It wasn’t supposed to be like this. All this was supposed to be was a journey through first time fatherhood while trying to follow a football team. There wasn’t supposed to be potentially seismic shifts in the structure of the football club one week into the season!
My life was supposed to be the one with the upheaval.
Here we go again…
The season has started, we’re underway, and that was supposed to mean that we could put all that off-season stuff behind us. All the rumours around the owners, all the uncertainty, all the exhausting hot-takes and twitter gibberish, they were all supposed to be gone after Friday night. Or at least put in the rear-view mirror for a while.
Such as it is, the performance, result and general feeling around the old place did not scream ‘LIFT OFF’. It was a much more quiet and subdued ‘well… wasn’t great was it?’.
In the days that followed there were rumours, some of those rumours reported as fact, that Dundalk are on the verge of becoming partnered with Hull City. Ok, Fair enough, ‘partnered’ is a positive way of putting it.
Does that mean we become a feeder club? Does that mean we become Dundalk Tigers? Does that mean absolutely nothing and we’re just going to share ownership?
We don’t know what is happening. That’s part of the problem. For too long and on too many occasions over the last few years we have been in the dark around the intent of owners or prospective owners. We’re in the dark again.
What should have been a season that acted as a sequel to last year’s, undoubted successful campaign has endured an off-season with seemingly simmering tensions among the locals.
Fans unhappy with the number of new signings and the speed at which they were delivered, upset with the players who weren’t signed, confused by the apparent lack of muscle and urgency and in the transfer market and the rumours. The relentless rumours.
Those rumours may become fact. There may be investment, or a takeover or something along those lines. If and when that happens, we will deal with it. Dundalk will never die but you will and all that.
We all talked before about how important it was for Dundalk to return to local stewardship, to return to the people of the town. That is what we will always want. That is what a football club is. A football club is supposed to be for the community, town or city that it represents.
Without local input, without local representation, without local voices, the club becomes something other than what it was intended to be.
We all want Dundalk to belong to the town.
There are nuances in that argument and those ideas need to be listened to and respected. If local owners can’t compete with financial juggernauts and you feel investment will help to challenge at the top? Fine. That’s not a treasonous opinion.
If investors come in and promise not to change how the club is run and just want to fund a stadium because they see it as a route to European Competition? I do believe I have heard that before but if you want to believe this time it’s different and that it’ll all work out? That’s fine too. You will meet opposition to that belief though, just to warn you.
There will always be differences of opinion about what success means. We all want to win the league every single year, don’t get me wrong. There are nuances again. Some of us want to challenge at the top and would be willing to sacrifice the ideal scenario to achieve that success.
Some people don’t want to lose any of the clubs identity, don’t want to seek financial help in the pursuit of advancement and that’s fine too.
But the landscape of League of Ireland football may be changing and there are those who don’t want to be left behind. In an ideal world we could do it on our own. But maybe there’s some middleground where everyone will be happy?
Who am I kidding, there’s no way everyone will be happy.
We’re going off to have a baby in a couple of days, I expect this to have all blown over by the time we get home.