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Thursday, 28 July 2016

The Ground Debacle Highlights Bigger Issues

We spoke before about the problems with the ground and how surely it would be solved by a simple process. Since then more detail have come to light and it really shows the lack of regard shown the club by Fawaz right now.

Fawaz after all his flamboyant spending in his first two years has been shown to be unwilling to spend anymore even on day to day basic maintenance of the club, be it wages or the ground.

The is whole sorry episode has bought into focus the real issue right now about that lack of investment in basic infrastructure, and how the Fawaz regime is a shoddily built house of cards, rather than any solid foundation.

Until the takeover is complete this will be a standoff. Fawaz unwilling to spend any cash on the club and the day to running whilst knowing he is selling and therefore losing any costs he spends. Therefore the takeover can’t come soon enough, and although the national media cry foul over Marinakis, many fans are just crying out for closure.

Right now, with the 20% reduction in capacity, we would not have huge issues with day to selling of tickets. We surpassed that attendance only three times last season. That however masks the issue of real questions over what the present regime is/has been doing. And that’s ground safety and ground maintenance.

It definitely appears that Fawaz has decided to cut corners. This has been evident over the years. Financial mis-management and general bad practice has become the norm. With missed and late payments resulting in winding up orders, it seems that the clubs actual running has been completely neglected. The only investment being big shiny showy signings. The other investments were the big screens and video advertising boards.

When you think about it, the only other work on the ground was the cleaning of the green mould on the Trent End. This for me symbolises the entire regime. Doing things for show. Every investment and every expenditure has always been a showy gesture.

It calls me to remember the old interviews where Fawaz would show his big cars, or his ostentatious lifestyle as how wealthy he is. It symbolises the man, he needs trophy prizes. It’s probably why we see so many hunting pictures; everything is about having that tangible prize he can show off.
What’s not a tangible prize is a health and safety certificate. So it gets neglected and forgotten. Is a nuisance to be side-lined and forgotten. He gets no plaudits or fans love from having a valid safety certificate. Only things which are visible signs get done. So the stand is cleaned, and big screens get installed. Every day maintenance of keeping things stable, safe and sound, forgotten.

So it appeared that that Alan Bexon in his guise of Chief of safety or whatever role requested some changes and amendments to the ground to fulfil his confidence the ground was safe. What these are I am unsure, but he had a list of things that needed to be done, but Fawaz, being Fawaz because he’s selling didn’t want to invest, and because these things aren’t showy he hadn’t secured them in the past either. So they were neglected and got to the point this year that Mr Bexon was unwilling to sign the requisite form to say the ground was safe because his wishes were not fulfilled. Therefore we had no ssignatory for the ground, and so it was the council reduced it to 0%. We now have 80% because the council still have some concerns, and those in part will down to what Mr Bexon saw as important work.

Now it’s a complete embarrassment that could have been covered up had a smallish sum just be invested? But Fawaz doesn’t like spending on things he can’t show off. So season tickets were apparently late because the printers weren’t paid, who withheld delivery till they were paid.

Personnel around the club has been badly run, because who really can show off about their behind the scenes staff. Who really cares about the catering staff, the administration teams, the marketing? It doesn’t get headlines or fans plaudits, so these sides of the business were largely just ran as minimally as possible. Everything was geared towards optimising playing staff whilst neglecting the rest of the club.

Ask yourself, if the owner can’t be arsed to invest in keeping you and I safe in the ground, then that relay shows the regard he has. He just wanted to show he succeeded in making a club as big as possible, with glorified trophies of exciting players. Hence Fawaz made large expensive trophy signings that never worked.

The end of this regime can’t come soon enough. I was a Fawaz apologist for too long. This summer has shown him for the idiot he is, and suddenly all these things, all these cracks he painted over, everything he left till later at the cost of promotion have suddenly come and hit him in the face. What else has been neglected or sidelined we are yet to find out about? I shudder to think.

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