“They came from all these godforsaken new towns ; Milton Keynes, St Albans. As bad as it was in London for young people, they had nothing at all in the satellite towns”
This 1992 quote from the immortal Johnny “Rotten” Lydon could just as well sum up a certain plight of a team that today CAN’T go to the National Hockey Stadium The Stadium : MK because they haven’t paid the bills. With further talk that Franchise could be liquidated by Monday (in other words, their players can simply foxtrot oscar), this really could be the long awaited plunge into oblivion we all hoped for.
Earlier this morning, the Admin people said that Franchise were still going to Selhurst Park, which led SW19 (after leaving my hospital bed, yup I’ve had the op) to mobilise plans for a final send-off for the Crewe game. Except that typically, Crystal Palace had to spoil my fun by announcing that Franchise WEREN’T going to play there after all. So what are the Admin people up to? Yes, I know that they are reputable etc etc, but if there was any doubt now that they weren’t bought in to bail out Koppout there isn’t now. To constantly risk your reputation on shrilling MK when it looks like a no-go “for the foreseeable future” (their words, not mine) but to then massively cock-up over Selhurst means serious questions have to be asked.
Anyway, looks like the severence payment got settled (with Reg Davis’ money?) and Franchise called up Pickfords, but now the Hockey Stadium have got fed up with waiting, Franchise have absolutely nowhere to go. Really, nowhere to go : they don’t have enough money to pay anyone else to borrow their ground (and I don’t think the Dons Trust are happy to see the KM pitch ruined by Franchise’s remaining players for Â£5 a week), and even if they did, their players wages have a slightly more urgent need to be settled…
More on what Franchise could do later, but tonight on BBC Radio London (or whatever it’s called now), Tom “I loved AFCW vs RP Vile” Watt had a rather interesting discussion apparently with Wankelmann and the CPFC Chief Exec. The Admin people didn’t go, and apparently Koppout was supposed to be on (I didn’t hear it so I don’t know if we got Rent Boy’s desperate propaganda). Anyway, in a nutshell looks like Wankelmann was trying to push it without trying to sound like he’s been stitched up and the CPFC guy and Watt just ripped into the whole thing. Obviously, if this was Talksport the presenters would be performing oral sex on the brave Charles Koppel while accusing anyone opposing him of forging Iraqi war documents, but it was a different radio station and for once the BBC acted like a proper broadcaster instead of state propagandists. But then, they’re not in the position of having a rich elderly South African lawyer who sells shares illegally in telecoms companies on their board are they?
So, as alluded to above, what now for Franchise. Well, apart from liquidation, there IS still a way of surviving for them, and it’s those loveable scamps up at Luton. Who when they’re not having their managerial phone poll (ahem) amended by fans of other clubs (supposedly) are themselves unable to pay their players wages. Gurney is losing it – he quoted “What is the date today? June ends on the last day of June” to a journo asking when the players wages were to be paid, and those still largely ignored comments about Franchise merging made last week still playing on my mind and somehow I can’t help thinking that Franchise will be dancing gaily hand in hand with Luton come this time next week. Well, you think of somewhere else they can go
Anyway, enough of that, back to AFCW. They had a party last night to celebrate getting Ks’ leasehold. It also saw the launch of the share issue and fundraising scheme that TBWA has been working on. First things out of the way : I wonder if anyone told TBWA that calling it the Fans Stadium makes it sound like something from Communist East Germany? 🙂 Looks like watching UEFA cup games on the telly from the Eastern Bloc countries in places like the Volkstadion has left an impressionable mark. I can see the concept behind it, it’s actually very clever, and with current footballing climes has as much chance of succeeding as anything. Though to have the desired effect it has to be careful not to be too preachy about community etc (insert comments about pendulums here). We will naturally see how it all pans out, though judging by the new website for this, they’re going all out
And yes, the TV adverts are very good. But then, from TBWA, I shouldn’t have expected anything less.
And no, I’m still not convinced with buying KM or buying shares…..