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SL on radio bristol


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1 minute ago, Red-Robbo said:

Lansdown has mentioned the Barcelona structure.  Barca have a 7-man management committee which acts as a board of directors.  The chairman there is a former player.

Doesn't seem to have worked very well though - they are a basket case of a club at the minute. Finances shot to pieces, and an ageing team clinging to former glories. I went to the Nou camp a few years ago - was shocked at how run down it was, and i believe the rebuild has been put on hold.

I could do with a few days in Barcelona 😔

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1 minute ago, Red-Robbo said:

 

I see. So the "personal interest" is a personal interest in avoiding tax.

None of this would matter so much if we had a sensible board, rather than a two-man-band who know bollox all about football.

Bring some folk who know about the game on as non-execs. 

Lansdown has mentioned the Barcelona structure.  Barca have a 7-man management committee which acts as a board of directors.  The chairman there is a former player.

Yes I agree RR

I wasn’t making any point by the Bermudian property post , just being nosey as to what he’s up to 

Would I have similar ideas in his position - you bet !

Director of 14 Companies too

The lads doing well for himself 
 

Watch him buy an American Sport Franchise at some point

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1 hour ago, RedRock said:

Uplifting and depressing in equal measure for me.

Brilliant that Steve has stepped forward and spoken at this time of (football) crisis.

Off-the-scale worrying that he thinks Ashton isn’t THE fundamental problem. Also, on smaller issues, mind-blowing that he thinks we had excellent record with injuries last season. Not my recollection - weren’t our two best players and our only leaders injured for lengthy spells - Korey and Afobe? 
 

We are going nowhere - aside from League 1 - with Ashton heading up the football operations at our Club. In my opinion, a frightening naivety and misplaced belief from our great leader. 
 

My patience is getting seriously tested. I’ve no option now but to trust in Steve’s judgement, who’s a very a smart billionaire. 
 

I’m sure, therefore, Ashton will from today prove me wrong. So we will forget the likes of CoD, Ayling, Fam, a questionable medical and fitness team, all the naff signings from selling-off the family silver, the boring, sterile crab football, appointment of dire managers and the loss of a manager that knew how to build a successful TEAM. A new dawn then, with a freshly instilled confidence gained from Steve. Ashton, as a brilliant manager of people and business, no doubt realises his weaknesses and will now - somewhat belatedly - bring in quality people across the piste to provide outstanding support to push us on to the promised land. 
 

Starting from tonight we will see a newly invented ‘Mark Ashton’ Bristol City. Can’t wait.
 

Onwards and upwards. 

 

 

He may be smart in Financial Services, but nobody is smart at everything.

It may be the case that he's no better in "football" than Sam Allardyce would be in Financial Services, for example. 

When it comes to football, I see no particular evidence for fans to feel subservient to Lansdown. 

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2 minutes ago, Sheltons Army said:

Yes I agree RR

I wasn’t making any point by the Bermudian property post , just being nosey as to what he’s up to 

Would I have similar ideas in his position - you bet !

Director of 14 Companies too

The lads doing well for himself 
 

Watch him buy an American Sport Franchise at some point

 

What's wrong with spending a rainy February in Burnham-on-Sea I ask you?!  :whistle2:

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13 minutes ago, Red-Robbo said:

Lansdown has mentioned the Barcelona structure.  Barca have a 7-man management committee which acts as a board of directors.  The chairman there is a former player.

There's such irony in SL's admiration for Barcelona.

FCB is owned by around 180,000 members (fans). SL owns 97% of shares, a large chunk of those were bought off us, so he can dictate everything BCFC. At FCB, that committee and president are held to account. At the Gate, we have nowhere near that level of influence on the way our club operates. 

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11 minutes ago, TonyTonyTony said:

Doesn't seem to have worked very well though - they are a basket case of a club at the minute. Finances shot to pieces, and an ageing team clinging to former glories. I went to the Nou camp a few years ago - was shocked at how run down it was, and i believe the rebuild has been put on hold.

I could do with a few days in Barcelona 😔

 

True, only mentioned SCB because Mr L used them as an illustration when Bristol Sport was founded.

Perhaps I should've used Bayern Munich - 5 man board headed by Rummenige. Three-man supervisory board who represent shareholders and are a kind of "House of Lords" for the executive board's decisions.

Bayern had a 52m euro post-tax profit in the last Covid unaffected season.

 

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At least we now know why we signed a 30 year old Bermudan who didn’t fit in with our scouting policy and doesn’t fit with our system. Bet there’s been lots of “property” conversations between NW and JL...

(And yes I am being deliberately facetious)

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2 minutes ago, tin said:

There's such irony in SL's admiration for Barcelona.

FCB is owned by around 180,000 members (fans). SL owns 97% of shares, a large chunk of those were bought off us, so he can dictate everything BCFC. At FCB, that committee and president are held to account. At the Gate, we have nowhere near that level of influence on the way our club operates. 

...or indeed no influence at all!

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1 hour ago, Ivorguy said:

Sorry, you got the wrong guy.  Paying taxes is one’s civic community duty, however much one has to pay.  I may not have large sums of money myself but I have known through my professional life many who do and still choose to do their civic duty and pay tax.  Doesn’t it ever occur to the SL’s of this world that by not paying tax here, the rest of us pay more?

A guy who between his company and personally has paid (and continues to pay,Just because he lives in Guernsey does not mean he does not still contribute )more tax and contribute to the local employment and economy (therefore more tax and NI/VAT/Corporation tax etc etc  ) than almost anyone else in Bristol ,and you want to slate him...

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2 minutes ago, Silvio Dante said:

At least we now know why we signed a 30 year old Bermudan who didn’t fit in with our scouting policy and doesn’t fit with our system. Bet there’s been lots of “property” conversations between NW and JL...

(And yes I am being deliberately facetious)

Goater has multiple businesses out there now.  Lansdown was a board member when the Goat played for us. I wonder if there's some connection?

