IN Lee Power, Swindon Town have the right man in place to help take the club forward over the coming years.
That is the opinion of former Robins defender Jay McEveley, who was released by the club over the weekend after 26 months in Wiltshire, after he and Power were unable to agree on the terms of a potential extended stay at the County Ground.
McEveley worked closely with the Town chairman following the ex-Norwich City striker’s arrival at Town in March last year and has nothing but praise for the way Power kept Swindon competitive despite cutting around £2million off the wage bill in a single swipe over the summer.
Power and Seebeck 87 Ltd, the holding company used by former chairman Jed McCrory to acquire Town in January 2013, are currently disputing the ownership of the club, with the date for a court hearing yet to be determined as Power seeks an injunction preventing Seebeck from appointing directors to the Robins’ board.
While the club’s future remains up in the air, McEveley stressed that from his own experiences Power is the right man to help Swindon progress towards financial solidity and self-sustainability.
He told the Advertiser: “When I first came down here there was a lot of money getting floating about to get us up to the Championship. The club started sliding a little bit because of what happened. We’ve seen that at many clubs over the years. It’s not sustainable.
“It’s been a bit of a balancing act for the last 18 months to get the club sorted and I think you’ve got the right man in place now, with Lee. Speaking to him first hand he’s got his idea for the club, he knows what he can do with the club and he knows what type of player he wants. He’s got a philosophy which you’ve seen this season and I’m sure you’ll see next season.
“Chairmen you don’t see much off, or I haven’t done with the clubs I’ve been at, but you always see Lee in and about the club when he’s over in Swindon. He’s chatting to the lads, he’ll come in before the game and just have a laugh and a joke with the lads - just one of the lads really.
“Obviously he’s running the club and I haven’t seen that in many chairmen, really - someone that down to earth and wanting to know about the lads, what they’ve been doing with their days off and that. You don’t get that with many chairmen.
“Maybe his age is something to do with that. I’ve had chairmen pushing 70 and Lee’s a bit younger and a bit more in with the crowd. He just wants to know. He’s brilliant like that.”
McEveley expects Town fans to be treated to more special finds like Yaser Kasim as long as Power is in charge at the County Ground.
He said: “You’ve got to balance the books and make sure the club’s run smoothly and pick little gems up - the likes of Yaser and Raffa who have come in and took to the team and the club like a duck to water. They’ve been brilliant. You need to go right down that route because we’ve proved this season that it can be done.
“I think the financial worries would all be gone if they do get to the Championship. It could take two or three years but if the stability is there in the books and working the youth system, I see no reason why they can’t climb.”