Year of the Flops
It isn’t quite over but I’m confident none of us will ever forget this season, the year of the Flops.
No fans in the stands statistically hurt more than ever as for the first time ever the English top flight will see more away wins than home wins. As simple as having no away fans on your back? Realize they’re only eleven mortal men when there’s no vocal 12th? No fans urging teams forward helped curb attacking instincts?
Whatever the reason for this quirk, coaches the globe over will analyze the responses given by footballers as to what exactly happened and try to use that data to their advantage.
Our ten was but who could have predicted the spectacular flop of Juventus’ 10th title attempt, despite having perhaps the world’s best player supplemented by some superstars?
They amazingly lie outside the Champions league places, their fate outside their own hands heading into this weekends final round of games.
Another of the big five leagues will probably see a stunning upset or flop depending on your viewpoint. Athletico will be splitting Real and Barca no matter what, which is one hell of a feat though helped hugely by Barcas embarrassing Suarez transfer blunder.
I totally fancy Simeone will have his troops ready for the occasion, and once again show his credentials as a top tier manager.
Liverpool’s title defence has been a farcical flop, so much so that forth would be considered a success at this stage. And this despite having seemingly everything, top players and coach with a board that shared the dream.
The money men of PSG with the world’s most expensive forward line took two top class managers to end up second in the league and second best in Europe again, what a mega flop.
Even Porto, who feel like perennial champions, just couldn’t do it this year and flopped like many others.
The Champions League all England final will feel like a flop to many a European, and if Pep doesn’t lift the big cup after five years work and 850 million spent most would consider him to have flopped.
Of Copenhagen, Cluj, and Celtic (three European outliers that usually top their league) only one is Champions again this year, testament to the strangeness of the season just gone by I believe. Two flops outta three.
All of our players bar a few exceptions have been flops with Shane and Barkas vying for first place, Kenny or Ajeti taking the final podium spot. Both managerial stints witnessed could be filed under F also.
There’s a ton of off-field flops to match the on-field ones, Dubai the obvious example for our club, while Superleagues quick disintegration under fan pressure was perhaps the most high profile off-field flop.
Many felt the recent fans forum flopped due to the lack of clear answers.
I think club executives and owners Europe wide are hoping for a fantastic summer sporting spectacle with a very visual live audience present to kick-start the average fans’ reconnection with the sport and help entice buying another season book or two.
An empty summer with little movement on attendance would probably cause ST sales to flop, they might still if we get papped out of any Euro qualifiers.
That’s a hell of a lot of flopping everywhere. Dodgy Dave King rightfully claimed we were a house of cards ready to flop but it actually looks as if the game itself could be described as such,,and once the glue (the fans) that held everything together was gone, football itself almost totally flopped.
Now that clubs have had their reality check, or at least they should have, smart executives will begin steps to mitigate any further flops, to strengthen the football club so as to easier withstand times of uncertainty such as pandemics. Fans and getting them onboard feeling connected should be priority number one,,don’t let the lifeblood leave or feel unwanted and fair play to Motherwell for fully understanding that point and trying to appease their fanbase.
That one move bought more future season ticket money, good publicity, and goodwill in the bank that it was actually worth I reckon.
The final flop could actually be a good thing though, a flip-flop regarding how supporters are perceived and dealt with by club owners and the like. Helped by this version of Superleagues demise there’s a groundswell of support for a better relationship all around, some fan representatives even getting to sit in on certain board meetings for instance.
The soul destroying scenes of empty stand after stand with it’s not quite right audio backdrop allied with the startling (for them) fact some may opt not to renew, looks to have jolted boardroom mentality.
They took the fan for granted and never imagined this at all.
Football may just have cottoned onto the simple fact they need us, truly need us, at long last.