WOTMT
Where To From Here??
Thoughts and a call for fans to do something after the Fans Forum

I didn’t attend the Fans Forum on 19 December but what became clear on my Twitter timeline was that

  • DC currently has no appetite for sacking JL
  • He has no plan for how we deal with the January window, our compliance with the P&S rules and what the future looks like
  • He is tired, fed up and emotional about whether he has the energy for it anymore
  • Oh, and he is going to sell the club

Is he genuine about selling the club? Some think he is, some think not. Could he sell it for the money he might want given the current position? Remember it’s at the limit of P&S rules, the squad needs a major overhaul and it’s nearer relegation than the play-offs. I doubt he could. Is DC prepared to take a massive hit on the £75m he has spent on buying and funding the club? I doubt that too.

When he arrived at our club it appeared the plan was to throw money at it, get promoted quickly and copy Bournemouth or QPR when EFL knocked on the door re breaching FFP rules – send the lawyers in, string it out and eventually agree to pay a small fine. But we didn’t get promotion and we built an ageing, expensive squad with no resale value. And then EFL changed the FFP rules to P&S because a majority of Championship clubs were fed up of a small number of clubs who have owners with deep pockets trying to do a Bournemouth or QPR. Hence we now have the much tighter P&S rules and the earlier and more stringent sanctions for non-compliance. EFL Championship clubs are not going to change those rules, however much DC might hope they will. So DC’s model for running our club has hit the buffers, it is broken and it will not work. Our club is in a real mess. Either DC had to change the model and do something to avoid the worst of the damage, change ownership or stick with status quo. It appears we have got status quo until whenever he can sell the club, if he really means to sell of course.

Where do we go from here? As fans we can do one of 3 things:

1. Just accept the status quo approach, and maybe wait to see if a sale occurs – we will run the risk of our club being shaped by events as we appear to have no plan to affect them. No plan to deal with the P&S problem will result in EFL sanctions.  Relegation would be a nightmare, alienation between fans and club will mushroom. A destructive cycle of damage will set in.

2. Apply pressure to DC to sell quickly, maybe at a loss, to try to deliver change. That might be a painful and difficult campaign – look how long NUFC fans have been waiting for Mike Ashley to sell. But a sale won’t change the P&S position, a new owner may get more leeway and time from EFL to comply but that’s all. He/she will still have to difficult things and effectively start all over again.

3. Or we can campaign for DC can do something different. What does that look like? He could remove JL and appoint a new manager at least until the end of the season – a new guy can’t do much worse and might just keep us up. That would release the safety valve of fan frustration and anger.  If running the club is taking its toll DC could then take a backseat and have a rest from the pressures of SWFC. He could give the CEO the job of running the club, he could allow her to bring in football people to assist with the football side of the business. The CEO could formulate a strategy to keep within P&S rules short term and set out a new model for running the club within P&S rules in the long term. That will mean a difficult process selling players we wouldn’t want to and it will mean allowing out of contract players to move on and be replaced with cheaper models – but needs must. But it will also mean a more sustainable plan going forward and should result in no EFL sanctions.  And none of that would stop DC selling the club if he still wanted to. But DC needs to make that decision to make a change in the best interests of the club, and we would need to back it.

If as fans we really prefer option one then we can just sit back and do nothing. If we want the second or third options we are going to have to get moving and do something to try and make one of them happen, and quickly. That will need someone or a fans’ organisation to lead it.

What do we want to do? Or, if there is a better plan let's hear it. But time is of the essence.

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18.01.2019
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