Today, Terry Venables (ex-England Manager) suggests in a ‘red top daily’ newspaper, that the current system of protocol and penalty against teams that enter financial administration is in need of an overhaul. He goes on to stress that the only people that suffer are the fans. In my experiences the suffering of supporters would always be an objective to minimise. After all, it is not they who are usually to blame (unless perhaps they have been the owner running the club at that time).
However, a stringent and rigorous punishment needs to prevail. All too often I have witnessed mis-management by supporters that have been elevated to a Boardroom setting without having the skills or commercial acumen. It takes more than just keeping the faith to succeed, football is a business not just a game. The alternative misdemeanour, to poor supporters’ stewardship of these businesses, is that the wrong ‘white knight’ has been in place, whom should never have ridden over the hill nor even perhaps have got on the steed in the first place – or a similar ego driven appointment where an owner has passed his/her shelf-life and maybe lost interest – something that fans don’t often do. They say after religion that football is the next strongest ‘brand’ for loyalty.
Barry Hearn who runs Leyton Orient has indicated rather than a ten points deduction for clubs that go into administration that demotion by two leagues be more appropriate. Whilst, I don’t agree entirely, the sentiment I share is that ‘these clubs’ have failed and should face more severe sanctions than present. At least this may go someway to ensuring that more football clubs get their houses in order.
If only, the likes of Stockport County, Chester City, Oldham Athletic had had better leadership the financial woes may not have materialised. Maybe well run, fans-owned clubs will continue to be another way for the future aka FC United of Manchester, City Fans United (phoenix for Chester City) and AFC Wimbledon. Certainly, this is a philosophy that Supporters Direct subscribes to. Watch this space………..