THIS MONTHS MESSAGES
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30th November 1999SANDY ORR
There were some good, though hardhitting points in the "message" from Andy Murray, and I am inclined to agree with some of them. However, being a Queens fan that lives 75 miles from Dumfries, and therefore doesn't see much of either of the main local rags, I for one would be interested to see the comments that Giancarlo Rinaldi made.

It would be great if a page could be devoted to giving quotes from, or even reproducing (if allowed), columns and letters printed in the local papers so that Queens fans from far afield could be kept even more up to date with views from the people of Dumfries.
30th November 1999STEVE BAXTER
We have twenty league matches to try and save the situation we are now in and I think we will need to win at least 14 of these matches to have a chance. Unfortunately and it pains me to say it I do not believe the present management are capable of delivering this so I would appeal to George Rowe and Ken Eadie to relinquish their management of the team while remaining as players, and would also appeal to the new board to appoint a new manager who could look at the team with fresh eyes and start building a team now that would be capable of winning promotion in one season from Division Three if the worst should happen.
29th November 1999ANDY MURRAY
(This letter has been posted to the Message Board but we are told was originally intended for submission to the Dumfries and Galloway Standard in response to earlier articles written by Giancarlo Rinaldi. Also by way of further clarification Andy Murray produces a weekly column in the Dumfries Courier, Annandale Observer and others reporting on Queens fortunes. -CDJ)

As a resident of the Cloud Cuckoo land Giancarlo Rinaldi mocked in his hagiography of Norman Blount (Standard, November 19), may I be permitted to defend myself in your columns? Mr Rinaldi, in his naivety, suggests that the reported 200,000 raked in in transfer fees over the last year would not buy the left leg of anyone who could turn the club around. This particular cuckoo who, unlike Mr Rinaldi, has travelled far and wide to support Queen of the South, would counter his argument by expressing his belief that 200,000 would have bought more than a peg: it would have bought the bones of a promotion winning team. Had a mere 15,000 apiece been put in the pockets of Tommy Bryce and Jim Thomson, they would still be in Dumfries, rather than shining for the promotion liklies turned out by a northern fishing backwater with a fraction of the population of our own town. Mr Rinaldi had a go at "journeyman professionals" in his hagiography. These are the kind of guys who are strutting it out for the Alloas, the Stenhousemuirs, the Clydes and the Arbroaths of the Second division, and they don't cost much, Mr Rinaldi. They cost far, far less than the reported 150,000 Mr Blount prided himself in shelling out in order to foster the development of journeymen not long out of short trousers. Most of the youths or young men we do have have come from other teams, NOT through the over-trumpeted development system. There are many players out there who could do a cracking job with Queens for five-figure sums, but our management will have to build up better contacts and a better scouting system to reach them. There are so many hangers-on at Palmerston these days that you never know who will be hanging about the dugout next. Is it not time the real deadwood was removed rather than the deadwood fans George Rowe so unjustifiably criticised in a recent programme.

My friend Davie Hewitt is a REAL Queens fan, rather than someone who wants to support them blindly and to follow any particular fiction thrown at them by the authorities or by the media who would rather fawn than criticise. He took the decision to withdraw his support, and he is to be commended for having the guts to put his name to a letter to the Standard. George Rowe, whom he praised to the heavens in the said letter, rewarding him by having a swipe at him in the programme and in the Standard. Not only that, there is either a great coincidence going on or Mr Rinaldi has quoted from a personal letter Davie Hewitt sent to Mr Blount, a letter which remains unanswered, although Mr Blount once paid great tribute to Davie's vehement support. In Terms of hoarseness the throat of no fan could ever compete with of Davie's at ten to five.

Mr Blount hardly ever attended Palmerston before 1994. Yet he is being hailed as a Queens fan through and through. Why? Since he came we have brought youths on, banked the money and NOT replaced them with people capable of winning us promotion. He decided not to dismiss whoever was responsible for losing the club 17,000 in a fine for fielding an ineligible player in 1997. The public relations emanating from Palmerston has CERTAINLY not improved since Mr Blount arrived at the door.

Mr Rinaldi stated in his piece that crowds had edged over the 1,000 mark during Mr Blount's chairmanship. In fact, they have dropped from 1,200 to 1,000 mark in a couple of seasons; and I have spoken to umpteen fans who are thinking of packing it in. One told me on Saturday that he had supported the team since before the war, but that he would be tearing up his season ticket.

The truth is evident: Palmerston NEEDS journeyman pros. Money should be thrown at them or Queens will be playing in the third division next season, and they will sink without trace, spanking new stadium or not. Mr Blount, whom I have time for as a man, has put far too much store on youth development and other peripheral factors. It is no use prattling on about how we reached the Challenge Cup Final when the manager who got us there was sacked, although his record was better than that of the current management. Of the squad which turned out for Queens for that final, only three have donned the blue shirt this season.

Perhaps Mr Rinaldi can do some investigative journalism and tell us what has happened to Queens of the South's most important fan, Dougie the Doonhamer. Perhaps he should address himself to the notion that Mr Blount did not want to go down in history as the captain of our local Titanic, so he headed for the lifeboats before Christmas. Perhaps Mr Rinaldi should reconsider his motives for accusing certain very knowledgeable and passionate supporters of being myopic. If Mr Rinaldi wants to be patient and is content to watch youngsters getting trounced every week, or hear of their defeats if he is otherwise engaged than being a fan, then he is welcome to that position. But he should be very wary of indulging in one-sided journalism when there is another equally important side to broadcast.

