“There’s a rumour that Wael Al Qadi is looking to sell Bristol Rovers!”

“There is?”


“So it’s true that he is looking to sell Bristol Rovers, then!”

“No. It’s true that there’s a rumour.”


With due apologies to Yes Minister from which this joke was stolen, this is apparently the sort of rubbish that passes for news on Bristol Rovers football forums, if the Bristol Post is to believed. Given the sorry state of the paper all Bristol asked for and then stopped buying, at this stage I’ll post a health warning. It may be tosh.

I stopped reading all football forums something like three years ago. I gradually came to realise I was wasting a considerable part of my life reading what was largely rubbish. Things like “There’s a rumour Wael Al Qadi is looking to sell Bristol Rovers.”

Do I know for sure that the story is a turkey? Of course not. I have only met Wael and his chairman Steve Hamer on one occasion but because they have always walked the walk since they arrived at the club, I am inclined to believe, with as much certainty as I can muster, that they are in it for the long haul.

Why, for example, would the new owner invest a small fortune in a new training ground which is part of a long term strategy if he was looking to disappear before work had even started? Why would he be involved in intensive negotiations with the UWE to secure the new stadium Rovers need so desperately? Why would he free up money to enable to manager to invest in new players? This is a club where the words “long term” and “strategy” are anathema. This was the club of luck and chemistry, of boom and bust. Surely no more.

Who came up with the rumour, I do not know. A loose-talking director? Someone who pretends to be an ape and posts on the internet with ape-like qualities? An elderly buffoon who “knows someone” at the club? In all probability, none of them, but instead a spotty internet geek with too much time on his hands.

Wael Al Qadi is here for the long term. As well as being a wonderfully charismatic adopted Gashead, he is also the smartest man in the room. That’s good enough for me.