Missing the Massive
Would the S6 handcart currently trundling towards hell be going any slower if the fans were in?

One of the dominant media themes across this season has been “what would be different if the fans were in?” As examples the pundits perennially bang on about whether Liverpool would have dipped as they have if Anfield was full, and closer to home whether that lot across the City would be just that bit closer to safety if Bluntiful Downtown Bramall Stye was full of people eating greasy chip butties and swigging Magnet.

So as the Wednesday season continues to plummet towards oblivion it’s hard to stop your mind drifting into mulling over what the difference would be if we were all still in there. I suppose first base would be whether things would even be as they are if we had all been in our seats this season. From a standing start I think Monk would have still gone and Pulis would have only been a temporary stopover. In the case of the latter it’s hard to think that there would have been rousing matchday choruses where we all championed his particular brand of football as we struggled to yet another well-defended draw.

On the pitch though we might want to think whether things would be playing out any differently. Some things wouldn’t be different; certain players (you know the names) would probably still be getting the usual dog’s abuse, and some (Bannan, Westwood) would be welcomed and given some latitude. You would like to think that our noise would definitely inspire them although if/when things started to go off a bit (and let’s be honest it would probably still be when) then there is a question whether – given the current state of the club – we would have been able to stay as positive as we would like. There is an argument that the points deduction might have given us an extra bond with the players at the start of the season but that’s tempered with the knowledge of why we got it in the first place.

The Liam Shaw situation bears some scrutiny here. Would a lad who is a dyed-in-the-blood Wednesdayite, running out onto the Hillsborough turf and hearing 20,000+ people loudly reminding him that We’re All Wednesday Aren’t We every week have perhaps given a bit more thought as to whether he wanted to head north of the border and wear the green and white hoops? That said though you would imagine that Tomo would have taken more of a pause before playing him yesterday if everybody had been there.

But where the big beam pauses in the “what would be different” debate is when it come to the Chairman. Twitter is currently awash with that Chansiri Out icon (the one with the Wednesday badge before he changed it) but whilst for those of us who use it regularly it’s easy to think that the whole world is Twitter tuned-in, the reality is that many people won’t be seeing this stuff. Notwithstanding that for a chunk of the season the Chairman would probably not actually be in ground on matchdays, the prospect of a Hillsborough full of people giving DC a full and frank first-hand account of their dissatisfaction might have considerably more impact that a social media world where he can simply stick his fingers in his ears.

My sense is that we would do all we could to back Neil Thompson (think back to Bully’s various spells being in interim charge) but that we would be much better able to make clear to the Chairman that after all these weeks we really do need a permanent manager - whether that’s Tomo or someone else. More to the point we could make DC much more directly aware of our view that our football club is going to hell in a handcart. Even if he chose to make it his business not to be there he would find it harder to not hear the noise with match-day reporters telling the nation that “the fans have made clear their unhappiness with the current situation”.

But as it stands it’s like we’re all stood with our noses pressed up against the glass and completely impotent in terms of letting the Chairman know how we feel and creating the necessary clamour for change (that said though he does have a track record of digging in deeper when he thinks people want to see major change).  Organisations such the Supporters Trust are doing all they can to give the fans a voice but there is still scant evidence that the Chairman is listening.

Most worrying though is the numbers of Wednesdayites you hear or see saying that they are feeling less and less bothered about their football team, and some saying that they won’t be going back even when they can. We all know that you don’t just stop being a Wednesdayite, and it’s not like people are saying they have better things to do (a Saturday emulsioning a bedroom versus matchday and three hours post-match crack in the Barracks?). No, the problem it seems to me is that inability to have a proper voice and to at least influence the out-of-control mess currently sitting over S6.

It doesn’t look likely that we’ll get back in before the end of the season and so at the moment all we can do is try to hold on to the reins and hope that too many don’t fall off before the ride is over. So many people are saying that we need to find a way to mobilise before the club is damaged beyond repair. If anyone has some strong, valid thoughts about how we might be able to do this WOTMT would be very happy to hear from you and to give you a platform.


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