So there we have it. Another sugar daddy bits the dust. As Richard Murray acknowledged, Gold and Sullivan would never have been ideal candidates to take over our fair club, but it seemed as though any bid if they failed to take over West Ham would have been welcomed. As it is now, let them take their ill-gotten gains and waste them on a club that were there any justice would be plying its trade in The Championship. Never wanted them, good riddance (please delete above if there should be some last-minute collapse of the deal).
I find it hard to believe that it is a coincidence that the West Ham news comes just after the announcement of the ‘big freeze’ season ticket offer (and denials by Parkinson that Bailey is going to be sold during the window). And I’m sorry but the statement by Murray just sounds, well odd. “We are still seeking external investment” (no surprise there) but “the club now needs to plan its finances for next year and we may not know what division we will be playing in until May, so getting season ticket revenue in early is important to us”. I can’t honestly see the connection. After all, we have some 14 players out of contract at the end of the season. Is the club saying to them right now ‘we need to plan our finances for next year and we may not know ...’? I assume rather that Murray and the board have a good idea of who will be allowed/encouraged to walk and who will be offered new contracts, depending on which division we are in next season.
In other words, the major component of expenditure next season is highly contingent, based on two possible outcomes (let’s happily leave out the risk of relegation for once). Which players stay and go is not going to be down to season ticket sales and the planning of next year’s finances has to be based on two scenarios. So we are left with the rather simpler statement of “getting season ticket revenue in early is important to us”, ie in the absence of fresh investment we need the money.
I may be wide of the mark, but what is wrong with making a more open appeal – and offer – to supporters? The board made the courageous decision in the summer not to sell players and instead put their hands in their pockets. If it’s now a case of needing additional cash in order not to have to sell players this month then so be it. If that is the motivation why not say so? Of course times are very hard all round and many who would like to take up the offers (a season ticket for the next campaign at frozen prices or a five-year ticket) will be unable to do so. But I (and consequently I would believe others) am more likely to respond to a more direct appeal based on a simple proposal of ‘buy now, help fund promotion’ than something presented as a cut-price offer, one which if anything increases further concern about our financial state. Parkinson is of course spot on in saying that the sale of Bailey at this point would have a devastating impact on our promotion campaign. Having in the past coughed up a little cash (I think it was the princely sum of £5) to help the club buy Ronnie Moore, perhaps it’s time to reluctantly open months of bank statements to see if a repeat performance is possible.
Enough carping. I’m slipping this one in before tonight’s game in the hope that any negativity will be buried under the delight of the 12-0 victory we want to reclaim second spot. Funny how both The Championship and League One have morphed into three teams at the top chasing two automatic places, although of course there’s bound to be many more fluctuations through to early May (hopefully). Given recent results and that three of our final five fixtures are at home to Colchester, Norwich and Leeds, it’s hard to see anything other than it all going at least close to the wire (all of which leaves me mystified why one fellow Addick has not changed his birthday by deed poll to avoid being away for the final home game).