Only dynamic leadership can lift us now

PUBLISHED: 13:46 02 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 10 September 2010

John Tilson, NCISA

Back in 1963 the first two games I watched City play were a 5-0 FA Cup victory over Newcastle on a midweek evening, followed by a 6-0 league win over Stoke the following Saturday.

Back in 1963 the first two games I watched City play were a 5-0 FA Cup victory over Newcastle on a midweek evening, followed by a 6-0 league win over Stoke the following Saturday.

Looking back I suppose you could say that it has been downhill ever since but the Premiership season. I saw our first ever promotion back in 1972 on a Monday night at Leyton Orient to the old first division. Yes, relegations over the years followed but in these days we had "bounce back ability". Three League Cup finals at Wembley. Two FA Cup semi-finals at Villa Park and Hillsborough respectively. Three trips to Europe in one season.

A play-off final at Cardiff. Oh dear, oh dear, the happy memories, although on the odd occasion mixed with a defeat along the way are now but a distant memory. Our slide into football oblivion is almost complete barring a dramatic turn around in fortunes tomorrow at The Valley.

It has taken only a few years to turn us from the Premiership club we were into Division One also-rans (go on Plymouth and Charlton, make me eat my words).

How the hell has this happened? It is two years this month since I became chairman of NCISA and I have shaken hands with three different managers. NCISA has sponsored a list of assistant managers and first team coaches almost too long to remember. Directors have left, leaving the boardroom with far too many empty seats in my opinion and, on top of that, a good man in Andy Cullen, whose blood is without doubt yellow and green, left the sinking ship.

The cause of our demise has been brought about by lack of finance, if you listen to our chief executive and chairman. Yes, the majority shareholders have plugged the holes as and when necessary but the best intentions will not pick our football club up from off its knees and give me a glimmer of hope for the future.

It needs dynamic leadership from the top in the cutthroat world of finance and someone on the board with a football brain to halt the succession of bad and easy option managerial appointments.

The train has hit the buffers and not before time the finger of blame must be pointed at those responsible. The question is, are the gang of five left in the boardroom guilty or not guilty?

I am sure that in the days following tomorrow's game at Charlton, NCISA will be asked for its views and its intentions before the 2009-10 season. A committee meeting will be held as soon as is practicable, but in the meantime I'm delighted to announce that we will be hosting a forum next week when Bryan Gunn (and, I hope, Ian Butterworth and Ian Crook) will be able to answer your questions.

The forum will be on Wednesday (7pm) in The Business, which is in the Jarrold Stand at Carrow Road.

The meeting is free for NCISA members and non-members can join on the night.

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