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31st October 1999PHIL CARTER
Dear Q.O.S Fans

I would like to ask fellow supporters if they think that the current defence needs changes done to it? because every week they are losing not just by 1 but by 2 and 3 and we have the worst defensive record in the 2nd divison,is it time for a new formation or new faces at the back.?

where is it going wrong.
31st October 1999ED WILSON
I couldn`t go to Larbert today so I`ve no idea how well or badly we played. However things are getting pretty desperate when we take the lead with 10 minutes to go and don`t even get a point. As I have said previously having talented youngsters in the team is great but surely we have to add some experience before it is too late. Winning only 3 out of 15 league and cup matches instills a losing habit into young players. I am also sure that a lack of experience is at least one factor in our uncanny knack of losing a goal almost immediately after we score one. The standard in Div 2 is not that great so being 2nd bottom is just not acceptable (although certainly more acceptable than bottom !) We have some good players but not as many as some people seem to think.
30th October 1999ANDY COWAN
I cant believe I have to resort to writing two messages in the same evening.

RE F Stanley.


I cant believe anyone could have the audacity to question the ambition or commitment of Norman BLount and the rest of the board. For those of you with short memories, our club was a laughing stock in the late Harkness era and the job the present board has done has been nothing short of phenominal. Our first Cup final and two very respectable league finishes.

OK there is and on-going debate about players leaving and coming in (or not,as the case may be) but I feel your comments are completely out of order.

What exactly would you like to see done to the ground to "upgrade" it. Palmerston is the 3rd best ground in the division behind Partick, a full-time regular 1st Div club with a very large support in Glasgow, and CLyde, whos ground was, mainly, built and is owned by Lanarkshire Council which gives them a bit of an advantage. Obviously Mr Stanley has been to away games and seen the dire state of almost every other ground in the division. In fact, even Caley thistle have only one stand and there in the 1st Division.

On your other "point", yes other teams do seem to be going out and paying big wages on that gamble for promotion, but at what cost? If Arbroath are paying large wages and they do get promoted you can guarantee they'll be straight back down and a lot poorer for it. Do we really want to see Queens sell themselves away for one season of glory?

The other reason smaller clubs are paying big wages, allegedly, is that they have not spent the hundredsof thousands Queens have on their youth policy over the last few years, as Queens have and continue to do. How many under-21 ex-Arbroath players are now playing in the Premier League? We have to look to the future and to question the clubs desire or willingness to spend money is pointless as, in my opinion, neither have ever been in question.

Yes, we do need to strengthen the squad. But do you know which players are available at the right price? No, I didnt think so. Buying players isnt as easy as everyone thinks, especially when your 2nd bottom of the league.

Lets be honest, none of us know the ins-and-outs of the transfer market or what the club is doing behind the scenes to bring players in. So how can we criticise? Obviously we cant, we can talk about it, but to put down the efforts and ambitions of the club as you did is inexcusable.
30th October 1999EWAN LITHGOW
Andy Cowan

Well said Sir! This time I agree with every word you say (Message - 29/10). You have succinctly summed up the difficult balancing act a club such as ours has to walk. How different from Mr Stanley (see below).

A final word on the Paul Harvey saga. I think perhaps you have misunderstood the point I was trying to make (My excuse is it was very late when I wrote it). I too believe it to be no coincidence that Harvey's performances improved once he knew that Motherwell were watching. All I was trying to suggest was this. Messages on this site frequently suggest that we would benefit from bringing an experienced player or two in on loan. I think that is probably true and Tommy Turner is a fine example from last year. However, you have to accept that the reason a player agrees to go on loan is to gain fitness and put himself in that shop window. This was certainly the case with Turner who returned to St Mirren, regained his place and has now captained them to the top of the First Division. If this was the reason Harvey came to us (and I remain unconvinced that it actually was) then he acted just as a loan player would have except that we ended up with more money than we started with not less. Incidentally since it's in the Courier today I suppose I can comfirm that the fee received was 20,000 not 100,000. Who knows where the papers get their figures from?

To F Stanley

I don't know who you are but I can only assume you've never actually met any of the men you so casually condemn. If you had you could not possibly say anything quite so stupid. These guys have put their money where their mouth is and kept OUR club alive and in with at least an expectation of success. We, as supporters, are still disappointed to be at our current level (though we haven't played at a higher level since 1989). Many clubs would be happy to be in our position. I'm not suggesting that we should settle for it but for God's sake who do you think is going to do better? Do you have 250,000 to invest in the club? The present board did and that's just got us where we are now.

The board are custodians of the club's future and their first concern has to be ensuring our continued survival. Gate receipts are not a huge factor. For your information, our total gate receipts for last year were significantly less than half of our wage bill. Norman Blount said as much at the recent AGM and that's before we consider overheads such as telephone, electricity, repairs, travelling, etc.

