Think of a number…
Posted by John Beech on December 28, 2009
It doesn’t take an academic to spot that ‘one million pounds over a period of time’ is a completely meaningless amount. The ravages of inflation mean that a pound today is worth far less than a pound was worth, say, twenty years ago. One thousand pounds a year as the starting salary of a graduate in 1970 would be the equivalent of almost £21,000 today, for example (1).
Yet ‘one million pounds over a period of time’ is precisely, or in fact very imprecisely, what David Handley, formerly the Financial Director of King’s Lynn, who certainly therefore should know better, has announced he will invest into a new club, that is, one which he would own. His announcement (2), I’m afraid, is no more than, in the traditional sense of the phrase, clap trap – a cheap theatrical device to get easy applause.
He says he wants fans on any new board of directors, a claim familiar to Accrington Stanley fans, who gained no representation when Ilyas Khan actually took over.
Quite why he is prepared to invest such a large amount now (or over some unspecified future period) but was prepared to see the former club disappear because of a debt of £66,000 is unexplained. He is, after all, the man who as recently as October assured fans he ‘will have The Walks outfit on a sound financial footing by the end of the season… I want the fans to judge me at the end of the season, but I’m determined to get the club in a good financial position and move forward from there‘ (2). The answer must surely lie in the issue of who controls the club, both the previous manifestation and any future one.
If he was prepared to stand by and let the old club fold, why exactly should fans or King’s Lynn Borough Council (owners of the Walks stadium) have any faith in his plans for a future club? If he wants what is best for a new club and for the community, would he be prepared to put funding into a Community Interest Company running a new club? The answers to these questions are vital if he wishes to salvage any credibility.