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30 minutes ago, Red-Robbo said:

 

What's wrong with spending a rainy February in Burnham-on-Sea I ask you?!  :whistle2:

I take it RR to utilise the tax exile he would be limited to how many days he is in UK , much like his Father

He hasn’t bought that as a pad for a couple of holidays I’d summise

(I can see exactly why he’d do it - tax and an ideal spot for following his American Sports Interests)


But you can forsee us having an owner Based in Guernsey , a Chairman based in Bermuda 

With Ashton literally running the club - makes Ashtons role a massive one that has to be %100 right

 

** I’d have a little wager he was at Super Bowl in Tampa a couple of weeks ago

Edited by Sheltons Army
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Sorry if this has been posted already, but here's the full transcript (SL answers are in bold)....

Extracted from https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/every-word-steve-lansdown-dean-5008625 by Gregor MacGregor

 

I'm delighted that Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown has asked to come on the show and he joins us now on Sound of the City, good evening Steve...

 

SL: Good evening, how are you?

 

I'm very well thank you, I've recovered somewhat from Saturday, that was a shock to everybody at the club.

 

Yes, I mean it was a humiliation wasn't it, and no we can't describe it in any other way, it was painful to watch, it was painful to experience.

 

It left you with a nasty feeling in your stomach after it finished, and 24 hours later it's still there. So it's a big wake-up call to us all, it shows how much work we've got to do, and as soon as we get cracking the better.

 

So without putting too fine a point on it, are you still confident that Dean Holden is the man to take this club where you want them to go?

 

Look, we appointed Dean at the beginning of the season for all the reasons that we gave at the time and brought in the support staff to help him.

 

Dean is an honest, straightforward guy, he works very, very hard. He had a period in the season when things were going really well and he was a blue-eyed boy, and now things are not going so well.

 

But in these times we all work together, we're all under pressure, we’ve got to turn it around and make things better.

 

Dean's got to do that starting tomorrow night.

 

And you're confident that the reasons you gave him the job in the first place, what six-to-eight months ago are still good enough to get him, and you, where you want this club to reach?

 

Look, Dean is the head coach of Bristol City Football Club, and he's tasked with making sure the team that goes on the pitch performs to its highest level, now on Saturday we didn't do that.

 

He knows that we've had heart-to-heart discussions since then, he knows what needs to happen, and he knows the pressure that he’s under, so at this stage, all we can do, and all the supporters can do, is to get fully behind him, and the players.

 

I know they can get in the ground to watch it but in spirit if not in body, give us that positivity to get us back on track again

 

You're a man who's had a lot of big decisions to make over his career, in your day job as well as with Bristol City and the Bristol Sport group, how do you go about trying to make the right decisions under pressure, because you know you're under pressure, he’s under pressure, everybody is under pressure in these situations?

 

First of all, you’ve got to just take a good long look at the situation, one of the things that we shouldn't overlook, as Dean has had a difficult hand to play over the last couple of months, I mean first of all the number of injuries that squad is suffered, after Saturday I wrote them down just to remind myself.

 

You've got an entire first team on the treatment table, some very experienced players and some very good players that would make an awful lot of difference out on that pitch. So he's had to muster the troops without those being available.

 

The second thing is that COVID has actually caused us a few issues, not to use it as an excuse, but we were on target for all the players, and staff, and academies and everything to move into the training ground in January which we've had to put back.

 

So people think we've got a fantastic new training ground, the answer is we will have but we don't have at the moment and we're having to make do.

 

That gives us very difficult circumstances in which to train and rehabilitate players and everything that needs to happen behind the scenes.

 

We’re not using that as an excuse, but it's a difficulty that we have to deal with, and all these things I think have just conspired against us over the last couple of weeks. It's a difficult pill to swallow, but swallow it we will, and we will come back fighting.

 

You rightly mentioned the injuries which have been ridiculous this year in the worst sense of the word.

 

You're not there day-to-day so it's not something you would be involved in, but that's got to concern you, the clubs invested so much money in these players, and yet you’re sat watching them on the treatment table?

 

That's the last thing you want, and it’s the nightmare of any football club, that your players are not available to play on a Saturday afternoon, or in this case Saturday afternoon, Tuesday night or Wednesday night and Saturday the following week.

 

It's a very hard programme that we're experiencing at the moment, but losing the likes Jay Dasilva for instance, Callum O’Dowda, Nathan Baker hasn’t made an appearance this season, neither has Liam Walsh.

 

These players are top players that we brought in as part of our squad, and would normally be vying for a first-team place, and we need them. But having said that the players out on the pitch on Saturday, they’re good players, they've been blooded in the first-team throughout the season, there is no excuse for a performance like that and that's the most disappointing thing.

 

For me as a Bristol City fan, for me as a Bristol City owner, more so because you talk about the money spent so you know where it comes from, and you want to see a return on that investment.

 

Saturday showed we've got a long way to go.

 

So just on those injuries, we’ve had Mark Ashton telling us a few weeks ago that you were examining the other reasons behind it, is that something you're keen to get to the bottom of because you don't want this situation happening more than this one season?

 

Don't think for one minute that I haven't asked the question a long time ago about the injury situation, but it is fair to say that each injury you look at has its own specific identity if you like.

 

There never seems to be a particular trend and they seem to come at different times. I think we're playing under too much pressure. We’re not the only club to suffer injuries, but we seem to have suffered probably more than most, and we may not have managed it as well as we might have during the course of the season.

 

With hindsight that's easy to decide, but last season we had an excellent record from the medical team, this year's been a different kettle of fish and yes questions have been asked, and answers have been given.

 

Again, we work hard at what we're doing and look to turn that situation around as well.

 

A lot of the calls that I and my colleagues have taken over the last few weeks regarding the other situation of reference, the fact that Dean was promoted internally and you look back, whether it was Brian Tinnion the best part 20 years ago, or Keith Millen more recently than that.

 

They don't seem to have worked out, is that a fair comment?

 

Well, facts speak for themselves don't they, and at the moment Dean is going through a very difficult time.

 

Who knows where he's going to come through that and be successful, we're going to work hard with him to help him try and get through it.

 

So the reality is that, yes I mean the people will have their own opinions, I think now you're giving people the opportunity to do it, Brian Tinnion had a very good first season, just missed out on the play-offs if I remember rightly, but it didn't go well for him in in the following season.