Yours Etc.,

Andy Murray
29th November 1999CRAIG WINDSOR
ALL WE NEED IS A FINISHER LIKE ANDY THOMSON. SHAME WE CAN NOT AFFORD HIS WAGES.AS FOR ROWE HE SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING FOOTBALL
29th November 1999MARC PATTERSON
I was not at the game on Saturday but my cousin Geoff Paterson played in the game and although i think he should get a run in the team i would like to know if you think that he should and what he performed like on saturday. Also do you think that if he gets a run in the team he will become an important player for Queens, as i feel he certainly has the potential to go higher.
28th November 1999WALT ADAMSON
As people have previously said on this message board, good players don't become bad players overnight but fit players can become unfit.

I'm no expert on fitness or stamina but in these last few games, in my opinion, Queens have had a tendancy to fall away badly in the second half after being a match for the opposition before the break. By my reckoning, of the inexcusable nineteen goals that have been conceeded in the last six games, all but four of them have come after half time; an average of a goal conceeded for every eighteen minutes of second half football played. Whether it's fitness, committment or something else. The current situation is simply not good enough.

Many of the current squad, whether it be a Queens or with another team have proved themselves capable players in the past but at them moment we're getting beaten far too easily. In the last two games, once Ross County went 1-0 up, just as when Thistle went 2-1 up, heads seem to go down and there just didn't seem to be much fight about them to get back into it.

Just as many of the squad have previously proved themselves capable. Messrs Rowe and Eadie proved themselves capable managers in the second half of last season. I only hope that they find their magic wand quickily. Teams are posing questions on Queens that they have been unable to answer and perhaps its time they made way for someone who can.
24th November 1999EWAN LITHGOW
Quick reply to Alex Wilson.

No Alex, the club do not require an E.G.M. to elect a new Chairman (or any new director for that matter).

The term Chairman has no status in law. It is simply the case that most Board's of Directors choose someone amongst them to Chair meetings. The Chairman does not rank ahead of any other Director in principal.

The Board do not require a meeting to appoint a new director either. They can co-opt someone on to the Board at any time but that person must go before the shareholders to be appointed formally at the next Annual General Meeting. This is what happened when Ronnie Bradford came on to the Board.
23rd November 1999ANDREW THOMSON
THE QUEENS PERFORMANCE ON SATURDAY WAS ONE OF THEIR BETTER PERFORMANCES OF THE SEASON, NOT THAT THEIR ARE MANY TO CHOOSE FROM. WE DIDN'T DESRVE TO WIN THE GAME BUT A DRAW WOULD HAVE BEEN A FAIR RESULT, IN LIGHT OF THE PRESNTS GIFTED BY ROWE AND AITKEN. THE NEW PLAYERS THAT HAVE COME IN, McLEAN AND McMILLAN BOTH PLAYED THEIR PART. HOWEVER IT JUST GOES TO SHOW, GOOD FOOTBALL DOES NOT WIN GAMES IN OUR DIRE LEAGUE.

PEOPLE GO ON ABOUT THE NEED FOR PLAYERS AND THEY ARE RIGHT! WE NEED PLAYERS WHO ARE INSPIRARATIONAL AND IMAGINATIVE GOING FORWARD, AND REPLACEMENTS FOR OUR ONCE TALENTED YOUNGSTERS, AS WELL AS A VETERAN TO GET THINGS SORTED OUT(DAVID IRONS). THEIR ARE GOOD ENOUGH PLAYERS PLAYING IN THE EASTERN LEAGUE WHO ARE MORE THAN CAPABLE OF BEATING OF STRANRAER, CLYDE(MARYHILL JUNOURS) ETC.

RIGHT NOW WE NEED TO PUT TOGETHER A STRING OF RESULTS INORDER TO NOT BE IN 10TH TOP AT THE END OF THE SEASON, OTHERWISE THE LEGACY OF THE GREATLY AND DEARLY MISSED NOMAN BLOUNT WILL COUNT FOR NOTHING. IF THAT DOES HAPPEN AND HAS BEEN SAID IN THESE PAGES TIME AND TIME AGAIN WHO WILL BE WANTING TO GO TO A THIRD DIVISION CLUB. THE STANDS WILL BE EMPTY, WITH EVERY CLUB IN THAT LEAGUE HAVING NO AWAY SUPPORT, AND A DWINDLING HOME SUPPORT IF SATURDAYS ATTENDANCE IS TO BE COUNTED, IT WILL BE JUST LIKE GOING ALONG TO A SUNDAY LEAGUE GAME.

WHO IS LIKELY TO BE THE NEW CHAIRMAN? MY MONEY IS ON THE VICE CHAIRMAN RONNIE BRADFORD. THE QUSTION IS WHOEVER DOES BECOME CHAIRMAN WILL THEY FINANCIALLY BACK THE CLUB? WHATEVER HAPPENS, REMEMBER THAT NOTHING REALLY CAN HAPPEN UNTIL THE END OF THE SEASON.

ONE MORE THING LETS GET BEHIND THE TEAM. COME ON THE QUEENS.
22nd November 1999SANDY ORR
I thought yesterdays first half performance was one of the best this season, however we seem to have picked up a couple of bad habits recently. We only seem to perform well in the first half of games, and are shooting ourselves in the feet too often.

