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OG Zoner
Oct 27, 2003
The North Bank
Cast your minds back to July 2010.

The negatives:
We had just been relegated to League Two.
We had just lost Steve Tilson.
We had been in court several times that season.
Players were going unpaid regularly.
Pretty much all the squad had gone and we were in danger of not fulfilling our fixtures.
No news at all on the stadium project.
Transfer Embargo.
Fan & Club relations at an all time low.
Fans seriously concerned we wouldn't have a club at all.

The positives:
Errrm, I'm struggling.

Now, almost one year on...

The Negatives:
We are still playing League 2 football. Perhaps that is a positive though?
Still no real visible movement on the FF project. Although we have been told it is out to tender.
Season cards a little overpriced maybe. But not unexpected?
Pink away kit?! (although I think the majority like it?)

The positives:
Luggy would appear to be a very good replacement for Tilly.
Most fans are hopeful of a genuine promotion push this season.
When was the last time we was in court?
Not much talk about players going unpaid anymore.
We have a decent sized squad.
There is no embargo. FACT!
Fan morale creeping up again.
Fan & club relationships have improved.
We have tied down key assets early and on sensible financial deals.
We have already signed a quality player and in June!

When you look at that, it makes you realise how far we have come in less than 12 months. Who are the men behind this transformation? For me, you have to give massive credit to Sturrock and Brady in equal measure, for what they have done (so far)

Sturrock: He has produced a minor miracle in his first season. How he managed to assemble a squad capable of avoiding the drop, in less than a few weeks is unreal. Not only that, we finished mid-table and even flirted with the top 7. I think we all have to be over the moon with that. He has brought in some very decent players for nothing. He has shipped out (most) of the dead wood already and tied the gems down on sustainable contracts. He has also managed to bring in Neil Harris, who could of easily gone to a team higher up the ladder. The players seem very happy with him and he has helped create a good camaraderie within the squad. With a few more additions this summer, a genuine promotion push could be on. I think Sturrock is the man that will help us achieve that.

Brady: He may be unknown to many, he may not be liked by a few? But is it a co-incidence that since his appointment late last year, things have improved dramatically off the pitch? I don't think so. He has come in (regardless of the reasons) and massively turned the club around already, financially. From a point where we were almost certain to go pop, to now. Where we are of course still just about surviving. But we are meeting tax obligations on time. The players are being paid on time and in full. He has trimmed down the wage bill significantly and most importantly, he has negotiated sensible and sustainable contracts with the playing staff. Not to mention somehow bringing in Harris, on what must be another sensible deal. He has met with many fans and genuinely been open with what is happening at the club. Which is what a lot of fans were ****ed off about. I'm also confident with his input, that the stadium project will finally take off this year as well. The bloke has been a breath of fresh air in my opinion and I genuinely feel a lot happier and less worried, with him controlling the important matters at "my" club. I for one, hope he remains at the club for a long time. Rather than the others in a similar role, which have left/been sacked relatively quickly into their term.

My summary:

We have turned the corner, nobody can say otherwise in my opinion. But of course there is still a long way to go, before we can all feel completely happy about the state of "our" club. What has happened over the last couple of years is nothing short of disgraceful. Ron has stepped back a little and let others take control. That is the best thing he has done in a very long time. Things are certainly looking up though, especially casting your mind back 12 months. I genuinely feel optimistic about next seasons chances and the off the field matters are proving less of a concern to me now. If things continue to improve as they have been (slowly but surely) I think we can all look forwards to a much brighter future. In a new home, with a decent crop of players and with "our" club being managed properly. Whether that be in the Premiership or League 2 (hopefully not) that matters little to me at the moment. The fact is "my" club is still here fighting today and I for one cannot wait to get back down the Hall and roar the lads on to promotion. It feels much better to be a Shrimper at the moment and that buzz (which had left me) for a couple of years. Is now slowly coming back. When the signing of Harris was announced yesterday I got a feeling that has deserted me for a long time (excitement) and it is great to have that back. I just hope those of you that feel or did feel the same as me, will come back and support "our" club again next season. What's done is done and we all need to try and draw a line under it now. Yes it is hard, but this is a new era and hopefully a far more positive one. Let's all get back to supporting "our" team, let's all get back to being "UNITED" again. Sea,Sea,Seasiders!
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