 

He did a good job and he's back at the club doing another good job, so hindsight's a wonderful thing these things, with these situations, we can examine them.

 

But Dean put forward a very strong case for why he should be manager, or head coach, at the beginning of this season.

 

We had the likes of Paul Simpson, and then Keith Downing coming in to support him, we had a strong set up supporting him, there's every reason to believe he would be successful.

 

And let's be fair he has been successful during the course of the season, at the moment it's just not going right for him.

 

I guess it is the contrast with the Bears which doesn't help the mood of some City fans.

 

You've bought in Pat Lam who is experienced, has been there and done it, particularly at Connaught, and is doing amazing things with the rugby side of things, and yet City fans are looking on enviously at that.

 

Well, rugby is a different sport, and a different cost base to be perfectly honest. We are one of 13 teams with Premiership shares, next year there be 13 teams and we're one of them, we’re top of the pile at the moment.

 

Yes, Pat Lam is an exceptional director of rugby, we're very lucky to have him, and he's done a fantastic job for us.

 

We had Andy Robinson before him, he had all the criteria that didn't work out quite as well as he wanted to with the rugby there.

 

But every situation comes along, you look at football, and football is a much bigger sport there are much wider choices. The likes of a Pat Lam is the equivalent of a Pep Guardiola, and come on, we're not quite in that category at the moment.

 

We have to build to that, and so I understand where people are coming from there and I understand that little bit of envy, but I think from a Bristol point of view, enjoy what the Bears are doing, you know that there's a spin-off into the football.

 

But if you look at the costs of running Bristol City Football Club compared to Bristol Bears, you know Bristol City take the lion's share of the investment it always has been the case and always will be the case because football is that way inclined.

 

So we’ve got to get it right, I'm not trying to sit here saying we've got it right, we’re in a difficult situation, we've got to graft like anything to get ourselves out of it.

 

I suppose it's just that it's the experience side of things isn't it because you rightly gave Lee Johnson his chance, and now Dean Holden, fingers crossed it works out for him.

 

But while you couldn't get Pep Guardiola, there are plenty of experienced Championship managers, whether it's a Neil Warnock, or a Tony Pulis, people like that who have been there and done it who might be affordable in the grand scheme of things.

 

I think you just shot yourself in the foot by saying Tony Pulis! But then Tony has shown he can do it elsewhere.

 

There are lots of players and lots of managers like that, they're not in the same categories as we’re talking about. In comparison, with the Bears rugby in Bristol is lucky that we can compete at the top level with that.

 

In football, we have to work a lot harder to get there. Now you know we are always looking to improve, we will look to improve, and that's all I can promise the supporters. We will keep doing that and will keep working hard to get there. I know it’s extremely frustrating and I feel the pain with them at the moment because it's not what I anticipated, or what I wanted to happen, but these things do and we have to deal with them.

 

Recruitment was another thing I was keen to have a chat about because you go back the last three or four years, there's been a lot of very good recruitment and actually this year the real benefits have come out of the academy.

 

But with the players brought in before the start of this season, the squad seems to be going back a little bit rather than forwards other than the academy?

 

Joe Williams, we've hardly seen him play. That was a good addition to the squad at the time, I think it still will be once he's fit and he's playing but we've got to get him on the grass, we’ve got to get him playing and contributing.

 

Liam Walsh, we invested in him a little while ago, we were really looking forward to seeing him play for us this year with more experience under his belt having had a good loan with Coventry before coming back to us, but again he hasn't appeared on the pitch.

 

So these things are sent to try us, I think if you look at the recruitment, at the beginning of the season we brought in five new players. I think most people were quite pleased with that at the time, but again that hasn't worked for us.

 

Jay Dasilva was on loan to us, we bought him in, Kalas was on loan to us, we bought him, they were good players on loan, they’re good players now with us.

 

Obviously, Jay’s out injured, which is a big blow to us. So at the end of the day, it's all a question of balance.

 

Our recruitment is still good, it can always improve. It’s my mantra really, you’re never satisfied, you can always improve, we look to do so.

 

But in the academy, the light at the end of the tunnel with regard to all the light that’s come through from COVID is the fact it's allowed a lot of the younger players to get some great experience and to enhance their careers, and perhaps reach the time when they could start to command a regular first-team place.

 

The likes of Antoine Semenyo has come on leaps and bounds this year. Tyreeq Bakinson has come in and shown what he can do, our recruitment in that sense, don’t forget that both of those players came in from outside, it’s showing its worth and we're still investing in those players.

 

I know I don't want to try and say that look at the Under-23s and how they’re doing, but it's a reflection of how well we have recruited, how well we are developing players.

 

To me, the stand out players you mentioned, Antoine there and certainly Zak Vyner I’d put in that category in terms of what he's done this season.

 

But they are the ones who have come through your own academy rather than bringing in the ready-made stars, but the ones you have bought in, either through injury or frankly not quite playing well enough, haven't made the impact that fans would be happy with.

 

No, but again injuries caused that issue. Chris Martin was doing exceptionally well until recently, which was a blow to us.

 

Nahki Wells, we bought him last January, a top goal-scorer in this division, hasn’t hit the form for us.

 

I'm sure he will at some point but I’d like it to be sooner rather than later.

 

We are investing into the squad, I don't think anybody can criticise us for not investing in the squad and bringing in players, we’ve got a good record of that.

 

I think what the trouble is, and I can understand it, is that players once they've been with us for a period of time, will move on if we don't make that step up and that's what we are always trying to achieve.

 

But the money we make on those players goes back into the squad, goes back into the development of football at the club, and that's how we continue to develop and get to where we want to get to.

 

Okay, are you happy with the work that Mark Ashton is doing at the club?

 

I mean Mark gets a lot of stick from fans, I see it, but it's unjustified.

 

He works exceptionally hard for the football club, not just looking after what goes on during the match day if you like, and then what's happening behind the scenes, but with the Football League and everything else, and protecting our position in the football hierarchy.

 

For people to criticise him, I know it’s easy to do that because everybody is looking for a scapegoat at the moment, everybody is looking to blame somebody, and Mark’s an easy target.