I was particularly impressed with Ally McMillan who looks to be a very good signing. Scott McLean was also impressive but I fear the price that Inverness reportedly want for him is way out of our league. It was also great to hear the fans get behind these two new recruits, and the other recent signing John Dickson, who continues to play well. However some of the fans should remember to get behind the team as a whole, Charlie Adams once again seemed to come in for some unfair criticism from a section of supporters in the first half. I thought Charlie had just as a good a game as the aforementioned new recruits, but obviusly some sections of Queen's dwindling home support are never going to take to him. Come on guys lets get behind the whole team as individual criticism of players can be unfair and unconstructive.
20th November 1999RICHARD ISAACS
Firstly, I would like to add my thoughts on the resignation of Norman Blount. In five years, this man has turned our club around from going nowhere to going somewhere. It is not his fault that we are currently bottom of Division Two, and I wish him all the very best in his future endevours.

One thing I am dismayed about is the comments on the messages board here. It is all very well saying that we need Andy Thomson, Tommy Bryce, Alex Nesovic, Degsy etc. but they are gone, sold, playing for someone else and they are very, very unlikely to return. We must realise this. If we could put out those above, we probably wouldn't be in the predicament we are in now. But we can't. The players in the squad are the players we have. I would love to see the squad strengthened and some good quality bought. It is depressing for a long-distance supporter like myself to listen to Sports Report on Radio 5 at 5.06pm (when they get down to Scottish 2) to hear we have been stuffed by Stranraer (of all teams) at home 5-0.

Can I also remind people that it is only 20th November, and the season ends in May. There is still six months to go. I think we will get out of the relegation mire ... remember last year.

All I ask of the Queens fans at the games ... get behind the lads, and give them a huge cheer for me.
17th November 1999ALEX WILSON
Does Norman's resignation mean that there will have to be an extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders to appoint a new Chairman? If so when would that likely to be, and just as a side issue, what's all this in the Standard about Palmerston as a possible site for a recreational development? What does that entail for the future of Queens at Palmerston?
15th November 1999ANDY COWAN
I would like to express my thanks and best wishes to Norman BLount after his unexpected resignation. Under Normans leadership the club has been transformed, although unfortunately on the pitch.

But on a positive note, we really should acknowledge the foresight and work done by Norman and his board. I, likemany others, remember the Harkness era when the club stumbled from one disaster to another. Under Norman I always felt we had real hope of a better life.

Unfortunately, things didnt go quite to plan, although we did enjoy a cup final and our best league position in years, and while this year has been dissapoining to say the least, it is difficult to see anyone but Norman who could have led the club out of our current position. I hope Im wrong and we find a worthy successor soon, althoug that is not going to be easy.

Unlike previous chairmen, who shall remain nameless out of respect for the dead, Norman has shown nothing but 100% commitment to the club and for this he should be applauded.

On another note, we really do need to rise above the shock of losing our chairman and start to put together some good results.

I agree mainly with Ewan Lithgows (I always agree with Ewan!) on his evaluation of the team. I never could never see what was so great about Sandy Hodge, but I have to say, I think youre a little harsh about Paul Stewart, remember he is still very young, and the times Ive seen him he looked as comfortable on the ball as any of the team. But then youve probably seen more of him than I have.

Anyway, I still say we have the foundation of a very good team, but Ive bored you all with that already.

All I have left to say is, thank you Norman for your great service to our beloved club, you will be sorely missed. And maybe, just maybe, if enough people say enough nnice things about, we might just persuade him to come back...we can only hope.
15th November 1999EWAN McNAUGHT
Like many other fans I'd like to thank Norman Blount for his contribution to Queen's over the last few years. He certainly transformed the club from an old -fashioned, insular one to a progressive, modern, forward thinking club which encouraged open debate.I think his ambitions for the club he clearly loved were there for all to see and it must have been frustrating and disappointing to invest so much time and money and for this investment to fail to bear the expected fruit of promotion to a higher level. Sadly investment in youth does not guarantee success but I think Queen's have done far more in this regard than most Premier teams and surely the Scottish League, or God forbid the SPL, could accredit this with some form of subsidy. In the absence of external encouragement it seems this and similar initiatives from far-sighted teams like Queen's are doomed to failure. Well thanks Norman for having the courage to try to change things for the better in Scottish football, not just for parochial interests but for the common good. It is sad that your foresight was not rewarded more richly.

Thanks Ewan Lithgow for your enlightening information. You are clearly a reliable source of wisdom on all matters pertaining to the Queen's.

It has become clear throught consulting this excellent website's messages page that a great many people DO care very passionately about Queen's and there is a great reservoir of goodwill and positive support for the club to draw on. I think everyone is frustrated about the failure of the club to match progress off the park with progress on it but the potential is definitely there and Norman Blount has certainly left the club in a much healthier position overall than when he came on board. What is needed now is for a similar progressively minded person(s) to pick up the baton and take us on from here.
15th November 1999SIMON MILLAGE
Bryce, Thompson, Mcallister, Townsley, Lilley, Harvey. But worst of all Blount

A sad day for QOS
15th November 1999JOE TAYLOR
I watched a local amature game last week and am afraid to say thought they should more creativity and imagination than anything that I have seen at Queens this season. Our co-manager who should be showing the young players how to play, has done nothing except punt the ball as far up the park as possible. I remember when we went to the final of the challange cup final in every round we outplayed the opposition not by the route 1 tactic but by passing and runs off the ball, we cannot expect to beat teams by blasting the ball up the park especially with the type off forwrds we have hardley 6 footers who can outjump the central defenders. We need to get back to passing the ball and a bit of creative spark.

