WELL that’s the end of Saints in League One.
Relief is the emotion I think the resounding majority of Saints fans feel now that we have won promotion back to the second tier.
We’ve had some good times in this division. In fact, I’d go so far to say that I’ve never enjoyed a season of football as much as I did the first year in the old Division Three.
This season, despite the success, hasn’t been as much fun as I think the novelty had worn off slightly and the reality of where we were sank in somewhat.
But, looking back, the march to Wembley last season was a great laugh and a fantastic occasion.
Walking around the capital, you’d swear that half of the people who live there had been replaced by singing Saints fans.
Okay, there have been some low times too – the uncertainty after Markus Liebherr’s death, the chaos in the aftermath of Pardew’s sacking, missing out on the play-offs last year, etc..
But overall I think most of us will look back on these two years with a degree of fondness.
However, that doesn’t mean for one second we want to be back. If you had said to me when we reached the FA Cup Final in 2003 that we were five years away from the third tier, I’d have told you to sit down while I called a medic. It was unthinkable.
No club is too big to be where they are, but Saints should never have been allowed to sink so low so fast.
It was the gamble of getting promoted back to the Premier League that quite literally cost us, so I hope we approach that goal a bit more pragmatically this time.
We sure as hell don’t want to be back HERE any time soon!
There are a few things that I definitely won’t miss from League One.
For one, being in the first round of the FA Cup was a constant reminder of us ‘not being famous any more’ so I’m happy to see the back of that.
Being able to count the number of away fans on one hand is another.
It kills the atmosphere at St. Mary’s if only five people bother travelling down to see their team take on Saints, so I’m looking forward to some bigger clubs coming to town again.
Another, I’m sorry to say, is the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. I loved it last year when we won it. It was brilliant.
But, similarly, when I was a kid I loved school discos and He-Man.
Those times are gone. It’s time to move on and grow up.
So to League One, I say goodbye.
Goodbye to being beaten twice by Rochdale, goodbye to terraces built out of scaffolding, goodbye to having to sit through an hour of Manish, Steve and Leroy before seeing our goals on TV, goodbye to pretend rivalries and goodbye to shaking my head is disbelief that we are actually in the same league as Exeter and Yeovil (no offence, like).
Farewell and thanks for all the fish, Football League Division Three.