Beehive Yourself: have all regal celebrations come off the back of a mediocre season for Brentford?
12:13 28 May 2012
“It goes to show how little has changed at Griffin Park through Queen Elizabeth II‘s reign. Brentford is a club that has been neglected by its owners and suffered from years of financial mismanagement”
With the Diamond Jubilee fast approaching, Brentford supporters are left to reflect on another season that might have been. But have all regal celebrations come off the back of a mediocre season?
The summer of 1953. With the Queens coronation just weeks away, most of the country had stirred itself into an excitable frenzy. Brentford fans might have been forgiven for not entering into the spirit after a disappointing 17th place finish in the second tier.
Just six years previous, the Bees had been in the top flight; one of the countrys elite. But despite still attracting crowds in excess of 20,000, the club were on a downward spiral of which they have arguably never recovered from.
The following season, Brentford were relegated to the Third Division (South) and have since only spent one season outside of the lower leagues.
By the time the Silver Jubilee arrived in 1977, the club had acclimatised to the lower echelons of the Football League. Crowds had fallen by 75%, no surprise given the Bees had finished the season 15th in the Fourth Division.
The following season would again bring about change at Griffin Park, this time for the good. Bill Dodgin led his side to promotion and optimism was in the air that the good times may well be returning to TW8.
Twenty-five years later, the Queen was now celebrating a colossal 50 years on the throne. In the time that had passed, not much had changed for Brentford. A brief fling with the second tier had evaporated as quickly as it had arrived and by the summer of 2002, the Bees were still rooted to the third tier.
However, we had just come so close. Under the stewardship of Steve Coppell, Brentford had been thirteen minutes away from promotion before squandering the opportunity that had been served to them on a plate with all the trimmings to boot.
A doomed play-off campaign condemned the Bees to another season in the third tier and despite a minor flirtation with the basement division, that is where the club has remained since.
It goes to show how little has changed at Griffin Park through Queen Elizabeth IIs reign. Brentford is a club that has been neglected by its owners and suffered from years of financial mismanagement.
Any supporter who has seen the recent interviews with current benefactor Matthew Benham may be inclined to think that a change for the better may be on the horizon.
To follow Tom on Twitter, go to @griffinparktom