April 2013
Two Premier League chairmen, Reading's John Madejski and Wigan's Dave Whelan, have called for the former prime minister's death to be commemorated this weekend.

Speaking to the press Whelan has called for the FA to arrange a tribute before his own club's FA Cup semi-final against Millwall at Wembley on Saturday, saying: 'We owe Mrs Thatcher a minute's silence.

'It is not my decision, it is for the FA to decide, but I would be in favour of wearing an armband out of respect to Mrs Thatcher. We have to say thank you very much for the services the former PM has given us.

'Mrs Thatcher was a very, very special lady and a very special Prime Minister. After Winston Churchill, we have probably had two or three really good PMs and she was definitely one of those.'

Reading chairman Madejski said: 'We have got to appreciate that Margaret Thatcher was a world leader who did so much for this country. She deserves a minute's silence.'

I was going to be very careful on this issue and keep my own counsel, especially as I would not wish to offend, but overall the sentiment being expressed makes me very unhappy. Not least because it would lead to the creation of a very dangerous precedent.

To illustrate my point, let me make a comparison. Wheras one political leader helped build the NHS, achieved full employment, built 1 million new homes and built 1,000 new schools - which employed 25,000 new teachers, the other created record levels of unemployment, halved the capacity of British manufacturing,  closed hospitals and schools, whilst also taking the milk out of school childrens mouths.

There was no minutes silence or a grand funeral with military pomp for Clement Atlee.  I will leave it up to you to fathom which of the previous descriptions describe his political legacy.

For goodness sake, if Oakwell and Barnsley FC supporters are expected to remain silent and show their respect to the former Prime Minister - it could never happen. That would be perceived as the authorities inciting the fans to riot.

In another universe, that would be about as ridiculous as football fans collectively singing "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead", between the 84th - 85th minute of play, in honour of those who struggled throughout the miner's strike.

Come on, what would be the chances of that happening?

Reds fans. Do you think there should be any formal events in football for the deaths of political leaders? How should sport in general respond to events like this in your opinion? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below, or join the debate on Twitter by following @OnThePontyEnd.
The Reds have departed Selhurst Park with a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere, Wednesday pile more misery on a hapless Blackburn Rovers. Peterborough continue to be resolute in their efforts to remain in the Championship with an 86th minute equaliser at the John Smith's Stadium to draw 2-2 with our relegation rivals Huddersfield Town. Bristol City remain rooted to the base of the pile, losing 3-1 in a ruthless display by the Clarets of Burnley.

So the sun has been shining in both a figurative way and in a literal sense on our wonderful town this weekend and I'm convinced that Barnsley FC are staying up!!

Custom Championship table created on www.statto.com
based on all league fixtures played since January 1st 2013 - April 6th 2013.

So please forgive me if you think my approach to this post is a little bit lazy. Since the turn of the year and Flicker's move in to the hot seat, perhaps we've all had a feeling that Barnsley have competed (most of the time) with "the best" the division has to offer. I had an overwhelming desire to see it actually spelled out. And here's the cast-iron evidence I unearthed that unequivocally backs it up.

Take a closer look at the custom built table above and you can see that it reveals much more about this closing phase of the 2012/13 Championship season.

For instance, the recent form of another Yorkshire rival has now clearly set them in a relegation battle. What a difference a month makes and in the case of Leeds United, they've gone from play-off hopefuls to something that resembles a passenger liner that's been struck by an iceberg. The passengers probably believe it's unsinkable, but Captain Colin has already jumped ship. Even our legend Redders has placed on record that he doesn't want the job permanently. Something is seriously wrong there and the trap door to League One could be looming for the Mighty Whites!

Could Bolton Wanderers turn out to be this season's equivalent of the likes of the Blackpools, Burnleys and Readings of recent seasons? Second place is definitely out of the question, with Hull City 14 points ahead with just 5 games left to play, but they could burst in to the end of the season lottery and form would have to make them hot favourites.

And get a load of the Super Reds! It's unquestionably promotion form they've been achieving and if they can keep it going for the remainder of the closing games, the Oakwell outfit could exit the campaign on a total of 59 points and in to the delirium of mid-table obscurity in any final table. Our form this year provides an attractive platform for players at this level. Flicker certainly has the coaching methods and resources to make things tick in the Championship - I don't think this is any fluke!

Please Don Rowing et al, get this situation sorted out soon or don't be surprised to see Mowbray heading out of the Riverside door to be replaced by one of English football's brightest young managerial prospects!

Nothing is certain for sure and complacency is our biggest threat, but from no hopers to big dreamers we've had a miraculous journey this season. The Reds are staying up!!

Barnsley fans: Have the Reds' got enough in the tank to see us safely home? Are there any shocks or other facts this table brings to light that you want to share? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below, or join the debate on Twitter by following @OnThePontyEnd.