How do you propose the difference is funded? Some of it is from commercial ventures notably the Shirt Sponsorship draw (one of the innovations of the present board) but mainly it comes from Scottish League monies (which all the other clubs also get)and cash injections from the directors. Prior to the Hearts game we had only one "money-spinning" cup tie during the present board's tenure (Challenge Cup Final v Falkirk) so that hasn't been a source of revenue as it has been for clubs such as Alloa, East Fife and Morton.

You say that other clubs get a third of our crowd and still buy players. Who exactly are you talking about? Our crowds are typically around the 1000 mark. Who's getting 400 fans and still buying players? I can only assume you're referring to Arbroath (typical crowd around 850). 200 or so of a difference at 8 per head is around 1,500 per game over 18 games. Total = 27,000 per annum. A drop in the ocean!

I take it that "Come on fans give us a song" is an attempt to incite more infantile "Sack the Board" chants and if so I can only hope the rest of the fans on the terraces have enough sense to leave you singing solo.

If you have nothing sensible to say, say nothing!
29th October 1999ANDY COWAN
Great point Willie,

Yes we do need to keep players to get out of this division, and the board should be applauded for bringing through some real quality young players.

However, we have to be realistic, players want to, and should want to play at the highest level they possible can. I would question the ambition of any player in the lower divisions who does not want to play at a higher level than they already do. Now this could be with the club they are already at and in an ideal world this would always be the case. But we do not live in an ideal world.

I think we also have to look at the other side of the coin, ie the effect making the player stay would have on their form and commitment to the club. I'm sure the board would have loved to tell Aberdeen to get lost and keep Jaz and David Lilly at the club, but would that have been in the best interests of the club or the player. Can we with all consience say we would rather stand in the way of a promising young players career to gamlbe on Queens gaining what could well be a short-lived promotion? Its not something I would feel comfortable with, and obviously the board feel the same way.

Add to this the fact that the longer we hold onto players the more chance we have of gettting absolutely nothing in return if they leave as free agents, a club of our size who has invested so much into a youth policy simply cannot allow that to happen.

It is a sad state of affairs for Queens, but lets remember we are not the only clubs in this position, everyone except the very top clubs has to live with this scenario. We should feel a sense of pride that we are producing this sort of talent in the first place, cause the mjority of other clubs certainly are not.

However, it leaves us in the position of, yet again, seriously under-achieving and its understandable that the fans become more frustrated than they might have been had we been mediocre all along, but we have to be realistic. As I said before, we cannot compete with full-time teams and in a way we shouldnt when it involves the furthering of a young players career.

Believe me when I say, I am just as sad to see these players go as I know the club is going to be worse off without them, but this is balanced with a sense of pride, that our former favourites are moving up to become potential stars of the future.

In a broader argument, it can only be good for Scottish football if the top clubs are buying and playing young Scottish players, wherever they pick them up from. Of course, this doesnt do Queens any good!!
29th October 1999EUAN HARRISON
This season has been frustrating to say the least and like most of our starts it has been terrable but the one thing that sticks in my throat is the playing staff turn around and a lack of common sense. I hear that the day after playing 90 minutes for the first team on saturday Denis Boyle then played the same again on Sunday and was sent off. why?

Another thing is if everyone at the club supporters aswell seem to accept what a cut throat buisness football is (even Tommy was lured away) why do I still hear stories of us not paying signing on fees. correct me if I'am wrong but we have always paid some of the best part time wages in the country we clearly dont anymore. I feel it is time to stop talking about the players who left or those who play every saturday and look like they would rather leave and we should become realistic and face up to the economics of this situation . i would also like to apologise to stevie Mallan as he thought i was haveing ago at him on saturday but my advice was aimed at the club captain as he seems to spend more time speaking to officals rather than playing football.

Up the Queens
29th October 1999SANDY ORR
Re. Alex Bomphray, how regularly does the Edinburgh Branch meet? I'd be interested in coming along as well (depending on shifts). Please e-mail me with details:- or I will see you at Ochilview if you make it.

Are any East based Queen's fans planning to go to Easter Road next week? I expect to be there, and it would be good to meet up with any others who may be going. Again please e-mail me.
29th October 1999F STANLEY
I feel that Q O S board do not want to move out of the second division, they would proberly prefer us to move into the third. If we moved into the first they would have to buy new players (something that has not been done in a long time) wages would proberly rise, god they would maybe even have to upgrade the ground a little. Now can you honestly see our board shelling out money.

We are one of the top supported sides in our division, yet teams that get a third of the attendance that we get, can afford to go out a buy players, or if not buy thay can afford to get in a decent player and pay him some sort of decent wage, why???? not us.

Come on fans give us a song. f.s
28th October 1999WILLIE POOL
Some great debates currently going on, and thanks for a great web site that allows the fans to say their piece, also for us that are exiled due to work keep up with the latest goings and the one or two comings.