 

But I can tell you now that Mark works so hard for this football club that he deserves a lot of praise for what he's done.

 

He will be looking at his own performance in the same way as I'm looking at my performance in terms of how things have gone on.

 

None of us are very proud of where we are at the moment that's for certain, but sport's like that, sport lifts you up and it knocks you down and we've been knocked down in the last few weeks.

 

But I’ve been here often enough now, I have been in the football club now coming up 25 years. I am going to pick myself up, I'm going to go for this again, I've been here before, I hate to say I might be here again, you don't want to be here but you’ve got to deal with it.

 

We’ll get back on track.

 

You mentioned that length of time, and you look at the way the club has developed, and certainly, Ashton Gate is unrecognisable from when you started.

 

But it must be a source of real frustration that you are still pretty much back where you started in the second tier and that that elusive goal still remains unattainable for the moment?

 

Look, I started back in League One with Bristol City, nearly going into League 2. I’ve had some ups and downs in the meantime, we pulled City up into the Championship, we’ve spent most of the time of my tenure now in the Championship, and most of that time in the top half of the Championship.

 

We’ve built a fantastic stadium, we've got a fantastic training ground coming on, we built an incredible infrastructure within the club to support everything, and you know we're in a very, very good place.

 

You’re right, the frustration is we can’t make that final step. That's why we changed from Lee last year, we'd given him a long period of time.

 

Dean’s got the role now, he's tasked with getting us there, we are all going to work very, very hard to support him and the rest of the infrastructure with the players to do what we all want to do.

 

We're going through a very difficult patch at the moment, a very sticky patch.

 

It’s frustrating, I hate it, but this is where we will get stronger, because we’ve all got to stick together, and we will come out of the other side to look back and say ‘well that was tough, but we got through it now let's look forward.’

 

When we spoke to you at the start of the season the general sense was for an improvement on last year and 12th-place, given everything that's happened this year what, are your hopes for between now and the end of this campaign?

 

I'm going to be totally honest with you, the first thing is we've got to stay in this division.

 

I mean we're slipping towards the bottom half of the table at the moment, that's got to stop.

 

We’ve got to get ourselves sorted out, we won't stay in this division if we stay on 39 points.

 

So we’ve got to win four or five more games now to get ourselves safe, that's the first priority, and then we've got to finish as high up in the division as we possibly can.

 

Could we still make the playoffs? Mathematically we can, and will be focusing on trying to do that, but the most important thing is we start to play some decent football, we start getting our confidence back, we start winning games, and we start pushing ourselves back into the top half of the table.

 

Improvements are what we're looking for each year, we finished 12th last year and we’re actually sitting 13th at this point in time, so we have got some work to do as I keep saying.

 

Is it the sense of heading in the right direction that you're looking for more than a league position in terms of the big decisions you are going to be making going forwards?

 

Of course, I mean there's now and there's the future.

 

The future will take care of itself as we go forward. Now we’ve got to get back on track, we’ve got to get some pride back into the football club, we’ve got to get some performance on the pitch, we’ve got to get some more resource, we’ve got to get more points on the board, and we've got to get ourselves into the top half of the table.

 

We’ve got to get as close to that sixth place as we possibly can by the end of the season. That's what we have got to do, that's our mission now.

 

We mentioned finances in passing earlier, and COVID is having a big impact on the whole of football, not just at Bristol City, but can you give a rough idea of how you're coping in terms of a club and how it’s affected you?

 

Well look, we're not getting any turnover. I mean there's no income coming into the football club other than what we get from central funds and a bit of TV money.

 

The transfer market has gone totally dead, so all we’ve got is expenses going out, I can't give an exact figure but we are going to lose a lot of money this year, and we lost £10 million last year I think you saw from the figures.

 

In the previous year we managed to make that in profit due to player transfers, we haven't got that luxury of that this year and will see what happens in the summer, but the reality is that we are losing an awful lot of money.

 

It’s in the millions, it's a painful experience.

 

The only thing I can say that I'm proud of from a football perspective this season is that we are turning up on a Saturday, on a Wednesday, and Tuesday, and we're giving people entertainment, live entertainment.

 

You might not call it entertainment after Saturday, but you know what I mean, we’re giving you live sport to follow, to watch and to keep the morale of the country up, and that's a big plus to everybody that’s participating, a big plus to the players.

 

But from Bristol City’s point of view, the players, the management, the directors, the fans, we have got to stand up together, we have got to puff our chests out, we've got to be proud of our football club, and really, really work hard and give everybody as much encouragement to get our pride back.

 

Because we've lost our pride over the last couple of weeks, and losing to Cardiff was bad enough, getting stuffed six-nil at Watford was terrible, so no doubt about it we have got to sort things out.

 

Being cooped up for a year, the best part of a year now for all of us, whether we're always stuck at home, or are able to get out a little bit, it just amplifies everything, doesn't it?

 

It just makes everything seem worse when you can't go and support the team that you have been going to for how many years.

 

Well, I miss it from a personal basis, the last game I saw, which was probably the same as most other people, was Fulham at home last year at the beginning of March, so it's coming up to 12 months without actually seeing live sport.

 

I'm missing the action on the pitch because you see an awful lot more when you see a live game, you see what's going on off the ball as well as on the ball.

 

But you miss that banter with the fans, whether it's good banter or bad banter, you miss it. You want to have that, you want to have that communication.

 

I think we're all missing that social contact, it’s getting very frustrating and very tedious, it's absolutely tedious and we all can't wait to get back to being sat in our seats, or to get out of our seats at the game really enjoying what's going on around us, having a beer with our mates and just generally enjoying sport once again.

 

It’s difficult to enjoy it in these circumstances.

 

I would absolutely wholeheartedly echo that, I'm sure everybody can't wait to get back to Ashton Gate on a regular basis.

 

Just finally, you talk about getting some pride back in the club, I guess that's got to start against Reading at Ashton Gate tomorrow night?

 

Well absolutely, I mean one good thing about football is you’ve always got the next game, the next game is tomorrow night at Ashton Gate.

 

We’re at home, I know that doesn’t make a lot of difference in the current climate, but we are on familiar territory, we’ve got very good opposition, it gives us a chance to get out there and show what we can do.

