Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Thursday May 17 2007
When we met three months ago I was refreshed at your apparent openness, honesty, and determination to run the Club professionally, and excited at the possibilities. I made this clear in the report of that meeting and supported the Board's pursuit of J12, carrying the debate on J10/J12 into the heart of the fanbase by openly writing to LLSC and questionning whether resistance to J12 was based on emotion rather than logic.
I stand by what I did because at all times it was without an agenda other than to stimulate an open debate so we could all understand the pros and cons of J12. Although I have been somewhat vilified as a consequence I do believe that doing so helped the average fan to better understand some of the dynamics and issues.
It also helped me to understand some of the concerns that many fans have with the Board and the conflicts between the interests of Jayten and its shareholders and the Club. It has been clear for a while that many committed supporters have had little or no trust in Bill Tomlins and yourself. For myself however I have stuck by my belief that I should take people at face value until and unless they act in a way to lose that trust.
In the last three months however my optimism, confidence, and now finally my trust have all disappeared.
Optimism lost by the subsequent and bitter conflict between Bill Tomlins and Mike Newell, which in my view directly and unavoidably destroyed a team with a good chance of making promotion. We now know for sure, from his own words, that Bill interfered unforgivably in decisions on player sales, and indeed even took the lead in selling the heartbeats of the team. We also know that rather than support Mike over his stance on agents, or alternatively remove him if it was really stopping the Club from retaining and attracting talent, Bill extended his contract even as he was comprehensively undermining him by paying agents through Jayten. He then finally fired Mike not for footballing reasons but because Mike discovered the truth and was open about it. At the time Mike's ability to manage and inspire the team was clearly in doubt. But is it any wonder with this backdrop?
Confidence lost by the incredible position we find ourselves in now. Relegated by a country mile, with the backbone of the team long gone and those few key talented individuals we retain looking likely to rush for the door as fast as they can. And who would blame them? And then the likelihood of a punishment by the FA 'pour encourageur les autres'. Further automatic relegation? A fine to cripple us financially?
Trust lost by the blatant and disgusting approach of the Club to the sale of tickets to Sunderland fans. No-one believes the Club did not knowingly do so, if only because the Club was not at all concerned to stop Sunderland fans wearing their club's colours from entering areas reserved for home fans. Contrast that to the impossibility of even walking down Oak Road in a Luton shirt.
And finally but again trust lost by the clear complicity of the Jayten board in Bill Tomlin's actions and the incredible decision to pay him something like 10% of the Club's annual revenue as a thank you for having destroyed the team, the Manager and perhaps the Club.
How can manager Kevin Blackwell attract the players he needs to replenish the squad when we don't even know what league we will be in next season. Or if there will be a next season?
How can season ticket holders renew when we don't even know what league we will be in next season. Or if there will be a next season?
How can fans trust a Board which gives the impression of being so grubby and desperate to achieve personal wealth that it would scheme and manipulate and undermine the team itself for short-term financial gain which, so far as the fans can see is then used for little more than pocket-lining? And which puts their safety behind a few extra quid on the gate?
This wonderful football club, which has won many neutrals over the years with its refreshing football and family reputation, is now a broken and tarnished thing, an embarrassment to football and perhaps even on the verge of extinction.
Stop the tailspin John. It is time for the Board to truly put the interests of the Club first, and agree to stand down. That would restore at least a little trust and give the Club a chance to avoid heavy sanction by the FA and the inevitable extinction which could follow.
Date:Thursday May 17 2007
Luton to Entertain Aston Villa (Friday May 17 2013)
Tyler`s Staying (Friday May 17 2013)
I Wish It Was Us! (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Favourites (Again)! (Monday May 13 2013)
Keeper Ranks Bolstered (Monday May 13 2013)
Nielson Finds New Club (Monday May 13 2013)
Welcome to the Mad World! (Monday May 13 2013)
I Felt Physically Sick! (Monday May 13 2013)
What a Difference a Year Makes (Friday May 10 2013)
Something to Look Forward To? (Wednesday May 8 2013)
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