Often Partisan


Well, it didn’t take long. Less than 72 hours after lifting the trophy, and once again the fans have something to complain about. After Blues announce plans for a civic reception at St Andrews on Sunday, many fans have remarked on their disappointment of the lack of traditional open top bus parade.

I can certainly see why people would be unhappy. It’s a tradition in this country that when your team wins something, you get to see the players parade it around town. It’s a time for fans to come together, to share in the joy of success and for the players to take in the adulation and adoration one more time. I have to admit, I am a little disappointed that Blues have decided that is not the way to go.

I’ve heard that the reasoning is that there is two months of the season left. McLeish, and by extension the club, feel that it’s important we keep our eyes on the ball in the league – we have some very important matches to play and our survival in the top flight is by no means guaranteed. I think Alex is keen that the players and fans don’t see it as “job done”, that the complacency doesn’t set in. I can agree with this too – it’s vital now we use the momentum and good feeling from the Carling Cup win to push us on in the league; whilst I’ve said in the past I’d accept relegation if we won silverware it doesn’t mean we have to.

The problem is, it puts the club in a difficult position. Either way they want to do things, someone isn’t going to be happy. The feeling that the celebrations on Sunday would be a bit “plastic” aren’t unfounded in my opinion; after all, apart from seeing the players and the trophy, what else do you really want? One thing I noted at Wembley was that the artificial stuff – the balloons with the players names on, the loud music is just fluff that the fans aren’t interested in. The atmosphere can only be created by the fans, and anything the club will do is going to be a bit hollow. They’ve planned for an hour – what are they going to do? Is it going to be stilts-walkers and Steel Pulse again? Pardon my cynicism, but I don’t think that will cut it.

I’m not even sure what the answer is. Part of me thinks that the club should leave it til the end of the season, but will it be too late then? Planning something post-WBA might be an idea, but if we lost (God forbid) would anyone want to stick around? I heard that the club refused something at the council house because Victoria Square can only hold 14,000 people – which is fair enough, as I think a lot more than that would turn up and it could turn into a JLS situation. Conversely, I think that they might be ambitious if they think more than 14,000 would come to St Andrews on Sunday.

For me, nothing will match what I felt within Wembley stadium. Nothing will ever come close to the feeling when we scored the second goal; or when the whistle went. The celebrations then were spontaneous and heartfelt. A celebration at St Andrews will be nice for my daughter, who didn’t get to go to Wembley – but for the vast amount of fans who did go, will it mean anything at all?

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