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DAN THE FAN: Who will fill the void left by Ritchie?
TWO weeks after Andrew Black said he wanted to sell up, Town announced on Wednesday night that they finally have new owners.
The new consortium (according to the current Chief Executive Nick Watkins) consists of five members, which is being headed up by Banbury United owner Jed McCrory.
McCrory only took over at Banbury last summer but obviously wants to help and finance a club who are knocking hard on the door of the Championship and not the Blue Square South.
Hopefully over the next few days more details will come to light, and the new owners will appear at a news conference sooner rather than later, so the supporters know who is exactly running Swindon Town.
It’s a huge relief that we won't have to go through administration once again, and have to watch our successful season fall apart.
But that joy took a huge dent when news of a rumoured transfer started to be comfirmed by the club.
All successful sides are built around key players, Foderingham, McCormack, Ritchie and Williams have been the clubs spine for this season and on Wednesday we lost one of the clubs central figures.
As the story broke on Wednesday night, I had the same feeling you have straight after a defeat in a big game; the news seemed to wind lots of fans, myself included.
And the fact he was sold to a club who sit behind Town in the League One table, and for only half his value, made the deal even more confusing.
But after a while, the club released a statement explaining we had to sell the young winger to help keep the club away from the threat of administration.
Of course Bournemouth have played the system and taken advantage of Town in a key moment of their takeover process, but unfortunately that’s just the nature of the beast.
It had seemed Town would be bringing in Danny Green to replace Matt Ritchie, Marlon Pack to replace Danny Hollands (who’s loan deal wasn’t extended) and Bradley Wright-Phillips to add some much needed firepower.
But just a few minutes after midnight, the club explained they wouldn’t be signing any players due to the Football League refusing to sanction transfers into the club due to the recent takeover.
Hopefully the deals can be kept alive for another week, and they can be completed when the loan window opens again in a week’s time (8th Feb).
With all the talk off the pitch its easy to forget Town have a massive game coming up tomorrow vs. Crawley, that will be shown live on Sky Sports (KO 17.20).
With Matt Ritchie now plying his trade down south, Paolo’s first job has to be who will play on the right hand side of midfield for two games before the loan window re-opens?
Gary Roberts or Raffa De Vita could switch sides for a couple of games or Andy Williams could fill the void, as he has played as a winger at previous clubs.
Personally I think he will go with Roberts’ one side and De Vita on the other, because Williams is so important up front and his partnership with Collins needs to be kept together as it will improve as the season continues.
Its hard to predict how the team will respond tomorrow with Ritchie’s absence, hopefully on Saturday night Matt Ritchie will just be another forgotten name and not being wished back by Town fans at 7.30pm.
Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @danjohnson_stfc.
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