I’ve read the detailed comments of Patrick Cryne twice now. While most of the things he says appear perfectly reasonable in themselves, overall there is an air of defeatism about his comments. It’s good to have a longer term plan, but can you afford to focus on that to the exclusion of what’s going on right now? Our aim of bringing players through the academy and developing them seems to be failing. The two good prospects we’ve produced have been sold for little money. True, we may reap a dividend for one of them with a massive sell-on fee. But that’s out of our control. When we did have control we failed to recognise the true potential of that player and consequently failed to realise his true value. Would he have helped us avoid relegation from the Championship? Who knows, but if you accept that as a possibility (and six more points would have kept us up) the 2.2M we received for him looks a poor return against 5M pounds of lost revenue which the club states relegation cost us. It’s certainly not a ringing endorsement of our ability to identify suitable talent for (or from) the academy. Beyond the two players sold on cheaply, we have had a procession of graduates who are either inconsistent or (in most cases) simply not good enough. Our aim to make the club viable/self-funding/able to pay it’s way also seems to be failing. We are told that if Mr Cryne left, the club would be in real difficulties. So it doesn’t look as though we’ve made much progress there either. We are now staring at a further relegation, and it’s difficult to see how that will improve our financial fortunes. It would cost us more money to replace the manager. But what would relegation cost us? (My guess is a further 1.5 – 2M). Mr Cryne says that we would have to spend 5M to stay in the Championship if we ever returned there. But Ben Mansford says that the revenue loss of dropping out of that league is 5M. We’d have the same ground and presumably the same infrastructure, so operating at the higher level (with increased merchandising, programme sales, catering, etc) could surely only be of benefit? In terms of recruitment other than to the academy, we are manifestly failing. We have acquired an unbalanced team with limited talent and a lack of experience or physical presence. Above all, we have absolutely no natural leadership on the field. Most clubs may use statistics in identifying recruits, but it’s plain to see that they are not benefitting us. I’d much sooner see an old-fashioned manager who uses his gut instincts to identify suitable players and can then motivate them. Our best three current players were recruited by Danny Wilson. And so to our current manager, who is manifestly failing. “We are playing really well”, Lee Johnson says. They say that the sign of a good team is that they win when they aren’t playing well. What does that say about a team that loses when it is playing well? Our style of play is pedestrian. Our defence is the third worst in this league. On a run such as the one we’re on, wouldn’t the first priority be to stem the flow of soft goals against us? Even if it means ‘parking the bus’. That has to be the start. Johnson has to stop the rot – if he’s given the chance. I don’t have any magic solutions to all this. I would however start with expending proper money on a manager of real ability and ideally, also experience. We need someone with transformational skills, but also the wherewithal to steady the ship immediately. I firmly believe that everything flows from that appointment. In the medium term we also need a change in the structure and philosophy of the club. At the moment, we are failing on almost every level.