With Brentford travelling to Leeds United on Saturday (and then no home game until Preston North End on September 19th) visits to Griffin Park have been a bit thin on the ground recently. Moreso, given the enforced break which was the result of the recent International fixtures.
But walking past the ground on the way to work yesterday, something seemed amiss. The iconic BRENTFORD lettering, in ‘stingray’ font (for the record) has been removed from the Braemar Road stand. Along with the club badge.
When had this happened? And why? Given how slow a news week it has been, surely there might have been a story on the official site? There can’t be many fans who don’t know that 2015/16 adidas training wear is now available or that Hospitality for every Sky Bet Championship match is currently on sale.
Instead, with the comms and media team seemingly on holiday, we’ve been left to figure this one out for ourselves. And, as ever, things aren’t anywhere near as sinister as being made out in some circles. Mark Devlin used twitter to confirm that the lettering is being replaced in time for the game with Preston. Moreso, it seems that we are sprucing up the exterior of the stadium.
On first glance at 7.30am, it had seemed as though we were reintroducing the red and white stripes that had graced the Braemar Road stand back in the late 70s/early 80s. This would have been a stunning effort and, to be fair, still might be.
However, walking back in the evening, the red has moved further across. Stripes may still be an option, of course, but if so then they are likely to be a lot wider than those we’ve had in the past. And the eagle eyed amongst you may also have spotted that the notice board area is now a very vivid pink
From an aesthetic perspective, I’ve no issue with the removal of the Stingray font. Moreso given it is to be replaced rather than just disappear. It always smacked of something that was desperately trying to be futuristic but has only ended up being looking horribly dated as the years have advanced.
The real question is, predominantly, why weren’t we told? Would it have been that hard? Especially at a time when you can’t move on the official site for all the tumbleweed.
Likewise, how can we afford this? And I ask given Cliff Crown’s excellent piece in the Reading programme about what an uneven financial footing the club are on, relative to our Championship rivals , “with total income in the bottom three in that league”.
I can’t imagine it has cost much relative to the transfer fees we are being compelled to raise but with a new stadium in the offing, is this entirely necessary? We’ve lost Stuart Dallas to Leeds but we do have some new paint! Or is it simply the case that a sponsor is covering the costs? Just a thought but with no official comms out of the club then people do like to clutch at any theory.
Whatever we are left with, nobody is in any doubt that Griffin Park has been on her last legs for some time. If we can do something simple to spruce her up a bit for the next couple of seasons, at no real expense, then happy days.
The other news of the day saw the game at Bolton being moved to a Monday night for the benefit of the TV cameras. This is infuriating but part of modern football at this level and, for us, a rare experience. If you think this is bad, imagine had we reached the Premiership.
I had a cracking time in Bolton last season (result aside) and was looking forward to a return trip this time around – although, perhaps, without the Zorb football.
Alas, it wasn’t to be and, instead, I’ll be watching this game from the comfort of the sofa. With barely a handful of tickets sold for Tuesday night’s trip to Middlesbrough, I fear this could be a similar scenario.
Its far from ideal but, them again, we’ve won midweek long distance away trips before. I’m sure we’ll do it again.
It would just be nice if there were some supporters there to witness it. Instead, here’s the video from last time out. Come for the Zorbs, stay for the commentary….