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BRG speaks

Well, the BRG meeting with supporters representatives went ahead last night, and from all parties concerned, it seemed to go extremely well. Obviously, there were fears that BRG would drop out at the last minute because something “urgent” would come up, and you could have been forgiven that it would have been a straightforward “we haven’t decided on anything yet, end of meeting”. But it wasn’t, and for that it can be deemed a success.

Now, I wasn’t there, but as you all know, W&WW was. From the W&WW guestbook as well as Mr J himself, here’s basically what was said:

– there have been loads of proposals sent to WFC (including Gatwick, Basingstoke and, yup, MK) but nothing had been agreed.

– the search for a new ground started “today” and would start in Merton. You can stop cheering now. The early favourite is the Dog Track, something which the more senior directors favour.

– we haven’t actually started looking for a site before “today”, this is due to us getting relegated and I suppose re-prioritising.

– any new stadium wouldn’t be a “gift” and would needed to be paid for. Hence that’s why a partner would need to be found (fair enough) and would need to have additional ways of getting dough. Wonder if there are any homeless rugby union teams around in the South East who would like to share a new ground? Oh, quite a few….

– ground shares with other people (in their own back yard, hinting at Brentford at Feltham) have been snubbed because all it would benefit is the other club, not WFC.

– he seemed to rule out MK, quoting from W&WW – “if we end up in MK, or Oslo, as it might as well be, something serious must have gone wrong if there is nowhere between there and Merton’.

– the role of CK was called a little bit into question. Quote: “Charles Koppel will ‘be asked again if he is willing to be totally dedicated to Wimbledon’ and then be expected to get it right”. CK basically spends a lot of time in the USA, which is something SW19 can sympathise with.

– he did pull the plug on the D****e deal, because the Everton player kept fucking about (saying “yes/no” too many times). He also made the comment that “next year I expect to be right up there and if we are not the following year I will not be happy. I could live with not going up ONLY if we have given 100%, but only then”. Basically, he only wants players who are 100% committed to the club

I think I’ve covered most of it, there should be some sort of WISA press release on it, and you can always look at JZ’s guestbook to see what else I’ve missed out.

Now, my comments : I’m hopeful yet I’m cynical. Cynical, because I have heard all this sort of talk before. Hopeful because this isn’t coming from Hammam, and from what JZ is saying, most of the “known” stuff BRG wasn’t bullshitting about. As it stands, the ball is firmly within “our” (the fans) court. We’ve protested, we’ve made our point and BRG is, on the surface at least, listening. Now it’s up to us to make some positive representation, be it with the council, WFC, whoever. I’m sure we must have at least one party who can be a “party”, wouldn’t surprise me if we got more than we think. But for the first time in a long, long while, the fans really can help decide WFC’s future.

Looking at the comments above, I’m kinda bewildered in some cases. Now, remember BRG’s comments about how “advanced” MK was? How does this tie up with what he said yesterday? Could be a simple mis-quote, even local papers do it. For all we know, BRG probably used “it” instead of “we” but it got changed. How come we’ve supposedly “exhausted” all options yet not even looked? Who was being asked? Who was being asked to do it? It just doesn’t tie up. The fact that BRG has given it to “us” to look at grounds may be seen as cheap labour by some but is still one helluva golden opportunity.

More confusion : does this mean then that Tony White and Reg Davis were talking out of turn? Were they trying to be “macho”, acting like complete retards or simply just don’t have a clue what’s going on? We all know that Tony White is the guy singing a bastardised “Sex Bomb” in the Halifax advert, but In the case of Davis, his program notes about how he doesn’t think WFC should “lower ambition” and how he thinks that MK is neither good nor bad is somewhat at odds with the opinions coming out of last nights meeting. Whatever way you look at it, there are definitely some people at WFC who don’t know what other people at WFC are doing.

Remember that story I told you before the Wigan game about Peter Cork getting it totally wrong about the whereabouts of Barney? What WFC needs now, perhaps more than ever, is a complete reorganisation from top to bottom, and putting in people who not only know what their job is but also what other people’s jobs are. Yeah, it may include getting rid of some of the furniture…. sorry, valued members of staff, but then an administration that knows more or less what direction is going is always going to perform much better than one which doesn’t. It should have probably come about 8 months ago, but then there have always been scare stories of companies that try and change things too quick.

Speaking of structure, it seems that BRG is a little bit disappointed in CK. It’s OK if your owner isn’t there most of the time, providing that the guy he puts in charge to run a particular section oversees it as much as possible. And that ain’t happening. My fear is that CK won’t be “allowed” to change things where necessary. Player power, if you will, only this time it’s from people who probably wouldn’t even get onto a football pitch. Insert your own John Hartson joke here.

In a nutshell though, it’s all looking promising again. BRG is keen to have more meetings, which is good, fans could very well have more of a say than at probably any time in the club’s history, and the level of optimism has arisen somewhat. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Elsewhere, JH reportedly had food poisoning for the aborted Notts County game. No idea whether it was the addition of chilli sauce on his doner and kofte. And REMBE is acting like the meeja star we all know he thinks he ought to be : he reportedly had a go at WFC fans for not being loud enough, basically blaming us for our poor home form. He never could bring himself to blame his fellow professionals could he? It’s always somebody elses fault with him. Never mind, he’ll fit in well at ITV….