The Danny Wright Saga: The Board Speaks Out!

Don Bircham
Don Bircham

It’s a sign that you’re disappearing up your own backside when you start replying to your own blog post!

Yesterday’s comments by Danny Wright on his departure to Forest Green certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest! The club have now responded, which is wise in the circumstances. Normally I’d rather a club wasn’t drawn into a “he said she said” sort of dispute, but if they feel there are genuine discrepancies between Wright’s version and what actually happened, then they need to put the record straight.

Quite apart from the facts and chronology of events, which nobody can really comment on apart from those involved, the statement makes a very important point in drawing a distinction between the board of the club and the trust. It’s an issue Wright created in the wording of his statement, twice pointing the finger at “the trust” and never at the board, and speaking about “mucking about and lack of organisation”. As I suggested yesterday it touched a raw nerve.

Mud was slung at the trust while they did the most important of trawling through the details of what state Ian Roberts and Geoff Moss left the club in. Mud sticks. When your top scorer leaves and says the trust dragged its feet, even if his accuracy in pointing his finger is rather less impressive than it is when taking aim in front of goal, it offers further ammunition to those who complain that the takeover didn’t take place with more alacrity.

Whether the Wright situation was handled well or not doesn’t matter hugely in the great scheme of things. A side in the fifth division lost a player to a club that offered him more money. Hardly a sensation. The perception of the WST does matter though. Day-to-day running of the club is in the hands of the board, which while appointed by the trust and answerable to it, has to be allowed to get on with its job.

Footballers don’t tend to have an intimate understanding of the politics around a football club, and nor should they. But, as I suggested yesterday Wright’s statement, no doubt inadvertantly, reopened a debate on a potentially harmful issue, and asked questions about the process of running the club. The board were wise to clearly point out exactly who makes the decisions in these circumstances.

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