My first ever guest post, written by John Dickens
The Sainsbury’s court case has gone against us. That leaves the club maybe £40m light to build a new stadium and the loan to fund the court case.
All the stuff that came out of court only served to confuse me while it was happening. It was clear that Sainsbury’s were behaving disgracefully, but hey! They are Sainsbury’s they are as rich as sin and can do what they want. The main points I didn’t understand were the ones about contract law and whether the contract was terminated. That has been clarified by the judge now, but it doesn’t seem right or fair.
Ah the loan to fund the court case. To put a colourful metaphor on that loan, we have borrowed from the mob to put all our money on black and it has come up red. If this were Chicago, then tomorrow we sleep with the fishes.
Quite what happens next is a dark place to go in all meanings of the word. We are potless and owe money to people that don’t like to be kept waiting, unless a fund of money appears now there is no way we can afford to appeal. In the past, it always seemed that the silence coming from Bristol Rovers board of directors was concealing a hidden agenda. I once said that Geoff Dunford held his cards so close to his chest that not even he knows what is on them. Well actually the truth is simpler, there is no hidden agenda or conspiracy. There is no agenda at all, these guys don’t have a Scooby Doo what they are doing other than living hand to mouth.
Unless a White Knight appears, it seems administration is inevitable. There has been talk about Foreign Investors, but we are talking big business here, why pay full whack now when you can wait a couple of months and get everything knocked down in a fire sale from the administrator, particularly if you are a well known asset stripper.
So we go bust. Some sort of rescue consortium is formed and we may still get to play a the Mem if we are lucky. We may even get relegated again with a huge points deduction. That’s all bad.
You hear a lot from Football Club Directors about the millions of pounds they have put in to clubs to keep them going. Well frankly that is just stupid. Anyway the odd million here an million there pales into insignificance against eh billions of pounds you and I have paid over the turnstiles and at the shops over the last 120 odd years. Last year’s gates receipts would have exceeded whatever loans the club received from any of the directors, so they can just shut up. This is our club not theirs, we have bought and paid for it before they were even born.
There is an awesome George Carlin stand up routine where he talks about the futility of “Saving the Earth”. The point he makes is that the Earth doesn’t need saving, it will adapt and continue. The only thing that needs saving is the Human Race and they need saving from themselves. Similarly Bristol Rovers will still continue regardless of what division they are in, stadiums, directors and Evil Corporate Giants.
It’s not right. It’s not fair. I am very angry with Sainsbury’s. But I am reminded of the old musical song, “She was poor, but she was happy” and the line my Grandmother always used to sing: “ It’s the rich what gets the credit, but the poor what gets the blame”