Andy’s Angle: Not letting facts get in the way of a good story…
Andrew Steele-Davis reflects on an eventful week at the County Ground, including the implications of media outlets wrongly reporting the issues behind the proposed sale of Swindon Town.
Well what is there left to say from the aftermath of the last few days that hasn’t already been said and debated about the news emerging from SN1? It seems that every man and his dog have had a say about the unwelcome bombshell that was dropped on every Town fan’s lap on Thursday morning. Swindon Town being put up for sale has hit the national news bringing with it a set of rather unsavoury headlines.
However, if we are being completely honest, the fact that Andrew Black wants to sell is no secret, in fact this has been well known for nearly a year. But, it is the nature of how the news and the reaction to it by some quarters of the national press that is leaving a somewhat sour taste in the mouth.
It has been well documented that Swindon has a debt totaling to £13 million and a wage bill nearing a quarter of a million pounds a month. While the fact that Swindon are shelling out a fortune on wages is alarming and an eye opener at the same time, the idea that we owe this £13 million to a handful of small companies as portrayed by numerous media outlets is complete fiction and not to mention, highly unprofessional on their part.
The likes of TalkSport and The Football League Paper have done themselves no favours, particularly with Swindon fans but also, I believe that people will start to avoid these organisations once their lies have been exposed. As an aspiring journalist myself, I find it quite amazing that respected media outlets like that can twist the truth so much and write such dross based on no facts what so ever. I certainly won’t be tuning in to TalkSport or picking up a copy of The Football League Paper anytime soon.
Before I move on from this subject, I think it’s worth saying that I truly believe our club will be fine. Swindon, under the leadership of Paolo Di Canio, a man who has submerged himself even more into Swindon folklore with his recent actions, are a very attractive proposition at the moment. At the time of writing this we are third in the table, playing an extremely attractive brand of football and have one of the most charismatic managers in the business. So, let’s leave the off-field stuff to the experts and instead focus on cheering the Town in the pursuit of Championship football.
Now away from the politics off the field to matters on the pitch. It has been a joy to watch Swindon in recent weeks but it was a blood and thunder encounter at a drenched Goldsands last week that, for me, could prove to be the defining moment in our season. Ignoring the fact that they were on an unbeaten 17 game streak prior to the game, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side are a very good footballing team who have assembled a squad of players that have the quality to get out of the league with consummate ease. With the adverse weather conditions and being a goal down, quite frankly it was a game that only a few months ago this Swindon side would have slipped to a defeat. A sign of how far Town have come in recent weeks.
No matter how bad you think things are behind the scenes at Swindon, spare a thought for the fans of Blackburn and Blackpool. I think we have all sat back in bewilderment at the way Venky’s have gone about their business since taking over at Blackburn. They are now on their third manager of the season having dispatched of both Steve Kean and Henning Berg, with the latter having only lasted a mere ten games in charge.
While over at Blackpool, having lost the services of Ian Holloway to Crystal Palace, they appointed Michael Appleton only for him to jump ship after a few months at the helm to take the vacant job at Blackburn. Just two of a number of crazy managerial decisions to occur throughout the Football League this season so far.
So, if at any point during the next few weeks you are feeling down about the current situation at Swindon, just think, things could always be worse.
Until Next Time…
What % of Swindon’s monthly turnover is £250,000? Is it within League 1 SCMP now? (The embargo is off isn’t it?)
The £13m is owed to an owner who wants out I believe?
And the club are looking at ‘restructuring debt’?
A Pompey Fan.
Hi, we are within the SCMP since early December and a fresh equity investment of £500,000 which raised ‘turnover’ accordingly.
Yes, the money is part secured and unsecured debt to Andrew Black (mostly) and some other shareholders who were part of the consortium who got us out of administration and the CVA back in 2007/2008.
The club have restructured debt a few times over the previous five years which has ultimately been positive, such as a re-valuation of shares which reduced liabilities from approximately £18m to £11m (at the time).
With interest from several parties hopefully a deal can be struck to aquire the club on favourable terms, but Andrew Black certainly will be taking a hit in his wallet.
I would also note that the owner doesn’t seem to want to sell up entirely, just to not bear the entire burden. This should mean that he is still looking to protect his investment.
No smoke without fire Washbag, please stop the “holier than thou” attitude to your reporting. There was clearly a massive problem otherwise the manager would not be considering his position.