Search

Mike Bacon: We are now officially a Division 3 laughing stock. Bring on the ‘behind closed doors’ games, I say!

PUBLISHED: 17:22 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:27 04 March 2020

Luke Chambers has his head in his hands as Town manager Paul Lambert puts an arm around his skipper, as they walk off the pitch at the end of the 1-0 defeat by Fleetwood.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

Luke Chambers has his head in his hands as Town manager Paul Lambert puts an arm around his skipper, as they walk off the pitch at the end of the 1-0 defeat by Fleetwood. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Stephen Waller

In his weekly look at life at Portman Road, MIKE BACON, like most Town fans, is fretful!

Town manager Paul Lambert walks on ahead of the Fleetwood game. Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTown manager Paul Lambert walks on ahead of the Fleetwood game. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

I know the coronavirus is no laughing matter, but I see a sliver of a silver lining.

With my Ipswich Town hat on, the possibility that sports fixtures, including football, could be played 'behind closed doors', is starting to appeal.

Admittedly if the figure was put on 'large gatherings' of more than 10,000, should Paul Lambert's team continue their current form, we may still be forced to observe at Portman Road should we choose. But all other bets are off!

I jest of course, because coronavirus is not funny - neither is Ipswich Town's plight.

Sad, sad days indeed.

Tyreece Simpson is pulled back by Fleetwood scorer Ched Evans.  Photo: Steve WallerTyreece Simpson is pulled back by Fleetwood scorer Ched Evans. Photo: Steve Waller

We are now officially a laughing stock.

Our wonderful history, our wonderful, loyal fans, the very decent training facilities our mollycoddled players enjoy... And look at us.

Should Paul Lambert get the boot anytime soon it will be five managers in nine years.. From 1969 to 2002, we also went through five!

But the worrying thing is, what's the future?

I used to think I would never see Town back in the Premiership.

Will Keane in a battle with Harry Souttar.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comWill Keane in a battle with Harry Souttar. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

But it's so bad now, I'm not sure I'll ever see them back in the Championship!

I would have been slated as the most negative sports journalist on the planet had I written these words six months.. a year.. five years ago.

Doesn't happen now.

Our club, our famed, respected football club, now just dead wood bobbing up and down in Division Three (I won't call it League One anymore because that gives a more grandeur sense of our position than is even manifestly the case).

I looked at Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night and remember watching them playing at Victory Road, Leiston 12 years ago in the FA Cup when they were non-league.

Ched Evans wheels away after scoring to give Fleetwood a 1-0 first half lead.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comChed Evans wheels away after scoring to give Fleetwood a 1-0 first half lead. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Going to Fleetwood for the replay after a 0-0 draw in Suffolk, I was impressed with their set-up and determination to move up the pyramid. They've gone one way, Town are going the other.

The biggest fear for me is how low are we going to go?

I can't contemplate years and years in Division Three, although I'm starting to fear I may have to. Crowds will continue to diminish, a grand, but empty stadium.

It will get to the stage where the Suffolk Premier Cup final gets bigger crowds at PR!

A Genesis comeback gig would be the highlight of the year!

Skipper Luke Chambers clears a dangerous ball. Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comSkipper Luke Chambers clears a dangerous ball. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Sadly, all the time more and more young people and future Blues fans in Ipswich and Suffolk won't want to be seen anywhere near Portman Road to support their local team and watch 'that crap'. Why would they?

Of course many of us Blues fans keep the faith.

But for how long?

I'm not even sure if we beat Coventry on Saturday many of us will seriously think we've turned a corner. Jumped a red light and got away with it more like!

It will just be the one result, nothing more.

Andre Dozzell battles for the ball.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comAndre Dozzell battles for the ball. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Normal service is likely to be resumed at Bristol Rovers on the 14th... Can't someone, anyone, stand up and be counted at our Club.

MORE: 'Everyone is suffering'.. Paul Lambert's thoughts

Thankfully it was all fun and games down at the Bristol on Friday night.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans and general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill look on.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comIpswich Town owner Marcus Evans and general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill look on. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Milky was in great form and had brought six of his family up from Jaywick for the night.

The Peroni was going down a treat, as were the Scotch eggs.

But things almost spilled over when a game of Scrabble they were enjoying got out of hand.

Convinced Mississippi had three s's and one p, Milky had used two 'blanks' to spell it and try to claim 36 points.

Not that any of his family knew if he was right or wrong!

Town manager Paul Lambert and his players walk towards the Sir Bobby Robson stand, applauding fans, but they were roundly booed by their supporters following the Fleetwood defeat.    Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTown manager Paul Lambert and his players walk towards the Sir Bobby Robson stand, applauding fans, but they were roundly booed by their supporters following the Fleetwood defeat. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

It was only when a young Justin Bieber look-a-like, who had just finished 'As Long As You Love Me' on Open Mic, pointed out it was spelt incorrectly, things got heated.

After a trawl through Google, Milky begrudgingly accepted his inaccuracy.

"I know loads of other rivers in Australia anyway," he mumbled as he headed out for a vape!

MORE: Town fans stage protest

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times