FORMER Swindon Town chairman Jeremy Wray has said he will consider “the best way to respond” after an article branding the club as “cheats” who committed “financial doping” under his stewardship was published in a national newspaper on Sunday.
The Football League Paper ran a piece by chief writer Chris Dunlavy which accused Swindon of behaving “immorally” in their pursuit of the League Two title last season. Dunlavy suggested that “every time Swindon added to their wage bill, they knew somebody else was going unpaid” and that “Swindon virtually cheated their way out of the division”.
Wray, who was replaced as chairman by Sir William Patey in October, was unhappy with the intimations of the article.
“It is scary how badly researched a piece can be,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to comment on it other than I’m appalled by the inaccuracy of the article and the obvious libel that is there.
“I will discuss with other people first as to how you respond and the right way to respond. It is a pertinent insult to me, it is an insult to the club, it is an insult to Paolo.
“I’ve read it and I’m reflecting on it and I’ll think of the best way to respond to it. It’s scary that somebody can be so ill-informed. That’s one thing, to be able to write it in a way that the editor accepts is another.”
Headlined “Swindon: the ‘cheats’ who really prospered”, the article appears to overlook some of the more critical elements of recent revelations at the County Ground. It fails to recognise that the debts are owed to the major investors themselves, that no outstanding money is due to HMRC or small creditors and that the club has no bank overdrafts.
Only on Friday did the Adveriser print an interview with chief executive Nick Watkins, in which he stated: “The club has no debt, we have debts that are due to the shareholders but those debts in the event of the club being sold will be treated very kindly. “But there is no debt to HMRC, there is no debt to the banks, we have no bank overdrafts, we have no major creditor issues.”
The Adver received an email from Watkins yesterday which stated that Swindon Town are aware of the article and are considering their legal position.