United need a miracle to avoid the drop in final series of league ties

Galway United manager Shane Keegan whose team's hopes of staying in the Premier Division are out of their own hands.
Galway United manager Shane Keegan whose team's hopes of staying in the Premier Division are out of their own hands.

BRIAN Stimpson. Remember that name over the next 36 hours or so. Stimpson is the character played by John Cleese in the 1985 film, Clockwork, and one of his most famous lines from that film is highly appropriate for Galway United fans this week.

“It’s not the despair. I can stand the despair. It’s the hope.”

That is what United fans are living with heading into the last round of Premier Division games this Friday night. A feeling of despair. A sense of hope. The joys – or otherwise – of being a United fan.

Another tale of ‘what if’ in the Markets Field last Friday, coupled with results elsewhere, means United need to beat Dundalk on Friday night, while also hoping that either St Patrick’s Athletic lose away to Derry City, or Sligo Rovers lose away to Drogheda United. That is what it will take to save United’s skin this season.

There is talk that, even if they are relegated, United will be bumped back up to the Premier Division next season if the circus that has been Bray Wanderers this season is eventually told to pack up its tent. If that does come to pass, it will only delay the inevitable by a season, as by the time that decision is made, the likes of Ronan Murray, Rory Hale, Gavan Holohan, Marc Ludden, and Stephen Folan will inevitably be snapped up by other clubs, leaving an underprepared squad to fight for survival once again.

That is all conjecture, an assumption that the FAI will take some sort of punitive action against a Wicklow club that has been riddled with financial problems in 2017, and this week saw some of its players summoned to FAI headquarters in Abbotstown to discuss allegations of match fixing surrounding the club’s 5-0 defeat to Waterford United in a friendly last month.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.