A-Niall-hilation Of The Empty Seat Brigade
They were the words that could potentially split the popularity of Niall Quinns personality on Wearside.
His condemning of broadcasting legality has split the opinion of fans in half. Was he right? Was he wrong?
Well... That depends on who you are and how sensitive you happen to be.
Some will say this is the essence of a man with only money on his mind while others will say this is an honest chairmen trying to do what is best for the club.
Me... I say it is a mixture of both and rightly so for a business is run on the sweet currency that is, as Mr Short will call it, 'the green'. As the head of a business you need to be ruthless, you need to be bold and you need to look for the pound as the pound won't look for you. That is business and unfortunately that IS life. Whoever it was that said 'money makes the world go round' was a wise... wise man ( Disclaimer* or women! Not wanting to go the Gray / Keys route).
With Quinn's genuinely pleasant character and mannerisms it may have come across as being a little disjointed to some of the listening public. These bold, money oriented words coming from a man of such care and usual adoration towards the club and its fans could, for that reason, seem to be a touch out of place for such a chivalrous Sir of football. It could be conceived as the good Samaritan asking for a wage for his day of good deeds, a kind God asking for repayment for healing a man of his ailment or a genie who requires a wish for every one of such he grants!
How about we put it in the simple terms from which it was derived and intended? It is merely a case of one of the best chairmen in the country asking the fans - who can - to support what we are trying to achieve at SAFC as a unit.
Of course he has money on his mind and so he should because, whether we like it or not football is a business these days and Quinn is a businessman by night and messiah by day. That is the truth of the matter.
On the other hand, the objecting fans do have many valid points too which should be taken on board by our chairman and the club. Match days are, without doubt, an expensive venture, even if our ticket prices do fall in the mid range category. Perhaps the ticket prices would not be too much of an issue if other prices were lowered? The first thing that comes to mind is the alcohol prices. In times of the recession I suppose it is easy to simply think: 'watch in the pub and spend my ticket money on beer'.
If SAFC were to lower the price of food and drink, would this get more people through the door? Perhaps. But then we need to think: the cheaper the beer, the more people will consume and the last thing football needs is a stadium packed with bleary eyed piss heads.
The truth here is that there is such a fine balance of circumstance, of allowances and of resolutions it is hard to see, realistically, where areas could be compensated. Its all about give and take and while Quinn and short are giving us quality signings on the pitch they are simply looking for a little bit of 'take' off the pitch. This has to be given by the fans who can. Quinn was never ordering people to spend their last £30 on a ticket and feed their children beans for the rest of the month. Not at all! He was suggesting that fans who are fortunate enough to have the resources to attend games to do so.
I talked about balance a few lines back and coincidentally there is a balance to Quinn in business. For, while the money is important he also has a high value of passion and and care for the club. He is no Mike Ashley who will rake in 35million profit for his own pocket. The chairman will strive to raise money, not to line his pockets but to take the club forward and that is why his comments should not be met with sensitivity but with understanding.
At the end of the day we have a chairman who cares, a chairman who is motivated by progression and not satisfied with simply basic stability, we have a chairmen that other clubs would rip out their right stands to have at the helm and for that reason let me, you and all of us put our trust in Quinn's wisdom for he like every other Mackem, only wants what is best for our club.
Money makes the world go round... love and care keeps it upright!
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