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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To be or Notts to be

As Notts County become the latest club to be taken over by a Oil Sheikh/Russian Oligarch/Texan Tycoon/Sugar Daddy/Crook, Turls rants in his own unique style about the future for Notts and considers previous examples of a club being bought out with the promise of "a five year plan."

I think everyone's problem with these Middle East consortiums, oligarchs and the like is that they all seem to come in and be brash about what they want to achieve and spend loads of money straight away.

They all need to take a leaf out of Randy Lerner's book.
Yes Aston Villa have spent a fair wadge of cash, but not that much considering the market, but Randy has kept himself completely out of the limelight, as have all of his associates.

He hasn't come in and said where he wants to be in five years.
He knows where he wants Villa to be in a footballing sense and financial sense but is smart enough to realise that the journalists have no need to have that information.

It's for that reason that the Notts County experiment will fail - because they are trying to achieve too much in too short a space of time.

With a bit of cash behind you, it is easy to work your way up the leagues without having to spend a sh*tload of money.

Buying a couple of well-established players, along with investing heavily into your youth set-up, is the way that it should be done but it never works like that.

As for Sven, he's going to be useless until Notts County move into at least the Championship - that's if he is still there by then. His skills and contacts are completely redundant when trying to make deals for a League Two club.

Sure, Notts County are a club steeped in history but it's not the same type of history as Forest or Sunderland or Preston.

Their history is that they are the oldest club in the Football League and that they are the reason Juventus play in black and white.

Sven's at Notts - but for how long?

And talking about history, perhaps Notts should look back into it. Too many clubs in Britain have gone into administration or gone bust because they have tried to operate beyond their means.

Spending big is fine and dandy if if it is guaranteed that the owner will stay with the club until they are able to operate without the assistance of a multi-gazillionaire or someone with a little less money when considering the equivalents lower down the footballing pyramid.

Colne Dynamoes is just one name that I have found myself discussing over recent weeks as we look back at the clubs who have gone tits up after bathing in a tub full of money.

Now, the fans of the club were probably ecstatic at the time as they were winning trophies and could smell the glorious aroma of the Football League - smells like Deep Heat mixed with freshly mown grass.

But, given the opportunity, would these same fans prefer to go back in time and try to build their way through the ranks at a steady rate of progression rather than trying to achieve it all as quickly as possible?

I see running a football club a lot like having a girlfriend/wife: You come in and sweep them off your feet with gifts - a new clubhouse/a new striker and some simple compliments: "I'm here for the long term and we have invested in the youth system."

After a while, the gifts become fewer but more important - a new stand to fit ground regulation, and the compliments tend to reduce as well but you start to bandy around the L word:

"Although promotion wasn't achieved this year, I'm not going to lose faith, I always intended for this to be a long term project that would take careful planning and time."

Finally, the relationship reaches a bit of a plateau and you realise that the next step is marriage - signing a few new players to help with the final push and taking a look at steps to build a new stadium if necessary.

The end result of this is a baby - getting promoted to the Football League or Premier League. If you get a girl knocked up straight away and splash an obscene amount of cash at the club, the end result is going to be a disaster.

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