OK, after a couple of weeks we're well over what was really on the cards for several months and although Pards and most of the players had a good go at it, Relegation to the fizzy pops was finally achieved with the recent home defeat to London neighbours Spurs. The boys in white have not always been so generous, driving a hard bargain of £4M for Luke Young back in 2001 and then taking Spud off our hands for a rather dubious, at the time anyway, 2m sovs, but on this occasion they can be appreciated for setting about the business with gusto and getting an early goal and although the Addicks pressed in the second half, it was the ever-obliging Defoe that finally sealed our fate.
Ta very much Jermaine, or whatever your name is, its all a bit of a relief. After months of all that wallowing about at the foot of the table, being regularly insulted and patronised by armchair critics and TV folk, its finally come to an end and most of us have realised that the world doesn't end here. We're been here before, in this strange limbo that we last experienced in the early summer of 1999 that really has no-name. Call it Tier 1 and a half, if you like.
Because now that all that misplaced sympathy from friends and family has come to an end we are now actually enjoy this odd limbo zone where we can still cling, if anyone wants, to our Premiership status by checking out the seasons tables and the club listings where we still apparently qualify as "Tier 1". We can admire the hefty status of our last Premiership season ticket and perhaps, if you really want, regret our temporary demise. We've got probably another month to go of this strange limboland so enjoy it while it lasts.
But hang about, strange things are already happening that I don't remember from last time. After a season spent as bottom-three relegation fodder and feeling generally downtrodden, pathetic and second-best, it seems we have parachuted into a strange world of optimism and expectation.
All of a sudden we're being called "Massive" - by new players such as the well-travelled Chris Iwelumo and he should know he's been around. Division 1 ( Tier 3 please) players are rejecting moves to Tier 1 giants such as Middlesbrough to come to us seemingly convinced that our stay in Tier 2 wil be short.
And with the players now taking a breather before checking out their agents, Pards has been hard at work showing his determination to rebuild quickly by signing people who can score goals, at this level anyway. It's all rather encouraging for with 2 defenders, 2 midfielders, and 4 forwards signed since December he's clearly got his priorities straight. And by acting now he's made the point that we are not so hard up for cash that we have to wait till the Darren Bent money rolls in before moving forward.
Meanwhile, the expected mass exodus that was going to drain our resources and remove all that "quality" has not yet started but already there's rumours afoot that will soon make it obvious where we really are. Harry's apparently found a pot of gold on the TV shelf and after splashing out £7M on someone called Sulley Muntari from Italy he's now after Hermann H. Sadly enough if this happens no readies will change hands as after the experience of 3 relegation years with different clubs HH saw fit to make sure there was a clause in his contract for a money-free exit. Well, that smells to me like those pre-nuptial agreements that show-business peps are so keen on in order to safeguard their precious money. If that's the case HH you're obviously not the sort of player we want around, so good riddance.