‘’All our times have come / Here, but now they’ve gone / Seasons don’t fear the reaper / Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain.’’
The above lyrics are from a famous song by the Blue Oyster Cult called ‘’Don’t Fear the Reaper’’. The song isn’t about football [it’s about Romeo and Juliet] but as my hometown club Bray Wanderers continues to try to navigate through stormy waters following events of the last couple of weeks, the song came to mind and somehow seemed apt.
I don’t fear the reaper. Hopefully he’s just relegation. I fear now that it, at the very least, is unavoidable. We’ve been relegated many times before, although nobody except Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic in this year’s Premier Division has been in the top flight longer than us. That’s why relegation isn’t to be feared – Dundalk, Cork, Derry, Shamrock Rovers and others have come back stronger after it.
We could regroup in the First Division. We even won the FAI Cup when we were a First Division club  and won it again in a season when we were being relegated . It was ironic that the day after the recent statement from Gerry Mulvey that precipitated the current round of departures the club were drawn at home to Finn Harps in the First Round of the 2018 Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup – this will be a rematch of the 1999 final, one of our finest hours.
Aaron Greene, Ronan Coughlan and Cory Galvin left before the win over Sligo Rovers, after the players were made free agents by the club. Daniel Kelly and Craig Walsh left the following week, as the club engaged in crisis talks with the FAI and representatives of the players over unpaid wages [the players haven’t been paid since end of May] and other outstanding matters – reportedly the problems with the clubs finances also extend to players having had to pay for surgeries themselves. Possibly more players will have left between my writing this and you reading it.
The players have voted for strike action that would come into effect after the game against Bohemians on July 20th. This is a drastic course of action but one they no doubt feel they had no option other than to initiate.
Blame seems to be a common weapon to bandy about in the Bray situation. Fans who don’t go to games anymore blame the ownership of the club and are suspicious of a play for the grounds to develop them as real estate. The club bemoan the lack of support from the town and county. It’s a Catch-22 situation, an impasse. Something had to give.
Back to the Blue Oyster Cult. The parent album that the ‘’Don’t Fear the Reaper’’ single came from was called ‘’Agents of Fortune’’. I wish some agents of fortune would invest in Bray Wanderers. Chinese, Saudi Arabian, American, Russian – I don’t mind!