Editor: Time for city to do all it can to get this in ‘back of the net’

Excuse me if I throw every single cheesy football phrase into the following column but I, like most Sheffielders must be, am just a teeny weeny bit excited about the news on today’s front page.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 6:38 am
The time for action on the former Coles department store is now

We all wanted Coles to remain a shop – it won’t but it must not stand empty. We all believe Sheffield misses a world class opportunity by not doing enough to shout from the rooftops that we are the Home of Football.

Now two dreams could merge to become one reality – backed by an international brand that actually wants to invest and sees the potential that we all understand too well.

There are times for consultations and there are times when a deal comes along which is so chuffing positive for a city that you throw out the red carpet with that welcoming Yorkshire smile.

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We have heard a few ideas for Coles which are worthy. This is the first deal with a major name attached to it which could unite a city which is proudly divided over the sport which rules the world. There are only two football facts which Owls and Blades agree on – the game was invented here and we have never done enough to claim it.

For the leaders in this city to now sit on a fence, dither over a decision and weigh up their options would leave us all feeling like Gazza in that infamous image with Vinnie Jones. We can’t countdown to the final whistle, we need to push up front and bring the silverware home.

We have seen too many promises slip away. The council must do whatever feasibility checks are needed quickly and let’s put this game to bed. We know there will never be a department store on that site again so what could be better than the football dream that we deserve?

Sheffield was given a really rough ride by the chain that will remain unnamed. We were treated shoddily for many years and there is no getting away from that. The number of folk who were furious at the decision, with genuine anger that is rarely seen around these parts, even took me by surprise. So we deserve some luck, we need some decisions to go our way now. The council must do all it can to make sure the saga of Coles is a game of two halves and the better one has just kicked off. We wanted something uniquely Sheffield to bring folk into town … ta dah!