 

We’ve got to give it everything, and show that there is pride in wearing the shirt, there's pride in being part of Bristol City Football Club, and that's what it's all about.

 

But the important thing is we start getting points, we start picking up points and getting ourselves back into the top half of the table and competing again.

Edited by Curr Avon
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10 minutes ago, davidoldfart said:

A guy who between his company and personally has paid (and continues to pay,Just because he lives in Guernsey does not mean he does not still contribute )more tax and contribute to the local employment and economy (therefore more tax and NI/VAT/Corporation tax etc etc  ) than almost anyone else in Bristol ,and you want to slate him...

Yes

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Just now, Curr Avon said:

Sorry if this has been posted already, but here's the full transcript....

 

I'm delighted that Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown has asked to come on the show and he joins us now on Sound of the City, good evening Steve...

 

SL: Good evening, how are you?

 

I'm very well thank you, I've recovered somewhat from Saturday, that was a shock to everybody at the club.

 

Yes, I mean it was a humiliation wasn't it, and no we can't describe it in any other way, it was painful to watch, it was painful to experience.

 

It left you with a nasty feeling in your stomach after it finished, and 24 hours later it's still there. So it's a big wake-up call to us all, it shows how much work we've got to do, and as soon as we get cracking the better.

 

So without putting too fine a point on it, are you still confident that Dean Holden is the man to take this club where you want them to go?

 

Look, we appointed Dean at the beginning of the season for all the reasons that we gave at the time and brought in the support staff to help him.

 

Dean is an honest, straightforward guy, he works very, very hard. He had a period in the season when things were going really well and he was a blue-eyed boy, and now things are not going so well.

 

But in these times we all work together, we're all under pressure, we’ve got to turn it around and make things better.

 

Dean's got to do that starting tomorrow night.

 

And you're confident that the reasons you gave him the job in the first place, what six-to-eight months ago are still good enough to get him, and you, where you want this club to reach?

 

Look, Dean is the head coach of Bristol City Football Club, and he's tasked with making sure the team that goes on the pitch performs to its highest level, now on Saturday we didn't do that.

 

He knows that we've had heart-to-heart discussions since then, he knows what needs to happen, and he knows the pressure that he’s under, so at this stage, all we can do, and all the supporters can do, is to get fully behind him, and the players.

 

I know they can get in the ground to watch it but in spirit if not in body, give us that positivity to get us back on track again

 

You're a man who's had a lot of big decisions to make over his career, in your day job as well as with Bristol City and the Bristol Sport group, how do you go about trying to make the right decisions under pressure, because you know you're under pressure, he’s under pressure, everybody is under pressure in these situations?

 

First of all, you’ve got to just take a good long look at the situation, one of the things that we shouldn't overlook, as Dean has had a difficult hand to play over the last couple of months, I mean first of all the number of injuries that squad is suffered, after Saturday I wrote them down just to remind myself.

 

You've got an entire first team on the treatment table, some very experienced players and some very good players that would make an awful lot of difference out on that pitch. So he's had to muster the troops without those being available.

 

The second thing is that COVID has actually caused us a few issues, not to use it as an excuse, but we were on target for all the players, and staff, and academies and everything to move into the training ground in January which we've had to put back.

 

So people think we've got a fantastic new training ground, the answer is we will have but we don't have at the moment and we're having to make do.

 

That gives us very difficult circumstances in which to train and rehabilitate players and everything that needs to happen behind the scenes.

 

We’re not using that as an excuse, but it's a difficulty that we have to deal with, and all these things I think have just conspired against us over the last couple of weeks. It's a difficult pill to swallow, but swallow it we will, and we will come back fighting.

 

You rightly mentioned the injuries which have been ridiculous this year in the worst sense of the word.

 

You're not there day-to-day so it's not something you would be involved in, but that's got to concern you, the clubs invested so much money in these players, and yet you’re sat watching them on the treatment table?

 

That's the last thing you want, and it’s the nightmare of any football club, that your players are not available to play on a Saturday afternoon, or in this case Saturday afternoon, Tuesday night or Wednesday night and Saturday the following week.

 

It's a very hard programme that we're experiencing at the moment, but losing the likes Jay Dasilva for instance, Callum O’Dowda, Nathan Baker hasn’t made an appearance this season, neither has Liam Walsh.

 

These players are top players that we brought in as part of our squad, and would normally be vying for a first-team place, and we need them. But having said that the players out on the pitch on Saturday, they’re good players, they've been blooded in the first-team throughout the season, there is no excuse for a performance like that and that's the most disappointing thing.

 

For me as a Bristol City fan, for me as a Bristol City owner, more so because you talk about the money spent so you know where it comes from, and you want to see a return on that investment.

 

Saturday showed we've got a long way to go.

 

So just on those injuries, we’ve had Mark Ashton telling us a few weeks ago that you were examining the other reasons behind it, is that something you're keen to get to the bottom of because you don't want this situation happening more than this one season?

 

Don't think for one minute that I haven't asked the question a long time ago about the injury situation, but it is fair to say that each injury you look at has its own specific identity if you like.

 

There never seems to be a particular trend and they seem to come at different times. I think we're playing under too much pressure. We’re not the only club to suffer injuries, but we seem to have suffered probably more than most, and we may not have managed it as well as we might have during the course of the season.

 

With hindsight that's easy to decide, but last season we had an excellent record from the medical team, this year's been a different kettle of fish and yes questions have been asked, and answers have been given.

 

Again, we work hard at what we're doing and look to turn that situation around as well.

 

A lot of the calls that I and my colleagues have taken over the last few weeks regarding the other situation of reference, the fact that Dean was promoted internally and you look back, whether it was Brian Tinnion the best part 20 years ago, or Keith Millen more recently than that.

 

They don't seem to have worked out, is that a fair comment?

 

Well, facts speak for themselves don't they, and at the moment Dean is going through a very difficult time.

 

Who knows where he's going to come through that and be successful, we're going to work hard with him to help him try and get through it.

 

So the reality is that, yes I mean the people will have their own opinions, I think now you're giving people the opportunity to do it, Brian Tinnion had a very good first season, just missed out on the play-offs if I remember rightly, but it didn't go well for him in in the following season.

