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Hartson of the matter

In probably one of (if not the) most bizarre weekends I’ve ever had as a Wimbledon fan, I will report that JH failed his medical with Spurz. Be honest, you weren’t really surprised were you? A man who hasn’t played since last year, who still hasn’t even played a reserve game is never really going to go straight into a first team of another Premiership club.

Still, Hartson’s agent (forget his name) is acting like a total accident of birth, jumping up and down, saying that JH’s “dream move” is over, and that “he’ll prove them wrong”. I’m really confused now about it all – will he be welcome back at WFC Towers? Will the fans boo him for going or praise him for giving GG one in the eye? We shall wait and see, probably not against Leicester but certainly the week after that.

So, who takes the blame for wanting to sell JH? Well, this morning, many Wombles were pointing the blame at BRG, accusing him of lying when he said that he wanted to keep our best players. Later, it transpired that the deal was done (or starting to be done) on Thursday, two days after BRG said it. Was this sheer PR catastrophe? A cynical attempt to asset strip the club by R&G?

Then along pops SH, who said in an official statement –

“I am delighted John Hartson will not be leaving Wimbledon. It is providence. God must be on the side of Wimbledon. Prayers from Wimbledon fans have been answered. John is a key player to us and every man and his dog knows my opinion which is that he should not have been sold in the first place. His sale would not only have had catastrophic and negative consequences on the pitch, but also it could have had a devastating effect on other senior players. I hope we can now contain any damage done in that direction”.

So it’s the fault of R&G then, perfectly obvious. Except the Evening Substandard came up with this little gem :

“Wimbledon director Sam Hammam started negotiations with Spurs chairman Alan Sugar last Thursday, before telling Olsen of Hartson’s proposed sale later that day. The deal would have contradicted assurances made by Bjorn Rune Gjelsten, who bought Hammam’s remaining 20 per cent stake in Wimbledon last month, that no players would be sold. “

Nah, surely SH wouldn’t have shafted WFC in the way? This is usual ESS BS, right? Well, a direct quote from Drillo follows:

“I am surprised and disappointed this has happened. I thought the situation was that we were not going to sell any players until the team was safe or the end of the season. The initiative came from Sam after he had a meeting with Sugar last Thursday and it all moved very fast”

Now, for those who have met Drillo, or even remotely followed what he does, he’s one of the most honest blokes you are ever likely to meet, and I doubt if he would lie about SH in that way.

So, has SH done the dirty on us? Is he undermining us to make the Norges look bad and (perhaps more importantly) himself look good? I’m really going to be careful what I say here, because I may well have got the wrong end of the stick, but on the face of this evidence SH has shown himself up to be a two-faced cunt.

All those talks with Alan Sugar must have set the alarm bells ringing, surely? I’ve been accused of being almost too anti-SH in the past, so you can well guess my feelings, but I would imagine even SH’s biggest fans must be wondering about his motives now, if this is remotely true. This could have a huge effect on WFC, and at our current time it’s the last thing we need…

If there is one thing everyone (and I mean, everyone) can learn from this, it’s the art of PR. It is universally agreed that the timing of JH’s proposed sale was absolutely awful. The fact that BRG made a bold statement only for it to be rendered useless may well have been sabotage but even if it was BRG’s fault in the first place he must surely have timed it better. If selling JH was the prime reason why we wouldn’t need to sell any more players, then surely it wouldn’t have hurt to announce that move first then immediately say that we wouldn’t need to sell again.

The sale of JH was bound to be a delicate subject anyway, the fact that it was handled so badly must surely make those in charge consider just what lousy PR we have. Look at teams like Leicester and Middlesbrough, they employ a whole set of staff to deal with this sort of crap, we expect Reg Davis to do it all. A properly staffed and experienced PR section would at least know the pitfalls available with it (I’m not saying get shot of Reg Davis, just give the poor guy some backup), and hopefully will stop WFC so publically trying to commit suicide in future.

One final thing – I’m confused as to whether we’re still in debt or not. Does BRG’s original statement made on the 29th February (see below) still stand? I need answers, and quick, otherwise I think I’m going into a mental home before long….