R.U.S.T. Ramblings

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RUST Ramblings 16th October 2002 - Issue 15


Welcome to the latest round of gossip, rumours and opinions from a bewildered Millers fan. I say bewildered because I’m not completely sure what exactly is going on down at Millmoor. I must say that I was absolutely gutted to hear on Look North on Friday evening that Ipswich Town had made an official approach for you know who! I suppose that I always thought that he would eventually go to a bigger club, but Ipswich are in the same division as us and in a lower position. I know that they are in Europe and have a bigger stadium (who hasn’t!) and are well supported but I had hoped than when he left he would go to a club already in the premiership. Still that’s life and that’s the problem with supporting a club like Rotherham, particularly at this time. Here we are with arguably our most successful ever team and certainly our most successful manager, operating under arguably our worst ever Board. I use the term “Board” lightly as we all know that one man pulls all the strings at the club. Whether or not the call was a hoax, we’ll probably never know. However, what I cannot understand is why the person receiving the call at Rotherham didn’t verify that the caller was genuine. It would have been relatively simple to do, just ring back Ipswich Town Football Club and ask to speak to the Chairman or his representative. Why we then issued a formal club statement, which made RUFC look rather amateurish and a bit silly, God only knows! Afterwards Ronnie Moore claimed that he wasn’t embarrassed about declaring his interest in the job at Ipswich. Not so sure about that, I’m absolutely certain that he would have wished that he hadn’t mentioned it, based as it was on a hoax call!

Now it seems likely that the entire management team of Sheffield Wednesday is about to be dismissed and guess who their Board wants to fill the post of manager? Surely Ronnie wouldn’t be so naïve to think that we would simply wish him well if he were to go to Hillsborough? Personally I reckon that all the goodwill that he’d built up with our supporters would disappear overnight if he even decided to speak to them about the manager’s job! Let’s hope that if he has decided on a parting of the waves, Ipswich proves more attractive than Sheffield 6. Terry Yorath appears to have one last chance to get a result, Saturday’s home game against Bradford might be his last, by then Ronnie might also have decided on his next career move!

Before I close on this particular snippet of news making all the headlines, I accept that Ronnie is ambitious and would like the opportunity to manage at a higher level. However, I must take issue with him on one of his gripes, our lack of support. I know that Ronnie is disgruntled at the disappointing crowds that turn up at Millmoor. He keeps harping on about how we can’t fill our ground despite the team performing above expectations. Firstly, let me say that we, the fans that attend every week, are just as disappointed. However, a closer scrutiny reveals that our crowd figures aren’t that bad and are in fact quite good if compared to attendance figures just ten years ago! Of all the clubs in division one, only Gillingham and Preston have increased their attendances by a bigger percentage margin than the Millers. At the end of season 1993/94 our average attendance was just 3,723 compared to an average of over 7,000 today, an increase in excess of 90%! Considering all the broken promises made by our Chairman about bringing in quality players and improving facilities at Millmoor, I don’t think that we’ve done so bad, do you? I’ve stood out in all weathers for years and years in the hope of seeing some real improvements at the ground, just think back to the Reading game. No one would begrudge Ronnie the chance of managing at the highest level but no matter where he goes; he’ll never be as revered as he is at Millmoor. For now like all Millers fans, I await his decision with baited breath and hope that he can somehow see it in his heart to stay awhile longer.


Changing the subject slightly, I thought that we needed a win last weekend against Gillingham. This is the sort of game that we should be looking to pick up three points from, if we are to survive another season in division one. A decision by the club to delay making a press statement about Ronnie Moore’s future in an effort to concentrate on the game, proved counter-productive as most Millers fans were convinced that the proposed statement would be bad news. Indeed, the club, however well intended, succeeded only in making the place seem like a morgue. Neither the fans nor the team appeared to be all that bothered about the game, and at times in the second half it seemed to me that the players were simply going through the motions. This rubbed off on the supporters, looking around the ground during the game, most fans appeared to be transfixed on Ronnie Moore and hardly bothered to watch the goings on, on the field of play.

This must never happen again, whatever happens between now and Saturday, the team must try and concentrate on the game at Grimsby. Over 1500 fans will be travelling to Cleethorpes and we deserve 100% commitment from the team and the manager, whoever is in charge at the weekend. This is a game that we can win but equally we can be beaten if we’re not up for it! I work in Immingham and don’t want the hassle of going into work next week surrounded by gloating Mariners!

