JUST what has happened to Yorkshire football?
It is really sad for me to see us going backwards when I see football thriving in London and the North West.
Over the last 20 years, every one of our clubs, in spells, have had bad management and/or owners and made bad decisions, with a number having had stints in administration.
With the power of football these days and money that has come into it, it seems to have affected many Yorkshire clubs’ judgement more than most.
It just seems Yorkshire football is failing us. Look at Leeds Rhinos, who have consistently won trophies over the years. Then, there’s Yorkshire CCC, who have had a relatively recent resurgence, winning trophies.
Every time we go to major World Championships, Yorkshire brings home loads of medals. Look at the Olympics and the recent Commonwealth Games.
But what is happening to football? We do not even have FA Cup semi-finals any more at Hillsborough or Elland Road. The support is there, but most have been badly let down.
At the top level, we are relying on Huddersfield Town, who are doing a fantastic job to survive in the Premier League.
They have someone to admire in charge in Dean Hoyle and a manager who is running them well. But even Town have come back after spending a spell in administration and dropping down the divisions.
Then look at Leeds United. I know that Leeds are a club who many ‘love to hate’, like Manchester United. But I think everyone wants a strong Leeds United in the Premier League.
Over the last 20 years, every one of our clubs, in spells, have had bad management and/or owners and made bad decisions.Darren Gough
We all want to see them back in the top-flight pushing for titles and many of us remember how they won the old Division One just before the Premier League started. They have also represented us in Europe and got to semi-finals.
But it has been a roller-coaster for them with financial and managerial problems. It has been all over the shop. Leeds have had 20 full-time managers since the Premier League began and 12, including caretaker spells, since 2012. What a basket case.
Sheffield Wednesday are another big club in the region. They were seventh in the Premier League in 1993 and had eight seasons there before they started dropping through the divisions and are finding it so hard to get back in, too.
Their latest set of accounts revealed that their losses were almost £21m, which must be a huge concern if you are a supporter of the Owls. Another huge club who once looked like representing Yorkshire in the top-flight for a long, long time.
Sheffield United did go into the Premier League and did not have much luck, with Neil Warnock still upset by the Tevez situation. But you look at them since. In 2010-11, they had three different managers and were relegated to League One, only four years after being in the Premier League.
Then, there is Barnsley. I love them to bits; yes I get a lot of stick because I don’t live there any more, but they will always be my club. Premier League was the dream and most were realistic in 1997-98 when it was the first season in top-flight football in 99 years. But they went down, overspent and were hit by the ITV Digital collapse, went down again and into administration in 2002.
Including caretakers, Barnsley have had 25 managers since 1992. I find that amazing for a club like Barnsley. It’s nearly one a season.
Realistically, Championship is the level where you would expect Barnsley to be at. If they went down to League One, it would be a huge, huge disappointment.
Bradford City are another who have gone from the Premier League, in 1999, to League One. They have had countless managers, relegations and their share of financial difficulties, too. They are a club who should be sitting in the Championship somewhere and are currently under-achieving in League One.
Middlesbrough have had their top-flight time and are actually run well, with a passionate owner in Steve Gibson. But the pressure of the new Premier League money meant despite being someone who does not like to sack a manager, he got rid of Garry Monk quickly.
Hull have had some major issues, with fans deeply unhappy from the name-change episode. A few months back, it looked like they might even be relegated again, but they have thankfully turned it around. But they now have owners who don’t seem to be willing to spend much of the money any more and have fallen out with sections of supporters.
You go lower down and look at York City, which is an absolute mess. What is going on there? Then, there’s Guiseley who have just been relegated from the National League. It just goes on.
Banned Aussies should not be allowed to play in England
I WAS absolutely gobsmacked when I heard that Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto said he would be keen to sign one of Australia’s banned Test stars in Steve Smith, David Warner or Cameron Bancroft.
I think it is such a sensitive issue. I do think there has been an overreaction regarding the bans, but once they got the 12-month bans from Cricket Australia, I would be hugely disappointed if one of the counties – as a Yorkshire fan – employed one of those three this season.
Next season, I would have no issue with it. They will have then served their ban. But not this season.
Somerset led the way for me by getting rid of Bancroft and replacing him with Matt Renshaw. What disappointed me most about what Di Venuto said was that he actually stated that bringing in one of those three would benefit Australian cricket.
I am not bothered about benefitting Australian cricket. Why would one of our coaches in this country want to benefit their cricket with the Ashes coming up here next year?
This year, with everything that has gone on, I think it would be a bad move for a county to take them.
Justin Langer is being lined up by Australia to replace Darren Lehmann as head coach and that would be a good choice.
I had unbelievable battles with Langer throughout my whole career and he was my last first-class wicket and to finish my career by getting an Aussie opening batsman out meant I ended on a high.
He’s an unbelievably strong character and I think he will do a terrific job for Australia, even though Darren is a hard act to follow.
Darren did a great job and is a great bloke and coach.