I read in the latest TUST newsletter that the focus is very much on increasing member numbers. I would have thought that getting half a dozen TUST members in amongst the home crowd giving out leaflets would be a start. Basic stuff i know but you can guarantee results and there is no supporters club to compete with either.
What a pity it is to learn that as a consequence of ill mannered or unacceptable behaviour, rank and file TUST members will be negatively impacted.
And all the more frustrating for critical friends of TUST who have done their best to flag up the warning signs in advance of the latest unfortunate episode that appears to have resulted in TUST being further marginalised at Plainmoor.
TUSTWatch more than most, cautioned against turning a blind eye to the disturbing reflections made public by an Officer of the former Supporters Club, who lifted the lid on a difficult spell where cooperation appears to have been grudging at best.
I’m sure that like many, I also hoped this was an isolated incident, that a period of self reflection might follow, that lessons would be learned, and that, if nothing else, the bad publicity generated would be enough to prompt a re-think.
Sadly it appears that no change of approach was forthcoming and blundering blithely on as before, and damn the consequences, is all that’s transpired.
Even if it was relatively few of us surmising that there was no smoke without fire, when we became aware of the Supporters Club official’s comments, now that the club’s CEO George Edwards has also felt obliged to make TUST aware of unacceptable conduct, a pall of thick black smoke has engulfed the Supporter base, prompting them to ask just how out of control this TUST fire has become ?
Mr.Edwards naturally feels a duty of care to the club’s staff, and when he also factored in impolite and disrespectful behaviour towards not only him but other club Directors as well, combined with other issues on the Charge Sheet, it seems there was little option other than to firmly state to TUST:‘enough is enough’.
Given how certain aspects have been adjudged by others over recent months, it has to be hoped that TUST will benefit from having compulsory time out to cool their heels. Of course they can’t be force fed a ‘moderation pill’ but the excess of militancy that they appear to be suffering from is counterproductive for their members who will now get a lesser standard of representation in exchange for their membership fees.
The more militant faction of TUST’s membership already give every indication that they’ll be spending the next few months thrashing around blaming others, rather than being willing to consider whether their own organization isn’t in any way culpable for this latest misfortune to befall them.
Perhaps in the fullness of time calmer heads will prevail, and that those for whom the red mist is all too quick to descend, can be eased into the background.
The ongoing failure to seriously address the Militant problem goes on proving to be a major mistake. That unwillingness to grasp the nettle and tackle it head on continues to leave TUST out on a limb. As well as allowing that huge expanse of centre ground to be capitalised on by others.
And I think the club would love to see it. A new grouping that leave their politics at the door and who can hold discussions in a civil fashion …. maybe even with something approaching mutual respect ?
Perhaps someone has already approached the Club and outlined a radical idea such as this. A Supporters Club where you can sign on the dotted line without, in the back of your mind, wondering if you haven’t just signed up for Momentum or Militant Tendency as well. Where concerns about a possible Bully Boy Culture rearing its ugly head don’t have to be contemplated either.
No guarantee it would succeed of course, but it has to be worth a try, as the ongoing, year after year, antagonistic approach has failed and continues to fail. It’s a turn off for the majority of fans, who I’m sure, are now more determined than ever if given the chance, to show militancy the red card.
I hope everyone, and not just loyal regular TUST Watchers, are reading and enjoying the current Militant hullabaloo that they've kicked up in connection with the Women’s Football Team. It’s ‘women and children first’, but not for a place in the lifeboats, but first to be thrown overboard if a ‘woke’ virtue signalling project is proving to be a bit of a drain on Militant financial resources. Yet amongst the revelations thrown up by current infighting, is the scandalous disclosure that the girls never did receive the much vaunted TUST tracksuits. That would have kept them warm through the Winter months of enduring one heavy defeat after another.
Let’s gain some perspective by firstly asking ‘Just how bad are TUWFC ? Does that league table and series of excruciating results give an accurate reflection ? Well, we all remember the old joke about blokes always finding a football game to watch so as to excuse themselves from having to go shopping …. well a leading TUST official recently turned this on it’s head by confessing he was able to find some shopping to do in order to spare himself having to watch any more of a TUWFC game !
Is it feasible that TUST could now drop the Ladies like a hot potato, only a matter of months after having so prominently trumpted their association with the team, and packing their newsletters with TUWFC mentions ? Personally I don’t think so, and in these days of Identity Politics there will be enough woke Militants demanding that TUST cling onto the financial and footballing wreckage of the Women's team. Solidarity with the sisterhood will surely survive this schism in TUST’s ranks, and don’t forget the battle for free tampons is still being waged by leading Militants, although less prominently than last year.
Did TUST make a strategic mistake in aligning itself so fully, along with promised financial commitments, to the girls ? I think we need to remember and have some sympathy with TUST’s position at the time. With the club having finally run out of patience with them, TUST were surely twiddling their thumbs to some extent, having been relieved of participation as regards most Plainmoor activities. The women's team gave them an opening to involvement with some actual football, and helped avoid the impression of being solely viewed as a political activist organisation no longer tolerated by the Men's Football club. You can see the logic, but now some of it’s Militants are baulking at the price tag.
So now we witness a few indulging in the pie in the sky hope that TUST can still keep all the benefits, but push the costs onto Clarke Osborne ? I can’t see that being entertained for a moment.
Do the Women's team regret their close collaboration with TUST ? I wonder if they viewed it as a high risk strategy at the time ? Getting into bed with an organisation that was busily writing letters of complaint about the club to one football related body or another, even at the time looked like a clear acceptance of burning their bridges with the club. A move of sufficient significance that there could be no turning back.
The most frustrating thing about the current squabble is that no reliable information about what, if anything, other than the loosest connections exist between the ladies team and TUFC. All sorts of conflicting, guessed at, starting points on both sides of the argument, and the lack of historic information relating to such a relatively recently formed football team is hard to fathom.
No one needs it explaining why women’s teams have been keen to name themselves similarly to well known men’s teams, why terms such as ‘Premier League’ and ‘World Cup’ are the titles of choice for their competitions. A degree of kudos and credence rubs off. Old timers will remember the Stoke Mandeville games, essentially a Sportsday for disabled competitors. By rebranding it as ‘Paralympic Games’ the connections were crying out to be drawn, and the benefits reaped. Is it not likely that TUCST had the initiative for a Women’s team and were only too alive to the advantages that could be accrued if the club would allow them to piggyback on the use of the Torquay United name ?
A generous permission granted by TUFC, who I assume also provide free publicity, getting the ladies activities out there via the official programme to maybe a thousand or more pairs of eyes at each Plainmoor match. Publicity that would cost a fortune if it had to be paid for at the going rate in each issue of the programme. Ask who, along with their political contacts, have done most to delay or deny the club the badly needed revenue streams that positive assistance in moving to a new modern stadium would supply, and we all know the answer. Then ask yourself who is it that is yet again demanding that Clarke Osborne should now shell out because the TUST/TUWFC collaboration finds itself heading for the rocks. Cosy bedfellows only a couple of months ago, and yet they want the bill for their electric blanket to be sent to Uncle Clarke. Pile on the expenditure, while doing your utmost to cut off the potential income streams. New year, same old destructive strategy ….it won’t end well.
Last Edit: Feb 25, 2020 16:00:58 GMT by Alpine Joe