As I like to do, I've been thinking about some of your comments in recent days.
I don't think some of them have been especially fair.
For one thing, what we all overlooked at the time was that Derbyshire had the nous to start contract negotiations with Mark Footitt at this early stage, before he got into the last year of his contract. It was always unlikely that Mark would sign the first contract offer, especially, as I wrote the other night, when he is coming to the peak of his career.
Think on this...who put it 'out there' that Mark had rejected the club's contract offer? Of course, using one of the 'tools' open to him to get the best deal for his client, it was in all likelihood Mark'a agent. In one fell swoop he alerted clubs around the country that he may be available IN TWELVE MONTHS TIME and to start forming an orderly queue for his services.
I would be surprised if there were any early signature on a contract and I think it would be worth Mark's waiting to see how the winter goes for one thing. He can't deny that Derbyshire have looked after him physically and financially, when he was hardly awash with offers on leaving Nottinghamshire. Such considerations will come into his head, as will the fact that his bowling has come on apace under the tutelage of Graeme Welch, as has that of other players. he would not be the first to find things went pear-shaped on a move to pastures new.
I fully respect his right to consider options, but I have total confidence that the club will do the right thing in trying to keep him, as well as in realising when they can go no further.
I have to say that I disagree regarding the supposed lack of communication with the club too. As supporters, we have no right to know exactly what is wrong with am injured player, because confidentiality between a practitioner and patient is important. We don't want opposition sides knowing that bowler A has a knee problem, because they can then prepare for him neither bowling at full pace nor for long spells and bat accordingly. The people in charge of our club are not daft and sometimes the appreciation of why they are tardy in releasing information needs greater contemplation than is being given in some quarters.
Nor are they, as being suggested by one or two of you, poor coaches. These are highly qualified men, as advanced as one can be in the profession, more than most of us in ours. That their young charges don't always carry out instructions to the letter is no real surprise - do the young employees in your organisation always get it right? Are you, for that matter, entrusting the future of your company to them because there are no viable alternatives at this point in time?
Which brings me neatly to Tony Palladino. Do you really think that if Tony was fully fit he would be omitted from one-day sides? The team has cried out for experience, but there was every chance that Mark Footitt could have been on England duty, so Tony's availability for the four-day game was even more important. I fully expect, at the end of the season, to hear that he is to undergo surgery, but the club has every right to release information on players and their fitness when they see fit, like every other across the land. Those suggesting that the coach is 'to be questioned' on his omission will, I am sure, be back on here to tender their apologies in due course should it happen...
There's the rub, as I have written previously ad infinitum. No one outside the club knows the reasons for decisions and if the club feels that it is best things stay that way, then so be it. I follow the news feeds from the various county clubs and Derbyshire are far from being the least communicative with their members and followers. If there are issues with specific players, just as happens in your organisation, the parties involved are fully entitled to discretion. Be it fitness or discipline, these things happen and the parties concerned are the only ones with a right to know about it.
I do hope that greater consideration is given by everyone before committing comments to the blog, or I will need to start being more ruthless. Before you say anything, ask yourself one simple question - if the person you are writing about was stood opposite you, would you say to him what you are happy to write? I would and when I am critical, I try to remember that the person concerned is somebody's brother, father, son or grandson. I don't feel a need to hide when meeting people at the club, because I like to think my comments are generally fair, even if I am critical. Can you always say the same?
It is important that this is the case for everyone, because I won't allow a witch hunt aimed at any individual or section of the club. It simply isn't right. There are places on the web where that kind of thing is fair game, but this isn't and will never be one of them.
As I have said before, I don't want this site to be a cross between The Waltons and The Little House on the Prairie, but it is aimed considerably higher than cheap shots at people with dignity and a commitment to improve things, which they will. Expect changes this winter, expect improvement in the summers ahead.
Keep your comments coming, but give them considered thought please.