Norwich City Supporters Trust spokesman Mike Reynolds today spelled out the dangers of modern football club ownership with the Canaries seemingly in limbo after last week's dramatic events.
After the departure of millionaire board members Andrew and Sharon Turner ? and the subsequent ?1.5m hole in the Canary coffers – the first week of the international break was dominated by a fresh round of takeover talk.
But after Peter Cullum's latest intentions were aired in the press yet again, everything has gone quiet on the eastern front ? a sign that the two parties were talking directly perhaps?
But for the NCST, who are the largest, unified bloc of joint minority shareholders, it is a worrying time. And any new man taking the helm must have the proper credentials ? not just a few extra noughts at the end of his bank balance.
The trust's idea is for them to earn one of their democratically-elected number a place on the board and, to be fair, this is an idea that Cullum has already thrown his weight behind.
But City lie at the very heart of the local community and to alienate the fantastically loyal support they enjoy would be totally wrong.
That is why NCST spokesman Mike Reynolds believes any person interested in taking control at Carrow Road must be scrutinised to the Nth degree.
“If the Club is to retain any ambitions it is obvious that further investment must be found,” said Reynolds, speaking exclusively to MFW.
“But in finding such investment the Trust believes the Club must consider issues such as whether they are committed to sustainability, to the community involvement, to at least the current levels of openness and, for the Trust, that there should be a democratically elected fan on the Board to ensure these commitments are maintained.
“We have a good club; we all want a great club, but not at any cost. Just look at the current machinations concerning ownership and management in the Premier League and consider is this what we want?
“If the answer is yes then the ideals of the Supporters Trust movement are irrelevant and fans will become simply a backdrop to a TV spectacle.”
The Trust's view, as always, is that it would prefer stable boardroom with a democratically-elected fan as a member. Whether they get that wish now, or in the future, is anyone's guess.
If Cullum gets his way by seizing control of the Norfolk club then he'd find it hard to go back on his word. But let's get one thing straight. The Towergate insurance chief, estimated to be worth around ?1.7 billion, is not the only show in town.
City chairman Roger Munby last week confirmed that they were in active talks with potential 'investors'. Note the 's'.
There is clearly now an opening at boardroom level after the Turners' resignation and Reynolds was left saddened by their sudden departure ? even if the Trust's relationship with the outgoing board members never really got off the ground.
“Until we know the reasons behind the resignations it would be unreasonable to comment,” continued Reynolds.
“But in truth the Trust has had little to do with the Turners other than having the opportunity to state our aims to Sharon Turner whilst we were fundraising at the Royal Norfolk Show.
“We do however feel that the fans, especially via the websites, place an intense pressure on “wealthy” board-members to continually pump money into what could be a bottomless pit and for someone with young children these pressures could become very intrusive.”
But the Trust spokesman reserved his last words for Messrs Smith and Wynn Jones. Even their latest cash injection of some ?2million pounds seems to have been criticised is some quarters.
As far as Reynolds is concerned, their latest financial offering just goes to show how committed to the club they still are ? even if they have reluctantly decided it may be time to hand over the reins.
“Once again the majority shareholders have agreed to offset at least some of the financial shortfall brought about by their colleagues resignation and by doing so no doubt opening themselves up to claims from certain groups of fans that they are merely doing so to increase their power base.
“Anybody who has had any acquaintance with the Wynn Jones' at fans functions must realise that such charges are rubbish.”
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