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DAN THE FAN: Entering a new period of uncertainty
3:00pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in Wiltshire Sport
WHEN Town achieved promotion back to League One at Gillingham last season, Andrew Fitton walked into the gathering of celebrating people to congratulate everyone involved.
After shaking the hands of Jeremy Wray and (chief executive) Nick Watkins, the former chairman walked away while players and fans were heaping praise on the current chairman.
It was a powerful image – and now very poignant as we find ourselves in the middle of another takeover.
When Fitton and his consortium saved Town in January 2008, he was the main driving force behind the deal.
He had the passion needed to run the club, something that was missing from a few our multi-millionaire backers who joined him in his quest to turn our fortunes around.
Off the pitch he, Watkins and Wray did a fantastic job sorting out the finances, although his footballing decisions let him down, and ultimately led to Town’s relegation and his departure.
Now, five years on, Andrew Black finds himself with a football club he doesn’t want.
As soon as Black removed his good friend Jeremy Wray as chairman last year and replaced him with a man who must have the world’s biggest contacts book, Sir William Patey, you could start to see change wasn’t too far away.
The past seven days have been extremely eventful – the club found themselves called “cheats” by national media outlets (see story below) and were reported to be possibly going back into administration.
Thankfully, the latter doesn’t seem on the horizon, but new owners look a near dead certainty.
As a Town fan, any talk of takeovers brings back bad memories. Apart from the most recent, the people who turn up in Swindon haven’t always seemed to have had the club’s best interests at heart.
Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we can look forward to a new era, under owners who can look after the club financially and have the common sense to leave the football to football people.
While there is uncertainty off the pitch though, Paolo Di Canio’s side are still making big strides forward on it as another home win over Shrewsbury maintained the promotion push.
Saturday sees Town start their mammoth away schedule by facing Tranmere Rovers who, despite a 5-0 thrashing at the County Ground in the final game of 2012, still sit on top of the table.
A win will take Town potentially just four points off the summit, with the knowledge that we have two games still in hand.