Any Other Business


Two steps forward, one step back!
Well, Pools have been showing some improvement since Ronnie Moore arrived. Many of the existing players have been galvanised and his signings have mostly been effective, but every improvement seems to be quickly followed by a setback. Thus Bingham did well and was called back from loan, Fenwick started to get going and was injured, and then the same happened to Woods, who is now out for the duration.

The great escape may be still more a hope than a realistic expectation, but with all the extra hurdles Ronnie is having to get over, if he manages it, it will be the greatest managerial feat this season, in any division. Of course, each defeat makes that less likely, and after the Dagenham defeat the hope is now close to being a forlorn one, especially with Burton being the next visitors.

The idea of forming a supporters' trust is one that has its merits, and the organisers are to be applauded for running with the idea. However, while, in the short term it addresses an immediate problem, in the longer term, such co-operative ventures tend to end in failure, and usually for the same reason: that enthusiastic amateurs cannot compete with ruthless professionals. We're not talking especially about football here, but about running a business in a field where financial failure is common. And the same enthusiastic amateurs will also have to contend with streetwise operators, whether inside or outside the organisation, who have the skills, knowledge and resources to either bankrupt the club, or take it over, and back into private hands.

Most football clubs were actually set up as something not too different to supporters' trusts, but later went into private hands. So keeping them owned and run by the fans will be the big problem. If Garry Gibson and George Reynolds got into difficulties, yet presumably must have had some business acumen before taking over their clubs, then ordinary fans are going to have to be much more astute than those two ever were.  

So while we wish this venture well (football would probably be better if all clubs were fan-owned), but we'd caution vigilance, otherwise the Brave New World might be as short-lived as the one that the people of Egypt thought they had gained in 2011, but which was taken away from them again only two years later.

Regular readers of Running Monkey's home match reports* will know that of late some of the Poolies with whom he hobnobs have been missing goals, due to arriving back late after half-time. Obviously they must be getting lost somewhere in the ground.

Well, Running Monkey has now provided us with a photograph, so we ask that Poolies look out for them after half time and direct them back to the Town End. They are the Carrolls
- Kevin, Rebecca and Hannah.

We are told that they are not considered a threat, and with also missing so many goals, have much in common with Marlon Harewood.

(* the restraining order prevents him from leaving the town)

One of our regular contributors acquired a book about Teesside Railways from another contributor, and tucked inside it he found a 7-year-old 'Memory Lane' section from the Hartlepool Mail. This comprised an article and photos of a train which in 1967 was the last steam-hauled passenger train to pass through Hartlepool before British Railways did away with steam trains.

All very appropriate to being tucked inside a railway book, but there, filling up a space on the second page, was another picture from the same year.

It would be interesting to see, were such a presentation to occur in Hartlepool now, what the gift would be, and what would be engraved on it. And who would be leaving, and why!

And finally...

Running Monkey has passed us a link to the website of a spoof newspaper, News Thump, which Monkey Business readers might like. And as with all good spoofs, you shouldn't just look at the main article, which is the reason we're mentioning it, but the whole thing. Have a look at it here: