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The heat of the summer

Bloody hell, it’s the hottest day of the year and I’m writing about football? Oh well…

Since my last update, a lot has happened. You know by now the comings/goings etc, you’ve probably digested the fact that we made a big profit last season and that we might dip our fingers into Morden Park. And as SW19 Towers is a couple of Dave Beasant goal kicks away from said site, more on that as and when we know more…..

But it’s events within the last 24-48 hours that have made me get off my arse and update. Firstly, and mercifully briefly, I went to RPV last night, and I can’t really say I was overly awestruck. I know that people were gushing over beating Leyton Orient, and it was practically a reserve side, but I did expect a bit more. Then again, if it was predominately reserves, is it any wonder that they’re not breaking through to the first team….?

Second, and probably more importantly, this is heating up the already baking internet wires. Basically, some businessman wanted to do some commercial stuff with us, thought that he could take us over and was basically told to foxtrot oscar.

Now, the response to this has been pretty predictable, and apart from “the board should have let us decide” type comments, it’s been pretty unaminous in its condemnation.

TBH, I’m not in the least bit surprised that somebody’s made even the most speculative of speculative approaches. We are pretty high profile, after all. OK, the guy came in as a commerical venture (no bad thing IMO) and later stated that he wanted a club to buy – as opposed to the club to buy – so he clearly wasn’t in it for the good of AFCW.

But consider this : what if it’s “one of us” who comes in at some point? What if one of us won the lottery, or robbed a bank and wanted to invest? And – this is the crux of the matter – what if you didn’t like some aspects of how the club is run and wanted to change them? And found that despite your dough, you couldn’t? Or, Satan forbid, you didn’t get on with Kris/Ivor/Erik etc? You have to be seriously naive to think that everything will be happy families, especially when money becomes involved.

Now, you may think that none of this matters. Or if it does, you’re glad that nobody can have that amount of power. OK, the DT has all the power in the world, and certainly has the authority (whether it has influence is another matter, and has the potential for a looooong debate).

And right now, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got money in the bank, we’re doing schemes that help raise money for the playing staff (1889 Club, anyone?), all is grand, right? Yeah, suppose it is. But this is RP. We’re a club that wants Conference football at a minimum, that’s what we’re gearing towards.

Now, should we get into the Conference, some very hard decisions will need to be made. The wage bill in the Conference is staggering (off the top of my head, it’s about £300k bare minimum), and puts our financial aim from the 1889 Club into brutal perspective (about £40k isn’t it? Haven’t got the programme to hand). That money will need to come from somewhere…

And let’s face it : right now, we can rebuff these approaches pretty easily, together with a few Fans Clubâ„¢ catchphrases thrown in for good measure. But imagine us working hard to get into the Conference. Then finding in the Conference that it’s pretty tricky. We’ll be languishing down the bottom, fearful of relegation and struggling to keep our semi-pro ideals going. Then suddenly, a local businessman comes in and offers a six-figure cash injection……

Personally, I think a compromising of ideals is inevitable, especially considering this not-entirely-unlikely scenario above. OK, we’ve got to get to the Conference in the first place, but if anything that could speed up the change in ethos. You’d be surprised just how pragmatic people suddenly become when a financial issue hits them square on the mush. The idealism is going out of AFCW slowly but surely, as the softening of attitudes towards playing MK is showing.

Am I saying that a Pete Wankelmann type figure should be taken under our wing? Not at all, and I seriously doubt his type would last too long at AFCW anyway. But if somebody far more sympathetic comes along…

One final thing on this : I note that the approach was done on a majority decision, which meant that at least one person wasn’t against the proposal. So, shall we cue a witch hunt, hound out the person(s) in question, kidnap their wife and kids, sell their dog to a Korean restaurant and force them to wear a Franchise shirt for ever more? Or shall we consider that maybe, just maybe, they’ve pre-empted a bit of what I’ve written above?

Anyway, I’m not at FCUM on Saturday. Anyone who wants to write it up, please let me know. Just remember to clear your hangover first.