[SW19 : oops]
It’s hard to ascimilate the depth of feeling that the power struggle over WFC has had on people. Barbed comments have been hurled at each other, levels of distrust have risen to an all-time high, the “soul” of the club is at stake – hell, and that’s just the supporters.
The newest rumour to come out concerns the thought that KIR is a power freak, is only there to asset-strip WFC and destroy the club for his own selfish gains. Well, that’s what the Sun reckon anyway, but as ever I think the facts need to be dealt with: as far as I understand, KIR is not ready to bankroll WFC because he’s got too many other business interests going. Meaning that WFC ought to find Â£3m “itself” – and that means that yes, that could well involve selling players
The thing about this is, so what? The club has always been run on a self-sufficient basis, and the fact that KIR isn’t about to start changing that ethos should please even the most hardened pro-SH disciple. Unfortunately, thanks in no small part to the press, some fans have been rather desolate about the whole thing. Personally, I don’t think they should worry……
As Jan Petter Storesvedt has commented, it would make no sense whatsoever for us to sell our best players, such as JH. Now, this may be contrary to what some people (may want) to believe, but it’s probably much more accurate than what many people wish to admit.
KIR is not stupid, which is why all these rumours of asset-stripping are probably a crock of shite. If you consider it, the worst thing he could do (from his point of view) is asset-strip WFC. Firstly, when you take away the Famous Five, we don’t have any assets – we don’t have our own ground, in all honesty we don’t have great support and despite our many successes in the past, we still don’t really have what people accept as a “history”.
Now consider our position at the moment. We are a club who is starting to get together on the field. We have a proven world-class manager at the helm. Our attendances, whist admittedly heavily fiddled, are growing nicely. Our ST numbers are rising each year. We were, at one time last year, considered Euro “certs”. And, perhaps most importantly of all, we are doing this in the most profitable league in the world. So in effect, KIR is now in control of a goldmine, and do you really think he is stupid enough to fuck about with it?
Of course he won’t, he probably knows full well with Molde how nurturing a club to the point it’s in the Champions League can do, not only for short-term profit, but long term profit as well. To sell would jepordise all this, and at the very least would make KIR’s shares in WFC worth very little……
Granted, concerns still remain about asset-stripping : the fact that our infrastructure off the pitch is pretty amateur is one that could make KIR think that WFC only exist for short-term game. But if he really wanted to do that, he’s two years too late anyway. When he and BRG came in in 1997 or so, he could probably have made much more by asset-stripping then.
The football “boom” was at its height, we were “ripe” for asset-stripping anyway, the team wasn’t doing at all well and never looked like going anywhere. The main topic of conversation was, of course, Dublin, and it may well be true that the Norges came in for that. But I doubt that if you really are going to asset-strip, WFC would be a good move anyway. Somebody like Leeds or Everton would probably be better pickings, so why WFC?
The other rumour flying about is the fact that no money has actually been set aside for a new stadium. This is open to debate as well. Firstly, if not wanting a new stadium is reason enough for KIR not to be at WFC, then SH would have been thrown out long ago without recompence. Secondly, it makes no economic sense for WFC to be at SP – especially if we have designs on being a top Premiership club. If we drew against AC Milan at “home” in a Euro cup, the biggest winner of that will be Ron Noades and CPFC. And you wouldn’t want that long term would you? And given that Uncle Ron will probably be back at CPFC before long, you could forget WFC ever buying up SP. So in sheer business terms alone, WFC should get a new ground.
All of course leaves this with one little problem – who exactly runs what at WFC nowadays? We can safely assume that the overseeing power is KIR, but it’s what happens at the day-to-day running of WFC that’s more puzzling. In a nutshell, SH doesn’t have that much power anymore, in all probability. I would guess that he will probably be more suited to dealing with the players contracts and stuff like that, which he is very very good at (see, I’m not totally anti SH).
This assumes that he can keep his mouth shut often enough, because eventually KIR will get fed up with him and just buy him out if he carries on acting like a caged retard. Remember – SH has always wanted to reduce his workload with WFC. Elsewhere, expect Storesvedt and Get Bakke to pull the strings elsewhere – Bakke to examine the day to day running of the club, and (hopefully) sort out the PR and Merchandise departments (boy are they in need of an overhaul….) Storesvedt to do probably the stuff I would expect a Chief Executive to do (bye bye Barney??)
If I sound upbeat, I suppose I am. The fact that SH is openly going around saying how much he wants to buy the club back is probably the comments more of a man who is POed that he’s not top dog anymore, as opposed to any legitimate concerns about WFC (I remember a well-known employee of WFC telling me that the reason why half the stuff at WFC never gets promoted is because SH doesn’t like being upstaged at all). Well, he did sell 80% of his shares without complaining……… Molde don’t seem to have suffered, why should WFC? I would actually be more concerned if stuff like Â£15m debts were announced and weren’t dealt with. The fact that some people are getting jumpy because of an attempt at restructuring could be more to do with self-interest as opposed to what actually may be good for WFC (which is surely the most important thing, right? RIGHT?).
When you cut through all the shit and politicing, what’s happening may well be one of the best things to happen to us. After all, who the hell moans about Drillo now……….