Well, as you all know by now, TB was on “Any Sporting Questions” last night from Wimbledon Rugby Club. SW19 was there, albeit as a literally last minute decision, and here’s what occured : I got to speak to TB before the show started, and although he stuck to the party line on many questions, he came up with this gem : “I think that Cort is only worth Â£6m, but we’re holding out for Â£7m”. Hmm….
The show started, the specifics are elsewhere on other WFC sites, but suffice to say that Claire Balding can certainly sink those pints 🙂 The basis of the show was mainly planted questions, with ab libbing on the way. SW19 regular David Challinor got to ask a pointed question (yes, everyone heard you Dave 🙂 ), and even the editor of this site got in on the act. Again, the answers are elsewhere on the web, although I do have a tape and will endeavour to MP3 some of it later this week. Honest.
The juicy stuff as ever comes off air, and through Mr Challinor and a couple of others who were there (I decided to leave because I would probably been arrested for sexual harrassment of Ms Balding by now), here’s what I’ve divulged :
Firstly, nobody is going anywhere unless it’s “right for the club”. Standard fare. However, more was to follow – during the broadcast TB said he felt sorry for the supporters for going down, sorry for the new owners, but not sorry at all for the players. He also hinted (during a debate on dope testing) that two first team players had gone to Ibiza and “took some Lemsip because they had a bad cold”. And what is Lemsip? Powder, though is also available in tablet form. Hmm.
Off air, he was apparently quite scathing of the team, saying that they often turned up for training late last season and weren’t fit (that figures). I get the impression that he doesn’t think much of the current squad of players, which he seemed to back up when asked who our biggest opponents were next season – “ourselves”.
So, with that in mind, who’s he signing? Well, there will be “signing soons” but no Nogs. Shame, guess I can forget about Flo then. Indeed, he did send back Lund and Dry Martini, but he won’t send back Trond (more later) because “he’s still under contract”. Actually, he seemed none too impressed with people like Cort and Euell, saying “I only wanting committed players”, and indeed hinting that contary to what Barnett would have you believe, agents do really seem to be influencing players (TB often speaks to David O’Leary, and the Leeds manager doesn’t want him.
However, Barnett has apparently convinced Cort that he’s going to Leeds). He also mentioned that REMBE could be the new reserve team manager, though he’s not too convinced that he’ll ever play again. All in all, he seems like a bloke with a mission, and I hope he gets the luck that Drillo didn’t get. He certainly does at least seem to have R&G’s backing, given the comments that “they’ve got serious plans for a new stadium”.
Two more things on this subject : firstly, the club are trying to confirm a “Burton Day” after the Sutton Utd friendly on 22 June. Whilst I would prefer it a day afterwards, it is none the less a great idea. Secondly, during a break in the R5 broadcast, a guy passed me and DC and said “I tell you what, I’ll take a stadium everytime”. Has he read “Premiership – Who Cares?”???? 🙂
Trond’s story is apparently bollocks, according to Barney. The club haven’t heard from him, because he’s on a weeks extended leave after E2000. Whether it’s just a nasty bit of shit-stirring, or Trond really did tell his agent that he wanted a move is something that will come out in the weeks to come.
Finally, and as it’s getting late I’ll be brief, I’ve finally persuaded someone to start contributing to SW19. Starting the next time I update SW19, I will have a new regular columnist. Who it is I will not say, but suffice to say he’s used to things being heated……… If anyone else wants to try their hand at writing for here, just drop an email at the usual address and we’ll take things from there.