I dare anyone to go watch a school game and tell me they are not playing a more attractive and better style of footbal than us.

And I know I will be taunted by people on these pages by people for having a different view, having reading them do it before and again most likely.

I am a keen supporter of Queens and footbal in general and in this day and age route 1 football is not going to win us much except a one way ticket to Division three.

I thank you very much for letting me state my opinion.
15th November 1999NEIL IRVING
I too will be sorry to see Norman depart. The club a lot to thank him for over the past few years - at least now we are looking to the future.

I remember the old style AGMs where the business was dealt with quickly, then the 'good old days' were discussed endlessly.

We now have a good squad of young players, some of whom will make their mark in the years to come.

Unfortunately, we need more than than to survive this season in the second division.
14th November 1999ANDY PATERSON
I'd like to add my thanks to Norman for the work he's done in making Queens a far more open and friendly club to support than in the past. Its unfortunate that reality hasnt quite matched up to the work that has gone on behind the scenes over the last few years.

Some of the comments lately in the press by fans has been way over the top. We've had a bad run thats put us bottom of a tight league (and played like 3rd division material admittedly). One thing that used to distinguish a Queens fan from the stereotypical Old Firm supporter was that we could take defeat without having to take the next three days off work to get over the shock of it. The fans need to get behind the team again, and stop calling the players before a ball is even kicked.

Its up to the experienced players (Mallan, Rowe)to start playing like they want to win, and the younger ones (Aitken) to show theyre too good for the 3rd division.
14th November 1999EWAN LITHGOW
Congratulations to F Stanley on his Hypocrite of the Year Award. The F Stanley criticising Norman Blount for the timing of his resignation is, I take it, the same F Stanley calling for his head after the Arbroath game.

I hope for the sake of the club that I am wrong but I cannot see how Norman's absence can be anything but bad for us. He had an infectious enthusiasm for the club and the positives of his time at the helm far outweigh any negatives. The East Stand, the Challenge Cup Final, "The Cup", the development of young players such as Jamie McAllister, David Lilley, Chris Doig, Andy Aitken, David Mathieson, Dennis Boyle and Bryan Caldwell all stand out as glowing tributes to the man. Unfortunately, circumstances have conspired to see us playing probably the worst football of his tenure in probably the most important season and at the same time as some of our best players (McAllister, Lilley, Townsley) unavoidably left the club. The very act of his resignation shows how honourable he is and exactly why we will be a poorer organisation without him. In spite of one or two of the recent comments on this message board our club was one of the most open and honest out there and Norman also deserves credit for opening up the shares to all who wanted them. Can anyone remember how difficult it used to be to buy shares? I can, it took me years to get in the door.

Thank you Norman for dragging the club up by its bootlaces and improving it beyond all recognition. You leave a far better organisation behind than the one you took over.

With reference to Ewan McNaught's comments on the 9th, whilst in general I agree with him I'd like to pick up on a couple of points.

If you check your dates Ewan, you'll find that Tom Hendrie was appointed St Mirren manager before Rowan's sacking and it was he who prevented Tommy Turner playing against Ross County last season (Rowan's last game) so that he wasn't cup-tied. He then recalled Turner before the East Fife game (Rowe & Eadie's first). Of course, you might say Rowan could have gone earlier but Hendrie gave up a good job to go full-time at St Mirren and I doubt if we could have afforded to pay what he needed to do that. Likewise, Terry Christie is an Edinburgh headmaster. Realistically, unless he is prepared to give up his job, Queens are a non-starter for him geographically. Whether the Palmerston faithful would have stood for his negative approach is also debatable.

You might be right that someone more experienced should have been appointed but as George & Ken's team produced better and better results that got more and more difficult. The board would have been villified if they hadn't been given the job permanently and all the detractors now will admit that if they are honest.It would also have been very difficult for any new man to compete with them. One or two bad results and it would have been "I told you so"'s all round.

The last time we actually paid a transfer fee for a player was Jim Thomson from Stenhousemuir and, before him, Derek Townsley from Gretna but since then Rowan Alexander paid some equally significant signing fees to certain players who are, mainly, no longer at the club.

With reference to Simon Millage and Blair Christie's Bring Back Nesovic campaign. Nesovic undoubtedly possesses great skill and I too remember him playing well in his final game at Livingston and thought he was unlucky not to figure again. He is very undisciplined though and there was clearly a personality clash between him and one or other (or both) of our managers. Presumably then, as long as they are in charge, he won't be back. I've heard from a Partick fan that he has been poor in two games for them anyway but I expect he'll put in a Man of the Match performance against us.

There used to be a rule preventing clubs from re-signing a player they had freed within one year. A breach of that rule cost Falkirk a big fine and Eamonn Bannon his job so unless it's been rescinded when I wasn't looking it's a non-starter anyway.

