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Yes, Minster

Few thoughts from the game at York (stop laughing).

– Looks like fun and games for the re-arrangement. What is clear is that it’s going to be a Thursday night back in North Yorkshire. The fixture list is going to be murderous on the players and just as damaging on the wallet. It would have been worse had Chester still been around.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see what is finally decided, but personally I think we should go for the 15th April. It gives us some much needed rest time, because we get the Saturday free anyway. I hope we don’t start re-arranging pointless friendlies for that date, even if it might offset the money we lose from one less game. It may warm the cockles to have a friendly against an AFC Chester that day, but what good will it really do us? Christ, it’s just tolerable that we may be playing Fisher that day.

– Whilst Saturday was quite a trying time all round, it sounds like I got quite lucky with the 1731 back to Kings Cross. According to sources, the 1749 got into London at ….. half ten in the evening. Apparently, this was down to at least two people deciding that living up North really was a hardship too many, and decided to play Headbutt The Intercity.

To make matters even worse for the poor saps on said locomotive, the buffet car was closed. Wars have been started for less.

Now, it seems that we’re re-learning a lesson from the WFC days, namely the season can never be complete without at least one completely shit away journey. I certainly remember going to Newcastle in the evening, the same evening as Eric Cantona’s crowd control techniques at Selhurst, and returning to Plough Lane at 6.30am because the A1 was shut with snow. The last WFC season seemed symbolically rife with train breakdowns, and then there was a trip to Blackburn in 2001…

Anyway, those who “enjoyed” that journey are apparently getting their money back. Which is good of them, and is something I hope happens next time your editor is on a train to the North West. Especially if the suicide victim is a certain freak from a certain town in Buckinghamshire.

– Anyway, train journeys could be the most entertaining it gets for the next couple of seasons. Your editor has a hunch, and it’s one of those ones. Get your uppers out, you may need them after reading this.

Basically, I think this season is as good as it’s going to get for a little while. I find these comments by TB earlier this week interesting, and wonder if it’s a coded message. It seems like we’re getting cold feet about going full time next season. The alleged wages we’re paying Nathan Elder, for instance, has proved a sharp little reminder to us about what we really need to outlay. To go full time was always going to cost a lot of money, and I can’t help but think we’re just not willing to pay it yet.

In fact, I’m going to go a step further – I believe that DK and/or JM won’t be AFCW players next season.

Why this downer? It’s this hunch I have. And no, I haven’t had secret information from on high at AFCW, instructing me to soften up the masses. But there’s a bit of a vibe of austerity at the moment. I gather that the club has spent a lot more money in improving KM than it wished to do. I don’t know the figures, but it’s “a lot”, apparently.

As a result, something will have to give, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find our budget will be cut next season. We wouldn’t be alone in this, and I’d rather that than gamble virtually everything on success (as Stevenage are allegedly doing). Even if we did slash the wage bill, we’d still be better put than most clubs in the division.

Next season could well be the first, painful campaign where the journey since 2002 catches up with us. This season has been fun – a re-education of what we lost seven years ago. Next season though could see a few egos punctured, a fair amount of enthusiasm dampened, and indeed a few wake-up calls getting issued. In fact, 2010/11 could be the season where we’re forced to accept that we’re a lot further behind than what we want to be.

Before the game on Saturday, there were plenty of sweaty brows about the side we were going to put out. Not that I wish to worry people, but such a line-up could be de rigeur next season. This place has bleated on about how much we need to sort out our youth/reserve development, and a cut in the budget would force us to do exactly that. And if I’m being honest, that can only be a good thing.

I did notice that the team pissup bonding session at Cheltenham last week was, once again, paid for by one of our benefactors. Wonder what will happen if/when they decide not to put so much money in? There were murmurings last season that if we were in the BSS today, the level of investment would be cut. If that was the case, perhaps we shouldn’t really be surprised…

As a quick aside – am I the only one who gets annoyed when our fans rail against “sugar daddies” yet keep very quiet when nuggets of info like the Cheltenham trip come up? You either have people who put money in from their own pockets or you don’t. Guess people really do want to keep the romantic belief that this club is free from external funding, even though we’re as bankrolled as a lot of other teams.

I’m not against people putting money in, far from it, but it’s the blind spot/lack of honesty that too many of our fans have over this sort of thing. To quote George Orwell, to see what’s in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle…

– Of course, before you throw yourself in front of the 1749 from Sheffield after reading that, just remember that another club is in the shit. Got to be honest here though – when I read this, my first instinct was to glaze my eyes and yawn. With Crawley having another meeting with the High Court last week, it really has got tiresome to hear of yet another club spending money it can’t afford and paying for it.

It will continue on when the likes of Darlington come down next season. Not to mention some clubs above us inevitably becoming victims of financial gravity. I just have to ask, why should I continue to care about what happens elsewhere now? Clubs obviously don’t want to learn, and there’s only so much sympathy you can muster. We may tighten our belts in the next couple of years, but somehow the alternative isn’t so great.

– Finally, can you believe that we’ve only got one Saturday home game left this season?