Monday, June 09, 2014

The Fiasco Continues

Harwood Bull gives his thoughts on the situation around Edgar Street.
Like everyone else I'm baffled and frustrated by what's going on with the Bulls. Rumour and outraged opinion abounds, which is inevitable given the lack of any real information coming from inside Edgar Street. We all understand that all the details of a financial deal will never be made public, but the little information that does appear rarely seems to be matched by what subsequently happens, and wild speculation replaces hard facts. We all desperately want the new investment to succeed, but it gets harder and harder to maintain a positive outlook.

The hostility directed towards David Keyte is hardly surprising. I’m inclined to think it’s a cock up rather than a conspiracy, but it has all gone horribly wrong on his watch. He is a businessman, albeit a pretty unconvincing one when it comes to football, and like many of the businessmen I’ve met, seems to maintain a high level of self-belief in the face of a complete lack of success. This has led to an arrogant, defensive and secretive performance in recent months, with no admission that any of it is his fault. 

Most clubs would have struggled to cope with the shortfall in income that relegation brought, but the damage was already done during the Pitman era. This view is partly backed up by Rob Purdie’s comments about wage levels quoted on BN today. In the early days Keyte soon realised that Davey wasn’t the man for the job, and acted quickly, but then persisted with Pitman far too long, trying to prop him up with the support of others, until we reached the laughable situation of a League Two club having four coaches and a director of football. 

There has been a series of increasingly desperate and wildly optimistic attempts to get money into the club (share issues? debentures? really?), before eventually relying on us, the hapless supporters, to put our hands in our pockets. I donated a couple of times, but never again. Keyte’s refusal to consider HUST’s bid was pure self interest, but I’m not sure that they could have raised the required funds to deal with the debt involved. No-one seems to know what the true amount is, but the £200,000 pledged to HUST would only have met the immediate crisis with more to come. 

So we come to Mr. Agombar. I know no more about him than I have read on this site, but one thing I am sure of is that he’s not here for fun. He too is a businessman and will only invest if he sees some kind of return. Even if it all goes through, and we kick off next season in a league yet to be decided, that won’t be the end of it. We will still be dependent on one individual, who may lose interest or find that the development around the ground can’t happen quickly enough for his liking. Graham Turner probably doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, seeing what has happened to the club he handed over to what he thought was a safe pair of hands.

Whatever happens next, it will be a bumpy ride for a few years yet.