blame. Yet I have always believed that people deserve a fair hearing. Just because their point of view is different from mine (or that of the majority) does not mean it should be ignored. But how long does a fair hearing last? And at what point do you give up? Wherever that point is for you, I have reached it.
Those with a more analytical mind will no doubt be able to list the numbers accurately, but to me there have been just too many contradictions. Whether it be about transfers, managers, ambition, individual players, personal achievements and plans, whatever has been said by the club under this ownership lacks any consistency and therefore, any credibility.
And then there are the silences. Whether there are legal implications or whether sheer lack of the principle of honesty is to blame, things we supporters feel we ought to be told have been covered up in a manner that would make a politician seem trustworthy. Personally, I don’t believe anyone who speaks – or doesn’t – for the club any more.
In the world of business we supporters (customers ) have almost no say in the way that a business is run. We have few rights and being told the truth is not one of them. Take it or leave it…”You know where the door is.” Indeed I do. I have been coming through that door in its various forms for half my lifetime and whatever our fortunes inside, it has never occurred to me not to come in… until now.
Listening to or reading the views of others, I know I am not alone. Comments on a range of media have ranged from the clearly articulated (as is the case with this site) to the downright obscene (no names) but the message is the same – we were asked to “believe” but expected never to question those who “know football” regardless of our own depth of knowledge.
Talk of protests and no shows abound among fans, but in reality the evidence suggests such action is fruitless. The actions of the average supporter – whether individually or collectively – does not bring about change in itself. Only business can do that. The threat of relegation that already looms large in the eyes of fans, seems not to influence those in control. (Sadly, at times, it seems not to influence players who have their own reasons for their no-shows within the safety of a contract.)
No. As fans, we were promised we had been listened to, that lessons had been learned yet we were, once again, falsely informed. With such a track record of misinformation and disinformation, is there any wonder that I and many others no longer “believe”.
But none of this is new. While the new-found frankness of local journalists and commentators is to be applauded, they too have no control over what is going on, their words, like mine, will not change the situation. Yes I can stay away, I can write out my feelings to add to all those of others, but ultimately it is all pointless. I can change nothing.
“Still I look to find a reason to believe”
There has to be one. Underneath all the vitriol and “crap” there has to be something to temper my pessimism… and I think I may have found it: Time.
Anyone with anything of a long-standing relationship with this club knows about the dark days, the threats to our very existence that we have faced. But equally, those same people will know of the resurgences, the triumphs that make up the intangible soul of Bradford City and that has kept it going and kept us coming.
Maybe we have to accept that which we, as supporters, cannot change but, if so, do so with the confidence that “Time” and the cycle of fortune will bring about the things we seek. It is not a pleasant thought – particularly to one about to enter his seventieth year – but there will be change for the better in time.
So if you believe as I do that “Time” will heal the difficulties then the accompanying requirement has to be “Patience” – and that is something that is often in short supply with many fans. Sadly such pessimistic optimism is the reality I feel we are faced with.
What shall we do? We do nothing. But if it makes you feel better, add your protest while you wait.
P.S. Those who may recognise the lyrics at the start may associate them with Rod Stewart or some of the others who have covered this song. In fact it was written and originally recorded by Tim Hardin in 1967.
And for those who like the detail, he also wrote “ Hang on to a dream.”