“After three seasons of being the clear underdogs in the third tier of the Football league, the very prospect of being one of the top teams was an exciting one”
This is the last entry into the history section of Cheltenham Town FC web-site. It was written after an 08/09 season that saw us finish after 46 league games with 39 points and a goal difference of minus 40 (the worst in the league). The season had been riddled with as many problems off the pitch as there were on it. An economic uncertainty hung over the club like a dark cloud. With a drop to the football league two however, the fans were sure that they might see a return to form and some consistent results.
This season we have played 18 league matches and won just 4 (drawing 7 and loosing 7). We have crashed out of the first round of the League Cup back in August, the Johnston’s Paint Trophy saw us depart in the first round thanks to Torquay and we decided not grace the second round of FA cup with our presence, again giving the honour to Torquay.
Perhaps things might quieten down off the pitch? No chance. Our manager, Martin “Mad Dog” Allen has been put on gardening leave after he allegedly racially abused a nightclub bouncer (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1221611/Mad-Dog-Martin-Allen-suspended-Cheltenham-allegedly-racially-abusing-nightclub-bouncer.html). The clubs finances look as dodgy as ever. Loaned players are coming and going, full time players just seem to be going! Could this be one of the worst starts to a season ever?
Never mind all this though, if you want to be A Cheltenham fan you have to have a bit of mindless optimism. All of this turmoil (on the pitch) is what why we love about lower league football. We don’t want to see Ashley Cole skipping around! We want to see the sort of football that is genuinely unpredictable. We want to see referees make terrible decisions. We want to see a side that can go 11 games without a win and then drum Barnet 5-1. We want to see Cheltenham Town!
Want we don’t want to see is a club that can take over a month to carry out its internal investigations about what action should be taken against the MadDog. If the players are going to have a chance at creating consistency on the pitch we first need a bit of consistency off the pitch. This drawn out investigation is not helping matters.