Where are you, my Vercellese?
Why do I only see the ghosts of where you once sat. Why does the sun catch the white seats of the Gradinata Nord or the Curva Ovest and not the faces of the fans I have shared the ground with.
Are we all too busy on a Sunday afternoon: Chiesa? Famiglia? Serie A?
Are you housebound, locked away – unable to find your route to freedom, your route to the Stadio Silvio Piola? Here, let me show you the way.
Maybe the club needs to run another promotion “Women and Children free” – but then what, more ghosts the following week – No women, no children – what of you men?
We get it. You were in it for the glory – the success that comes with narrowly avoiding relegation from Serie B week in, week out. You only wanted to see the star Bombers turn out for the club; the misfiring, couldn’t hit a “cow’s arse with a banjo” strikers the club picked up and let go without reward most summers.
Now the side plays in Serie C and you are nowhere to be seen. The seats put in by the club to meet the rules of Serie B – that forced the team to play out of Piacenza those autumns ago – look like expensive reminders of a club looking to return to the second tier of Italian football at the first time of asking.
Of which there are high hopes. Sloppy finishing yesterday meant the 100% record has gone, but the side were in control for most of the game – and what joy it is to see Carlo Mammarella’s left foot in an attacking position, rather than always chasing back in defence.
If you were there, you would know.
But all there was, was empty seats – and ghosts. Ghosts where fans once stood, fans once sang – the team once played in front of.
Exorcise these ghosts. This team, your city, deserves more.
Main Image: An empty Gradinata Nord; all images from Elevensports.IT’s Serie C coverage