Sunday, 20 July 2008

Final Layer Auction

So the time has come for the crown jewels to be sold off. I'm sure we'll get a lot of detail in due course about the value of each item - that's the value according to the 500 or so that turned up at Layer Road on Sunday (20th July). It was more like a treasure hunt at times. The auctioneer and his henchmen darted into offices, changing rooms, behind the stands and onto the pitch but not into any of the WCs or the boardroom, and they just daren't set foot inside the Barside stand.

There were some unusual purchases (in terms of prices paid). The goal posts and net at the Layer Road end (once the domain of the home fans, but not in recent history) fetched a measly £10, but the same equipment at the Clock end fell for £180.

How about a shed with no floor, half buried in weeds and hedges, and with a filing cabinet inside. A bargain at £10, yet only 10 yards away a catering hut complete with lock on the door (so we couldn't look inside) fell for £2. Surely the lock is worth that alone - unless they've lost the key.

Chatting with a few people we shared the concern that the two penalty spots were a bit worn and despite each one achieving the same amount of £8, what happens to the worn out circles? Will the new owners be tempted to re-seed them? Surely the most intriguing contrast of purchases was the timber catering shed fixed to Terrace 4 a snip at £2, yet the sign proclaiming this as 'Terrace 4' was keenly fought over and finally succumbed for £110.

I've mentioned the crown jewels and I know there's been some stuff about this in the media already. I happen to agree that a number of items shouldn't have been in the sale. One can only hope that they will find their way back to the home of CUFC through kind donations. I'm sure that will happen in the case of Lot 341 (framed and glazed picture of FA Cup 5th Round 1971 - Col U v Leeds). I know this because I heard both of the main bidders earlier in the day speak of their desire to purchase it and loan it back to the club. It's a shame they didn't speak to each other since they raised the final value from around £200 to £400 on their bids alone and the end result was always going to be the same.

I think there may be a surprise for one purchaser who got the staircase from the first floor level up to the commentary box for about a tenner. The catalogue shows this as INCLUDING the commentary box. Surprising omissions were Wickes' shed and wall (from the absurd half-time 'entertainments'). Please don't tell me we are in for repeat performances of these next season? There must be an alternative. Please! I'll buy them now just to stop them being used again. Please!

Anyway an eventful day which has now come and gone and there's just one more entry to make in this blog later in the week. Some season ticket holders have been offered their seats for free, so I have to make one more journey back to collect my dues. I've always felt that the stadium has had an enormous effect on visitors and that's been one of the major factors that has influenced performances here over the years. To own just a small part of the infrastructure that has brought Leeds United and Ipswich Town to their knees is priceless.

No comments: