I’m a little fed up with one sided stories that allow other people to have something of a pop at us and don’t give us the opportunity to respond.
A classic case in the Harrow Observer today with the story about Robin Shroot being called up for Northern Ireland U21s and having Peterborough United looking at him. Nestled towards the bottom of the story is that Dave Howell has accepted Gordon’s apology for “tapping up” the player – a story, which first broke on the Harrow Borough website last week.
Let’s get some things straight. As far as I am concerned we did not ‘tap’ Shroot up. We understood that the player remained under contract to AFC Wimbledon and that they required a fee for him to move. We then went to the FA for clarification and advice and they informed us that all our enquiries should go through AFC Wimbledon, because they are the club that hold his registration. After further communication with Terry Brown, the Wimbledon manager, he reiterated his club were seeking a fee, but he gave Gordon permission to talk to Robin Shroot and passed on his mobile number.
Gordon talked to Robin, who was very honest about his circumstances and grateful for our interest, but asked for some time to think over his situation. The only subsequent contact with Shroot was actually from the player via text informing Gordon of his Irish selection – no other contact took place.
So from our point of view everything was done by the book. Gordon is an experienced manager who goes about these things the right way, and whilst I am chairman I also want us to act correctly.
I was therefore disappointed to read Dave Howell’s comments on the website, repeated in the paper. According to Dave, Shroot is a registered player with Harrow and if we want to sign him to play in the Ryman League then we need to go through him. Perhaps he is right, perhaps he isn’t – I have never heard of a situation quite like this – but even if he is I believe that seeking advice from the FA shows that we went around this the right way. If Dave thought we acted improperly he, or Peter Rogers should have complained to me, or to the Ryman League. But I cannot believe that putting it in the public domain through the local paper in the way he has is the right way of dealing with it.
That said, I am also a little surprised that Tim Edwards, who I think is doing a decent job at the Harrow Observer, didn’t ask us to respond. Perhaps he will allow us to set the record straight next week.
This isn’t the first of these episodes. I was disappointed, though bit my tongue at the time, when Hendon manager Gary McCann publically crowed about Brian Haule not signing for us a few weeks ago, that Brian had said “it would have been a backwards or sideways move for him
” (check out the story on 15 Oct). Again, a comment better made on a fans forum and not by a Manager in public and certainly not what Brian said to us. Be careful what you wish for Gary is all I will say.
One positive Hendon story though is that I saw an article
from Ben Kosky in the Kilburn Times about a new book charting the history of Hendon FC. Whatever the predicaments of that club now they remain a famous non league name with a proud history who are now run by a small band of dedicated supporters (sounds familiar?).
There are times when I feel like letting rip, either through this blog or via the local press. But then discretion takes over and I realise a public slanging match is unseemly and does noone any good. I wouldn’t be happy if Gordon slagged off another club and I am very disappointed when I see other manager’s having a go at us – but perhaps that takes the focus off their own situations.