2011/2012 Coca-Cola Championship football season, potentially a year for Derby County Fans to get excited about?
24th March 2011
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In recent seasons Derby County fans have had little to shout about, and at the start of the current campaign it seemed that this wasn’t going to change, with the sale of the previous seasons top scorer Rob Hulse to league rivals Queens Park Rangers. Fortunes however seemed to have changed with a run of excellent results seeing them climb the table and sit comfortably in fourth place, mainly down to the skill and craft of creative midfielder Kris Commons. However in the January transfer window Derby cashed in on his services, after terms on a new contract broke down, Commons signed for Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic for a fee rumoured to be around £350,000. Hand in hand with his departure, along with that of Dean Moxey to Crystal Palace, saw the demolition of Derby’s early season promise. A string of poor results saw the team dragged into a relegation battle at the bottom of the table, and still find themselves fighting for survival in 17th place. With the dependency on loan players such as Alberto Bueno, Jamie Ward and Daniel Ayala, even with safety in the division almost secured, a pessimistic view has been adopted by many fans who are now demanding action from the board, and for the first time in many seasons, it appears that the board are ready to show some ambition in preparation for the 2011/2012 campaign. The Rams Chief Executive has this week announced that he is ready to offer a “money back guarantee” to fans who are not happy with the business carried out in this summer’s transfer market. This applies to any fan who purchases a season ticket for the coming season, who after the summer finds them self feeling unhappy with the additions made to the first team squad.

"We'd like people to judge us not on what we say but by our actions – and by the side that we put together," said Glick.

"One season ticket holder has asked if we would consider something along the lines of a money back guarantee – and I'm happy to do that.

"So if they're not happy with the side we put together, right up until the first day of the season, they can come down and get their money back.

"We expect to put a side together that is capable of competing in the top six and we hope that will be self-evident with the moves that we make.

"But if the fans don't think so and they just can't see it in their hearts of hearts, we'd be happy to give them their money back.

"It is a risk but, for us, the bigger risk is not putting together a winning team."

Does this signal a change in direction for the club, who have seemingly been happy to settle for mediocrity in recent seasons? Well as a loyal Rams fan I hope so, and find myself getting excited about next season, even before security has been assured in the current campaign. Glick went on to talk about how he understands the frustrations and concerns of the supporters who have been voicing their opinions in recent games.

"I am aware and the owners are aware how the fans feel," he stated.

"We are aware of their disappointment, whether it's someone who has been out protesting, whether it's somebody who left a game early because they were unhappy at how we were playing, or whether you just went home quietly and are a bit apathetic about what's going on right now.

"We're aware of how you feel – but what's important is that they know that we're not satisfied with where we are. We're determined to go further.

"We expect to play winning football, we expect to put an exciting team out. We haven't done that consistently this season and we're well below where we expected to be in the league table.

"First of all, we need to have a strong finish to this season and make sure we get safe.

"Then, we need to put together a side that will compete in the top six next year. That is going to mean bringing in better players."

So with loans running out, and players such as Robbie Savage retiring in the summer, a fresh, new and exciting squad is needed to reinstate the Pride at Pride Park. In my opinion the entire spine of the squad needs addressing right from the bottom, with a new goalkeeper, centre back, centre midfielder and a proper target man styled striker at the top. I’d love to see a similar type of signing that Ipswich made in Jimmy Bullard in the January transfer window. A combination of experience, skill and an eye for goal has to be the main priority, the gamble on potential and “has beens” hasn’t worked, so hopefully the board will stick to their word, for a change, and pull together a competitive, exciting squad.

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