Colin, The Media And Some After Thoughts
Further to the stories appearing in the press last week and coverage on Radio 5 Live and Radio Manchester we would like to make it clear that we have not been behind these articles but having become aware late on Wednesday night that a wildly inaccurate story was breaking, felt it necessary to do what was required to correct the mistakes then put a lid on the press comment. I spoke to the Manchester Evening News and BBC Radio Manchester but have since declined to speak to numerous media organisations, including the Press Association, Channel M and Radio 5 Live. (I also had to fend off the Daily Mail and my local rag! - Ollie)
Over the last three months we have undertaken a great amount of work which will lead to the open public meeting early next year and there is a lot more to do. During our planning and research stage we have spoken to supporters, shareholders, potential providers of finance/ donations, interested parties, various industry professionals and most importantly have the full support and regular input of Supporters Direct, the organisation that assists and supports the establishment and operation of Supporters' Trusts. We are keen to ensure that we do as much planning and research as possible before we unveil our proposals at an open public meeting in late January 2007 or early February 2007.
We publish everything that we are doing on our blog but will not comment publicly about the people, organisations and companies we have been dealing with unless they are happy that we do so.
However there is one thing that we would like to comment on. In his post-match interview on 5 Live Stuart Pearce was asked about the Supporters Trust.
He replied to the effect that unless the people behind the trust were prepared to put in the sort of money that John Wardle had put in, which enabled him to buy players, then he didn't see the point. Clearly he seemed to be under the impression that the Trust was a take-over group rather than what it actually is so we are not going to criticise his comment. However it did get me thinking about what he said.
John Wardle and David Makin have put in nearly £20m of their own money and no Manchester City fan could be anything other than grateful to them for that.
They must have done this knowing that there was a chance that they would not get some or all of this money back, which makes it even more praiseworthy.
However, over the same time that they have done this (starting in the year to 31 May 2002), the supporters of Manchester City have put in nearly £50m in gate receipts and possibly somewhere around £40m in sales of merchandise, etc.
As I said, this is not a criticism of Stuart Pearce's remarks or John Wardle's generosity. But sometimes it is easy to forget just how much money the fans have put into this club as well.