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Blue tinted optimist⭐
Oct 28, 2003
Cloud cuckoo land
So the mighty Blues have no game this week and we have bumper news stories breaking about the London Soccerdome. It's always interesting to see stories about our club that are newsworthy on a national basis and I think it's also quite interesting to see the slant that us Zoners put on it.

Depending on your own beliefs, Ron is either bs-ing it again by getting nothing more than a Play Football facility for the town and trying to get kudos on the back of announcing "it is hand-in-hand with the stadium plans", or he has landed the club with an indoor training facility that is the envy of many Prem sides and which will super-propel the club up the leagues on the back of it's enviable and lucrative youth policy. Somewhere in there we have the lone voice of Rayleigh Boy trying to tell us all, "See, I told you we had money!". Yeah, whatever. Shame we didn't try and use some of this liquid stash then when we were trying to stave off HMRC and administration. But hey, all is now clear and Rayleigh Boy must have been right; using Derren Brown style intuition and foresight, Uncle Ron obviously knew in advance that the Soccerdome was going to fail and kept that stash safely tucked away behind the sofa in readiness for the day when he could buy it and re-locate it to Southend. For some reason, I get a Simpson's-style image in my head of this dome being airlifted by a helicopter from Greenwich, being flown to it's new location at B&L and then dropped, probably slightly wide of the intended target landing place and flattening some nearby buildings. Homer is in the background going "DOH!". But hey, I digress. The aim of this wasn't to poke fun at Rayleigh Boy's thoughts and opinions, which of course he is entitled to.

As for everyone else, it just to me emphasises how little we actually know. Guesswork and conjecture abound, with assumptions being made and conclusions being drawn as to a) what this is all about, b) where the money has come from and c) what it all means in relation to the club's future. And none of us are any the wiser, simply because we now none of the facts and circumstances.

What we can say is that we most certainly will have an enviable indoor training facility and that can only be good for the club.

Further, as a matter of fact and not opinion, a good youth policy is crucial to a club's success these days and personally I think Ron is absolutely correct in focusing on this. It can completely underpin the senior squad where players are frequently let go or transferred with no money changing hands. The youth setup allows for transfer fees and if we can get category 2 then the funding increases as a result, better players are attracted or stay rather than move and even more players breakthrough into the seniors. Players under 25 will command transfer fees and I believe (although will stand corrected) that a lot of these are linked to the amount of development the club has put in, so someone like Jack Bridge who has been with the club since a very young age will command a higher fee because of the investment we have made in his development.

So, for once, I think a huge gold star should be winging Ron's way as this is clearly a move that is very much for the club's benefit. Add to this the subsidised travel for Wycombe and it's well done all round Mr Martin.

Time to cut the guy some slack I think.