Tag: Swindon Town

Lessons In Media Management, The Swindon Town Way

We’re often told that controlling the media is important, these days. From ensuring that one’s Twitter feed isn’t hijacked by someone who’s had a light ale too many to ensuring that press releases aren’t written in something that only nominally resembles the English language, the importance to any business of ensuring that the right message is sent out is one that should be drummed into all media managers from their very first day in the job. There is, however, control and control, and sometimes it can feel as if a desire to “control the message” can be mistaken for...

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Di Canio’s Departs Swindon

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the resignation of Paolo Di Canio from his position as the manager of Swindon Town has been the amount of time that it took for it to come. There have been mutterings emanating from that particular corner of Wiltshire for some time now this season, a transfer embargo in place for a month from the start of October, the resignation of a chairman and eventually, the sale of a key player during the transfer window and, eventually, the takeover of the club by a new consortium of businessmen. It was two and a half weeks ago that Di Canio stated that he was considering his position. That no agreement could have been reached shortly after the closure of the transfer window has come as as no great surprise, though. Swindon’s problems away from the pitch this season have come about on account of a familiar foe to the modern game: overspending on players. The introduction of Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) was confirmed at the Football League’s Annual General Meeting in June 2011. These new rules came into force at the start of last season as a pilot, with clubs in League One limited to being able to spend 75% of their annual turnover on wages. This proportion was reduced to 65% for the start of this season and will be reduced further,...

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Swindon Wilts? An Uncertain New Year At The County Ground

The headlines, of course, have been somewhat breathless. “SWINDON Town are considering the possibility of entering administration, the Advertiser understands,” screamed the Swindon Advertiser, while the BBC led with, “Swindon Town could be forced in to administration in order to reduce their debts – thought to be around £13m.” This is understandable. After all, this seems to have been the way in which the story has been packaged to the media, and a story of financial collapse at Swindon Town would make for an obvious narrative concerning the the dangers of spending lavishly on wages and an exotic, ex-Premier League player as their manager. Something, however, doesn’t quite feel right about the possibility of this club at this time taking the step of placing itself into administration and it is possible – if not likely – that there is more to this than meets the eye. Swindon Town have been here before, of course. The club has entered into administration twice before – in 2000 and again in 2002 – and financial difficulties have been reported from the club since then, as well. When a consortium involving current owner Andrew Black took the club over in 2008, though, a new era was supposed to be starting for the club. The arrival of Paolo di Canio as the club’s manager in May 2011 thrust it headlong into the headlines, but...

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100 Owners: Number 85 – Brian Hillier (Swindon Town)

Whiter than white though some might claim it to be, the history of football in England is pock-marked with attempts to bend the rules as set out by the Football Association. The punishments meted out to these clubs have been many and varied, but it could be argued that few in recent have suffered a penalty as harsh as Swindon Town did in the summer of 1990. In some respects, this is perhaps unsurprising. The club had been the aim of a sustained investigation by a national newspaper, and the charges brought against the club coincided with what should have been the biggest moment in its history. At times such as these, the football authorities have to be seen to act, if for no other reason than as a deterrent to others that might have been considering a similar route. In the case of Swindon Town, however, the matter of Swindon Towns financial irregularities didn’t end in the dusty rooms of Lancaster Gate. It ended with an Inland Revenue investigation into the financial affairs of some of the biggest clubs in the country and with a court appearance for their then-owner, Brian Hillier. Hillier, a builder by trade and a life-long supporter of Swindon Town Football Club, had worked as a scout for Birmingham City, but our story begins in 1984, when he was appointed as the chairman of...

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Robins Gamble on a Dux

When last we left Swindon Town, the Robins were putting the finishing touches on a lamentable 2010/11 campaign that saw them relegated from League One and undergoing the process of disassembly. Beneficent chairperson Andrew Fitton chose to step down after having cleaned up Swindon’s financial flubs from the past but exhausted after a long and disappointing season which was to have seen the Robins challenge for Championship promotion rather than battling the drop. Subsquently, Fitton’s partner and interim chair Jeremy Wray swiftly sacked interim manager Paul Hart with only two matches remaining despite Town’s relegation already having been confirmed and a glance at the remaining names of the club’s officials were mostly followed by the tag (interim). While the Robins stirred from a seemingly eternal funk to record only their third victory of the calendar year on the final day, it mainly served as a highlight for youth coach Paul Bodin’s résumé. If Wray was seeking to maintain interest in Swindon Town lest they be forgotten in League Two for the 2011/12 season, he has certainly now piqued the curiosity of the casual football fan by appointing Paolo Di Canio as the new manager. When Wray held the press conference announcing Di Canio’s arrival, he began by saying, “It’s nice to see our three regulars here, and welcome to the rest of you” as nearly seventy members of the national press were on hand in addition to the local set covering for the home papers. This will...

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