Finally, I'd like to add my penny worth about the current team. If I'm honest, I think we've played well only 3 or 4 times this season (Hamilton away, Hearts, Ross County and, possibly, Stenhousemuir away) and we only won one of those! I've been watching Queens pretty much every week for 15 years now and in the last few weeks I've seen one of the better performances in that time (Ross County which was certainly our best since the Challenge Cup semi at Morton) and probably the worst (Stranraer). Unfortunately, the Stranraer game has proved the more typical. At one time or another, each of our last three managers has tried to play five at the back. Each time it's ended with a thorough gubbing. We don't have the players to cope with it. it only works if you have full backs (like Jamie McAllister) who are comfortable going forward. Neither Paul Stewart or Sandy Hodge is. The result on Saturday was we played five defenders in a line, the midfield was swamped and overrun and we got no service or support to the f ront men. I was unable to go on Tuesday so can't comment on whether it was the same. I've heard it worked a little better but we still lost 3-0.

I'm reluctant to criticise a young player but seven games in, I still can't see what the management see in Sandy Hodge. He can't tackle, he can't head, he's got no pace and he's lost beyond the halfway line. He's just big. Alan Kerr is a better defender but continues to sell stupid goals every time he's in the side, Stenhousemuir being the latest. He actually had a good game but at 1-0 up inside the last 10 minutes he was nearer the opposition box than his own when Ross Hamilton received the ball where Kerr should have been and ran through unchallenged to score. Paul Stewart looks like he might be a good defender in time but he too is lost going forward and is too easily dragged out of position.

There's actually not a lot wrong with the centre backs. George's form hasn't been great, perhaps he's trying to do too much but he's still a good player. Andy Aitken is still one of the best young defenders around, he's just being made to look bad because the defence around him is lacking and I do feel sorry for him. Kevin Robison looks a reasonably able deputy when suspensions catch up.

On the face of it, John Hillcoat is blameless. After a sluggish start he's been excellent but maybe there's more understanding with David Mathieson. We won't know until David returns.

Steven Leslie hasn't played nearly as well as last year. Injuries haven't helped but he's missing Townsley (as is the whole team!). I actually quite like Marc Cleeland. He'll run and tackle all day and his discipline is much improved but he's not creative at all and, with Leslie not creating anything either, it's doubtful if we can afford to play both. John Dickson may do well on the right. It's too early to tell. He did well enough in his first two games and whilst he did nothing against Stranraer, neither did anyone else. The left side has been a problem position. We've tried Weir, Caldwell and Boyle there. Boyle has probably been best but got suspended just when he was getting settled in.

Up front has also been a problem. I accept that chances are not being created often enough but Mallan has been awful this season. Actually, he's been pretty poor since moving back to Glasgow halfway through last season and he seems to have lost a yard of pace as well. Last season's late form for the side had more to do with Adams than Mallan. There's far more football about Charlie than Stevie but he always seems to be the fall guy. If a sub is needed Charlie goes off. If a striker is dropped it's Charlie. I'd like to see us try Adams and Caldwell as a pairing. Given that Mallan and anybody isn't working it's long overdue and it would probably do Mallan some good to recharge his batteries as well.
13th November 1999IAN RAFFEL
I agree entirely with Sandy and Colin. Thanks for everything, Norman, you really turned things around for us. Never able to get to Dumfries as much as I'd like, I've kept my eye on things through the site and although things look pretty grim at the moment, surely there is a little hope, unlike the Harkness era, where we stumbled from one disaster to the next and no-one was allowed to do anything.

However, as Sandy says - what happens now? Best wishes to everyone up there - keep those peckers up. Old Alec Bomphray can get in touch as well at:- ianraffel@hotmail.com I have a great pic of him running down the terracing at Forfar, losing his bridie, as we score!
13th November 1999COLIN DOUGLAS
Putting aside the present difficulties on the field of play, I for one would like to register my appreciation of the outstanding work carried out by Norman Blount over his five or so years at the helm.

Supporting Queens has and never will be an easy task, we will always suffer at the hands of the teams who have a much greater local population to draw upon, irrespective of the size of their support or facilities. Success cannot be bought at any level, ask Jack Walker that, the youth system is our only hope and Norman recognised that.

You just have to look at the facilities at Palmerston and compare them with what we had six years ago, it's night and day. Norman Blount was responsible for the many improvements that you see today, the new stand, the refurbishment works on the old stand and the general state of repair of the ground. I had relatives up at the filming of "The Cup" and they were amazed at the standard of Palmerston, they wanted to know why Queens were in such a lowly league!

Also the fact that we can read each others messages in such an open way is, I believe, due to Norman's foresight in adopting a website for the club, a forum where some messages are critical and some defensive but all ultimately are concerned about Queen of the South Football Club.

So lets not lose sight of the fact that Norman has done everything that he possibly could to deliver the goals that he set those five years ago, other than pull on a pair of boots and take to the field it's hard to imagine what else he could have done.

I join with Sandy Orr in wishing you all the best and finally Thank You!
13th November 1999SANDY ORR
Well, something had to give, and unfortunately it was the Chairman. Yes, I did criticise him at the Arbroath game, but it was more frustration at Queen's position than at Mr Blounts excellent performance at the helm of the club. Who is going to replace him?

I now feel that despite all the good work over the last five years, we are now in a worse position (albeit financially) than we were. Despite the promise, and subsequent success of the youth policy, we have nothing to show for it.

