SPORT TALK: Relegation will be a blessing for Tulips

IT looks like Spalding United will finally be relegated from the Evo-Stik League this weekend – and not before time.

Anything other than a victory at Kidsgrove Athletic (who beat them 6-1 two weeks ago) will see the Tulips return to the UCL Premier Division for the first time since 2004.

Now, some people think I’ve got it in for the club, given my less than flattering coverage over the past few seasons.

That’s not true, but they have stolen a number of hours from my life that I’ll never get back. Any team that has been as consistently appalling as Spalding are never going to receive rave reviews, no matter what level they are playing at.

The Tulips have been whipping boys at step four of the Non-League ladder for too long now and, after years of surviving on various technicalities, it’s now time to face the music.

But with relegation comes hope. I doubt two men as well-respected and savvy as Andy Stanhope and Bob-Don Duncan would hang around if they didn’t see light at the end of the tunnel.

The managerial duo must surely be eyeing a massive overhaul in the summer and I’d be staggered if they hadn’t already drawn up a list of targets for what fans will hope might be a much more prosperous campaign.

Let’s hope they have, because anybody who has seen Spalding this season will know that their current team wouldn’t even make the top half of the UCL Prem. That league is a different animal to the one Spalding left behind seven years ago, with a number of sides willing to play top dollar for an increasingly higher calibre of player.

One of St Neots or King’s Lynn will still be there next season too, so they can forget about the title. But again, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

The Tulips rarely attract more than 100 fans to their home games and the public seem to have fallen well out of love with the club. They currently have no youth set-up or a reserve team too, which is unacceptable at this level.

There are a lot of good people at the club, who put in endless hours of unsung work behind the scenes.

Surely they can get together over the summer and make the powers that be at the club see sense, as a couple of years operating as a proper football club will rebuild their reputation.

A disgruntled fan rang me this week and said that Spalding need a new chairman, should sack the manager and need a new team. I’d say he’s right on two counts...

Got a view on this story? Email andrew.clucas@jpress.co.uk and let me know.