Did anyone see my comments in Sunday’s Observer newspaper? They contacted me quite late on Saturday evening and asked for a very small match report and comment on Ronnie Moore. I was quite chuffed about it although space hardly allowed anything of any real substance.

I’ve noticed quite a lot of comment in the media recently surrounding our forthcoming Worthington Cup tie at Wimbledon. It seems that everyone is expecting the attendance to be the lowest ever for a cup tie at this stage of the competition. It’s not really helped by the fact that the game will be played on Bonfire night. Only about 500 home fans will be there and I can’t really see more than a couple of hundred Millers supporters to attend. Supporters of Wimbledon, the true supporters now following a newly formed Wimbledon AFC in the non-leagues, have called for Rotherham fans to boycott both the league game at Selhurst Park and the Worthington Cup game the following week. Personally, if I was able to travel all that way, I would do so and am firmly of the opinion that we, as followers of the Millers, are perfectly entitled to follow our team.

On a different subject, I’ve heard a rumour that the issue of the purchase of the stand from Leicester City might finally be settled in the very near future. Word is that Leicester’s financial backers in an effort to reduce the club’s huge debts are anxious to sell anything that is saleable, particularly those assets that don’t actually affect the performance of the team. The stand from the old Filbert Street ground definitely falls into that category. A decision is imminent on whether RUFC are to purchase the stand. I’ve heard this from several quite reliable sources although I’ve yet to hear whether the deal will go ahead. Perhaps a positive decision on this might help Ronnie Moore to decide whether he intends to commit to Rotherham.

Have a look at the RUST site, if you haven’t done so for a while. You’ll see all the latest press releases issued by RUST and an open letter to Mr Booth regarding the Ronnie affair. You can help by joining the Supporters Trust, there’s strength in numbers and with the growing membership, the club is beginning to take notice and more importantly RUST are beginning to make a real difference. Indeed, Supporters Trust’s appear to be catching on. Barnsley supporters, only this week, identified the need for a Supporters Trust and launched one of their own on Monday evening. Their membership fee of £25 per annum far exceeds ours at just £10. Our aims, at least in the short term, differ considerably. Barnsley’s financial plight means that their Trust needs money to stave of closure of their football club. Fortunately, our club doesn’t require help in that direction.

Finally for this week and on a lighter note, in response to several e-mails from Rotherham fans overseas, here are my ratings for each of the players that performed against Gillingham. Apologies for not doing the same for last week’s match at home to Portsmouth. Anyway, here goes:-

· Pollitt: Saved well early on from Ipoua, had no chance with their goal. Performed well overall. Rating 7

· Scott: Struggled early on against the Gills lively forward line, eventually substituted through injury, looks tired and should be rested. Rating 5

· Hurst: Did well and gave usual 100%. Rating 7

· Swailes: Had a fine match rarely ofered any opportunity for a tricky Gillingham forward line to shine. Will be missed during his enforced period of suspension. Rating 8

· McIntosh: Quite superb as always, hardly put a foot wrong. Rating 8

· Daws: In my opinion not a first division player, passed the ball well but lacks pace. Did much better at full back covering for the injured Scott, could be his best position? Rating 6

· Garner: Had a steady sort of game, like most of the team appeared to have other things on his mind. Rating 6

· Warne: Had an absolute nightmare afternoon, rarely managed to pass the ball to a colleague and failed to impress. Perhaps, it’s time for him to be rested. Rating 4

· Sedgwick: Another player that appeared to have matters off the field of play on his mind. Suffered from poor service but rarely showed his true form. Rating 6

· Lee: Had a difficult afternoon, struggled to perform and was eventually replaced. Rating 6

· Byfield: Started well but like many of his team mates had a bit of an off day. Rating 6

· Monkhouse: Came on late in the game, failed to make any real impact. Rating 5

· Barker: Made little impact Rating 5

· Mullin: Livened up proceedings and might have scored. Rating 7

That’s all for this week folks, keep the feedback coming.
Cheers for now,
Chris S

The views and opinions in this newsletter may not be the same as the Rotherham United Supporters Trust.
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