Terry Hall of the Specials hit the nail right on the head.
Mid-set at the Sheffield O2 Academy in May he was exchanging tongue-in-cheek insults with the home crowd and teasing about our football teams. Deadpan as ever he said: “You can rely on Sheffield’s football teams, you know they’ll always let you down,” Or slightly more colourful words to that effect. That’s bold talk from a bloke from Coventry - no ground, no money and little hope - but it makes you wonder about the image people from outside the area have of our sides.
Fans from Sheffield’s big clubs, like most fans everywhere else, hope for the best and plan for the worst.
But where is Sheffield football really? Where is football in our region going?
Are we the clichéd ‘sleeping giants’ of tabloid renown or are we a busted flush with the clubs unable to put out a decent team between them?
Smaller clubs with non-league roots within living memory will say how special it is to come to such a great footballing city to play.
They talk about ‘respect’ for the Sheffield sides and how they think of our teams as having long pedigrees and a great tradition.
Then they take three points home with them.
It’s not just Sheffield either.
The aformentioned Coventry plus Leeds, Derby and Forest are all on the same path as Wednesday and United.
They’re in the fallen-from-grace-a-long-time-ago-but-still-got-big ideas group of clubs.
In Forest, Leeds and Derby’s cases they have fallen a lot further than either Blades or Owls. You can almost feel the bitterness seeping up and down the M1.
Meanwhile Cardiff and Swansea are booming and spending record amounts on players, Crawley Town are above four of our six teams and Yeovil Town are higher than the lot of them.
In many cases the yokels of old are now top dogs and the big-ish city toffs are stuggling for a crust.
So are Wednesday and United ‘massive clubs’ waiting for a bit of magic/good luck/a great signing/a new owner to take them back to where they belong?
Is the ‘Steel City’ really a soccer stronghold that can battle back to the top table and re-join the aristocrats of the game?
Or is Sheffield football washed-up for good?