NOT since the little bloke, Hervé Villechaize, in the white suit in Fantasy Island has there been so much excitement about a plane turning up, as there was at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The ‘Moyes Out’ banner was neither earth-shattering nor surprising and so far as the Albion is concerned we’d seen it, been there and done it.
It was 28 years ago this month to be exact. So long ago that Mrs Thatcher had only won two elections and Charles and Di were still exchanging small talk at the breakfast table.
In 1985-86, under Chris Cattlin, the Albion’s promotion push back to the top flight had fallen away, due to lack of investment in the transfer market and a very small squad blighted by injury. The FA Cup had seen an encouraging run end at the quarter-final stage with defeat to Southampton at a packed Goldstone but, clearly, dark forces were afoot as the Albion prepared to play their last game at home.
A light aircraft took off that Saturday afternoon from Shoreham Airport and flew over the Goldstone during the game, towing behind it a banner calling for the return of Alan Mullery.
Now, clearly given my track record with protests against managers and directors alike, it would almost be hypocritical in some ways to condemn these actions. But, on the flip side, Chris Cattlin was and remains to this day a 100 per cent genuine bloke doing the job with, in my opinion, not only his hands tied behind his back but also his ankles bound.
Those behind that action should have known better. When one of them years later admitted it to me, I actually got the chance to use the phrase “pot, kettle and black”.
Nearly 30 years on, times have changed. Information is now more freely available and eventually everything gets out.
As for Oscar Garcia and the Albion “Class of 14”, perhaps my earlier reference to Fantasy Island is more than apt as, after Tuesday night’s 3-3 draw at Blackburn, BBC South are still claiming the Albion are in the play-off hunt.
Like many thousands of others, I almost bleed blue and white but, sorry, I’m not buying into this facade.
Starting with the Poyet farce, this season has been truly almost forgettable. And it’s a testament to the loyalty of the supporters that the club still have over 20,000 renewing their season tickets.
Some things just don’t make sense and sometimes you wonder if Oscar needs a bit more help with the off-field stuff?
Taking his words literally after Saturday’s dire performance at home to Middlesbrough, he apparently stated on the BBC that there were 15 teams below the Albion in the Championship with bigger budgets. At the time he said that, there were only 15 teams below the Albion in the table.
So, Yeovil, Millwall and Barnsley have all got bigger budgets than the Albion? Sorry, but, again, not convinced. But, in his defence, perhaps it was lost in translation.
So, therefore, rather than having the world and his wife “working” in the car parks, why not borrow a language student from the University and give him a proper translator?
I’m not quite on the “Garcia Out” bandwagon, but clearly something is not right.
Unless there is a drastic re-think in the summer over the first team and general club structure, the Albion will struggle to have the same take-up on tickets next March.