I must reply to F Stanley. What is your point? We have only sold three (3) players in recent months, and not just to anyone, but Premier League clubs. And, as Ewan Lithgow has stated, not for as much as the media would have us believe, or for "a pretty penny", but some shrewd deals which may just see Queens benefit in the future. Instead of slagging people at the club when you don't appear to have the facts, why not make some sensible suggestions to what we can do to stop the rot?

Norman, I hope I am not alone in wishing you the best.
13th November 1999BLAIR CHRISTIE
I agree with one of the last contributors that Queens should get back Nesovich. I well remember his last appearance for Queens at Livinstone last year, when Queens stuffed them and he played his heart out and played a great holding match, yet the following week he was dropped and removed from any future Queens games because Tommy Bryce was resigned. So we lost a good young player with Tommy Bryce coming back, yet Tommy turned his back on Queens at the end of the season and left his so called favourite team in the lurch, along with Jim Thomson. I bet Alex Nesovich comes back in a couple of weeks with Partick and sticks at least two goals past us, just to take the mickey out of us.
13th November 1999ANDY COWAN
REF Blair

I can see where you got that assumption from, but I never have any hidden meanings in my messages (if youve seen any of the previous ones, you'd see why), but you are wrong, I was not in any way calling for a change of management.

I dont believe in chopping and changing management at the first sign of problems, although it could be that we are way beyond that point now, especially with the resignation of Norman BLount (which BTW I am deeply sorry about, and cannot see how it is going to improve the clubs situation)

At a similar time, and in a similar situation, last season I was defending Rowan Alexander and did not think he should have been sacked, I was wrong then, but I do not think a change of management will help now.

The point I was making in my previous message was that, like last season, we have a team that CAN play well. Dont forget that Rowe & Eadie had the same team as Rowan Alexander but the difference was unbelievable. All I was saying was that maybe we should be lookingat why we are not performing, rather than pie-in-the-sky talk about bringing players in.

In all of the messages I have read, not one person who is calling for new players to be brought in has named any names. Do these people really think that the club is not looking for players? I'm not suure that most people realise how difficult it is, and always has been, for Queens to attract players, especially given there geographical location etc. I mean, how many quality players are queuing up to come and play for a team that is bottom of the league. NONE!

Im as worried about the current state of the club as anyone, but at the risk or repeating myself, we have to be realistic. A club like Queens has to sell players and players who want to go (Doig, Townsley, Bailey, McKeown etc) cannot be forced to stay and new players arent on the shelfs in Tescos, as you might think reading some of the messages here.

We are in a desperate situation right now, and its all too familiar. We need to look at why we are in this situation, again, and what we can do to stop it becoming a regular occurance, rather than looking for a "quick-fix" by changing the management or buying a bunch of new players.

The only problem is, I dont have the answers, but someone must.
12th November 1999F STANLEY
Well, we are currently 10th top in a very poor league, we got hammered by our local rivals, and then when we got deservedly beat by Clyde.

We are selling our top players to any team that will take them, for a pretty penny at least. And now our chairman has decided that it is time to quit. Nice timing .

Our club is a joke, we are the whipping boys of our league. Just as well the third division is as far as we can fall or Q.o.S would be no more!!!!
12th November 1999SIMON MILLAGE
After seeing the devestation that stranraer had on us it is quite clear we are getting no where with our current squad. That point was reiterated by the fact we got drubbed 3-0 by clyde on Tuesday.

Fair enough we played well against hearts at the start of the season, but that was when the players were fresh and felt like we had a good chance of promotion with such a strong finish last year. Things have changed now though, and there is no point in fielding the same players (more or less) each week. Who now seem to expect to get beaten.

We need a time served player like Tommy Bryce who can come into the team and lift heads. Geordie Rowe used to be able to do this, but now he is co-manager seems to not have the same leadership on the pitch. Perhaps if he was to be captain this would encourage him to encourage his players, and i can't help feeling that Rowe and Eadie where 'one hit wonders' to say they fizzled out faster than Mr Blobby might be harsh but they need to pull off another miracle to inject life into this team.

One last point: BRING BACK NESO
12th November 1999BLAIR CHRISTIE
I take it Andy Cowan's lengthy epistle has the secret message that he thinks there should be now a change of management? I think that they are working under orders and that the Board have accepted the fact of relegation already this season. Otherwise why would they sell players at the start of a season when everybody else is building a squad to try for promotion?
11th November 1999ANDY COWAN
I've been reading with interest the comments made on this page recently, and while I agree something needs to be done to stop the current decline I ahve one very important point to raise that a=everyone seem to be overlooking in their desire to spend money on players.

We now have the same squad (minus David Lilley) that beat Arbroath in the cup, and led for 45 minutes against Hearts. And lets be fair, had Stevie Mallens goal been allowed, which it should have been, and Hearts 3rd disallowed for a foul on Steven Leslie, which it should have been, the result could have been very different

Even forgetting the result, Queens matched Hearts for at least an hour, and were unlucky to be beaten by two goals. If someone had said to me before the game, we would play well and lose 3-1 I would have happily taken that as a good result, but after the perfomrance the players put in I was dissapointed with the result, I really feel we could have done better.

