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Everything posted by blueheaven

  1. On the subject of attracting old fans back and new fans in, I'd be quite interested to know what Saints do to generate new ideas and how much time/effort they put into coming up with something innovative to improve things. In Geoff Brown's younger days Saints used to be a very forward-thinking club (the first to move out of town to a new all-seater stadium, for example), but for a long time they've seemed stuck in the past and are always incredibly slow to adopt new approaches that other clubs have been using for years (e.g. getting on board with online ticketing, and I'm fairly sure we were one of the last clubs in Scotland, if not the UK, to even have an official website at all). I get the impression that the club recognises there's a problem with attendances but has no appetite (or no competence?) for actually coming up with ideas to change that. If you go to football matches abroad, or even just down south, you often get a very different matchday experience and perhaps Saints should be looking at small clubs with good supports and spending some time at their matches to see what those clubs do differently. Go to Union Berlin and you'll see the match is a social occasion that people of all ages go to because it's fun - there's mingling outside the stadium before the match with outdoor bars and street-food stalls (come to think of it, Saints are one of the few Scottish clubs who could potentially do this sort of thing because of the amount of land they own). Three sides of the ground are terraced and there's constant singing and chanting from the supporters, some of which is co-ordinated (something I hate, but hey, if it works, I'd prefer it to pin-drop silence). They also use the tannoy system a lot more effectively to build up the atmosphere. Down here in London I go to watch Dulwich Hamlet most weeks and they're a club who have grown an average attendance of under 500 to around 2,000 (and still rising) in a space of just four or five years, and pretty much all of that has happened through community engagement and creating a Saturday afternoon that is a social event everyone in the community wants to go to. I think looking beyond football to what's happening at other sporting events (e.g. the NFL matches someone mentioned above), and even concerts, would also be worthwhile. Every club has to find it's own thing that will work for its local crowd - but are Saints even looking, or are they just hoping that they can keep trudging along doing the same things and by some miracle the crowds will come flocking back. The Scottish Cup Final proved that there's a helluva lot of local affection for Saints - but it's an absolute crime that the club did bugger all to harness that. Saints are obviously at a disadvantage because of the size of Perth and the fact that it's often bloody freezing at our matches, and I'm not saying things that work for other clubs will work for Saints, but is it not at least worth trying to learn from what's worked for other clubs?
  2. (I've merged this thread with the separate Oli Shaw one, just in case anyone's wondering where that one went.)
  3. In all fairness we've spent six years trying to sign a prolific goalscorer and it hasn't happened, but that doesn't stop us all clamouring for it to happen two weeks from the end of the current window (and probably two weeks from the end of the next, and the next, and the one after that). I think if we had one bloody good central midfielder who could play through balls on the ground for any of O'Halloran/Kennedy/Swanson/Wright/Kane/Hendry to run onto, we'd be a lot more effective in attack. But if we're not going to play like that and are going to resort to pumping the ball hopefully up the park... that brings me back to thinking we might as well give McMillan another shot (and I know he didn't get a game for Hamilton, but honestly, at the moment, I don't see why that matters). Ironically, I thought both of our goals against Livi came from playing some really nice passing football. As for the May situation - if what's been reported is accurate (I'm not 100% buying into what the papers have said), then it makes Steve Brown looks like a really poor businessman. Yes, of course you negotiate, but if you're negotiation strategy means that neither party ends up with what they actually want, then it's a bit of a crap strategy.
  4. Other than the very obvious one of giving his side of the Stevie May story, I'd really want to ask him what the club's plan is for getting fans back into the ground.
  5. Not quite sure which part of my post that's a response to - are you comparing Morgan to Allassani? If so I'd say Allassani is the far better player (and goalscorer) based on what I've seen of them both (which I'll accept with Morgan wasn't a huge number of games, but when I did see him he was absolutely rotten).
  6. Everything pointing to Adam Morgan levels of desperation at the moment. Really, really hope Tommy has something unexpected up his sleeve, but the activity of previous transfer windows would indicate that it seems unlikely. Is there really no semi-prolific striker playing in a league somewhere in the world who would jump at an opportunity to play in the UK? Do we not even bring these sorts of guys in on trial any more? Just a thought but if it's getting to the stage where we're looking at taking Hibs kids on loan, would we not be just as well giving McMillan another chance? Is he really all that bad? I only saw him a few times but he looked OK, and Tommy spent ages trying to bring him here. I really have to wonder, if he's now considered such a bad player that he can't even get a chance in our current striker predicament, why did we sign him in the first place? Probably just adding to the desperation here but Reise Allassani is in the last year of his contract at Coventry City and hasn't been getting anywhere near the first team for them. He's only really produced the goods at non-league level but I've seen him play quite a lot and would say he's potentially worth a look?
  7. According to this article Forest are willing to let Cummings go for free:
  8. Are you trying to suggest that Saints games mean less to the players and community than local non-league matches do? Because that's absolute nonsense. I also highly doubt that the football is better at that level.
  9. I find it weird that over the course of this thread people have convinced themselves that the club apparently wants to get relegated (ridiculous) and has stopped spending money so that it can be sold (none of the recent investment in the team throughout last season backs that argument at all, and neither does the fact that we offered Stevie May a bloody good deal that would apparently have made him our highest paid player ever) and that somehow a Championship club is a better investment for an outsider than a struggling Premier League one (why?? and besides, we're not a struggling Premier League club - since promotion, we haven't had a single season where we've struggled or been in a relegation fight). Also frightening that people think some moneybags investor would be the answer for Saints, after all the club has been through and all we've seen other Scottish clubs go through. Is there a single example of a big-money outsider rocking up at a small Scottish club and it ending well?
  10. blueheaven


