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Posts tagged ‘Port Vale’

Clear Blue Skies Over Edgeley

… But Cloud Over Football

Today heralded Port Vale Football Club entering Administration – a status, all too familiar to fans of Stockport County.  This is the 92nd insolvency in the top five divisions of English football since 1992. The equivalent of the entire top-four divisions of English professional football!

The Football Authorities have also just released their joint response to the recommendations of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee Inquiry and the Government’s input on improving the regulation and governance of English football. At this stage, Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative seeks to emphasise that the proposals are not what we were hoping for. Although they have proposed the introduction of a licensing system, in our view, this stage of the reform process only addresses the ‘principle of licensing’ and thus, doesn’t go far enough.

We endorse the opinions of Supporters Direct and its proposals on this matter, including a clear proposal for supporter-engagement through supporters’ trusts. Stockport County Supporters Co-operative is part of a wider movement of organisations, under this umbrella body, established by supporters of football clubs now stretching not just across England, or the UK, but also across Europe. Ashley Simpson, Chair at the Co-operative commented: “If the substantive issues are not addressed, we fully expect the current trend of insolvencies and financial strife affecting football to continue.”

Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative and Supporters’ Direct welcomes proposals in the football industry that can help supporters’ trusts to increase their influence in club governance and ownership.

This is a press release that I prepared for the Co-operative. The full stance on governance from Supporters Direct is available at: http://clients.squareeye.net/uploads/sd/Licensing_Proposal_A.pdf

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Gannon mania

So the head ‘lady’ has relinquished her throne. Without the Gibbons in post, the chances of a Jim Gannon return may have lessened. Not only were they his strongest advocates at Board-level, but close family friends. They even adopted his cat!

His first stint in English management was a success with League 2 survival from the ‘jaws of extinction’ – followed by promotion via a Wembley-play off against Rochdale. This time certainly heralded the development of some good young players before the financial woes and need to sell them. Remember, Tommy Rowe, Anthony Pilkington, Liam Dickinson to name but three. The latter’s boots are proudly displayed in our offices. Were these players the results of ‘JG’ or do Peter Ward (assistant) or Alan Lord (youth) deserve the credit?

But can a return to a former managerial seat work? Not always. Gannon was released by the Administrator as an immediate cost-cutting. His remuneration package at that time could most definitely not fit with a package suitable for the Blue Square Premier League hierarchy. His character has been questioned by some former colleagues. The CV and trail from latter posts at Motherwell, Peterborough and Port Vale have shown different traits. It has been suggested that he wouldn’t speak to SKY in interviews whilst at Edgeley Park, because of a dispute over his installation of satellite dish.

He remains a fans favourite. The final note has to go to our ex-Uruguayan maestro, Danny Bergara (R.I.P), when asked about the qualities of Jim Gannon by another manager:…”I hear he’s a bit volatile?”. Danny’s reply: “Oh yes, very volatile, he can play anywhere”.