I agree that the current board have done a lot for the club and that they have taken us a step in the right direction but with so many players now flying the nest it is hard to see where the team can go from here. In all honesty we must get more players in who will not be snapped up by a mediocre Premiership team, we need to hang on to our players if we are ever to get out of Div 2. Whilst i can see the argument for allowing players to better themselves and a 'wee club' like us not being able to keep them, the whole thing reeks of 'no ambition'. When we have players come we need to make them see that the fans need something to keep coming for, not to see a player who will ine day play for a prem div side. If we held onto them, maybe then more people would come through the gates at Palmerston and maybe 5 or so years down the line we could be a Prem Div side. This season we have had 4 (correct me if i'm wrong) players leave for the SPL, thats a third of a team, or the majority of a 1st Div team. We must do something to at least hang onto these types of players for at least a season to get us out of this division.
27th October 1999ANDY COWAN
Ewan, RE your reply,

Yes I admit I msy have been exagarating the Harvey situation, but I think you may have misunderstood my point. I have no problem with players bettering themselves and moving on to bigger clubs. In fact, whenever I see Townsley, Lilley or Jaz on the tv at their new clubs I feel a sense of pride that Im sure most Queens fans do when they see their former favourites doing so well.

My problem with Paul Harvey was that unlike Lilley, Townsley and McAllister, he never showed any commitment to Queens ON THE FIELD. YOur quite right that players and managers and fans have the right to better their situation when the opportunity arises and when the likes of Aitken and Caldwell move on to bigger and better things, as they surely will, I will wish them nothing but the best. This is because, durign their time at Queens they always gave 100% for the club, can you really say that Harvey did that?

Maybe it was coincidence that Harveys sudden improvement in form coincided with an interest from Motherwell, if this is the case then I apologise most reservedly to Mr Harvey.

As I said, I have no problem with players bettering themselves as Paul HArvey obviously as I'm realistic to know that Queens cannot compete when full-time teams come in and make offers for our players. But, as a fan I do expect 100% commitment from the players when they pull on a Queens jersey, no matter what their off-the-field circumstances are. I never felt that we were getting that from Harvey.

Finally, I didnt move to Manchester for a job, it was part of my degree course, so you are right I am bettering myself, but if you'd read my message (and I know there was a lot) you would have noticed that I travelled to Dumffries every weekend to go to both home and away matches. Unfortunately, I'm now in Birmingham so I want make it to many more games this season, but beleive me when I say, I'm lost on Saturday afternoons, wishing I was watching Queens.

Very quickly, cause Ive already posted a message on the subject some time ago, but why are people still calling for youth to be given a chance in what is almost definetely the youngest team, and probably squad, in Scotalnd never mind 2nd Division. Who exactly are these young players they want brought in, the under 12's?

Please can we have no more of these messages.
27th October 1999ROBERT HILLCOAT
27th October 1999DAVID MAIN
I note Edinburgh supporters meeting in the Guildford on Wed 27th. I can't make but EMail me a contact no and I will get in touch, I think there's a fairly big Dumfries contingent in Edinburgh so there is definitely more than 3 Queens supporters.

To Edinburgh fans - doesn't the Scotsman's love affair with Livingston make you sick? (The Scotsman's meant to be a national paper???)

Keep the mssages/news coming, it gives exiles like me a much better idea of what's going on. I check the web-site every night, my family thinks its a bit sad!
26th October 1999EWAN LITHGOW
re Andy Cowan & the Paul Harvey "Scandal"

Broadly, I agree with you Andy but you are exaggerating the situation a lot. You can't confuse fan and player loyalties. Supporters pay their hard earned money to watch their teams because they enjoy it. Sport is a part of the entertainment industry. Players are paid to do their jobs. Can anyone really blame Paul Harvey, Jim Thomson or anybody else for wanting to improve their circumstances. You say you moved to Manchester recently. Why? Was it, by any chance, for a new job with better pay. If it was then you are no different to Harvey. Even if it wasn't in your case, how many of us can honestly say they've never done the same? Football is his living not his leisure activity.

Paul Harvey was released by Raith as part of their cost cutting following near bankruptcy. Whether he agreed to come to us to be put in the shop window or whether this move is a complete surprise to him is irrelevant. It's not really any different to the frequently expressed view on this site (Jim Peacock apart) that we need older heads in on loan. The guy was 31 and got one last chance at Premier League football. He owes us nothing. He played only 12 games and earned us a decent fee which, though nothing like the 100k quoted in the press, is certainly more than he was paid in his time at the club. As you say, he had a fair hand in at least 4 of our 10 points to date.

Sandy Hodge is very different. He's a raw youngster not an experienced pro and, as far as I'm aware, has no agreement to be allowed to leave as Harvey did.

re Jim Peacock

How is Dickson to get fit if he doesn't play?

Who are these mystery older players you want to step aside? With the departure of Harvey and Findlay, only Rowe and Mallan are over 25 years old. Eadie hasn't played this season and only 3 times since taking over as manager in January. Everyone else seems to want older, experienced players brought in.

re Sandy Orr

I note what you say and again, broadly agree with it.

