The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Another poetry hangover

11 June 2015

What is Operation Promotion really for? If you take it at face value, it's about Town signing good players and getting promoted. A more sophisticated version of the whiprounds we had to sign Joe Waters in 1976 and Ivano Bonetti in 1995. Maybe we're even seeing the effects already. Maybe it's the unexpected windfall of OP that's prompted Paul Hurst to return to Solihull Moors with a cash bid for Omar Bogle – a year after the Town manager stepped back from signing him because the club couldn't afford to.

This interpretation of Operation Promotion has prompted some fans to raise a couple of questions. Will the board still provide the playing budget they initially earmarked for the 2015-16 campaign, or will the temptation be there to scale it back and let OP take up the slack? Does the 6 per cent commission taken by Crowdfunder represent good value, or would an alternative system of funds transfer have been preferable?

(It's not your original/regular Diary asking these questions – I'm not in the mood for rocking the boat just now. I've just heard them asked by others.)

There also remain unanswered questions over Paul Hurst's tactical approach. His detractors might argue – should they be feeling mardier than me at the moment – that you can sling all the dosh you like at the team, but if we insist on subbing on a defensive midfielder for a forward when we're 2-0 up against lowly opposition, we'll never develop the ruthlessness and ebullience that seem to be prerequisites of winning the Conference title.

There may be some validity in these questions. It seems to me, though, that a point is being missed. Because whatever positive impact Operation Promotion makes on Town's final league position next year, it will be much less through providing funds to sign players than it will be through sustaining the overwhelmingly positive mood that's gripped Town fans during 2015.

It's easy to be sceptical about the effect that positive support can have on footballers. Maybe it makes less of a difference higher up the leagues, where players can rest easy from the sticks and stones hurled by moaning fans on a big, cosy cushion of Sky TV cash. But anyone who been a part of a GTFC crowd this year has seen that, when the conditions are right, fans can and do have a huge influence on their players.

Operation Promotion is about money second. Before that, it's about participation, it's about ownership and belonging, and getting our club back. It's about positivity, and good vibrations. It's about unconditional support. And all of those things will make a palpable difference to Town next season.

And most importantly of all, it's helping to make it fun to support Town again. It's been consistently enjoyable to be part of a GTFC crowd this year, in a way it hasn't really since the glorious springtime of 2003, when Paul Groves' management kept us up and we went around sticking five and six past Crystal Palace and Wimbledon. Being promoted would be fantastic. Actually enjoying the football, whether we get promoted or not, is even better.

That's yer lot from me then. Still got a sandwich left? Speaking of Joe Waters, here he is in 1974, scoring twice on his debut for Leicester City in the quarter-final of the FA Cup. Enjoy.