 

Bristol City head coach Dean Holden looks dejected after Watford win 6-0

Bristol City head coach Dean Holden looks dejected after Watford win 6-0 (Image: Rogan/JMP)

He did a good job and he's back at the club doing another good job, so hindsight's a wonderful thing these things, with these situations, we can examine them.

 

But Dean put forward a very strong case for why he should be manager, or head coach, at the beginning of this season.

 

We had the likes of Paul Simpson, and then Keith Downing coming in to support him, we had a strong set up supporting him, there's every reason to believe he would be successful.

 

And let's be fair he has been successful during the course of the season, at the moment it's just not going right for him.

 

I guess it is the contrast with the Bears which doesn't help the mood of some City fans.

 

You've bought in Pat Lam who is experienced, has been there and done it, particularly at Connaught, and is doing amazing things with the rugby side of things, and yet City fans are looking on enviously at that.

 

Well, rugby is a different sport, and a different cost base to be perfectly honest. We are one of 13 teams with Premiership shares, next year there be 13 teams and we're one of them, we’re top of the pile at the moment.

 

Yes, Pat Lam is an exceptional director of rugby, we're very lucky to have him, and he's done a fantastic job for us.

 

We had Andy Robinson before him, he had all the criteria that didn't work out quite as well as he wanted to with the rugby there.

 

But every situation comes along, you look at football, and football is a much bigger sport there are much wider choices. The likes of a Pat Lam is the equivalent of a Pep Guardiola, and come on, we're not quite in that category at the moment.

 

We have to build to that, and so I understand where people are coming from there and I understand that little bit of envy, but I think from a Bristol point of view, enjoy what the Bears are doing, you know that there's a spin-off into the football.

 

But if you look at the costs of running Bristol City Football Club compared to Bristol Bears, you know Bristol City take the lion's share of the investment it always has been the case and always will be the case because football is that way inclined.

 

So we’ve got to get it right, I'm not trying to sit here saying we've got it right, we’re in a difficult situation, we've got to graft like anything to get ourselves out of it.

 

I suppose it's just that it's the experience side of things isn't it because you rightly gave Lee Johnson his chance, and now Dean Holden, fingers crossed it works out for him.

 

But while you couldn't get Pep Guardiola, there are plenty of experienced Championship managers, whether it's a Neil Warnock, or a Tony Pulis, people like that who have been there and done it who might be affordable in the grand scheme of things.

 

I think you just shot yourself in the foot by saying Tony Pulis! But then Tony has shown he can do it elsewhere.

 

There are lots of players and lots of managers like that, they're not in the same categories as we’re talking about. In comparison, with the Bears rugby in Bristol is lucky that we can compete at the top level with that.

 

In football, we have to work a lot harder to get there. Now you know we are always looking to improve, we will look to improve, and that's all I can promise the supporters. We will keep doing that and will keep working hard to get there. I know it’s extremely frustrating and I feel the pain with them at the moment because it's not what I anticipated, or what I wanted to happen, but these things do and we have to deal with them.

 

Recruitment was another thing I was keen to have a chat about because you go back the last three or four years, there's been a lot of very good recruitment and actually this year the real benefits have come out of the academy.

 

But with the players brought in before the start of this season, the squad seems to be going back a little bit rather than forwards other than the academy?

 

Joe Williams, we've hardly seen him play. That was a good addition to the squad at the time, I think it still will be once he's fit and he's playing but we've got to get him on the grass, we’ve got to get him playing and contributing.

 

Liam Walsh, we invested in him a little while ago, we were really looking forward to seeing him play for us this year with more experience under his belt having had a good loan with Coventry before coming back to us, but again he hasn't appeared on the pitch.

 

So these things are sent to try us, I think if you look at the recruitment, at the beginning of the season we brought in five new players. I think most people were quite pleased with that at the time, but again that hasn't worked for us.

 

Jay Dasilva was on loan to us, we bought him in, Kalas was on loan to us, we bought him, they were good players on loan, they’re good players now with us.

 

Obviously, Jay’s out injured, which is a big blow to us. So at the end of the day, it's all a question of balance.

 

Our recruitment is still good, it can always improve. It’s my mantra really, you’re never satisfied, you can always improve, we look to do so.

 

But in the academy, the light at the end of the tunnel with regard to all the light that’s come through from COVID is the fact it's allowed a lot of the younger players to get some great experience and to enhance their careers, and perhaps reach the time when they could start to command a regular first-team place.

 

The likes of Antoine Semenyo has come on leaps and bounds this year. Tyreeq Bakinson has come in and shown what he can do, our recruitment in that sense, don’t forget that both of those players came in from outside, it’s showing its worth and we're still investing in those players.

 

I know I don't want to try and say that look at the Under-23s and how they’re doing, but it's a reflection of how well we have recruited, how well we are developing players.

 

To me, the stand out players you mentioned, Antoine there and certainly Zak Vyner I’d put in that category in terms of what he's done this season.

 

But they are the ones who have come through your own academy rather than bringing in the ready-made stars, but the ones you have bought in, either through injury or frankly not quite playing well enough, haven't made the impact that fans would be happy with.

 

No, but again injuries caused that issue. Chris Martin was doing exceptionally well until recently, which was a blow to us.

 

Nahki Wells, we bought him last January, a top goal-scorer in this division, hasn’t hit the form for us.

 

I'm sure he will at some point but I’d like it to be sooner rather than later.

 

We are investing into the squad, I don't think anybody can criticise us for not investing in the squad and bringing in players, we’ve got a good record of that.

 

I think what the trouble is, and I can understand it, is that players once they've been with us for a period of time, will move on if we don't make that step up and that's what we are always trying to achieve.

 

But the money we make on those players goes back into the squad, goes back into the development of football at the club, and that's how we continue to develop and get to where we want to get to.

 

Okay, are you happy with the work that Mark Ashton is doing at the club?

 

I mean Mark gets a lot of stick from fans, I see it, but it's unjustified.

 

He works exceptionally hard for the football club, not just looking after what goes on during the match day if you like, and then what's happening behind the scenes, but with the Football League and everything else, and protecting our position in the football hierarchy.

 

For people to criticise him, I know it’s easy to do that because everybody is looking for a scapegoat at the moment, everybody is looking to blame somebody, and Mark’s an easy target.

 

But I can tell you now that Mark works so hard for this football club that he deserves a lot of praise for what he's done.

 

He will be looking at his own performance in the same way as I'm looking at my performance in terms of how things have gone on.

 

None of us are very proud of where we are at the moment that's for certain, but sport's like that, sport lifts you up and it knocks you down and we've been knocked down in the last few weeks.

 

But I’ve been here often enough now, I have been in the football club now coming up 25 years. I am going to pick myself up, I'm going to go for this again, I've been here before, I hate to say I might be here again, you don't want to be here but you’ve got to deal with it.

 

We’ll get back on track.

 

You mentioned that length of time, and you look at the way the club has developed, and certainly, Ashton Gate is unrecognisable from when you started.

 

But it must be a source of real frustration that you are still pretty much back where you started in the second tier and that that elusive goal still remains unattainable for the moment?

 

Look, I started back in League One with Bristol City, nearly going into League 2. I’ve had some ups and downs in the meantime, we pulled City up into the Championship, we’ve spent most of the time of my tenure now in the Championship, and most of that time in the top half of the Championship.

 

We’ve built a fantastic stadium, we've got a fantastic training ground coming on, we built an incredible infrastructure within the club to support everything, and you know we're in a very, very good place.

 

You’re right, the frustration is we can’t make that final step. That's why we changed from Lee last year, we'd given him a long period of time.

 

Dean’s got the role now, he's tasked with getting us there, we are all going to work very, very hard to support him and the rest of the infrastructure with the players to do what we all want to do.

 

We're going through a very difficult patch at the moment, a very sticky patch.

 

It’s frustrating, I hate it, but this is where we will get stronger, because we’ve all got to stick together, and we will come out of the other side to look back and say ‘well that was tough, but we got through it now let's look forward.’

 

When we spoke to you at the start of the season the general sense was for an improvement on last year and 12th-place, given everything that's happened this year what, are your hopes for between now and the end of this campaign?

 

I'm going to be totally honest with you, the first thing is we've got to stay in this division.

 

I mean we're slipping towards the bottom half of the table at the moment, that's got to stop.

 

We’ve got to get ourselves sorted out, we won't stay in this division if we stay on 39 points.

 

So we’ve got to win four or five more games now to get ourselves safe, that's the first priority, and then we've got to finish as high up in the division as we possibly can.

 

Could we still make the playoffs? Mathematically we can, and will be focusing on trying to do that, but the most important thing is we start to play some decent football, we start getting our confidence back, we start winning games, and we start pushing ourselves back into the top half of the table.

 

Improvements are what we're looking for each year, we finished 12th last year and we’re actually sitting 13th at this point in time, so we have got some work to do as I keep saying.

 

Is it the sense of heading in the right direction that you're looking for more than a league position in terms of the big decisions you are going to be making going forwards?

 

Of course, I mean there's now and there's the future.

 

The future will take care of itself as we go forward. Now we’ve got to get back on track, we’ve got to get some pride back into the football club, we’ve got to get some performance on the pitch, we’ve got to get some more resource, we’ve got to get more points on the board, and we've got to get ourselves into the top half of the table.

 

We’ve got to get as close to that sixth place as we possibly can by the end of the season. That's what we have got to do, that's our mission now.

 

We mentioned finances in passing earlier, and COVID is having a big impact on the whole of football, not just at Bristol City, but can you give a rough idea of how you're coping in terms of a club and how it’s affected you?

 

Well look, we're not getting any turnover. I mean there's no income coming into the football club other than what we get from central funds and a bit of TV money.

 

The transfer market has gone totally dead, so all we’ve got is expenses going out, I can't give an exact figure but we are going to lose a lot of money this year, and we lost £10 million last year I think you saw from the figures.

 

In the previous year we managed to make that in profit due to player transfers, we haven't got that luxury of that this year and will see what happens in the summer, but the reality is that we are losing an awful lot of money.

 

It’s in the millions, it's a painful experience.

 

The only thing I can say that I'm proud of from a football perspective this season is that we are turning up on a Saturday, on a Wednesday, and Tuesday, and we're giving people entertainment, live entertainment.

 

You might not call it entertainment after Saturday, but you know what I mean, we’re giving you live sport to follow, to watch and to keep the morale of the country up, and that's a big plus to everybody that’s participating, a big plus to the players.

 

But from Bristol City’s point of view, the players, the management, the directors, the fans, we have got to stand up together, we have got to puff our chests out, we've got to be proud of our football club, and really, really work hard and give everybody as much encouragement to get our pride back.

 

Because we've lost our pride over the last couple of weeks, and losing to Cardiff was bad enough, getting stuffed six-nil at Watford was terrible, so no doubt about it we have got to sort things out.

 

Being cooped up for a year, the best part of a year now for all of us, whether we're always stuck at home, or are able to get out a little bit, it just amplifies everything, doesn't it?

 

It just makes everything seem worse when you can't go and support the team that you have been going to for how many years.

 

Well, I miss it from a personal basis, the last game I saw, which was probably the same as most other people, was Fulham at home last year at the beginning of March, so it's coming up to 12 months without actually seeing live sport.

 

I'm missing the action on the pitch because you see an awful lot more when you see a live game, you see what's going on off the ball as well as on the ball.

 

But you miss that banter with the fans, whether it's good banter or bad banter, you miss it. You want to have that, you want to have that communication.

 

I think we're all missing that social contact, it’s getting very frustrating and very tedious, it's absolutely tedious and we all can't wait to get back to being sat in our seats, or to get out of our seats at the game really enjoying what's going on around us, having a beer with our mates and just generally enjoying sport once again.

 

It’s difficult to enjoy it in these circumstances.

 

I would absolutely wholeheartedly echo that, I'm sure everybody can't wait to get back to Ashton Gate on a regular basis.

 

 

Just finally, you talk about getting some pride back in the club, I guess that's got to start against Reading at Ashton Gate tomorrow night?