If a chance to get an experienced pro, presumably on loan, comes up why not take it? I personally think that Tommy Turner was one of our best players in his short spell with us last year, as was Bobby Connor the year before that and we all know that Tommy Bryce can still cut it.

How are Arbroath doing it?

Good question, perhaps we should ask them. They clearly offered Bryce and Thomson more than we could and appear to be heading down the same skillseekers route we did several years ago. Unless there's some rich benefactor I'm not aware of I can only assume they're gambling all on one season. There's certainly no significant gate receipts or commercial revenue and I don't recall a decent transfer out since Paul Tosh in the days of Danny McGrain. I suspect that even if they gain promotion, they'll find out the hard way that there isn't enough increased revenue to support their spending. It's short sighted and perhaps it's they who will learn a few lessons!

Finally, on the AGM, Norman made the Harvey position quite clear on the night, explaining the agreement he had. He said no offer had been received. It hadn't been, it was received 2 days later on the Thursday and we were obliged to let him go. George Rowe said that Bailey had asked to go if he couldn't get regular first team football and that one or two teams were interested in him but he wouldn't go until it suited our purposes. Once Harvey had gone, we needed a right sided midfielder so it did suit us to swop Bailey with Dickson of Brechin. One presumes that, if the Harvey deal had not gone through, then Bailey would still be here too. I fail to see how much more honest the club could have been.
26th October 1999ALEX BOMPHRAY
Ewan-How much did we get for Harvey?Whatever it was it has to be a good piece of business but the lads will want to know when we have the next Edinburgh supporters meeting on Wednesday 27th(at the Guildford if anyone wants to come-there's just the 3 of us)
26th October 1999JIM PEACOCK


25th October 1999DUNCAN MITCHELL
Unfortunately I haven't been able to see much of over last season and this season due to work commitments. I was at Arbroath on Saturday though and we seem to be a shadow of the team we once were. We have sold half of the team and replaced them with only John Dickson so far.

I am concerned that all the transfer money we have received is not being used to strengthen the team. I recently read that Ayr United are selling John Davies. I have never been a great fan of his, but surely he is just the type of player we need right now - solid, creative and experienced.

I am not privvy to the transfer list of other clubs in Scotland but there must be other players like Davies who are available.

Loosen the purse strings please . The young lads are great but they need more older heads around them to thrive.
25th October 1999SANDY ORR
It was shortsighted for those Queens fans who aimed their anger and frustation (myself included) at the board on Saturday, and I hope it does not have disasterous consequences. However I think that there are issues which need to be addressed in order to prevent a repeat of Saturday, both on and off the park.

First of all it is my view that rumours and chinese whispers are fuelled by a lack of communication. I heard about possible moves for Harvey and Bailey before the Hamilton game. Yet at the AGM (admittedly I wasn't there) it seems that these "moves" were dismissed as rumours. I know that in the football business it doesn't always pay to be honest, but at least a better indication of what might happen could be given.

George Rowe also (apparently) made it clear that he didn't feel that the squad has enough depth, and I think that weakness was laid bare at Gayfield, where Arbroath were better in every department. If this is the case why aren't we making some additions to the squad, even if, as Barrie Little suggests, on loan. It is painfully obvious that we are lacking a play maker, which incidently was a role that Bailey was used in at Livingston. Perhaps that is what Dickson has been brought in for, only time will tell. I too felt he had at least one decent chance and was by no means the worst player on the park. We now desperately need new faces, as the unsettled team which we already have is beginning to be rocked even more by suspensions.

On the suspensions note, how is it that a red card for Boyle in the U18's means a ban in the senior side? And with that being the case, can we risk playing fringe players in the U18's in fear of a suspension when we may most need them.

I think we should be asking ourselves the question "how are are Arbroath doing it?" in respect to both their on field and off field successes, they appear to be an ambitious club, and perhaps Queens could learn a few lessons.

Finally, a note on the incident in which Mallan responded to criticism from the terracing. The chant that was being made as Stevie failed to meet the net was not directed at him (indeed it was a decent effort) it was the fans view of the whole team performance, and in my own view Mallan can never be faulted for effort.

Ewan, it was your comment on the terracing that made myself, and a few others, realise that our criticism of the board was not only non-constructive, but may well have been undermining the boards effort.

