New Season... Same Mission | TBV Bulletin 2019/20

posted 3 Aug 2019, 03:46 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 3 Aug 2019, 03:49 ]



Following on from the success of last season's bulletins, a member of TBV will be continuing to publish their thoughts and comments from previous games, and previewing games ahead of us. These bulletin's are to be published once a fortnight, and the date these bulletins are posted will vary from week to week. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club.  



Welcome Back!

It's been a very long 2 1/2 months without football, so for it to be finally back again is fantastic, and we begin our campaign with a trip to play Coventry in Birmingham. As many will by now know, Coventry are unable to use their home ground of the Ricoh Arena this season due to an ongoing issue with ownership, meaning that they are forced to share grounds with Birmingham this season, meaning Southend will be making the 292 mile round journey to Birmingham's home ground, see the Shrimpers play their opening game against Coventry... in a way, both sides will be starting their seasons away from home!

Whilst we have been quiet over the summer, it doesn't mean we aren't active. We are continuing to work on ways to improve our support even further this season, following a very, very strong end to last season atmospherically. As you may/may not know, TBV regularly attend Supporter Group Liaison meetings, where we meet with representatives from each of Southend's supporter groups including All At Sea, ShrimperZone, Blues on Tour, Shrimpers Trust, and many, many more. We all meet with a representative at the club and the Police Liaison Officer for SUFC, to discuss issues surrounding the club. The notes from our most recent meeting can be found on ShrimperZone, the link to which will be available below. We got some fantastic comments with regards to the atmosphere vs Sunderland, something I was very proud of our fans for achieving... some commented that they believed it seriously played a part in Humphrys goal, and I'd love to think it did. At the end of the day, everyone did their jobs on that day, the team put in shift of the season, and the fans got behind each and every one of them, and I'm proud of that. Apart from us losing 3-4 flags (yes, they are still missing!), there were loads of positives to take out of that game. We have also been working hard on improving our support for the season ahead, more details on this coming very soon!



Our New (un)Sponsor...

So... the new kits were finally revealed to us near the end of July, and it got a very, very mixed reaction on Twitter. I don't mind the away shirt as much, but the home shirt, for me, is incredibly bland. Some would say that it's lack of sponsor on the front makes it look bland and more like a training top, which I can totally understand (that was my initial reaction as well!). So, why is there no sponsor on the front of our shirt?!

Well, our new shirt sponsors, PaddyPower, have made it their mission this season to instead of plastering their name across dozens of football shirts, to instead "un-sponsor" our shirts. The aim of their campaign, which was kicked off with a great publicity stunt pulled by Huddersfield, is to #SaveOurShirts from sponsorships and give them back to the fans, so to speak. Shirts are, at the end of the day a walking advertising ploy, and I can totally get behind their campaign to not plaster company names across shirts. Last season, we decided to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer, a charity who will have paid likely next to nothing to be on the front of our shirt, and moving away from them to be (un)sponsored by PaddyPower doesn't mean we will be discontinuing our links with them, it just means we now have a sponsor on the front of our shirt, and a source of income from a front of shirt sponsor for the first time since Insure and Go. 

So I've taken some time to work out whether or not I'm happy with the shirts, and in honesty, I still cannot decide whether I am or not. What I can say though is wow... some of the comments I've seen on ShrimperZone and on Twitter (especially on Twitter) have been incredibly poor from our fans. Yes, I understand that the shirts are poor, they seem very basic and plain, but everyone acting like it's the end of the world, when in reality, it's just a football kit without a sponsor on it, an initiative that I fully support. For the sake of the club and it's finances, we needed a sponsor, and PaddyPower's sponsorship this season is very unique, so to be one of the first clubs to be a part of their unique campaign is beneficial to us in many ways. I am not trying to make excuses for the design of the shirt, but comments such as "we should've kept Prostate Cancer on the front of our shirts" and "PaddyPower kicked a charity off the front of our shirt for a marketing ploy" are totally ridiculous and incredibly unneeded. A little home truth for our fans, but our shirt is essentially a basic Nike template, with the logo of either a charity or our chairman's company slapped on the front, and I feel that if there was some kind of sponsor on the front of the shirts, many people sadly wouldn't be as annoyed. Would keeping Prostate Cancer on the front of our shirts get money into the club or make the kits look anything more than just a basic Nike template kit? Nope. PP's initiative has received criticism from our fans (somehow!), to the point where a few fans have continued to tweet their annoyance at them even days after the kit was revealed, and in honesty, I think it's unfair. Their initiative is something I can 100% get behind, but the kit itself lets it down heavily, and that is down to the suppliers, and NOT PaddyPower or the club. The club are limited to what they can put on the front, however saying that, I would've loved to have seen some kind of unique design on the front of our kit. I rate the inclusion of '1906' on the back, but I feel the shirt needed just a little more than just that. If there is a way to put a sponsorship on the front of a shirt, then surely there's a way of putting some kind of design on the front of the shirt? Overall, I feel a little underwhelmed with the kits, especially with the home kit, but I guess it'll no doubt end up grow on me as the season goes on!


Pre season and new arrivals

So, with pre-season now complete, and some new signings on board, our team is ready to go. Whilst it's seemed like a long and quiet summer, Bond and his team been working very hard behind the scenes to not only get our team in shape for this season, but also to get some new players on board for the season. Whilst I haven't been able to attend any of our pre-season games due to work commitments, I've been speaking with those who went to watch the team, and they were very impressed. A couple of stand out players from our only game at Roots Hall was Mark Milligan and Joe Shaughnessy, two very impressive signings for this level of football. Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing the new guys in action today, hopefully we can kick things off with a positive result! One small negative from the pre season games however, is about alleged racial abuse towards one of our players (I say alleged as I wasn't present at the time of the incident, and I don't want to comment too much on the incident in question". Whilst we aren't 100% sure on why this happened, or who was responsible, we would like to say this... TBV absolutely does NOT condone the use of racial abuse or any kind of abuse towards any of our own players. Racism has no place in football, and abuse of our own players as well is especially disappointing. I get that watching us in the stands can get frustrating, but resorting to racism is NEVER the answer. I've been known to get a bit frustrated myself in the stands, but I've never felt myself resorting to name calling - if you wouldn't say it to a footballer's face, don't say it in the stands.


Final Words

Finally, I thought I'd end with talking about a few things that fellow fans have launched over the summer. Firstly, if you haven't done so already, go and check out The Custard Splat Podcasts if you fancy passing some more time en route to today's game. They launched a few pilot episodes of the podcast at the back end of last season, and they are back once again this season. If you're looking to find something to pass the time en route to today's game, check them out on Twitter (@CustardSplatPod). Also new-ish for this season is Blues On Tour - Southend Away. Blues on Tour is a rebrand of TravelZone, who have been running coaches to away games for over 10 years, so it's fair to say they have a fairly large experience in away travel. They have just launched their brand new website (www.bluesontour.co.uk) and a brand new twitter page (@Blues_On_Tour), so be sure to check it out if you're ever looking for away coach travel to watch The Blues.

And finally, this season is looking promising, and with the signings we've made, hopefully we're looking at a much more exciting season! If you're on the way up to Birmingham today, safe journey to all supporters, here's to 3 points!

Up The Blues!

The Blue Voice