Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughJust how do you deal with relegation? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Just how do you deal with relegation? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Just how do you deal with relegation?

It’s a torturous feeling when all hope is taken away and the relegation of your club is confirmed. For weeks as the season comes to its conclusion you go through a rollercoaster of emotions, especially when you’re in the dog fight;

‘We can stay up,’ ‘we’re absolutely shite, no chance,’ ‘we’re capable,’ ‘we’re incapable…’

Supporting Scunthorpe United for me is a privilege. I don’t over expect and I am a very rational and honest football fan. I know we were favourites for the drop from the day we won promotion and I always knew we’d struggle over the course of a season, but it doesn’t stop you dreaming. The immediate feeling is one of regret and sadness, upset and failure. I remember writing an article two years ago when we went up about how relegation from the Championship would almost be an honour for my club. After all, it is a major achievement for my club to be in that league so slipping out of it is no disgrace. This statement remains true for me, but it doesn’t take away that immediate pain of being relegated.

It’s been a fabulous two seasons for my team and etched across these two campaigns are some truly amazing memories. We opened Cardiff City’s new stadium in the first competitive game there. We beat eventual champions Newcastle 2-1 on a cold October night, and although we lost the return game, seeing my team playing at St James’ Park in a legitimate league fixture was a fantastic feeling. Big wins over Palace and Sheffield United, Robinho’s farewell game for Man City at Glanford Park. Michael Owen’s hatrick, Gary Hooper… the list goes on.

I think ultimately the location of our town, a lack of credible investment and then losing Nigel Adkins is what has seen us buckle in the dizzy heights. Will we be back; well I of course hope so. But my major concern is what has happened to so many other small clubs in the past and we end up slipping back down to a level where the league pyramid would naturally put us… i.e. League 2. Just ask Bury, Stockport, Grimsby Town, Rotherham who are all clubs of a similar size to ours and have experienced this dreaded feat after falling from the Championship.

When we were relegated four years ago from our first flirtation in the Championship, we bounced back via the play-offs just one season later. We had two trips to Wembley that year and it was without doubt the pinnacle for me as a fan of Scunthorpe. Hopefully being relegated this time round will see a similar renaissance.

Up the Iron.

Simon Bourne

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