Now Stanley has never claimed to be an economist – the E he got in his A-level Economics would testify to that.
In Stanley's defence he would say that was partly caused by Julie Palmer dropping Economics to do History, but that dear reader is definitely a story for another day. However Stanley, like all City diehards always takes an interest, albeit an ill-informed and slightly baffled one, in the annual publishing of the club's accounts.
Now Stanley grew up in a family in which his grandads, father and uncles would always bemoan the fact that City, going way back to the 20s, was run by the 'Forty Thieves'. This view of the club was reinforced by the 'myth' of the chairman's turnstile, when Stanley himself took his turn to stand on the terraces of the old Barclay in the late 70s and early 80s.
These fanciful views of the shady dealings of the owners of any football club, whose involvement in the club was self-serving, Stanley shares in common with most fans of any club. There is always this innate sense that the owners aren't init for the love of the club alone. If you are reading this and nodding your head, dear reader, then Stanley would definitely recommend David Conn's 'The Beautiful Game', an excellent social history of the game from the perspective of club owners.
Now the irony of this particular prism through which Stanley observes the comings and goings of those involved with the running of his club is two-fold.
Firstly, the most despised of City chariman, so despised that Stanley will not mention the name of the 'Halvergate One', actually was in the seat of the 'Fat Controller' during the most sustained period of success in the club's history.
Highest league finishes, longest run of consecutive seasons in the top flight, FA Cup semi-finals, UEFA Cup qualification and Bayern and Inter away. From such heights did City crash down into a mighty mess, only to be saved by two owners (a phrase they would not like to be labelled with undoubtedly) who do undoubtedly love the club. The second irony is, however, that love for the club alone – the quality past owners have been guilty of not demonstrating – has not proven enough to sustain any kind of recovery and City in 2007 find themselves back in a real financial shambles.
The accounts of 2007 make for pretty grim reading, a large debt barely being reduced, an end to the parachute payments which will put a big hole in the accounts for 2008 and slightly baffling claim that players may well have to be sold to help balance the books.
Slightly baffling for Stanley because haven't we spent the last couple of seasons selling players for exactly that reason? Also sell who? Unless Grant is going start playing the likes of Spillane, Martin and Rossi Jarvis, in order to 'put them in the shop window…' Stanley can't really see who is left to sell. Plus, of course, have City have ever been anything other than a selling club?
Now this current financial shambles isn't unique to City and isn't unique in the club's history. But what is unique is that it is hitting us at time when the issue of money is more prevalent then ever.
The only way out of current plight is via success on the pitch and the only way to get success on the pitch is to spend money. Now that is a gross simplification, but broadly speaking that is where we stand. It is also where the Turners come in.
If they are prepared to spend money then we have a chance, if not then we don't. This is also where Grant's future will be decided. With our current run at five defeats in the last six games, an increasing sense that we haven't improved, and quite possibly got worse, over the last 12 months, Grant needs some money to inject the kind of quality his side is so desperately lacking.
However, were the Turners to decide to go for it and pump some money into the club, would they be prepared to let Grant be the man to spend it? Loving the club is one thing but you also need to have financial 'nous' and judgement. If you were the Turners for a day, who would you trust to spend your money?
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