On a positive note I think that is great that we have a forum for debate here, as views can be exchanged fairly, and opinions can actually be changed following debates.
25th October 1999JOHN CRAWFORD
i couldn't agree more that it was daft on saturday for fans to shout for the board to go. however, i don't think it's based on a serious desire for norman and co to leave or that it comes as a result of long and painstaking debate and analysis. it's more of a knee jerk reaction to travelling all the way to arbroath then seeing your team leaking five goals to an ordinary team and yes, it could have been more. arbroath players are no better than ours, however, like clyde, alloa, stenhousemuir, stranraer, they are well organised and play on the basis of having a solid defence and everything else stems from that. they're also relativley well disciplined. as usual on saturday, we started brightly, lost two goals, fell apart and everyone lost the place. it's becoming a predictable script. my plea is for the club to look at defence weaknesses and build things from there. that's how we got out of jail last season. dickson looked solid enough but we've got loads of midfielders at the club and very few decent defenders.

it's also getting really bloody frustrating watching players develop and gel as a team then they're sold on. yes, yes, yes, i know it's great that queens develop a youth policy and players get a chance at full-time contracts with bigger clubs (harvey, townsley, lilley, macallister all on scotsport last night). the counter side of that is that we never go anywhere as a club and we continue to struggle as we have done this season. things were looking good for a few games as a reasonably settled team were carving out results but that seems to have gone ping. what happens when transfer fees are done away with completely and we get bugger all compensation for letting players go ? i'm beginning to lose patience with the idea of the club being an automart for players. maybe that's what was at the bottom of the fans attitude at the end of the game against arbroath, a club with 600 fans and a non-event of a ground.

as for next saturday, let's hope that we learned from last time out against the duffle coat brigade and i quote from george in the programme; "STENHOUSEMUIR ARE DANGEROUS AT SET PIECES"
25th October 1999JIM PEACOCK

25th October 1999ANDY COWAN
I feel that I must voice my opinion on the Paul Harvey "scandal" that has come to light.

It was with much interest that I read the rumur on the web page that Motherwell were interested in signing Harvey.

I saw all of the first quarter of the season, the last game was the 3-3 against Stirling, and to be honest the free kick Harvey scored then was the only positive contribution I had seen from him.

In my opinion, which those of you in the main stand may have heard me voie almost from the first game he played, Harvey just did not look like he was interested in playing for Queens. He waltzed through games without ever showing any commitminet, I dont remember him ever going in for a tackle, and he obviosluy couldnt find the wing even with the help of a map and a group of boy scouts.

Personally, as a committed fan, whho goes to every home and away game when Im in Dumfries (in fact, I travelled home from Manchester each weekend last season) there is nothing worse than seeing someon pull on the shirt of the team you love and then just wandering around as he was in the park on a Sunday. But after I reas some of the comments and match reports after I moved about how well Harvey was playing, I thought maybe I was wrong. Obviously I wasn't.

It doesnt take a geniuos to work out that his "miraculous" improvement in form was not due to an increase in his effort and commitment, but simply because he knew Motherwell were watching, then he jumps ship at the first opportunity, which we now find out was the plan all along!

I may be exagerating the situation, but as a fan I find this situation DISGRACEFUL. Nothing short. The fact that this guy ever pulled on a Queens shirt disgusts me. I give up a lot (not just financially) to come and watch Queens home and away, and I know others who give up even more and are even more committed. My family has had a season ticket for over ten years, and still has two this season. My Dad and I saw every game of the worst seasoon Queens have ever had. We didnt jump ship and go and support another team, because we are committed to Queens.

I dont think that is too much for the fans to ask for the same sort of level of commitment from the players we pay good money, and travel large distances to watch. Lets not forget Queens have without doubt the best away support in the division.

Theres been a lot of talk on this sight about the club keeping players and looking to the future, I would like to aks the management team and directors (who I know look at this site) what exactly the point of signing Paul Harvey was. Its obvious what his motivation was, a shop window for a full-time deal, but what was in it for the club. Witht two goals he helped win us four points, but how many points did he help us to lose. OK we may have got some money for him, but are we actually going to use it this time. The management team, who I think are right for the job, will have to start to be careful, cause the more often they say "we have the players here and dont need to buy" and the more we keep losing, the more the finger of blame will turn from the players to the managers. I for one hope this does not happen.

Too wrap up, its obviously no coincidence that Mr Harvey had a reasonable game against Hearts, perhaps he thought he might get a contract.

And finally, Sandy Hodge, who was unimpressive as a trialist, tried to get a full time deal at Caley and failed and came back to Queens. Are we going to see this happen all over again. Will he be allowed to walk out of the door the first time a full time offer comes in, is he playing for the jersey or are we a shop window for him as well.

I sincerely hope not. Having seen all of the teams in the 2nd division, I really believe this is one of the weekest leagues I've ever seen, and Queens have potentially one of the best teams in a number of years. This is a great opportunity for us to fulfill some of the potential our club has, but Im afraid we've got to spend some money to do it. We are sorely lacking behind other clubs in our ambition/ability to attract players (prime example Arbroath poach Bryce and Thomson from us, how? we can only presume money) and if we dont catch up soon, then Im afraid that well used phrase "too good togo down" could be ringing in our 3rd Division ears next season.

Even that is depressing in itself. At the start of the season we were all talking about promotion (myself included, especially after the hearts game) but we are now in a situation that if we avoid relegation, this season will be a success.

