Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

‘Audacious vision’ at Notts County

Posted by John Beech on July 31, 2010

Had I just come out of a time warp I thought when I read today (1) that Notts County’s owner Ray Trew has ‘an audacious vision’ for the club?

Exactly a year ago today it was reported (2) that Nottingham Rugby had been successful in challenging in court their eviction from Meadow Lane by Notts County’s previous owners, Munto Finance (see postings passim for the horror show that was that era).

The ‘awesome vision’ – and I must in fairness point out that the phrase is one coined by one of the Nottingham Post‘s reporters, and not one of Ray Trew’s – relates particularly to the Rugby club (Premiership rugby in three years) but also to the football club (Championship football in three years).  Munto, it will be recalled, had aims for the Premier League under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

As Trew points out, “We have reduced the debts at Notts from £7.3m to £2m in five to six months, which isn’t bad going.  There is no doubt this club will be free of debt by the turn of the year“.  In April it was revealed (3) that he had “ploughed close to £2m of his personal fortune into Notts County“, and that he had “footed its astronomical wage bill, which he has revealed is £4.8m a year.

One word that seems to be missing in all of this is ‘sustainability’.  Is the economic miracle of the club’s rise to the Championship to be financed by increased revenues, so-called ‘soft debts’, or real investment through the purchase of shares?

I wait for the day when I read a report on any club that includes the phrase ‘audacious realism’ rather than ‘audacious vision’ or the vacuous ‘ambition’.  A long wait I suspect.  Unsurprisingly my Google search on “audacious realism” and “football club” ‘did not match any documents‘.

Meantime, as I wait for one to miraculously appear, I’ll be working on my Awards for 2009/10 (last season’s are here).


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