Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Are Bath becoming rugby's version of Liverpool?

Growing up as a Bath supporter I was gifted to watch what can only be described at their 'glory years'. This as a fan was a superb time for me and other followers. Through the 80's and early 90's Bath were simply the dominant force in England. Between 1984 and 1996 only '88 and '91 eluded a clean sweep of John player/Pilkington cup victories, backed up by league champions of the league six times between 1988/89 and 1995/96. The strongest year was 1993/94 when league, cup and Middlesex sevens victory saw them to be the ultimate team.
With Bath being run ultimately as a professional team in an amateur era saw their dominance shine, as the man who masterminded their success Jack Rowell leave to take on the England job it signalled the start of the end of Bath's superiority. Rowell left in 1995 and the sport turned fully professional in 1996, the rest of the chasing pack suddenly were catching them up. The 1995/96 season saw Bath's last double and the 1997/98 saw them become the first British club to become European champions beating Brive 19-18 winning the Heineken cup.

Bath just didn't seem to be able to compete with the professional game and started a fall from grace, reaching their darkest hour when relegation was borderline only scrapping ahead of local rivals Bristol.

Bath managed after 10 years in 2008 to win the European challenge cup, a return to some silverware. Slowly Bath managed to get back to the top end of the table getting up to fourth in 2009/10 season, dropping back to fifth and last season finishing eighth.

As with Liverpool FC who were so dominant in the 1970's and 80's Both teams have dwelt on their past glories.
I'm going to play devils advocate with this......but Is it time we moved on from the past and looked to the future. Because both sides have enjoyed such superiority in their sport is it hard to accept they do not have a divine right to be champions. For Bath I've supported my whole life and always will, but the time has come to accept Bath are no longer the side of days of yore. I always want to see a Blue, Black and White victory, but now I've realised we must support and understand they are a side developing and one day will regain the top spot. At the moment it's time to acknowledge they are now a top six team, but have faith they'll improve.

It's time to judge them on the here and now not on the history that shrouds the club, champion their success and look for positives in loses. Let's build a positive club and avoid a negative club who rue the days gone by.

1 comment:

  1. Bristol are a great club who have fallen on hard times. Bath are a club who had a good decade.