How depressing
24th October 1999EWAN LITHGOW
re Barrie Little

It seems the Queens board are damned if they do and damned if they don't at the moment. One minute the supporters are shouting for players to be brought in, the next they are complaining when they are brought in. Of course John Dickson didn't look terribly fit but he hasn't been playing. To say he didn't look interested is harsh. In fact, he almost scored in the first five minutes with a shot which the keeper watched shave the post and he looked prepared to have a go from distance which is something we do too rarely.

We have to wait a few games before making judgements. Paul Harvey didn't look too clever for the first few games and, going back a little further, I seem to recall Derek Townsley took a season at least to win over the home fans. Jamie McAllister was never going to replace Des according to the terracing experts. Where are they now?

Losing Harvey was unfortunate given his recent form but how nuch of that was because he knew Motherwell were watching him. He really didn't show too much prior to that. However, Paul Harvey had an agreement with the club that he be allowed to leave if he was offered full-time football. (Note to those calling the chairman a liar on the terraces at Arbroath - This is exactly what was stated at last week's AGM. He did'nt say Harvey wouldn't be sold, he said no offer had been received but that if full-time football was offered we would have to honour the agreement made. By my reckoning I could only see 4 people on Gayfield's terraces who were actually at the AGM and I was one of those so, as usual, rumours and chinese whispers were being taken as gospel).

As for the Harvey fee, don't believe everything you read in newspapers.

I think that the criticism that was aimed at the Board at Arbroath was shameful and perpetrated by people with short memories. I cannot seriously believe that supporters are stupid enough to want a return to the old days. Norman Blount has a vision of the way forward for Queens and has backed it with finance. We have a ground the envy of most in our division (check out the Hamilton and Arbroath websites for confirmation) and a youth set up which in the past few years is almost without equal. On Saturday, David Lilley and Jamie McAllister started for Aberdeen and Chris Doig started for Forest. Three glowing products of our system. David Mathieson has represented Scotland at under 21 level and Dennis Boyle is in the Northern Ireland under 18 side. Andy Aitken is one of the best young defenders in this league. Brian Caldwell is a genuine talent. The progress we've made speaks for itself. To level personal criticism at Norman Blount is scandalous.

Of course we were pretty awful at Arbroath (although we could have been two up in five minutes through Leslie and Dickson) and much of the criticism was born out of frustration but that's no excuse. The board weren't out on the pitch losing the goals. I think it's pretty ironic that when the "fans"!! made their feelings on one effort clear and Mallan yelled back the immediate response was to turn it around and shout "Well done, Stevie". So the players have a bad day all round and it's the board's fault not theirs!

Sorry Barrie. I'm not trying to get at you personally. I realise you were not one of those I'm talking about. I just raise the issue as a follow up to your point which was reasonable enough. You have probably already guessed that I'm the one you refer to as defending the board on the terraces and you are right that many more performances like Saturday's will see us in real trouble.

Incidently, as people are fond of reminding us this is a season of reconstruction and three go up. This also means that only one team goes down so nobody's going "Down with the Thistle". We might however go down instead of them if we don't improve soon.
23rd October 1999BARRIE LITTLE
"Down with the Thistle, you're going down with the Thistle", unless Queens buck up their ideas this is what we'll be hearing until next May. Having just witnessed yet another humiliating defeat I don't think that Queens have learnt anything from what happened last season. Who is going to be the next player to leave? 100K for a 31 year old is good business but who do we have to replace him? Answer: a guy from Brechin who didn't look fit/interested. OK, give youth a chance but we desperately need some more mature players with a bit of skill (That lad Thomas Bryce maybe?)to balance the team. I am not advocating panic buys but surely there must be some players the management could attract to Palmerston, even if it only on a loan deal? Finally, I have to agree with the lad who was stood up for the board at the end of the match today. Would the 'fans' who chanted for the board to resign be happier if Mr Blount et al said OK and walked away from the club? Would you be willing to invest the sort of money these guys have in the club you say you love? If not, then shut up and get behind the team for the next match against Stenny.

Come on the Queens.
22nd October 1999GARY STEPHENS
Thanks for having such an informative site.

We will travelling to the ground to watch the England U15's vs Scotland U15's which will a prelude to the main event. (Euro 2000 qualifier) now i have a map

Thanks Lads

May the best team (man for man)win
22nd October 1999TAM WALLACE
I have to say that your victory over the Accies at Palmerston was very fortuitous to say the least. Without the help of the ref and our keeper, the result would have been totally different.

However, after my first visit to Dumfries, I was very impressed by the town and in particular the stadium, which made me jealous!
18th October 1999GARY McEWAN
There has been speculation lately about players leaving the club - Harvey, Bailey and Cleeland, to name 3. If Queens have any real ambition they must sacrifice short term gain to allow them to make a sustained title challenge. George Rowe has stressed the importance of a settled team and the Board must, therefore, ensure, that key players are retained, while constantly striving to strenghten the team further - we seriously need someone capable of scoring regularly and who can take some of the pressure off an overworked Stevie Mallan.

