Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
THE SAM MORSHEAD COLUMN: Why 'no' isn't in Jed's vocabulary
6:00am Saturday 14th September 2013 in STFC News
THAT Jed McCrory is a funny chap, isn’t he?
Understatement of the century, I hear you cry, and fair enough. A little more than six months of the McCrory era at the County Ground has given every Swindon Town fan something of an insight into the bizarre and altogether out of the ordinary world of the Robins’ enigmatic chairman.
I’m not being derogatory, far from it. In fact, experiences of the past seven days have opened my eyes to a different side of the man – a side far departed from questionable grammar on social media and a London lilt that leads to as much trepidation amongst fans as it does amusement.
This week I saw a side of Jed McCrory which most don’t.
McCrory really won’t take no for an answer. Believe me, I’ve tried. And I can’t imagine many chairmen who are quite as hands-on as he.
Last Friday, he took me on a tour of the County Ground. Spontaneously. I only asked for some words about the Football League’s agents’ fees report.
He took me inside the Town End, squawking bloody murder at the minimal space afforded to fans underneath the stand. Alongside Mark Isaacs and a contractor friend I know only as Geordie, McCrory started rifling through the stewards’ room, questioning why the space was being used for storing fluorescent jackets and not for serving beer.
“I want this wall taken down, Geordie,” he said. “And a bar to run all along through here.”
Next up was the Members Suite inside the Arkell’s Stand.
“We’re going to knock down this wall and make the room come right out here,” he told me, his eyes glistening.
Then came the current office space used by Town staff beside reception.
“They’re all moving out, we’re going to lay down some proper flooring and turn this into a VIP lounge.”
‘Alright, Kevin McCloud,’ I thought, to myself thankfully. ‘There’s a game against Bristol City in two weeks. Hardly time for Grand Designs.’ But McCrory doesn’t take no for an answer.
Within a week Geordie and his mates were already beginning the renovation job, halving the size of the Members’ Suite kitchen. There will soon be at least 16 new hospitality spaces available on a matchday.
The office staff relocated yesterday to various free space around the ground. McCrory is adamant his new VIP lounge will be filled for the Chelsea game. He has allocated a maximum capacity of 60 guests. More money into the club’s coffers.
The Town End project may take longer. After Geordie took a clothes hanger to a plasterboard wall it was discovered, through the resultant hole, that there are some structural issues which need to be overcome.
But McCrory won’t take no for an answer.
Some still question the Town chairman’s motives and perhaps the opaque nature of his administration in its infancy has meant McCrory created problems for himself. However, his enthusiasm to improve the club as a community facility for all to enjoy is totally undeniable.
He wants to give thousands of free tickets to schoolkids for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Plymouth.
“The Football League won’t like it,” he told me. But you just know he won’t take no for an answer.
He recently drove round the more deprived areas of Swindon and, upon seeing several youth houses non-operational in the middle of the day, started making enquiries as to how he could buy one and open it up for longer hours.
He’s a peculiar specimen, waking up at 4.30am every morning and using ellipsis and question marks on Twitter where really just a full stop will do, but perhaps for all his oddities this is a man trying to do the best by his club.
Just a thought.
Comments are closed on this article.