|The Right Choice?|
Written by Catullus on Thursday, 13th Mar 2014 21:40
Football is a conundrum, we have all seen it. The choices made that shape a club are subject to a vast array of stressers that affect the outcome of any choice.
Choosing a manager, backroom staff, players or something seemingly less important like a new kit can all have good or bad outcomes. Do you remember Manchester United's grey kit being blamed for poor performances?
An apparently good manager can go to a club and struggle (Is Man Utd the wrong club for Moyles?) and someone struggling to get a job can be given a chance at the "right" club and be a roaring success, Brendan Rodgers anyone?
And of course it's the same for players. If a player considered very good and possibly world class can go to the wrong club (which is where hindsight is brilliant) and his career can nosedive. But conversely, an average player can go to the right club and thrive. Swansea's recent history is littered with the success stories, and a few failures. And most of the players who thrived here hit the stumbling blocks when they left, think Scott Sinclair. A Chelsea player going nowhere except out on loan (and not even getting many games at places like Wigan, he signed for us and his stock rose and rose. Then he left for Man City, we all know what happened next but the financial rewards probably offset any regrets!
And even a good choice can turn bad in time. I'm thinking especially of Michael Laudrup here. That opening day win at QPR on a gloriously sunny London day is still a happy memory, even though the away end down there was like a microwave oven. But his last 11 months here had been tainted by poor performances, rumours of player rebellions, supporter dissatisfaction and finally the sack. Will we ever know all that went on? I doubt it and besides, I don't really want to.
central to all these choices are the people in charge. Here at Swansea, at a few decades of suffering and having flirted with extinction, our current board took over. And they have been a revelation. A prime example of how to run a club properly and how that in itself can bring a certain measure of success. Even so, our board have their detractors.
Recently those detractors have been building ahead of steam up. Fuelled by Laudrups sacking and followed by the boards apparent dithering over ground expansion the knives are being sharpened. More people than I have previously noticed seem willing to question our board.
When our current board took over we were in a very bad state. With the benefit of hindsight it's very hard to say they've made many bad choices. We were flirting with relegation to the conference and now we are a mid table PL side with our first major trophy under our belt.
But after a succession of good choices people are questioning, was sacking Laudrup a good choice when we're in a relegation battle. And is the apparent decision to delay ground expansion a good one?
Whereas I agreed with sacking Laudrup. I think delaying ground expansion is a bad choice. If the club we all love is to grow and build for further success, we need a bigger stadium.
But even then, more capacity doesn't guarantee more success. Not if other bad choices are made. Other teams have developed their stadia and still fallen on hard times, Bradford and Wolves for example.
With that in mind I can sort of understand our boards reluctance to commit to spending of anywhere between £12 and £25 million on a stadium we don't even own!
But I still believe the right choice is to press ahead with it. After all, we are hardly likely to be evicted, we may in time buy the stadium and anyway, isn't the Liberty nothing but a white elephant without us? I doubt if the Ospreys can afford it on their own.
Some people are suggesting our board have taken us as far as they can. That we need new blood is not a suggestion that sits very comfortably with me. Selling up is a huge decision for this board to take, they are true fans after all. We could sell to the right people and go onwards and upwards. Or we could sell to the wrong people and sink like a stone.
Or maybe, as others sugest, now is the time to appoint a CEO. Someone wiser and more educated in the ways of big business, possibly someone with good experience at a successful football club. But what if we ended up with a Ridsdale? And anyway, any spending on a capex project would still need the approval of the owners.
Ultimately I think Jacks everywhere need to be very careful what we wish for. Only hindsight will tell us what was right or wrong and while it's fine to be critical of the current board, at least we all know they will never bankrupt us. would any of us want to end up like Bradford, Portsmouth, Bolton or Cardiff?
For us as loyal supporters, maybe the right choice, right now, is to keep faith with our current board?
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