 

Well absolutely, I mean one good thing about football is you’ve always got the next game, the next game is tomorrow night at Ashton Gate.

 

We’re at home, I know that doesn’t make a lot of difference in the current climate, but we are on familiar territory, we’ve got very good opposition, it gives us a chance to get out there and show what we can do.

 

We’ve got to give it everything, and show that there is pride in wearing the shirt, there's pride in being part of Bristol City Football Club, and that's what it's all about.

 

But the important thing is we start getting points, we start picking up points and getting ourselves back into the top half of the table and competing again.

Very kind of you Mark to go to that trouble for others

But have you never heard of copyright 

You've stolen his work - you do realise that do you ?

 

 

😗

 

 

 

(Ive only just been released from 3 days in Horfield)

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, davidoldfart said:

A guy who between his company and personally has paid (and continues to pay,Just because he lives in Guernsey does not mean he does not still contribute )more tax and contribute to the local employment and economy (therefore more tax and NI/VAT/Corporation tax etc etc  ) than almost anyone else in Bristol ,and you want to slate him...

 

Sorry. This argument is nonsense, but I hear it over and over again.

I employ people and pay corporation tax and VAT on my company's transactions.

I don't employ people because I am a nice man and want to give them some money and help the local economy. I employ them because without them my company wouldn't be able to function - I can't do everything myself and I can't do much of what they do at all. 

The firm pays Corp Tax and VAT because it's the law, not because I want to help out the government.

Unlike billionaire Steve Lansdown, I also pay personal income tax to HMG.

This is the way the world works. If I was in his position, maybe I'd live in Guernsey. 

But please don't try to paint employers as somehow wonderful people just because they employ people.  They employ people so that they can get rich. 

(It's worth noting that he no longer co-owns HL anyway and so actually isn't personally employing anyone there)

 

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18 hours ago, Curr Avon said:

When he said hindsight's a wonderful thing, what about some foresight.

Like signing Mawson after he suffered 2 lengthy knee injuries at Fulham in the past 2 seasons, only to experience the same fate this term. Didn't they learn anything from Afobe's record. Why the risk?

 

Funny but Afobe has played loads of games while playing in Turkey this season, could he of done a job for us this year???

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5 minutes ago, barney999 said:

Funny but Afobe has played loads of games while playing in Turkey this season, could he of done a job for us this year???

Possibly, but would wages have been an issue, when there's possibly better value elsewhere. What am I saying? With our recent record.

On a separate note, why was the recently 'fatigued' Joe Williams played at Sheffield United, when the Watford game was more important? Another omnishambles.

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2 hours ago, CyderInACan said:

Just goes to show how seriously he takes his role as Chairman, though. And presumably it's just him & not his wife & kids, no mention of that but would assume it would have said "Jon & family" had it been the case. In the middle of arguably the toughest of the 3 lockdowns. 

Do you seriously think he actually has a say in anything . It’s just a position to draw a wage. He’ll have as much input over there as he has here. None 

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1 hour ago, Greedo said:

Not sure if I'd be bothered about the hassle of a position of responsibility at BCFC - explaining the appointment of DH etc - if the alternative was being at that house, and going out on my luxury yacht for the day. :whistle2:

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2 hours ago, cityloyal473 said:

JL being in the Caribbean in and itself is not an issue. Best place for him IMHO.  But the optics are terrible, especially when the ship is sinking.  JL should have been on the radio last night, not SL - that's what 'Chairmen' do.

The guy can’t talk publicly very well, hard to listen too so rather his old man did it. When di Keith Dawe ever speak in public?

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So we have a toxic atmosphere, mostly directed at Mark Ashton then SL makes an appearance. The next day the Jon Lansdown Caribbean titbit gets ‘accidentally leaked’. If I didn’t know better I would suggest that we have been successfully distracted from the main area of concern.
 

Many accuse Jon L of being a puppet for his dad and then go off on one when his dad steps in. We all know Steve is the power man and following his appearance it’s clear that he has his hand back on the driving wheel. Whether he’s driving us in the right direction may well emerge in the coming days and weeks

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SL appointed Ashton to basically run the club for him. I find it worrying that SL still feels the need to go on radio Bristol to address the situation. Why isn't Mark Ashton doing that? Does SL not trust Ashton to say the right things?

 

In terms of the football, I think any less than 2pts from our next two games and he's gone. E.g. 2 draws or 1 win would be enough to buy him more time but nothing less.

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1 hour ago, Red-Robbo said:

 

Sorry. This argument is nonsense, but I hear it over and over again.

I employ people and pay corporation tax and VAT on my company's transactions.

I don't employ people because I am a nice man and want to give them some money and help the local economy. I employ them because without them my company wouldn't be able to function - I can't do everything myself and I can't do much of what they do at all. 

The firm pays Corp Tax and VAT because it's the law, not because I want to help out the government.

Unlike billionaire Steve Lansdown, I also pay personal income tax to HMG.

This is the way the world works. If I was in his position, maybe I'd live in Guernsey. 

But please don't try to paint employers as somehow wonderful people just because they employ people.  They employ people so that they can get rich. 

(It's worth noting that he no longer co-owns HL anyway and so actually isn't personally employing anyone there)

 

All true of course but regardless of motive there’s still that societal benefit in terms of job creation (plus employees paying tax / not claiming benefits). So hero, no. But positive, yes.

But avoiding tax through residency, well personally I wouldn’t do it. But then I doubt I’ll ever be in that position to choose!

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2 minutes ago, YGBjammy said:

SL appointed Ashton to basically run the club for him. I find it worrying that SL still feels the need to go on radio Bristol to address the situation. Why isn't Mark Ashton doing that? Does SL not trust Ashton to say the right things?

 

In terms of the football, I think any less than 2pts from our next two games and he's gone. E.g. 2 draws or 1 win would be enough to buy him more time but nothing less.

Because the usual suspects on here would slag off every word of MA's interview as lies and demand why they did not hear from SL

Bit like some of the nonsense on some threads last night about what SL said, as some chose to either partially quote or mis quote to fit their agenda,and then some read it as fact and use it to further bash SL with. At least with the full transcript we can all see exactly what was said

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