Doesnt this suggest that we should not now be looking at the players we havent got, or should be buying, but at why the players who played so well early on are now performing like donkeys. (This may be unfair as I havent actually seen a game in about 6 weeks) We havent suddenly developed a squad of bad players, in fact I would go as far as to say that the current squad is probably as strong as any we have had in a number of years, lacking only a player of real quality like Degsy or Andy Thomson.

But having said that, how many teams in this division have a player of that quality, I would say none, the closest is probably Tommy Bryce and given his age, that speaks volumes for the standard of the league this season.

We find ourselves in a very similar position to last season, we have good players who are severely under-achieving and if things dont turn around soon we will be relegated. Lets be under no illusions, we have a good team, but we are by no means "too good to go down" and while it is too soon to be panicking we should all be very worried.

I just feel that we seem to be getting caught up in a "lets spend money on players" solution, while ignoring the more fundamental point of why the players we have, who we have seen can play, are not doing the business. Its all well and good buying players, but if you bring a player into the wrong kind of atmosphere, hes not going to make any difference, no matter how good he is. No matter how optimistic or confident the management are, we cannot ignore the fact that there is a problem withtin the club, whether it is confidence or discipline or motivation, us outsiders cannot say, but we can clearly see there is a problem, otherwise we would not keep losing every week.

I think it is this problem that we should be addressing as a matter of urgency, rather than the panick buying most people seem in favour of. One, or even two, new players will not make any difference if the rest of the team is not performing and in a poor league with no outstanding players, the one thing the rest of the teams have in common is that they are exactly that, TEAMS. They are organised, well disciplined and they play togther. Now Queens were doing this early one in the season, surely we shoould be concentrating on why they are not doing it now. The only two players we have lost are David Lilley (who was outstanding, but hardly holding the team together) and Paul Harvey, and I think everyone is sick of me going on about him!

So why the sudden collapse?

Im sure we'd all love to know.
10th November 1999JOHN CRAWFORD
It was all very symbolic last night in the second half as Queens players chased shadows in the fog. One thing that continually gets on my goat is that our players get sent off against Clyde although last night it didn't really make a huge difference. I make it five players so far in the last 2 seasons (Bailey, Thomson, Leslie, Eadie, Mallan) and most of these have been down to the particular skills of Darren Murray. Shouldn't someone review the antics of Murray as he's done it against other teams.

As others have commented, I don't really see any way out as things stand. The team is poor and the management seems unable to turn things around. The frustrating thing in all this is that Queen of the South Football Club has so much more potential than other clubs. We have a decent stadium and 5 000 fans who turn out at the drop of a hat when we have an attractive fixture. Alloa have 500 fans and they play in a piggery. Surely there's someone out there in Dumfriesshire with the means and ideas to stop the rot. Why have I followed Queens since the late 70's and known nothing other than relegation battles and lower league football ?
9th November 1999EWAN McNAUGHT
The performance against Stranraer last Saturday was certainly one of the worst I have seen a Queen's team produce in the last 25+ years. We have had poor teams and poor performances in the past but usually there was some brightness permeating the gloom, some straw to clutch at.We have always had one or two decent players to console us with their skills and reassure us that next week might be different. On Saturday we might just have been able to give young Robinson pass marks, possibly Aitken and Caldwell too but that was all. We contemplate the future with a great deal more apprehension than anticipation. Queen's have been blessed with a great many talented players over the years. In my time the team has been illuminated by such genuine talents as Jim Donald, Jocky Dempster, Tommy O'Hara, Peter Dickson, Jim Robertson, Andy Thomson, Tommy Bryce, Derek Townsley, Robert Connor, Bobby Parker, Ted McMinn and others. I am sad to report that we now have a team almost completely bereft of talent. I do not wish to disparage the contributions of the present playing staff who are no doubt decent guys who go about their business honestly and with genuine commitment but we have no creativity in the team. The excellent midfield of not so long ago (Townsley, Bryce and Connor) has gone and been replaced by lesser talents who are long on perspiration but completely short of inspiration. The one talented midfielder we had this season, Paul Harvey (I know he wasn't the fan's favourite but he was gifted), lasted a couple of months before going on to better things. We have lost four key players to Premier league teams recently and while I agree it would not have been possible,or ethical, to hinder their progress, we must strengthen the team now or relegation will surely follow.

I do not wish to allocate blame for the current plight of the team but we must take some positive action to at least retain our status in the second division in a season when promotion to the first would have been well within our sights had we maintained the steady progress of the last few seasons. It is perplexing to see Arbroath sit proudly at the top of the league and to witness their recent comprehensive demolition of Queen's at Gayfield. Not so long ago they were a joke team and a number of cup encounters I witnessed against them over the last few years could have resulted in cricket scores being recorded by Queen's had our strikers taken all their chances. Now they seem to be able to plunder our playing staff at will and toy with us on the pitch. What has happened? Yes,Tommy Bryce was nearing the end of his career but he could still have done an excellent job for us this season had he been persuaded to stay. Surely Arbroath weren't able to offer him a deal we couldn't ,at least, match.

Stenhousemuir are fresh up from the third division yet are contending for promotion. Arbroath, Alloa, Stenhousemuir, it's a glittering array of footballing superpowers contending for promotion from the second division at the moment. What do they have that we don't ? The answer is obvious. A decent team.

Even Stranraer, not a team traditionally noted for their footballing finesse, comprehensively outplayed us on Saturday. They were the team passing the ball (Billy McLaren might not be the best manager in the world but at least his teams always try to play football). We were the team bypassing the midfield and just aimlessly punting the ball upfield for the strikers to chase forlornly as per Stranraer of old. Role reversal of the most worrying kind.

