Eight days left

And then, we can put this shitshow of a campaign in its grave.

It may be too hyperbolic to suggest the three games in the next week and one day are the most important trio since the playoff semis and final a couple of years ago. Stay up or go down, we’ve got problems.

But as 2017/18 turns into the final bend, I’m seriously glad we’ve got 270 minutes (plus injury) left of this season.

Never mind the relief when the final whistle against Bury gets blown, at least our task is now simple – three cup finals, and we have to try and win at least one of them.

We could have done without having to face Wigan away tomorrow, if truth be told. They want to win the L1 title and alongside Blackburn they’ve been the best side in the division.

With a ¬£10 entry fee (and fair play to them for extending it to away fans) and a guaranteed “party atmosphere”, we’re on a hiding to nothing if we’re not careful.

A cursory glance at the table suggests a gubbing could put us right in it again. Not to mention the psychological damage it could cause for Donny on Tuesday.

But then, this season has been so messed up anything could happen. It’s one of those situations where we could either be in the bottom four by 5pm tomorrow or safe. Get a point tomorrow, and Oldham get fisted at home, and the last two games won’t matter much.

Of course, get a win…

And that’s what our attitude tomorrow has to be. We may well lose, in fact we’re half-expecting to. But we can’t afford to let this one slip unnecessarily, and focus on Tuesday and the final Saturday, because that will put too much pressure on us to get a result.

True, one could argue (with some justification) that if we’ve got the proverbial gun to our head and need the point(s) we’ll get them. We only ever appear to properly react when the shit hits the fan, after all.

But I think we’d all rather get this season signed, sealed and sent off to the mortuary as soon as possible. What makes me think we won’t, though..?

Anyway, moving on. You might have heard a screeching of brakes earlier this week, as the club finally realised 80%gate was a crock of shite after all.

After “some feedback” (cough), it’s been put on the back burner. It hasn’t totally ruled it out, so one should remain vigilant that they don’t try and sneak it in through the back door. Although it would be a brain dead move if they did.

Yeah, I know.

I’d like to think AFCW have learned a valuable lesson here, namely if you claim to be a club owned by the supporters, you do have to pay attention to what the supporters say. Without them, the club’s hierarchy wouldn’t be in power to begin with.

If they don’t take that on board, they’ll get reminded again pretty damn quickly.

The club still wants to resell seats, though they’ll have to be more pro-active rather than putting most of the onus on supporters. And yes, a few incentives would be much appreciated, because you’ll be amazed how much further you can go with a genuine “thank you”…

Hopefully the last ever thought on this – it wasn’t even a good threshold to begin with. A 40% watermark would have been fairer, because the bulk of ST holders buy one because they attend most games – but would have been scuppered if they can’t make evening games.

And many can’t. You only have to look at who turns up on a Saturday but doesn’t on a weekday.

I picked the 40% figure out of the air, by the way, and I’ve no idea if it’s workable. But then, by the sounds of it, so did the club…

ST availability for next season is being capped, as they will be at NPL. I’m not cynical enough to suggest that it will be a smokescreen in case many don’t decide to renew after this clusterfuck of a campaign.

And really, as far as KM is concerned, that’s going to be about it, bar the equivalent of replacing your front door in a property you’ll be leaving soon. Funny how we’ll only have one more full season there.

As for the bright new future across the road from Wickes and Lidl? We know STs there will be capped, and I think we have a decent chance of coming close to that limit.

Perhaps not immediately, although we all know people who don’t go to KM because the view is shite. Of course, that could be offset by those who have an ST at the moment but won’t need one with increased room.

But we’ll have a proper family stand, for instance, and a parent (or parents) who takes two or three kids in there builds up the attendance quite nicely.

The curiosity factor for a new ground is always going to attract people – don’t underestimate the name recognition factor of Plough Lane as a venue¬† – and for the first half/full season, attendances have the potential to be very high.

Which is why I think we should try and build as much “properly” as we can before it opens.

You’ll have people coming in, but it needs to be good enough to keep them coming back – if you don’t, you’ve lost them for a good while, if not forever.

A fully completed, furnished West Stand will start generating the money through hospitality and event space (if we manage that side of things properly). And if my overheard conversation when Brighton were at the Withdean** is anything to go by, don’t be surprised at the takeup of it.

** – basically, BHA had to almost double the amount of corporate/executive seating they originally planned for the Amex because demand was so high. A lot of Brighton’s demographics are similar to ours…

For the rest of the stadium, we should avoid anything “vanity” until it becomes a permanent structure. Do we need a concourse in the south stand, as it’s temporary? I know the idea is to recreate the standing area outside the KM bar areas, but will we really miss that?

As for safe standing, by all means design it so we can get it retro-fitted if the law changes. But unless Parliament decides otherwise this year, it’s a waste of time putting it in from the off – we’ll lose grant money for starters, and that’s what we literally can’t afford to do.

In other words, it’s nice to have. But not vital. And yes, as I typed these very words this came on the OS

We’ll be better off having three basic sides that don’t have pillars in the way, like this at Headingley. If I was a newcomer, I’m not sure I’d want to pay good money to sit behind a post, especially in a brand new stadium.

Still, at least we can have these conversations now. Especially as the demolition looks to be moving along quite nicely