Camping out among the optimistic gang

PUBLISHED: 15:26 06 January 2007 | UPDATED: 09:57 14 September 2010

And so it is already almost a fortnight since Christmas and the January sales are in full swing up and down the country.

And so it is already almost a fortnight since Christmas and the January sales are in full swing up and down the country.

The local papers here had pictures of the people who preferred to spend their Christmas Day queued up outside shop front doors, waiting to rush through at 9 a.m. on the dot, £200 in hand, ready to buy that strawberry red leather sofa that would go so nicely with the brown and orange carpet in the front room, not to mention be ripped to shreds by the house pets within five minutes.

Well, those door rushers are, I got to thinking, a little bit like those among us who get to August full of not just optimism for the coming football season but who just know we are going up, and no one and nothing is going to stop us

I've never been a door rusher in my life a) because I work hard and value my time off too much to spend countless hours in the cold waiting for something I could save up for over time if I really wanted it, and b) because there has never been anything I truly wanted that has been at an amazing 'bargain basement' price anyway.

That doesn't mean I don't admire those who do that for the right reasons, just that I am not one.

Next in line after the door rushers there are the 'sometime during the first day' brigade - those who wander in sometime in the first few hours and snap up the next best bargains that are left.

I guess these equate to the beginning of season 'glass half full' type people who think that there is a really good chance that this will be our year and, with a bit of luck and some decent business in the transfer market, we can start planning for the Premiership, before a ball has been kicked. I happen to think I am not quite one of these yet either.

I will admit to trying to get into the City for some retail therapy three days after the sales started, but I failed dismally as the dual carriageway to all the main car parks was completely gridlocked.

That does mean that I well and truly belong to the 'optimistic but cautious' camp - the 'wait and see and hopefully all will work out well in the end' set.

Trouble is sometimes you don't get to the races let alone find good things when you do get there.

Finally, there are those who decide, for whatever reason, as is their right, to avoid the sales like the plague.

These people remind me of so-called 'supporters' of clubs around the country who wait and see, and then decide to go at a later date if there's something worth going for, otherwise they don't go at all.

The fair-weather types who like nothing better than riding the wave of success, only to do a no-show if the wave starts crashing round their ears.

Every club has them and I would not deny them supporting when they choose to, but what a club needs most is its regulars, stalwarts, its die-hards.

Some of those may be door rushers, some 'first dayers' and others 'within the first few dayers', but they all have immense value to the activity and economy of a club, and thank goodness City has its fair share of those.

And before anyone asks why no mention of the QPR and Palace games, I could easily have started: 'Déjà vu, Groundhog Day, an everlasting loop in the time-space continuum - call it what you will - but City fans everywhere experienced this phenomenon last Saturday/Monday, and no doubt will for eternity it seems'.

One step forwards and one-and-a-bit back. When it changes there'll be no more talk of shopping I promise.

Come on you yellows!

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