By Joan Dawson
If we win tonight and Derby lose or draw on Sunday, then we’re promoted.
Naturally, if that happens, we’ll all be celebrating wherever we are.
But none of us will be in the stadium with 40+ thousand fellow supporters, the players, the manager.
We’ll be at home, in pubs, walking the dog, at work with the radio, or if you’re Roy Keane, in the cinema with your kids.
In re-arranging games, television is robbing supporters of some of the most exciting moments they can have.
Regular Saturday afternoons are bad enough because most of the time, even though you know your own result, you don’t know how it affects your league position, and we rarely now get the chance to cheer a N**c**tle defeat.
Since the likelihood of winning a cup is now virtually nil – though I have hopes that this might change for us in the next few years – the chances of being at a match when your team actually wins something (a trophy, promotion or avoiding relegation) are slight.
Of course promotion may not come until the last match of the season (nervous holding of breath), when at least we’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where we stand at the final whistle.
And it’s always been the case that another match might determine your fate – that’s normal. But a Friday night match isn’t normal, especially with your close rivals playing on Saturday and Sunday.
It may be good for television, and good for the neutrals, but it’s bad for supporters and bad for my health.
Rant over. Ha’way the Lads!!