Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stockport County without a paddle

Stockport County supporters, here, have planned a demonstration and protest march today as their club slides towards oblivion. I wish them well, but fear the worst.

Here is how one County fan I know articulated it:

The worst day in our history wasn't losing any of four important games at Wembley, it wasn't two successive relegations, it wasn't applying for re-election, it wasn't getting knocked out the cup against Everton with a really fluke goal a second after our equaliser, it wasn't that cheating Ted McMinn ruining our promotion day at the twin towers, it wasn't being robbed at Boro in the league cup semi in 97, it wasn't even taking on Carlton Palmer as manager, nor sacking two of our best ever managers Bergara and Gannon, it wasn't losing 0-6 at little tiny Macc Town, it was the day the buffoons in charge of us signed us over to Sale f***ing Sharks, owned by a ruthless multi-millionaire who saw us coming and f***ed us for all we're worth, it's our pitch it's our ground, only it's not any more, 100 odd years of history and great times, and I now hate the place.

I can't begin to imagine how it must feel. I feel shame that as a football supporter I've been on Edgeley more times to watch egg chasing than the beautiful game.

For Sale Sharks, though they are doing OK, as discussed here, their owner doesn't want to be in Stockport any more. It would be better if they sorted out a new ground of their own at Sport City, or a share with Salford Reds at their planned new stadium near the Trafford Centre.

As for County, they need a clean slate, which is easier said than done. I know at least three potential bidders who have walked away in horror from what is happening. And the longer the administrators are in, clocking up fees, the harder it becomes to secure a deal. They desperately need to be out of administration this season. If they don't, they are down and out playing Stalybridge Celtic and Hyde United, if they are lucky. The trouble is, the entry ticket to football club ownership is of such a level now it is beyond the gift of a philanthropic fan - and there are no banks willing to lend - so making a profit on buying a distressed asset has proved uncertain. It has ceased to be worth the effort.



There but for the grace of Peter Johnson......if the Tranmere chairman was more ruthless about recovering the money the club owes him, we would be in the same boat - heading for away games at Chester and Wrexham

Vinjay said...

Sounds cruel but couldn't care less about other clubs ownership situations while Rovers vitally need a takeover.

Can only see Rovers on the road to relegation within 5 years with the current owners in charge. People seem either blinded to this or just accept it. That isn't god enough for Jack Walker's legacy. He deserves better.

Might not be in danger of administration but a bad owner is a bad owner. Heard anything about takeovers at Ewood recently?

I can say without hesitation what I want more than anything next year. Takeover.

Michael Taylor said...

Not only have I heard nothing, I have heard there is "nothing doing" from a couple of wealthy guys who made enquiries two years ago.

Don't disagree about the need for investment.

The thin line between grim struggle and oblivion remains wafer thin.

Vinjay said...

Where these people you spoke with amongst the names mentioned publicly? I'm sure you said shortly after he became interested you spoke to Chris Ronnie at some business event about his interest. Though if I recall correctly he simply confirmed his enquiries.

Plus how would people who enquired a couple of years ago know anything about current levels of interest?

Williams didn't mention takeovers in his most recent finance related quotes in the LET. Usually he seems willing to at least state if there are ongoing talks if club policy is non disclosure even when a name is revealed in the media. Alan Nixon to my knowledge hasn't heard anything for some time either and track records suggest he's usually first to publicise interest.

Michael Taylor said...

These guys are kept in the loop if the Walkers have a change of heart on pricing. No, it's not Chris Ronnie, who spoke at our Business of Sport Summit in 2008, but some guys who were close to him.