Sometimes, even the shitty days can have a nice thing happen to them. Having spent the last 48-72 hours battling illness, chronic knackeredness and various other things too horrible to contemplate, along comes Franchise and goon-in-chief Rent Boy to cheer us all up. Yes, Franchise are in administration, whatever that means. At last, they’ve finally twigged that they really couldn’t run a bath.
Turns out (according to the Evening Substandard anyway) that they’re something like Â£3.5m in debt, haven’t paid the staff and players for last month (wonder how Steve Allen will afford his mortgage now?) and could be closer to the heavy brick wall than first thought. And with new FA rules coming in to punish clubs who take this option out, looks like things could be getting quite heavy.
So, without the aid of reading much up on it, what’s SW19’s take? I have two strands of thought. The first one is the thought that Franchise really is French Connection UKed, and the inevitable has happened. How the hell have Franchise managed to keep going with a 60-90% slump in attendances (depending on who you believe) is beyond anyone with an inch of economics knowledge. How long will they keep going? It depends on what happens in MK itself, they trumpet it being a “sell out” but given that the cost of the season tickets won’t pay for half their squad’s wages, it’s hardly going to be the major bail-out they need. Koppout was reportedly in Oslo today trying to get KIR to fish – boom boom – for some more wonga, and apparently wasn’t very successful. So, are we reaching End Game?
The second strand of thought is more sinister, more conspiracy theorist and therefore probably much more accurate. This thing has come out like a bolt from the blue. There were no tiny little inklings, no sly leaks, no legal moves made, nothing. Is Franchise using a rather underhanded method to get rid of any overheads, debts and the like, so that ownership can be transfered for a neglible sum? Remember that they HAVE tried underhand methods before – EGM anyone? – so none of this should surprise you.
Something else got me when I was looking at the news. No idea who the admin guys were, but was it just me or did they seem like cheerleaders for the whole MK project? There was none of the typical admin speak that seems to happen at other clubs. Their comments came straight out of the “If you repeat something that is bollocks ad nauseum you may eventually convince people” book, written by C R Koppel. Wonder if they were employed purely because of their sympathies, if you see what I mean?
This one will run and run.
One more thing – yes, if you were at the DT SGM last night, that was your humble and esteemed editor walking out early. I had a particular Creedence Clearwater Revival song in my head…