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Before I go…

Yes, like much of the world right now, your editor is pissing off abroad for the next ten days.

Like the old days of WFC pre-season jaunts, I’m off to Finland and Norway (and Estonia in the middle of that), though I don’t get to see us beat a local team 13-0.

Hell, we don’t score that many goals in half a season these days if AAH isn’t playing.

Some of you will be booking the pre-season trip to Spain, which the club finally announced will be on the 8th July.

It’s an 11am kickoff, so there will be hangovers aplenty, with a lot of painful, woozy shuffling about in the hot sun.

The fans might be in a similar comatose state too.

I’ll resume on the week beginning the 18th June, which by that time the fixtures will be out and the transfer window formally opens.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s no further news on the latter front – although that doesn’t seem to placate some of our more anxiety-riddled support.

The flurry of post-season activity has dried up, although the rumour mill is suggesting one or two players have given verbal agreements to come.

I’m a bit dubious when a potential signing does that, because they can change their mind while on holiday and sign somewhere else for above minimum wage.

Who was it who had a medical with us and escaped half-way through it?

I guess you’ll now have to wait for the next OS interview with a new addition, who will pretend we’re their first choice after all.

The window opens on the 14th June, which is one day before the new fixtures are out.

We can all make predictions on various dates, so here’s mine:

First game – FGR away. First home game – Barrow. Wrexham at home will be on the 9th September, and will be on Sky because it’s an international break.

Thankfully it doesn’t seem that we’ll get a game on my birthday (25th October) but we’ll have gone to Stadium:MT the weekend before. And we’ll have to defumigate the place after they’ve been in mid-February.

The last game of the season will be at home to Bradford, and the last away game will be Notts County.

Oh, and we’ll play Sutton at PL on Boxing Day then head to Gillingham on NYD, with Swindon at home inbetween all that. Merry fucking Xmas.

Feel free to laugh dementedly at me when I get all that completely wrong.

And since I posted that I’ve found out the fixtures are released on the 22nd and not the 15th. Oh well, the predictions still stand.

Finally, yesterday saw the demise of London Irish, and they became the third RU side this season to disappear from the top flight.

Well, they’ve been suspended from their Premiership, but realistically they’re gone.

I mention this because they approached us in April to groundshare at PL, and presumably put some money in.

That’s obviously not going to happen now, and you wonder how genuine these “discussions” were.

Not us actually meeting them, I believe we did, but whether they really had the funds and the willingness to buy LI out to begin with.

Obviously not.

Rugby union itself seems an absolute clusterfuck, and it appears to be structured in a way that assumes it’s more popular than it actually is.

I haven’t bothered looking at what attendances club rugby gets but I can’t imagine it’s much above lower Championship or League One level.

From our point of view, it puts us in a bind with regards to groundsharing.

The Broncos tie-up simply hasn’t worked, I don’t know anyone who isn’t an RL fan already who pops along to SW17 when they’ve got a game.

They’ll be gone sooner or later, for their fifteen millionth different venue they’ve played at in the last two decades.

You can forget an RU side coming along too. There’s no reason for Harlequins to leave the Stoop for Plough Lane, and you might as well keep the Broncos as get another RU side in.

As it stands, the only realistic option for a groundshare is Chelski Ladies.

That might work, but having permanent banners of theirs around PL might be too much for many people.

Especially as our own ladies team would play second fiddle to them.

Like women’s football generally, most don’t care for it, but those who do would be really vocal about that.

Unless we get a stonking offer from Chelski, I would forget groundsharing now. It’s one of those things that should work in theory but often doesn’t.

Yeah, it will mean a rethink on funding the club, but that’s been the elephant in the room for a decade.

As I typed this, and with almost impeccable timing, the DT announced consultation about reducing its shareholding percentage from 75%.

It runs from July to September, apparently, and I hope the outcome is a green light to sell off a lot more equity.

Maybe the demise of London Irish and realising we won’t get any funding from that potential investor will sharpen minds? If the previous few campaigns haven’t.

Anyway, that’s your lot from now until I get back. Just be thankful we’re not talking about being non-league again…

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