I can't help thinking that when Rowan Alexander was sacked an opportunity was lost to appoint a tried and tested manager at Palmerston. I would hesitate to criticise Rowe and Eadie because they did a great job in the latter part of last season and it must be hard this season with their best players continually being sold out from under them. However there were two excellent managers attached to "lesser" clubs at that time who might have considered a move had the offer been right, namely Terry Christie and Tom Hendrie. Obviously Hendrie has gone on to great things at St.Mirren but at the time Alexander departed he might have considered the job at Palmerston. I'm sure Christie would have been a live contender too. But the appointment of two senior players looked like a temporary (and cheap) fix at the time. Obviously it would have been hard to install a new man over George and Ken's heads after they galvanised the team and saved us from relegation last year but perhaps we are now going to pay for a lack of vision. Norman Blount has always struck me as an intelligent man with an innovative approach to problem solving. He has many problems at Palmerston to solve at the moment and the lack of cash at his disposal is certainly an inhibiting factor but hard choices need to be made soon.

The much vaunted youth policy is laudable but is it going to produce the goods? Will it get us where we want to go and justify the considerable investment. Time will tell. However young boys alone won't save us this season so we need to strengthen. When was the last time Queen's spent money on a player? (the Jim Butter fiasco?). We need to spend a little money very wisely indeed or the only Queen's in the second division next year will be Queen's Park.
9th November 1999GRAHAM McNAY
I have been a student at Strathclyde uni for the past three years and used to make an effort to get to every home game I could even though money was tight. This season i've been to games before uni started and thought things looked fairly promising even though we didn't get off to the best of starts and I thought I was in for another expensive year, but things don't seem to be improving, in fact they are probably getting worse. We need to start getting in a few new faces to stop the decline and it needs to be done fast as possible before we get into a situation we have no chance of getting out of. We have received money from the sale of 3 players, so could it not be put to use? I have been a regular supporter for years going to matches home and away, but the past two seasons I have been expecting us to be fighting for promotion not fighting against relegation. Something needs to be done and quickly!
9th November 1999ALEX WILSON
A thought for Ed Wilson re the management view - We don't need players better than the ones we've got, we need players better than the ones the other teams have got!
8th November 1999ED WILSON
It could be argued, I suppose, that we have been unlucky in some games this season. However even a political spin doctor would find it impossible to say anything positive about Saturday`s debacle against Sranraer. The league table doesn`t lie- we are currently the worst team in a very poor league. Hopefully we can begin to bounce back at Broadwood but at the moment it looks like another long hard winter. I agree with the management view that we should only buy players who are better than the ones we already have but let`s not wait until we are marooned in 10th place before we improve the team.
8th November 1999ALEX WILSON
Let's cut to the chase. We've got NO chance of avoiding relegation with the present squad. Unless we get in some experienced players, and quickly, we're going to spend the rest of the season getting hammered, losing confidence, losing supporters, losing sponsors for next season and finally, any players at the end of this season who we would hope to keep for a chance of promotion from the Third Division I think will just walk away from the club. Is anybody out there?
5th November 1999ALEX WILSON
Just a thought, but if Oueens are relegated this season, isn't it going to ruin the youth policy that we're banking on? I can't see any youngster worth his salt wanting to go to a Third Division club where you're going to get booted up and down the park for the privilege of no publicity. The national coverage of the Third Division's games is a joke and certainly won't put people in the public eye.
5th November 1999PAUL FRASER
Goodbye second division , hello third division. If we don,t buck up our ideas in the next month this will be the case. Three home games out of the next four, we desprately need to get at least 10 points from them to get us out from the bottom of the league. With three promotion places up for grabs this season we have to start winning now!!!

Tommorow,s game against Stranraer is a must win game not only for the points but a defeat against them and a lot of people will stop going week in and week out.

I feel we need to get a couple of quality defenders in and someone who is a creator in the midfield if we hope to go up this season.

c - ya all there tommorow.
5th November 1999RICHARD ISAACS
What is going on? Where has the pre-season anticipation gone? We are currently second from bottom of a very ordinary league with no sides that we should even be concerned about. Being a long-distance fan, it is very hard to keep up with the stories (this web site is my only avenue), but it seems that we are conceeding far too many goals, which has to be down to the defence. But, I suppose that is what you get when you sell players on to the bigger clubs.
4th November 1999ALEX BOMPHRAY
Went to the BP Youth Cup game at Easter Road tonight, and was surprised that my son Rowan & I were the only Queens supporters.Don't know what the crowd was, maybe around 300.Not an inspiring performance by either side but the only goal, for Hibs, was a 20 yard cracker, totally out of keeping with the rest of the game. Queens were playing ok,especially in defence and Muirhead made 2 or 3 excellent saves.Brian Caldwell looked most likely up front, in fact he was the only man on the pitch I recognised.Centre forward George Wallace had a great chance one on one with the keeper but his shot was very poor.In the 2nd half Queens had a fairly bright spell early on without actually bringing a save from the keeper and eventually Hibs went on to become more dominant without looking too great.Being honest they probably deserved their win.

After 33 years following Queens that was my first under 18 game.As we were the away fans we did get some strange looks!!
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