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Wednesday, 28 October 2009

It's Notts Right

Notts County is an odd little club this season, to say the least.  They’ve been taken over by a multi-millionaire that no one knows the identity of.  They also have Sven-gali as their Director of Football in an experiment that’s doomed to last as long as, well, a vow of celibacy from Mr. Eriksson.  With their new-found injection of cash, County promptly snapped up Sol Campbell who gave us two of the funnier moments of the season thus far.  Firstly, he said he was taking a 50% pay cut to join the League Two outfit (on a mere £40,000 a week) which is surely impossible, given the fact that Campbell was a free agent and thus was earning £0 per week before he signed up.  He also then fled after one game, allowing fans to hold up one of the best chants of the season.

We had Sol but he’s not a soldier.

All joking aside, what’s going on at Notts County is disgraceful and while it has garnered some media attention, most of that has been of the ‘ooh look at that silly club’ variety.  Too few football writers have seriously analyzed this situation, like they have done previously with the takeovers of Chelsea and Manchester City, and more recently, Portsmouth.  There’s been some investigation into the anonymous Qatar-based owners, but not enough.  The club have identified the people who they say are their owners, but those people deny any involvement.  If a ‘big’ club was taken over in such a fashion, such investigations would be all over the back pages and on several pages on the inside of the newspapers.  The problem is, to Notts County fans, they are a big club, indeed the biggest, and football fans as a whole should be worried about this because if it can happen at Meadow Lane, then it could just as easily happen at Old Trafford or Anfield or at your club.

Two weeks ago, County fired Ian McPharland after two years in the job, even though he had moved them up to fifth in the League.  Today, he’s been replaced by Hans Backe, who has been a long-term Number Two to Eriksson.  It’s a job for one of the boys, given to a man who has no experience in Lower League Football, and limited managerial experience outside of Sweden.  He’s a man who knows football, of that I have no doubt, but so do I yet I wouldn’t regard myself as a candidate to take over Notts County or any other professional club.

I support small teams in various sports and the one thing I hate to see is poor management.  Fans need to know that those in charge of their club are doing their best, giving it all, and serving the best interests of the community of people who follow that club.  Speaking as an outsider, it seems that Notts County fans are being denied this right now and we should not tolerate it.

Your club could be next.


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