A Jed end for McCrory as Lee remains in Power
Supporters of Swindon Town FC can now concentrate on the football (and perhaps a promotion) after Jed McCrory has failed in his desperate bid to regain control of the boardroom. Ron Smith reflects on a new sense of calm off-the-field, with a boardroom controlled by Lee Power.
As first reported by the Swindon Advertiser on Friday afternoon, the appeal by Jed McCrory against the High Court’s decision of July 2014 to award ownership of Swindon Town to Lee Power has been ‘dismissed’ by the Court of Appeal. This ruling is understood to act as a final judgement in the matter, with Lee Power’s ‘Swindon Reds 20 Ltd’ the owner of Seebeck 87 Ltd and 98.5% of the football club.
This final consideration of the case of ‘Swinton Reds 20 Limited v McCrory & Anr’ resulted from Jed McCrory being granted an appeal hearing as he aimed to overturn the verdict of Nicholas Strauss QC of July 2nd 2014, which handed control of the club to Power. This appeal was initial listed for a Court hearing in November, however this did not take place with the case earmarked for mediation by the Judge. Subsequently there was no news as the case had been sitting on file, and seemingly awaiting a hearing date until Friday’s news reports.
Without a further Court hearing in the case, or any clarification on the case from the parties involved, we certainly lack any information on how this decision was arrived at, or the manner of the decision being resolved. Was any appeal case actually heard and then ‘dismissed’ following a further consideration by the Judge? Or does the ‘dismissed’ decision simply imply the original decision was upheld and the matter was resolved one way or another, such as through mediation and a settlement between the parties?
While there remain unanswered questions, thankfully one of the most turbulent periods in our history has come to an end and Jed McCrory isn’t going to get his dirty hands back on our club. I bet you, like me, would’ve been sighing with relief when the news broke, then punching the air and then looking again at the League One table and thought “we really can do this promotion now that Jed is off our backs…”
In choosing between Power and McCrory, for supporters there was rarely a question of who was the best fit for our club. The opportunist and ‘liar’ McCrory sought only to use the club for his own benefit and shameless self-promotion. He was desperate from the start of his tenure to prove he had funds to sustain the club, because he didn’t have the means. It was through this situation that Power arrived, providing a financial loan and gradually extending his influence beyond the ‘Director of Football Operations’ title.
From the outset of Power’s involvement his business career and past involvement at clubs did raise concerns amongst supporters. However over time, his footballing experience and contacts outlined his value with quality loans from the Premier League; an eye for unearthing a young rough diamond of a player; guts to promote Mark Cooper to manager; the ability to actually convince Spurs to let Town buy Massimo Luongo; and a clear blueprint and philosophy to support a successful team. There’s no wonder Swindon Town are currently top of League One.
Meanwhile, Jed brought Town a sale of club assets; chairman vs fan interaction on Twitter; flashy electronic advertising hoardings; a failed business plan including a club bailout for concerts; and plenty of broken promises including false statements about the progress of a ground redevelopment.
Now that the ownership matter is over, can Lee Power reveal more about the ongoing claim the club has against Jed McCrory and Steve Murrall? Immediately following the High Court decision in July, Power’s ‘Chairman’s Message‘ expressed his view that “I cannot tell you how frustrating and hard it has been for me too, not to be able to come out and tell you all what is going on and to be able to show these people [McCrory & Murrall] for what they are.” The outcome of this all depends on how the case has been resolved, whereby if mediation led to a settlement between the parties the ongoing claims could theoretically be dropped to enable a resolution.
Even if the ongoing claim against the self-proclaimed ‘grassroots football fan’ Jed McCrory doesn’t progress there are already warning signs for supporters of other clubs. Immediately after departing the County Ground, McCrory was linked with buying Barnsley, then he’s played no small part in the decline and death of Hereford United alongside his various associates; leading to Gasheads to worry the ‘cockney mafia’ would be let in there next. Be warned…
With Jed no longer welcome in Swindon, the breaking of this news showed the value of the Swindon Advertiser to supporters. Mindful that the case was ‘dismissed’ on Wednesday, Lee Power and the club had two days in which to break the news themselves. However, for whatever reason, the club remained silent, leading to the Adver to report and give us the news we were all waiting for. Unlike some recent Adver stories that understandably the club wouldn’t seek to promote, it’s peculiar why favourable news to the chairman shouldn’t be reported first by the powers at the County Ground.
Now all this messing around in the boardroom finally seems to be over lets concentrate on the football, fill the County Ground, and be loud and proud in our support of our football club.