There is of course only one story dominating today, and it revolves around the fact that JH will not start tomorrow against Man U. This means that Anders Lund will get the opportunity to repay his Â£2.5m price tag in what looks like a crunch match. This should be our best chance for a while to put one over on the Old Trafford team – they’re without Scholes, Sjoleskar, Yorke, Keane etc and we must clearly be up for it.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, SH, self-styled Guvnor and appaling taste in headwear, has sold the remaining 20% of his shares to Bjorn Rune Gjelsten, aka Mr Fitness. So this is what they mean by “taking care of his personal fortune” (see yesterday). Here’s the craic : SH has sold his remaining stock to BRG, who will now take over the day-to-day running of WFC. SH will revert to being a director again, although he will stay on as an “advisor”. Wonder if this will have as much meaning as JK staying on as an “advisor” to Drillo?
Now, why has SH sold up? From all the reports coming from Norway (thanks to Claes and TNC yet again), it seems as though that there has been a fuck-off massive row between SH and KIR, which seems to have started when Svein Bakke came into the equasion. Obviously, SH didn’t exactly help himself by acting totally OTT over it, and indeed, Nettavisen have even made light of the fact that “Hammam has many times said that RÃ¸kke is only interested in money which has caused a cold climate between the two. ”
So, was SH pushed by KIR? Did he piss KIR off to the point he had to get shot of him? Probably, which may explain why he sold his shares to Gjelsten, not KIR. Also, the report from Svein Bakke may well have something to do with it – despite nobody actually admitting to it, if Dagbladet are to be believed then Bakke reckons that it is “impossible” to co-operate with SH (and as we all know, SH has never wanted to share running WFC with anyone). What has actually gone on will probably never be known, though on the surface on it at least, SH could well have written his own obituary…..
Meanwhile, BRG is already making a name for himself. One of his first quotes were “I am football crazy and have great sports ambitions for Wimbledon”. Which hopefully should at least please the muppets. Although Gjelsten will still live in Norway, he will leave the nitty gritty real day-to-day stuff with a lawyer, one Charles Koppel. I have abolutely no idea where he’s from, but expect him to be able to read VG without having an English translation. Meanwhile, I think I ought to leave him with this quote……”Yes, the club need a new stadium “. I like this guy more and more and more…..
So, considering all the evidence, and the fact that on more than one occasion over the last year (and beyond) that SH was willing to at least cut down on his running of WFC, this course of events shouldn’t really have surprised anyone : the only real surprise of this was the timing of the announcement (was it really a good idea to have announced it the day before we play Man U?) – some may say that it was done for maximum impact, and that it has done. Now, obviously a lot of WFC fans are in shock, some likening it to the day Shankly left Liverpool. Maybe that’s true, I don’t know, but then Bob Paisley did all right afterwards…..
What I really hope doesn’t happen is that because SH is now “gone” people automatically assume that WFC are finished. The point is, no one individual, be it SH, KIR, Gjelsten, the players, staff, stewards etc etc is bigger than WFC (quotes like “Sam Hammam Is Wimbledon” are both incorrect and dangerous). For us to progress, we have to move on, and yes that does apply to owners as well. A similar line of logic would be who would you want playing up front for WFC – John Fashanu or John Hartson?
Fash was a legend, no doubt about it, but if anything he went on a season or two too long. Yet if we held onto the notion that Fash should be there simply because of what he did 15 years ago, we will never progress. We would never bother getting somebody like JH in – whether all this apprehension about the new owners is simply because we’re in the process of change is anyone’s guess, and I think that may explain many of our fans’ comments at the moment.
Loads of questions about all this : one, what happens to the Â£9m from the sale of Plough Lane which is in SH’s pocket? Second, what happens about grounds, and the planned purchase of Shitehurst? The Norges have made noises about wanting to move away from the SE25 dump, and now they’re in a much better position may even carry this out (and given what Gjelsten said today, maybe even a reality)?
Thirdly, will we see a rapid departure of the “old guard” players like REMBE from the scene (REMBE was in his element today, spouting “team spirit”, “Crazy Gang” ad nauseum, fuck it’s like reading a David Buchan article)? Will we really genuinely get a team full of Norwegians (not that I’d complain, if they’re as good as the ones we’ve got at the moment)? Fourthly, will there be a backroom staff (and admin) cull? And one final thing – given his recent comments on SH, will Ceri Hughes want to come back?
Meanwhile, cheekiest rumour of the day concerns SH – it has been reported that he may now team up with long term pal Uncle Ron and take over the running of Palace. Although this may seem unlikely on the surface, it may have a bit more truth to it than many would like to admit. There is no guarantee that Palace will be successfully bought by Mr Lim (and the deal is supposed to go through this week – anyone noticed the timing of today’s events, anyone?), and if it fails, then Palace could feasibly go bust – that is, unless Ron Noades is feeling a bit on the benevolent side.
As a matter of recourse, Uncle Ron was seen at the reserve game at GGL vs the Arse (with SH or without SH, I don’t actually know), and nobody has ever worked out exactly why he and SH were openly at the training ground early this season. Of course, it’s probably nothing, but if Palace don’t get themselves sorted this week, there could well be a nasty shock for many people……..