Tudor Jennings on why there’s nothing so wrong with buying out Kingsmeadow
You own a club, now own a stadium.
Okay I share some but not all of Rob’s views and nagging doubts. Especially concerns about wanting “our” ground in SW19 or failing that, Merton. I also share his liking Kingsmeadow as a ground, but we do differ in outlook, so I’m hoping he’ll agree to put this up on the site as a counter/companion piece to his – especially as it’s been a while since I took the opportunity to write complete bollocks and plaster my personal opinion over a website. It’s been therapeutic for me in any case. Anyway, first off the concerns:
K’s as a short/medium term measure lets Merton of the hook. Now ever since I got involved a couple of years ago helping with the WISA fight, I’ve been asked to not be so harsh on LBM and not upset the apple cart cause they were working with us. However, I’ve never trusted them – whether through their incompetence or attitude towards us. MERTON fucked us over by agreeing to remove the covenant on Plough Lane, without even having the basic signs of intelligence to qualify as a higher life form and ringfence the funds. Merton further fucked us over by becoming very quiet after last year’s elections. How odd. Then they rammed their cock down our throats with their currently ever so amenable approach to getting irradiated and electrocuted key worker accommodation placed on OUR site by Raspberry Homes or whoever now owns our ground – OUR ground which was left FOR US by Sydney Black. Poor bastard. Let’s learn that lesson and make sure whatever vehicle is used by the DT to purchase the ground it is LOCKED DOWN SOLID. Maybe we could ask Hammam or even Dan Stench to have a sniff around it to check for water tightness?
Now I know the SWG will say how much LBM have helped them blah blah blah, and I know the Club and the Trust will say the same (political or diplomatic reasons of course I understand). But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the “unsuitability” of all sites anywhere in Merton is frankly BULLSHIT for dessert. Not having had anything to measure them against before, the helpful and productive way Kingston council has approached AFCW whilst we’ve been at K’s speaks for itself.
It is therefore my considered opinion that Merton Council are a bunch of self serving political cocksuckers whose only interests have been to lose as few votes as possible over all of this, and as shown with the T&M planning, they’d rather protect the interests (read: votes) of some nervous, but ill informed NIMBYs than those of the timid and far too polite for their own good Wombles. The cunts have probably used my Council Tax to calculate whether or not getting our club back to Merton is an overall vote winner or loser. Guess it’s the latter as far as they’re concerned, probably all comes down to the “sensitivity” of the wards where the potential sites are situated. Hey, they might not mind getting us back in the borough, but only as long as they don’t have to WORK to make it happen. I’m tired of being told, oh we mustn’t upset so and so, let’s be reasonable, let’s have a well thought out and peacefully argued case. Let’s work with so and so. Sam sold us out and we still believed. The Nogs just finished the job and got K****l to float us down the river (or the M1) after receiving a hefty push from the FA. Yeah, our well-debated arguments did us proud. And now we want to settle into K’s, where we’ll be “safe” for a good few years until or when we get up to Conference level.
It wouldn’t surprise me if RBK continue to facilitate us as regards planning permissions, extensions, and show up LBM for the spineless cunts they really are. And of course then it’ll be too late. We’ll be far bigger than we are now, and (subject to property prices crashing and PL being repossessed) there’ll be NO chance of accommodating us in Merton. And RBK will continue to bend over backwards to keep us there. Am I wrong? Come on then, Andrew Judge. Prove me wrong. We know all about people showing things CAN’T work (just listen to ourselves over raising a measly Â£2.5m – how the fuck, and who the fuck do you think we would have to, in order to raise Â£12m for PL then guys?) I pay your fucking wages through my ever-increasing council tax. Take one of these sites and MAKE it work, Merton.
I still support the Trust and I still support the team, despite the fact I haven’t been to a game on principle since individuals at the club decided to fuck me over for either their own, or outside business interests (depending which story I believe). But there we go, that’ll just be me bitching and shitstirring, eh? Maybe I should just sit down (or stand up) and watch the football. I think not.
But if, even with that bollocks going on, I’m still willing to put my money where my mouth is, then all you “regulars” for the following reasons ought to do the same.
1. We’re homeless, K’s are fucked. Us buying out the Khoslas is a win/win situation all round. ON THE PROVISO that we assist K’s and their own Trust. I’m sure we will – especially as in the constitution of the Don’s Trust we’re there to help football in the Area (being Merton (“scum” as the erudite Eamo put it on Monday) and the surrounding boroughs) If we can get just one businessman out of football, and show other Trusts the way forward, then that’s the icing on the cake AFAIK
2. Â£2.5M is a fucking good price. Yeah, I know people are a bit confused by the “how come it’s worth more to us?” thing. Take it from someone who’s been in the property business for almost 10 years. It makes sense. It’s also not Â£12m+ and so we can raise this on our own. There are 3,000 fans on average turning up to AFCW home games. There are 1,700 ST holders – i.e. pretty committed fans. There are 2,600+ DT members. There are also 500 K’s fans, not to mention the fair few thousand who they took up to Wembley a few seasons ago. But not even counting on K’s fans doing their thing, WE can do this ON OUR OWN. Get a loan from the Cooperative Bank (the bankers for both the Trust and AFCW) or your own bank for Â£1,000. Pay it back at something stupid like Â£20 per month (forego a few beers, a takeaway, a meal once a month – is that worth helping safeguarding just YOUR club?) You have (on average) done your bit. Can’t even manage that? Buy a Golden Goal ticket, buy an extra sticker or enamel at the Matchday Centre or something from the Wombulance. Put some loose change in a bucket at a home game. If everyone does just that one thing instead of buying a drink at Khosla’s bar, that bucket alone is an extra Â£5,000+ towards the stadium fund on matchdays. It’s Economies of Scale, stupid.
3. I disagree with Rob’s doom merchantry over the possible “losing” of the money. From what I know about limited companies and similar vehicles I’m sure the very experienced members of the board who have worked in Finance and in the City will choose the best vehicle to save the donations and ringfence the money. Khosla isn’t stupid and will be only too happy to help out on the shortfall when he’s getting over the odds for his investment because of what it’s worth to us. Maybe these things will become clearer, after all the negotiations only came out of the blue a couple of weeks ago. I say Trust in the Trust, not only to protect our money, but also to protect our assets, be they AFCW Ltd or “Stadium Fund” Ltd.
In short I don’t like the idea that Merton have worn us down and I’ll NEVER forgive them for selling us out. K’s isn’t Merton, even if it is only a mile and a short hop from the A3, it’s Kingstonian’s ground. On the other hand, this is so achievable, this is another kick in the bollocks for the FA as well as LBM and the Nogs (like they give a shit, but there you go). It helps create medium term security and financial viability for K’s as well as AFCW. We can really start building something for the fans instead of becoming a constant cash cow for businessmen.
We can do it.
If you haven’t been convinced by our own strength in numbers over the past year’s events, then at least start believing in fan power now.