    I love programmes and have a lot of them at home, but they're often way too expensive these days. Beautiful big, glossy programmes are great, but how many people are really willing to spend £4 or £5 on them when tickets and everything else costs so much too? Over the last few years I've gone from buying one at every game, to only buying one at new grounds or "special games", to never buying one at all. I'm now of the opinion that for clubs like Saints a programme should be a reduced version with team details, a message from the manager/chairman, a page of results/teamlines and a few adverts to help subsidise it, then sell it for £1 or so. That said, I'm not sure if the league puts an obligation on clubs to produce a programme to certain specs.
  11. If this season turns into a relegation battle (and I genuinely worry that the current Saints squad wouldn't have the heart to overcome such a battle), then Steve Brown will have to shoulder the lion's share of the blame for that after the absolute f**king mess this summer has been.
  12. If it's true that the May deal has died again, then surely Saints now need to come out and give their side of things. Because from what's being reported it's making Steve Brown look stubborn to the point of being self-destructive. Surely to agree a deal with the manager's number one target, and then go back on it, is simply cutting off our own nose to spite our face and is a massive kick in the teeth for Tommy Wright. Rowan Vine was accused of moving the goalposts before but it now looks like our chairman has done the same thing. How many times this summer have we heard about this new strategy of going for quality over quantity... which all sounds great, but did the board seriously not understand the extent to which bringing in "quality" actually involves spending money?? Very worried about who we'll end up signing at this stage (an English youngster on loan? someone else from Ireland?), and I also think that the way things are going there's a genuine possibility of us taking a hammering from Livingston at the weekend. On a lesser scale it's also a bit worrying that it was mentioned above that the club hasn't even bothered to put the Livi match tickets online yet. What the hell is going on with Saints these days?
  13. Yep, and let's not forget that Tommy has been trying to find that striker for around six years, without managing it - it's not just something that's new for this summer. So yeah, I can't imagine there's a huge number of available, reliable, on-form, non-gamble, guaranteed-goal-scoring strikers who we have a list of, should the May signing not happen. I have my doubts that even May would be a gettable target were it not for his emotional connection with the club and the manager.
  14. The only people who can really answer that question are the ones who are involved in the deal and understand what any hold-ups might be. If there are genuine reasons why it's taking time but progress is being made, then I'd say stick with it and back the manager in getting his first choice. If it feels like it's just dragging on with no light at the end of the tunnel, then of course a deadline has to be set. But I don't understand the logic of fans randomly saying "it has to be done by tomorrow" or " it has to be done by next Tuesday" or whatever other arbitrary date people are coming up with. I partly wonder if we might end up reverting to bringing him in on loan, if for some reason the permanent deal isn't happening. That would get him here and give us time to sort out making it permanent, while also giving us a better idea of whether or not he's going to be able to recapture his old form.
  15. Yep I'm pretty sure it was always mixed, going right back to when the ground first opened, because the idea was that it was the "family stand" and was for any families, regardless of allegiance. I have a very clear memory of sitting in the Ormond Stand during McDiarmid's early years, and seeing regular Saints fans suddenly support one of the Old Firm while sitting in their usual seat when they came to visit. Was always flabbergasted by that mindset.
  16. And yet that exact strategy has seen us comfortably remain in the top division for year upon year, generally finishing either in the top 6 or just outside it. How much more successful than that do you think a club of Saints' size can realistically be? I do agree that this transfer window has been an absolute mess, but the reason we're still chasing May is that he's still available and it looks like we're probably going to get him. Why would we move on at this stage?
  17. ...but no matter who we sign, that will be the case. We're not going to attract someone who has consistently scored 15-20 goals a season, so we need to do what we've always done and take calculated gambles. I hear the concerns about May's last few seasons but I just don't see where a better option is going to come from. This is a guy who we know can do it in the right circumstances, who Tommy has worked with before, who wants to sign for Saints, and whose struggles over the past few seasons have come about through being either injured or played out of position. He's also someone who has the potential to excite the fans again, which I think is a pretty big plus for the club right now. On the subject of also signing Hemmings - I tend to feel that if there's a budget for two good first team players to come in, then one of them should be a central midfielder rather than signing two strikers. But I can't see it happening anyway. I reckon what we might end up doing is getting a left-back plus possibly a young midfielder in on loan from somewhere down south when we hit the deadline.
  18. Very sad to see a small number of people on here continually trying to imply that all Tommy has done for us is win the Cup (especially when they're doing things like making up the formation we supposedly played to make him look worse). He has consistently succeeded with Saints and delivered strong league finishing positions - a better run of league positions than any other Saints manager has ever achieved. I'll also repeat what I say on here quite often, which is that every single time we've gone through a slump of bad results under Tommy, he has successfully managed to pull us out of it. When people start trying to downplay our greatest ever manager's achievements I really start to wonder about what their agendas are. And no I don't think he should be above all criticism - but surely there's some middle ground between criticising a manager and leaping straight to the knee-jerk reaction of calling for him to be replaced.
  19. Completely agree... if it was his desktop background then it could conceivably just be something he's had on his laptop for years without changing it, but a zoomed in photo filling the entire screen of a browser tab? I just can't think of any possible scenario where that could happen accidentally. Add in the fact that the laptop's turned at a weird angle to face the camera, and it's 100% intentional. Hard to know what the intention of it all is, but a dig at the chairman would be my guess, unfortunately.
  20. blueheaven

