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THE SAM MORSHEAD COLUMN
6:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in Sport
ACCORDING to the poet William Langland, patience is a virtue. After the events of the past week, that must make Swindon Town the Mother Teresa of English football.
Yesterday came the news that the wait for approval of the impending takeover at Swindon would go on for at least three more days, cueing an almighty sigh from offices and households across the town.
There have been enough false dawns over the course of this saga to fill a fictional year, and Robins supporters everywhere are being left confused and bemused as another 24 hours tick by without official comment or explanation.
However, maybe we’re letting our frustrations get the better of us.
While, given their recent relationship with Swindon Town, it is understandable that Robins fans hold considerable antipathy towards the Football League, the administrative body is at least showing signs of responsibility in its role as the game’s policeman.
We can all express disappointment that similar situations at other clubs in the recent past appear to have been appraised and approved in the blink of an eye, but in reality the sale of Town is the Road Runner of takeovers.
It hasn’t even been four weeks since Jed McCrory’s consortium was brought to the table to discuss in fine detail the process of assuming control at the County Ground, yet now we are in a position where we are within a meeting of minds and a couple of ticked boxes of financial security at a club. Meep meep.
Last year I spent almost 10 weeks trying to get a wrongfully awarded parking ticket overturned. Let’s get some perspective.
For fans looking on from the sidelines, through articles in the Advertiser and over the BBC Wiltshire airwaves, the story will of course have dragged. We all want a fast and satisfying conclusion to the whole sorry saga.
But personally I’d rather the authorities were thorough than run the risk of being left in an unenviable position further down the line. The League, like each one of us, is all too aware of the perilous financial condition the club has found itself in in times gone by. It is right that they should show concern. If they didn’t they would be sticking two fingers up at the morals and ethics our game is slowly abandoning with every passing year.
That is not to question the integrity and intentions of the incoming board. The brief conversations I have had with Mr McCrory have made it abundantly clear to me that the prospective new directors are football fans who understand the endearing peculiarities of our game and the importance of Swindon Town as a landmark within our community.
So while we can all wish speed over substance, perhaps it is prudent to give some credit to the Football League in this instance and this instance only – just as credit should be given to the outgoing owners for their financial contribution to the club and the soon-to-be new owners for answering our call at a time of need.
I know we have all got used to frowning over the course of the past month but let’s try to flatten out those furrowed foreheads. Town could go top of the League One table if results go the club’s way this afternoon and the incoming board seem keen to maintain the pursuit of Championship football.
We can lament the fact that a lack of Football League approval may result in the loss of Danny Green but players can only join the club for a maximum of 93 days during the emergency loan window and waiting a week will enable them to be part of a play-off campaign, should Swindon end the term between third and sixth.
Over the years we’ve come to expect the worst in SN1 and the uncertainty of the last few weeks has been fuelled by unhappy memories and the knowledge of how badly things can unravel if given the chance.
But maybe, just maybe, good things really do come to those who wait.