George Rowe was also reported in today's Record a saying that the team feels more relaxed playing away from home. This must be seen a criticism of the home support, a small section of which in the main stand vented their understandable frustration and disappointment at Saturday's poor first half performance at Ken Eadie. Yet again the team were caught cold and we were lucky to win, but it is unfair and undeserved for Eadie to be hounded. The supporters should get off his back and be vocal in a more positive way. They should get more behind the team at home, then hopefully the players will relax, the defence will tighten up and concentrate, and performances and results will improve.

For the record I thought HARVEY, AITKEN and above all, BOYLE were Queen's best players on Saturday. Hopefully we can now build on this result and the team will gain in much needed confidence.
18th October 1999JOHN CRAWFORD
For those of you who complain about the traffic getting across Dumfries to Palmerston on a Saturday afternoon, my brother surely now holds the record for the longest journey ever to a Queens match. He started out on Friday morning from a town in the middle of Tanzania where he works and after a four hour car journey through the African bush, 2 flights to London, sleeping overnight in Gatwick, shuttle up to Glasgow then surviving a journey in my car to Dumfries, we arrived just before 3pm only for the referee to have started the match early. He'd never seen Queens win before (only been to a handful of games) and as we were bloody awful and Hamilton ran through us in the first half it looked like the tradition would carry on. However, thanks to some spectacular refereeing (can we have that guy every week) and Paul Harvey's Brazilian like accuracy, Queens turned it around and my brother finally broke his duck. I have to admit my brother didn't come back just for the game.

For the record, we sat at the back of the stand in front of the resting players and Jim Thomson says he's available for selection for next week. David Matheson also said he's back hopefully before Christmas. On the player front, I'm not as confident as Sandy that this is a turning point. Queens were nowhere near as convincing as they were against Ross County and our defence is all over the place at times. This season's strategy seems to be outscoring rather than containing the opposition. This is not of course a bad thing and no-one can call us a boring team as we always seem to be on the attack between letting in goals. I'm just not sure we can climb the league until we settle the defence and get a consistent striker. At least Paul Harvey gets better with every game and I'd even admit that Mark Cleeland has graduated to "unorthodox" from "poor".

Oh well, in theory we're only 8 points off the leaders and going in the right direction. For all you part-timers out there, jump in your cars and head to Arbroath on Saturday. You're certainly not going to be bored.

Still no response to my message about what more we can do to improve things at Palmerston in the absence of a local Queens-loving millionaire and as a complement to Norman's effort (who incidentally should get more thanks for saving the club). Does this mean there's nothing more to do to develop Queens and we run the risk of ending up like Hamilton, ie bought over by business sharks to be asset stripped and run at a loss ?
17th October 1999SANDY ORR
I think yesterdays game could prove the turning point of the season, it's not often things go our way, but it did yesterday. Hamilton have only got themselves to blame for throwing the game away, and they must look to their keeper who turned the game for us when he decided to trip Adams. I'd like to thank Sikke for wishing us luck yesterday, as it paid off!! And in reply to Jim Peacock, we haven't once had the same starting eleven, and that is the main contribution to the shaky start we have had. Here's hoping we can go to Arbroath and bring back 3 points, as that would bring us back in to contention in the league.
17th October 1999ALEX WILSON
after 55mins we were dead and buried but thanks to the Hamilton goalie commiting the equivalent of Hari - Kiri we delivered a better comeback than Lazarus and totally snatched a win from the jaws of defeat. I hope we are not fooled by this escape.

I still think we are going to need guidebooks to Galashiels and other Third Division venues next season unless some serious buying to replace and consolidate the squad before winter sets in takes place.
16th October 1999SIKKE VISSER
Wishing QOS good luck today from Holland. BTW I think Scotland will make it agains England
15th October 1999JOHN CRAWFORD
there is press speculation today that motherwell want to sign paul harvey. has an offer been made ?
11th October 1999JIM PEACOCK
Hello again

Why has the manager played the same first 11 players every game? Surely after 9 or 10 games and second bottom of the league there needs to be a change and bring in players who have hardly had a chance to prove thereselves this season? Surely if he plays the same 11 week in week out and still no results there must be a change and let others have there chance?
5th October 1999JOHN CRAWFORD
just another quick point following recent press articles about bosman ruling etc. if uefa do away with transfer fees altogether and bring in a much less lucrative compensation system, where does that leave clubs like queens and st mirren who are developing youth systems. it's all very well being a feeder club but you need to have justified financial returns.

PS i never knew ewan lithgow's Mom was charlie adams. they don't look at all alike.
5th October 1999SANDY ORR
Sorry Jim(Peacock), but I don't think you can have seen the last two performances by Queens, as we are now playing much better. Most notable is the improvement in midfield, although the whole team seems to be playing as a unit now. If we can keep a settled side then I am sure we are going to start climbing up the league. Come on you Blues!!
5th October 1999JIM CURRIE
Ewan, thanks for your report on the Ross County game and for the mention. Dingwall is about as far away from Chiswick as you can get in footie terms! A point from there is satisfying, even if by all accounts we should have had three. Good also to get further confirmation that Hillcoat is filling the boy Mathieson's boots really well.

