The Odius Smell From Beeston

There has always been a bit of a nasty niff in the air when an east winds blows in from Beeston, but of late it seems to be blowing a cloud that matches something from the James Herbert novel “The Dark” in terms of it’s noxious smell and taste.

True, we’ve never viewed Leeds Urinals as the best of neighbours, but somehow that could always be written off as jealousy at their status or ability to compete, and yes we’ve viewed the recent footballing downfall with a bit of amusement.

However, over the last few weeks, things have turned decidely ugly at Elland Road. The smell that permeats from the board room leaves little room for any sympathy to be extended to the owners, but a good deal to the genuine fans who stand to lose their club. A club most have supported long before the current lunatics took over the asylum.

In short, what has happened at Beeston Utd is not far short of criminal. In facts it’s not disimilar to the 1960’s “Long Firm Fraud” made famous by the Krays – where goods were ordered from suppliers, sold off cheap and a runner was done before the invoices became payable.

The Beeston Boys have ordered the goods in, sold them off and now expect the suppliers to accept 8% of the cost.

Now coming from a club who have been in this situation twice, it might seem a bit of pot calling kettle a rather off shade of brown (to be policitally correct). However it has to be said that neither of our administrations were manufactered to a time that suited BCFC, this can not be said of the one at Elland Road, and neither of our rescue packages can be seen as a cynical way of duping creditors in order to dump debt.

I hope Leeds survive, if only for the sake of their fans, but they must realise that they can not be allowed to walk out of administration and straight back into a position where ther pay transfer fees and high wages to buy promotion – forget the 10 point deduction, administration should come with a 5 year embargo on paying transfer fees and and a 5 year salary cap.

If Leeds do survive, and at present that is very much an if, then for the good of football they must be barred from immiedate investment in players and come out with completely new owners.

It’s time for the football league to give the two fingered salute to Mr Bates.

And so the signings commence

And so the signings commence. After what seems like a age, Stuart has made his first pair of signings and the promise of more to follow, but what of the new boys and does it signal anything in terms of what we can expect from Stuart in terms of style?

Peter Thorne is relatively well known, a bit of an Ashley Ward lookalike, same town of birth and similar size! Barry Conlon, I’ve got to admit that I know diddly squat about other than he seems to be a deadringer for Jimmy Nesbit, and (if the message boards are to be believed) comes with the tag of being a bit “washed up”.

Both are six footers. Both have been around the block and, judging from the stats, should present us with something in the region of 30 goals between them. Thorne is the more prolific. His strike rate is around 1 in 3 over a career that has been primarilary at Championship level. He’s also commanded transfer fees that total around £2.5 million over his career. Compares well to the man he will be seen to replace, one Mr Windass, who has a career rate of 0.32 goals per game. However, Deano’s most prolific period was by far his second period with us at approaching 1 in 2. Take this out and he’s dropping down to nearly 1 in 4 elsewhere.

Thorne stacks up very well and is a good buy.

Conlon is a legend in Darlington! He’s had more clubs than Tony Jacklin, but still comes with a strike rate of better than 1 goal every 4 games, which whilst worse than the career average of Ashley Ward, is around the same as his strike rate with us. The difference is Cashley didn’t have a one in 3 man alongside him. If he had he would have created and ben a BCFC legend.

Conlon is washed up and Irish (allegedly) but remember our last washed up Irish striker and his mid 30’s strike partner – John Hawley. Nuff said.

So what of formation? This remains to be seen, but with an attacking pair in place, an aggressive midfielder ready and champing at the bit in the shape of Eddie Johnson, a flying winger in Omar Daley and the potential that Joe Colbeck has to realise this season, and we could be in for something akin to the 1985 team that Stuart flourished in. What we are short of now are two flying fullbacks and a playmaker in midfield and that’s the team sorted. All the rest will be squad players.

That 1985 team had followed an pretty good one that exited Division 4 in 1982, albeit with a bit of surgery, and if Stuart can deliver league one football by 2008, followed by Championship football 3 years later then he can be judged a success.

Bring it on.

Finger Out Mr Rhodes

Let it be known, I’m not one of Julian Rhodes biggest fans.

Yes, respect is due for the way his wallet keeps getting prized open to fund the shortfalls, but the deep deep part of me will never forget that the Rhodes family were implicit in the debacle that caused the whole problem and the relegations that followed and more importantly were negligent in allowing the fat man – Geoffrey Richmond – the level of personal vanity that put the club on collision course with Division Four.

That said, this week could be a massive milestone in the future of both Bradford City and one Julian Rhodes.

On the positive side, we could be sat here next week looking at a future where we could take some “ginger” steps towards the return of a period of “Bantam Progresivism”. The Glasnost of West Yorkshire.

A week from now, we might have Stuart McCall in place and if sense prevails a very experienced number two such as Terry Dolan or Stan Ternant alongside him. These men who lived and breathed the rise of the club from 1985 onwards.

We could have a modest amount of investment that might just fund some half decent, wholly owned committed players and we could be looking forward to the most exciting summer at Valley Parade for many a year.

Or we could be in the depths of despair…

McCall installed as number one at Bramall Lane, scratching around for a second choice and being left with the likes of, God forbid, Peter Jackson or worse still David Wetherall as manager.

Not that I dislike Wetherall, great leader, great club man, great player, just not ready yet to be manager as McCall himself wasn’t in 2000.

The knock effect being we panic and give contracts to players we should be saying adios to like Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, Steven Schumacher and Ricgard Edghill. Players who contributed in a massive way to our relegation with their lack of commitment, lack of skill and lack of anything approaching pride in a claret and amber shirt.

The outcome of this week will either make Rhodes or break him.

Land McCall and he’ll be forgiven relegation, forgiven the fact that an experienced manager such as Andy Ritchie, appointed when Colin Todd left, would have prevented it and be hailed as the deliverer of an orange future.

Failure to land the one we call McGod and Rhodes will have dropped another almighty clanger, have wasted half a season and have so much egg on his face that he might as well have spent the last 6 months in a chicken battery.

I hope for his sake that Mrs McCall’s heart rules over Stuart’s head.

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