Lunatics and Asylums

BILLY'S CONTRACT on management

I have finally come to the conclusion that it must be |H'Angus and not IOR who are running Hartlepool United Football club. Actually, I take that back, as our simian friend would probably do a better job and actually have more business acumen and logical forethought than the people who are currently in charge.

Firstly lets look at the appointment of Paul Murray and Willie Donachie as the new management team. According to the Sheffield Mail Paul Murray was introduced to Willie Donachie for the first time on the day that he was appointed manager.

Paul Murray said that until he shared a car trip with Donachie to run the rule over York at Wimbledon he knew very little about his new number two and that the journey acted as a 'getting to know you' exercise.

Surely anyone appointed manager of a football club gets to choose their own second in command and not someone who has been foisted on him by the owners.

It may well have been a case of the owners not been able to chose between the two and this being in IOR's eyes the best compromise. I hope that this is not a case of poor management by poor management. "What will football fans from the rest of the country think when they see a half-empty ground with the home side being outshouted and possibly outnumbered by the away fans? "

It may also have been a case of telling Paul Murray if he did not accept Donachie as his assistant there were another (so we are told) 70 other applicants in the frame who would.
My initial reaction to Paul Murray's appointment was one of concern as I felt that we needed someone with more experience to get us out of the mess that we now find ourselves in. Perhaps Willie Donachie will offer that experience but for IOR to decide who our assistant manager should be is almost interfering with pitch side matters. Soon they will be picking the team.

Pools arguably got the pick of the second round draw of the F.A.cup in entertaining (and I use that word very loosely) Blyth Spartans at home. A real money spinner if ever there was one and even allowing for the live T.V coverage almost guaranteeing a full house.
I dare say, assuming that we got through to the third round and drew a premiership club, we would get a similar gate ...that is, until the powers that be got involved.

I was guessing, allowing for the cameras being present, that Pools would settle on the admission price on the gate of £12 top whack and £6 for concessions. It took an age for the prices to be announced and the longer the delay, the more obvious it was that some deluded person/group IOR/Commercial dept or even Blyth decided on £20 per head with £10 for concessions. 

If this price point came from Pools it shows a total disregard for their loyal fan base as well as an amazing lack of business insight on a grander scale than that of Gerald Ratner when he said at their AGM that the products in his jewellery stores were, and I quote 'Crap'.  As a result, in a very short time, Ratners disappeared off the high street altogether.

As a consequence of this pricing structure I know of half a dozen or so Poolies who are going to give the match a miss. I have been told that Blyth have sold their allocation but there could have been even more of their fans present. My son, who works in Newcastle t,old me three of his office mates who follow The Spartans could not wait to get to the match but once they saw the price tag have now elected to watch the spectacle on the T.V.

What will football fans from the rest of the country think when they see a half-empty ground with the home side being outshouted and possibly outnumbered by the away fans? Worse still, what impact will such a low home support have on the morale of the team? (That is, if they have any left after recent performances,)

I am guessing for this derby match that there will be around a crowd of 3,500,to 4,000 top whack, when it should be in the region of 5/6,000. I am sure that the food and club shop franchises won't be best pleased with this outcome and if I was a director of Cameron's brewery who are now supplying the clubs alcoholic beverages, I would be having words with Pools' Commercial department regarding the loss of this potential revenue stream.

Both sides pick up £72k for the privilege of being on the telly. I am guessing that, based on a crowd of 3.5k, gate receipts would be around £53k, shared equally between both clubs. The victors get an additional £27k for progressing through to the third round. So if Pools do manage to see off Blyth Spartans they would pick up in excess of £152k excluding other income such as Corporate hospitality, alcohol and programmes sales etc. Not a bad pay day.

It could and should have been handled so much better (does smell of IOR doesn't it!) It has left a bad taste in many supporters' mouths with the general feeling that we are being taken for a ride by greedy owners who no doubt will be spouting off about the VAT that they have to pay.

Hopefully I am completely wrong about the above and that IOR will prove me wrong.
As for me, will I be standing on the terraces for this cup encounter? But of course I am Poolie til I die. On the other hand others might argue that I am soft in the head!


What annoyed me most about the home defeat to Wycombe was...

Not the fact that we never had anyone on the far post either in defence or attack.

Not the fact that the lad Campbell on loan from the Mags was subbed after 50 minutes because he was ineffective but that he had to get home to finish his paper round then his homework.(I thought he was one of the lads from the half time penalty shoot out who managed to sneak on the pitch and get a game for 'Pools.)

Not the fact that the announcer embarrassingly played Tom Harks over the Tannoy when Marlon scored to make it three one with a few minutes left on the clock

but ...Jonathan Franks.