But it's time to turn good performances into three points consistently, especially at home. The gap between us and the clubs above can't be allowed to develop.

Keep up the good work all of you who contribute to this section of the website. It's great to hear from real fans. I am surrounded in London by too many MUFC etc wannabees!

ps I hope Frank Currie is behaving himself for once!
4th October 1999JOHN CRAWFORD
"the only way is up"

ewan's right about the performance in dingwall (nice ground and social club by the way). for a change everyone played well and we were all over them in the first 30 minutes and blew a number of really good chances. even denis only scored after he'd pinged his first effort against the keeper when he was clean through. it's been the same in a lot of queens games this year. we start brightly, faff a number of chances because we don't have an 18 yard box striker then it usually goes pear shaped (and usually a variety of other fruit and veg as well). so, let's get a goal grabbing striker please. the difference in the last 2 is that we haven't gone in a huff and fallen apart after the opposition has scored.

point 2 and i'd also agree that there are no teams in the league better than us and that this season is still a brilliant chance of going up as at the quarter stage we're only 10 points behind the now stuttering league leaders whose bubble has burst. on the basis of the last 2 performances it seems we're out of our "minging start to the season" phase (earlier than last year).

last thing, it's very interesting having worthy and learned debate about what the future holds for queens. the bottom line is that no more than the usual 1000 hardy survivors will turn up at palmerston until we play better and more attractive teams come down the M74 on a regular basis. an obvious point i know but in a way all the worthwhile debate and work done behind the scenes is a bit futile if we remain where we are and don't want to go anywhere. so, the big question is; can we as fans do anything substantial to complement the management at the club (and in addition to parting with the usual readies on a saturday) to take queens up the divisions ?
4th October 1999JIM PEACOCK
Hello there

Could someone please tell me why Queens are doing so bad.? I think that it could be down to them having a dodgy defence, and the midfield do not know how to attack, they are decent at defending but that's it. I thought they had signed some good young players who seem that they are not getting the chance to prove themselves instead Queens are playing older players who are just about past there sell buy date.
4th October 1999SIMON MILLAGE
I think that Kirk Dobie's brother must be a bit daft if he didn't manage to get in. Simon Clingon manages it at every home game, and he is not the brightest.

If I had travelled that far I would have made sure I got in. it is not as if it is hard to get the attention of one of the stewards, they stand about just through the gate by the toilets.

I think they should have made him pay double!!!!

Slightly edited - CJ
3rd October 1999EWAN LITHGOW
Reflections on yesterday's match at Ross County

This was much more like the performances we need. The first 45 minutes saw our best football of the season. If it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped. Honestly, we were easily worth a 4 or 5 goal lead at the half. Even the Ross County fans I spoke to leaving the ground accepted they were very fortunate to get a point and I think it's the first time I've ever heard the home sponsors name a Queens player as Man of the Match (albeit I can't agree with the choice of Stevie Mallan. He had a decent game but we had better players). Paul Harvey (Travel Club MoM) and Dennis Boyle had probably their best ever games for Queens. Charlie Adams (my MoM) was lively throughout and linked very well with his teammates. Paul Stewart had another promising match. Sandy Hodge looked much better than in his 3 trial games and Aitken and Rowe were back to their assured best. John Hillcoat was comfortable throughout and blameless at the goal.

Had it not been for a terrible miskick by Marc Cleeland at exactly the wrong time and place and a super finish from Gary Wood (County's best player) we'd have been worthy winners but, in truth, with better finishing / luck we'd have been out of sight before then. The referee, who had a poor match (though he was correct about George Rowe being offside when deflecting in Steve Leslie's strike), also bottled out of an obvious sending off of County's No.6 at the start of the second half. Why is it referee's only observe the exact letter of the law when it's against us not in our favour?

I've now seen everybody else in the division and, whilst it's always dangerous to make judgements based on one viewing, I haven't seen anything to fear. Alloa and Clyde are the best we've played and neither actually beat us. Suicidal defending cost us the draw with Stirling and the defeats by Arbroath and Stenhousemuir. The weather turned the Stranraer game into a lottery (which we should still have won!) and we picked the wrong week for our worst performance of the season (Berwick apart) at Firhill.

We just need to do better in front of goal (eleven goals from nine games isn't good anyway and six came in two games. Five from the other seven is poor.) and reduce the number of stupid goals lost (ie. Arbroath's second and third, all three of Stenhousemuir, all three of Stirling and the solitary goals of Stranraer and Ross County).

PS - To Jim Currie in Chiswick - Hope you are still enjoying staying in touch with events on the website.

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