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Trust urges Swindon fans to think of the future
SWINDON Town fans must keep one eye on the future as they enjoy the present-day success provided by Paolo Di Canio and his players, according to Trust STFC chairman John Ward.
With money limited in the January transfer window, after the Robins’ majority shareholder Andrew Black pumped in the funds originally earmarked for spending this month back in November to lift Town out of embargo, focus has recently turned to the state of Swindon’s finances.
Like most Robins supporters, Ward is relishing the upwards trajectory of the club but he wants to ensure that the football-going public of the town have the foresight to look beyond the respective reins of Di Canio and Black.
“I think the last thing the Trust would want to do is knock the present owner because without him, and without the other people who came in with him, I wonder if we would have a club at the moment,” he said.
“So long as Di Canio is managing in the way that he wants, and it seems like he is, I don’t want to start queuing up to criticise the board.
“What I do want is to move away from where the club is so dependent on having one or a handful of rich owners who are willing to act as a cash cow because it can’t go on like that.
“We don’t want a Middle Eastern potentate or a Russian oligarch because they’re going to get bored or their business is going to go down the drain.
“If we’ve been depending on them, what is left? Portsmouth is a glaring example to us all about what happens if you don’t look at sustainability and do have a big splurge.
“It’s not a bottomless pit. We’ve got to create a club which is sustainable.”
The Trust acquired £11,000 worth of shares in the football club two years ago and, though Ward acknowledged that is a tiny amount in the greater scheme of things, he stressed that that sort of initiative could be key in years to come.
“That is a drop in the ocean but it’s a start and for the longer term we want to initially get into a position like they are at Swansea, where 20 per cent of the shares are owned by the Supporters’ Trust,” he said.
“The more people who see this is the long-term solution, the more I hope will join the Trust and help us fundraise so that, in the end, the supporters do own a big chunk of Swindon.
“Andrew Black is here today. Will he be here tomorrow?
“Will the rest of the board be here tomorrow? Will Paolo be here tomorrow?
“Will the players be here tomorrow? Probably not.
“The people who are going to be here tomorrow are the supporters.
“They have to own a chunk of the football club so the club becomes really embedded in the community.”