The signing section

See what I did there?

In a season where we haven’t had too many good weeks, this one has more than made up for it. It’s all sinking in, that mockup looks even more enticing, and now the s106 documents are getting posted up on the LBM website.

We’ll start going through those next week. There’s a lot there, although perhaps not the Koran**-sized publication we were expecting. That said, it’s still very much a document full of legalese and besides – most of the important stuff was done before then anyway.

** – perhaps the s106s will be the Womble equivalent of the Koran, and the new place becomes our Mecca? Everyone who claims to be an AFCW fan has to make a pilgrimage to NPL at least once in their lives, and non-believers are prohibited from entering the sacred home areas.

Our very own version of the Kaaba (the big black cube thing) will house the Holy S106 Book, and will be placed on the very site where they put the dead greyhound freezer. Plus, think of the religious tax-exemption status…

One wonders if all the documents are up yet, or whether there are some that are not for public viewing? Whatever though, it’s better Christmas reading than the latest chick-lit offering.

Anyway, judicial review notwithstanding, things are starting to move on. Erik Samuelson gave more info an hour after I pressed “publish” on the last SW19 update, and in case you haven’t heard it, it’s here.

He looked rather tired during that video, unsurprisingly.

Anyway, Boris the Retard cost us 6-8 months, though wasn’t it five months between the original decision and Khan realising it was a load of bollocks? Mind you, ES did state “various attempts to put hurdles in our way” as well, so I expect the whole thing has been a big accumulation.

The nitty-gritty. NPL is an “extremely complicated site”, and the land transfer negotiations must have been a nightmare. NAMA have/had ultimate control of the site, and government departments the world over aren’t known for their efficiency.

Demolition (or site clearance) starts early next year. Galliard do that, although I’m sure there will be plenty of us willing to assist 😉 My legal team has advised me that previous suggestions of petrol/matches are illegal, and are actively discouraged.

It will start about mid-January, apparently. People like the National Grid need to be informed as well as other parties, presumably, and they’re all winding down for Xmas themselves.

Finishing wise? “Several months”, and by the summer is the plan. Then, we get given the parcel of land and we can finally – almost literally – start shovelling the last 26 years into the dirt.

ES sounded like he was keeping his options open about opening up in the summer 2019. I guess it’ll all be down to how quickly they can clear the site (again, there will be many to help…) and if they find the rarest of rare Roman burial sites.

That last one was a joke, by the way. I hope.

One thing I didn’t know was that we still own KM until we get officially handed over the land. Then, Chelski own it. Obviously, we’re not going to be turfed out of there, but I wonder if that’s being done just in case we decide to do a temporary groundshare after all?

All being well, it would only be for one season, and as long as you can tangibly see a new stadium getting constructed, you probably won’t care.

The company that owns the stadium is “The Wider Interests of Football”. I guess nobody really notices who owns it, and I’m glad we didn’t name a stand after that phrase after all.

That said, maybe translate it into Latin and use it as a club motto? Google Translate comes up with “Utilitates Ampliorem”, and seeing as we don’t use “honour without blemish” any more…

ES seemed to let slip that he wouldn’t be around for much longer after the new stadium opens, and the new COO might be a more important appointment than you first think – s/he will be running the day-to-day stuff.

Said COO will also be playing a key role in how to run the hospitality, the catering etc, and that’s something we’ll have to get right – people who frequent hospitality are discerning people. They’ll go there once, but if the food/value/atmosphere is crap, they’ll not return.

As said in the last update, there’s going to be more to come in the weeks and months. It’s therefore very easy to forget that we have a game tomorrow, and quite an important one at that.

You can see the euphoria deflating already as soon as I mentioned it.

I’m not sure if last week’s postponement at Bury will help us or not, and people are still scarred by St. Evenage just over two years ago. True, that season ended up OK, but this isn’t 24 months ago.

I saw it mentioned a couple of times last week that it was nice to have a weekend where the football didn’t ruin it. Even now, I’m writing this bit with a view of “do I have to?”.

Play games we must, and there’s probably not much more that needs to be said. A win will round off a great week, a draw becomes meh and a loss will be treated with disdain. How dare our good week gets ruined?

We’ve got a busy time ahead of us. After tomorrow, four games in about ten days will test us quite a lot – we’re OK enough if we can keep the same XI with the same attacking formation, but it shows how little in depth we have that it goes to pot when we have to change it.

Mind you, there was an unexpected addition to training this week – Carlton Cole.

Yes, that one.

He’s training with us rather than playing, though one wonders if some non-contract terms could be arranged if it’s a goer. I suspect he’s got an eye on a Championship if not even a Premier League club still, but there’s no harm in putting out the feelers.

If he did join up though, one would have to wonder why we couldn’t have got somebody on similar short-term/non-contract terms in a couple of months ago. Even now, I still refuse to accept there wasn’t somebody who could have come in.

I notice NA did a pre-game preview for the OS, which is rarer than a Tyrone Barnett goal these days. He speaks to the SLP more though, and it’s interesting he’s apparently looking abroad.

Took him a while to learn that, though. If absolutely nothing else this season thus far, he’s been (deservedly) kicked over our lack of firepower, and his future employment with us depends on doing well in next month’s window.

Could Cole be the unexpected answer? Maybe, he’s a big target man, and he is quite good. So if he does sign, watch him get shunted out on the wing…