Reasons To Be Cheerful

We’re sometimes accused of negativity here at UTAS, and looking at the league table who can blame us? But there’s plenty of good around the club too, that sometimes gets lost when we’re just looking at results on the pitch. With that in mind @vinylperez takes a look at some of the things we can be pleased about when talking about United.

The Abbey Stadium

Yes it’s old, yes parts of it are falling down, yes it’s not exactly the most appealing ground in the country, but there’s a rustic charm to the old place, and more importantly it’s ours. When Paul Barry and his fellow owners bought the ground back this season it secured the future of the club for many years to come, regardless of what league we’re playing in. It needs more than a lick of paint, but more importantly the foundations are there (if not the financing) for future redevelopment. It’s going to be a long term thing, and we’ll probably lose some of the things that make the Abbey the Abbey in any future development, but never again will the threat of homelessness and extinction hang over us.

Paul Barry

Cast your mind back over the years, there’s been some absolute chancers involved with this club in the past hasn’t there? Naming no names, but there’s a few people who’s intentions haven’t exactly been made with the best interests of United in mind. Paul Barry isn’t perfect – he doesn’t possess oligarch levels of wealth, for one, but other than that he’s about as good of an owner United can have. He’s been a fan longer than most of us have been alive, and has travelled the country supporting the club, sometimes as part of single-figure away attendances during those dark times in the mid-80’s. Most importantly, he doesn’t see his ownership of the U’s as a financial investment – I’m sure there’s incentives for him to be involved, but he’s gone on record stating his return on investment from owning us is purely emotional. There can’t be more than a handful of owners in the 92 that see their custody of their club in that way, and when you see some of the awful outfits getting involved in the beautiful game these days we’ve definitely got the pick of the bunch.

U’s Fans

We’ve said it before, but whilst there isn’t that many of us, those that do follow United are as loud and as passionate as those that follow some of the bigger clubs. From the 2000+ that went to MK on Saturday – a place you surely don’t need reminding that we have a dreadful record at – to the 2,800 odd that filled a little corner of the Emirates to support the youth team and those that give their time in countless ways volunteering around the ground, writing for the programme, running community outreach stuff, creating podcasts (self-congratulations? us?) or flag displays or social media accounts supporting the U’s we’re some of the best in the country, and can make the Abbey an absolute cauldron of noise at times.

Keep it up guys, you make us proud.

Liam Bennett

He didn’t strictly come through our youth system, but we took a chance on him as a youngster and have moulded him into one of the most exciting youngsters to play for the U’s in… ever. You only have to see the reaction to him being subbed off to know how popular he is with the fans. He can play on the left, he can play on the right, he can play at the back, he can play further forward. He could probably play up front, and the way things are going probably will before the season is over.

Mark Bonner

Yeah, a bit of a weird one this, given some of our recent discourse about the bloke, but for all the difficulty we’re going through at the moment, we know this must be hurting Mark just as much as it’s hurting us. Regardless of how this season pans out, he’s a club legend already, and will go down in history for his achievements at the club. If by some miracle we do stay up this season, that legend will only grow further.

In all honesty though, it’s likely we’re going down, and as the board have backed Mark for the season we’ve got to ask ourselves, next season in League Two is there anyone else you’d rather give it a go than Mark? He’s got a summer to rebuild, and if we are writing this season off he’s earned our support for another try in 2023/24. History says we probably won’t come straight back up, but Bonz has proved he’s been able to do it once before, so there’s no reason he can’t do it again.

That Lot Up The Road are Gonna Flunk The Play-Offs.

You know what? Despite all the shite we’ve had to put up with this season, we’re still not P*sh, and that’s the biggest reason to be cheerful there is. Form goes out the window during derby games, so when they come here next month and we take three points off them and put paid to any slender hopes they had of making the play-offs then that will be the sweetest thing of all.

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