And I wonder how many people remember that particular fanzine?
So, farewell Joe Palmer then. Despite being with us for four years, it feels like we hardly knew him after all.
It looks like he’s got a week left in the role, as Mick Buckley is going to take over on an interim basis from the 7th March (ie next Monday).
Needless to say, there’s plenty of platitudes, and JP himself is talking about moving onto a new challenge.
I have to admit, this has come out like a bolt from the (yellow and) blue. And while we might get some more insight later – this manages to pose more questions than answers.
Why now? Has JP got another position lined up? The timing is an odd one, it’s not even announcing he’s leaving at the end of the season.
Whether it’s been in the pipeline for a while we don’t know, and we’ll probably never find out.
But leaving at the beginning of March is a bit, well, weird.
Speculation elsewhere suggests he might have been mentioned in the ticketing fuckup report, and that might make sense if he’s been found to be largely at fault.
Are there deeper issues than simply a desire to move on? Again, one can speculate away, and we probably will.
But let’s not pretend otherwise here – something hasn’t been right for a while at the club,.
If you read the report on the Donny game this weekend just gone, you’ll know my exact thoughts. I stand by them as much as ever right now.
What does this mean for MR? Palmer was one of his biggest supporters, at least that was the case at the beginning of the season.
He was behind the whole “Process”/yoof/data driven direction as much as anyone.
Mind you, Robbo’s post-Doncaster comment about the pitch raised a few eyebrows, along with this that I missed until now:
“Maybe I need to be a bit more honest about everything as well.”
Coincidence? I’m not sure.
I notice that London Broncos played in the Challenge Cup against Bradford this weekend, and apparently only 550 or so turned up…
Were Robbo and Palmer on the same page after all? I don’t doubt our current head coach is currently feeling a lot of pressure.
But talk about being “a bit more honest” maybe hints all isn’t right in SW17.
Remember what I said in the previous SW19 update about struggling clubs seeing major faultlines appear…?
Anyway, it’s the end of an era, although I’m not sure if he was universally popular.
Having the nickname of Silent Joe wasn’t a compliment. When he first took the reins, an SW19 reader I know was frustrated that he didn’t get any sort of reply to a query that Erik Samuelson would have at least acknowledged.
By the sounds of it, it never really got much better.
He was getting more of the blame over our current plight, and comms never improved under his tenure.
It promised so much yet ultimately people seemed stunned rather than upset at today’s news.
The way the seats-with-nameplates debacle at KM was dealt with still leaves a bitter taste in many mouths, for instance.
To be fair to Palmer, he took over from ES, which was always going to be difficult.
Changing entrentched cultures is never easy, and we’ve probably not fully moved on from that even now.
History might end up being kind to him anyway. Those close to him talk about how he managed to get Plough Lane over the line.
Add the whole Covid shit-storm which would have tested anyone, and maybe he’s just decided it’s time to move on after all.
Anyway, we don’t need to appoint a permanent CEO until the end of the season, it’s not like we’re going to be signing many players until the summer.
A CEO is probably the most important off-field appointment you can make, as their decisions can affect things on it too.
I’ve no idea who Mick Buckley is, and whether he’ll be any good – though he’ll be fine in the interim, as long as he doesn’t go mad and insist we move to Kiev to play our home games.
This club needs a new direction, and it already feels at a stroke that we’ve partly taken it. The big question remains, though – will Palmer be the last to go…?