Permission To Worry You, Sir?
There's a scene in the comedy Dad's Army where Lance Corporal Jones turns to Captain Mainwaring and utters the line 'Permission to worry you, Sir?'.
At present, Seasiders in one camp are worrying like mad at the club's failure to sign one single player this summer, whilst others are just hopping from foot to foot shouting 'Don't panic! Don't panic!' (yes, I am going to stretch this as far as possible).
I know I have no control over the club's transfer policy and shouldn't worry about things that are out of my control, but despite the latter group of people's protestations, I am worried. With less than two weeks to go until the start of the season, we don't even have enough pros on our books to field a full starting XI plus subs. Fairly easy to see why I'm worried, eh?
To continue the Dad's Army theme, our squad's camaraderie reminds me somewhat of the cast of Dad's Army in the sense of how they all came together to create something brilliant despite people writing them off (people thought that the cast were too old and that the premise would never work, whilst the Seasiders were of course tipped for relegation last season).
At the moment though, our squad are reminiscent of the scenes that featured Godfrey struggling to complete the physical tasks and all of the other characters helping him out... except our squad don't have anyone to help them out at present because of our lack of signings.
(Don't worry, that's where the Dad's Army theme ends - I'll stop short of comparing Karl Oyston to Private Pike... 'You stupid boy!' - I just wanted to think of something clever to base my editorial around!).
I have no doubt that we will sign players (Dekel Keinan and Malaury Martin should sign in the next couple of days I believe), but that doesn't stop me from being worried, especially as there appear to be more questions than answers emanating from Bloomfield Road at present. After all, for example, why is it only until two weeks before the start of the season that we look like sorting out the future of DJ Campbell? It's both ridiculous and embarassing.
First of all though, I should make it clear that I both admire and trust Ian Holloway in the transfer market. He's dead right to only want to bring in the right players and the right characters at the right prices. Indeed, his patient approach in the transfer market worked wonders last season.
I also understand that several clubs have looked to capitalise on our Premier League status by quoting over the odds for players, and quite rightly, we have refused to meet their outlandish demands.
However, despite Ollie's best intentions, we find ourselves in a situation where our current squad is weaker than the one that won promotion. I'm used to the Seasiders conducting the vast majority of their transfer dealings at the last minute, but never before have we been in the situation that we find ourselves in both on and off the pitch presently.
I never expected us to land all of our targets and nor did I expect us to spend millions upon millions, but neither did I expect us not to have signed anyone at this stage and be scrambling around for players, making bids for the likes of Sheffield Wednesday's Jermaine Johnson.
Something's quite clearly up at Bloomfield Road, and from what I can gather it appears to be a combination of clubs and players demanding the Earth financially and our chairman's 'beloved prudence'. After all, Ollie said on Sky Sports News that the Seasiders had offended several clubs with their offers for players. There's playing hardball, and then there's just playing stupid, and you have to wonder just how long Ollie's patience will hold (I think there's little coincidence in the fact that it's taken for Ollie to start playing a role in making offers for players for us to start making 'serious' offers for players).
The longer this situation drags on, the more desperate we will appear to other clubs and players and the more they'll try and squeeze out of us. There's a point at which patience becomes desperation and we appear to have crossed that point.
There are many issues that I have concerns with at Bloomfield Road right now, but to talk about them all would be a bit like 'The Neverending Story', plus our transfer activity (or lack of) takes priority at present.
Some of you are probably reading this thinking 'Oh God, not another bleeding person bleeding moaning', but let me just point something out:
I am overjoyed that we have been promoted to the Premier League. I still get shivers down my spine when I see or hear anything relating to last season, and I genuinely cannot wait for the new season to start. I never expected us to reach the Premier League and am determined to drink in every single moment, even if we get thrashed week in week out.
My only demand when we got promoted was that we use our new found wealth to improve the ground, training ground, players and staff, image of the club, and so on, and try and ensure that we truly establish ourselves as a stable top two division side. Unfortunately, it all seems to be going a bit tits up at the moment, even after you put the malicious and wholly false rumours and stories to one side. Indeed, Ollie once said that he felt like if he fell into a barrelful of tits he'd come up sucking his own thumb. I wonder if he feels the same at the moment when it comes to transfers?
I never expected things to go smoothly, but I never expected this road we're currently travelling on to be quite so rocky. I have no doubt that things will improve at some point, I just don't know when, and at present we look like fluffing this incredible opportunity, and wouldn`t that be the greatest travesty of all?