    Betfred Cup

    I wish I could share your confidence in that, but given the strikers available at this stage of pre-season, Saints' limited pulling power and Tommy's track record in finding players for that position, I really worry about who we'll manage to get if it's not May. Let's not forget May is a special case - he wanted to come to Saints because he has a connection to the club. Were that not the case, it's highly unlikely Saints would ever have been his choice. Tommy is going to seriously have to pull a major surprise out of the bag to find us a striker of significant quality.
  21. blueheaven

    Betfred Cup

    I haven't seen any of our games in this competition so I have to ask - how can that possibly be the case in a squad with Kennedy, MOH and Swanson?
  22. blueheaven

    Betfred Cup

    Have to agree. As much as it's valid to point out that this isn't a meaningful game and perhaps not our strongest possible line-up, we still should have been able to get a result out of this and it would have been a much-needed confidence booster ahead of Celtic Park. I hate to say it but we're seeing some major warning signs at the moment and at this stage of pre-season that's a big worry. We absolutely must get some genuine quality on board, and quickly.
  23. On the subject of Vine - I'm guessing he's far from being an experienced agent and May is very possibly the only player he represents? Up until last season he was still a player (but doesn't seem to have a club this season?) and if you go on the SFA and FA websites you can look up every player representative used for every transfer and new contract negotiation over the last few years - Vine's name never appears. You can also see on there that May's agent was Dean Baker when he signed for Aberdeen. And, interestingly, Saints paid less money to agents than any other Scottish Premiership club in the last year. Feels a lot like Vine has weaseled his way into this purely on the basis that he and May are mates, and he's royally screwed up the negotiation. Let's face it: even a cursory glance at Vine's CV would suggest he's not a man to be taking career advice from. Since leaving Saints in 2013 he's switched teams more than 10 times!
  24. Absolutely - I'm actually pretty flabbergasted that Tommy thinks we'd believe he doesn't know the reason why the deal collapsed. Tommy's a legend but when it comes to the stuff he tells the media he's clearly a gigantic bullsh*tter.
  25. That doesn't add up for me. Why would May make a crucial career decision based on whether or not Vine is receiving an extra fee (would such a fee even be legal?). Vine can advise him all he likes but May's the one who had to make the decision.