Day: July 9, 2011

The Further Adventures Of Stockport County

Stockport County director Lord Peter Snape declared in March 2009, one month before the club entered administration, that he wanted “Stockport County Trust to vote to relinquish ownership of the club,” because if it “had been run properly we wouldn’t be in this mess.” Snape now knows it wasn’t as easy as it looked; and the consequences of ‘his’ consortium’s “mess” are currently unclear. Last close season, Snape was part of the optimistically-entitled ‘2015 consortium’ that bought County out of fourteen-months in administration which redefined the boundaries of the description ‘fraught.’ Twelve fraught months of ‘2015’ saw County spectacularly relegated for the second consecutive season and the buck ready to be passed to another consortium faced with the same old, unsolved problems. This, as yet un-named, consortium, has avoided the tag ‘mystery’ as its leader, disturbingly-young Liverpool businessman Tony Evans, has already joined the club’s board after making a reportedly “significant investment”. The significance of the investment has given 27-year-old Evans the chair for, slightly bizarrely, “the next six weeks” while his consortium colleagues undertake due diligence and decide whether to take the “option of a controlling interest in the longer-term.” And for the first time in ages, County are bidding ‘significant’ money for players. But this takeover is no fait accompli. With an almost depressing inevitability, Evans’ business background is somewhat chequered. One recent venture, the modestly-entitled insurance...

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Gateshead, Newcastle United & The Cost Of Football

Non-league football is often marketed as a low cost alternative to the Premier League but, as Paul Eke writes, that might not always be as accurate as we might think. Anyone who read my recent TwoHundredPerCent paean to Redheugh Park will have realised that Gateshead Football Club is something close to my heart. After all, travelling from Gateshead to (eg) Wycombe Wanderers (and losing to a last minute goal) is not something done on a whim. That doesn’t make me anything special, in fact it’s a regular experience for thousands of people and will be familiar to many or even most readers of TwoHundredPerCent, but it indicates a level of dedication those same readers will be able to identify with. So it may surprise you to know that I no longer go to watch Gateshead – it’s too expensive. What I haven’t done, however, is stop watching live football. In fact, I’m a season ticket holder – at a Premiership club. So how on earth can I justify watching Premier League football rather than Blue Square Premier on financial grounds? At a time when Premier League ticket prices are widely believed to have priced the ‘average’ fan out of the grounds, that may seem somewhat surprising, and it must be admitted that it requires a subjective assessment of the ‘worth’ of one level of football compared to another, but...

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