Tuesday, 6 May 2008

A funny old game

A funny old game is football.
As Leicester fans wept into their beer over the weekend, Forest supporters ensured their celebrations at winning automatic promotion to the Championship went into overdrive.
But after four managers in a season for the Foxes, there can be little sympathy for their multi-millionaire owner Milan Mandaric as his side dropped into League One.
One Leicester fan I know had fired off a text to a Forest season ticket holder after the game on Saturday. It simply read “an easy six points for us next season”.
Needless to say, come Sunday afternoon, his mobile was getting some hammer from that same Reds fan reminding him to enjoy the likes of Cheltenham next season. Oh, and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Finally, after a few seasons of misery, the Reds fans have something to shout about. Finally they are not the butt of jokes from their friends. Finally they can be the one doing the winding up.
And that is why after a Bank Holiday of partying, Forest fans will head back into the workplace today a little worse for wear and with a few hangovers. But they won't care. Forest are back.
As the play-offs unfold, the Reds faithful can sit back and enjoy the action with a few beers in the fridge. No pressure, just pure pleasure as they see who will be joining them in the Championship next season.
No more FA Cup until the third round, no more Johnstone’s Paint Trophy action.Little changes but reminders Forest can start thinking to better times ahead, no longer being the big club in a small pond. Leicester can take over that mantle.
Now, after three years of pain as they tried to climb out of League One, the planning will start for the future.
Chairman Nigel Doughty has promised not to rest until the Reds are back in the Premiership. There will no doubt be money to spend, new players to attract.
The nature of football means the celebrations will continue but all thoughts will turn to next season and dreams of what next.
Some fans will look at the likes of Bristol City and Hull being in this year’s Championship play-offs. Also seeing the likes of Stoke win promotion to the top flight will make fans ponder.
Establishing and consolidating their place back in the Championship is paramount after three years away. But as is football, some will already be dreaming of the Premiership.
At present the city is simply buzzing at Forest winning promotion. As Leicester fans continue to grieve, the Reds can continue to gloat.
But soon attentions will turn to next season and what next? Nobody wants a season of struggle. Surely promotion is nothing more than a pipe dream?
As the weekend proved, football is a funny old game.

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