MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: County need all parties to pull together
9:20am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Sport
AS Newport County AFC hope that mighty oaks from little Acorns grow, I might as well wade in on the latest instalment of the Exiles soap opera.
In the absence of any actual football to talk about, last week the agenda seemed to be outrage at a change in shirt sponsor.
Never mind that Acorn announced the news and praised Newport for attracting potentially more lucrative sponsorship, forget that, it’s the end of the world to some that Acorn will no longer appear on County jerseys.
I’d like to think there was such an outcry when a previous shirt sponsor was replaced but somehow think not (it was the South Wales Argus).
I’m torn on the subject and believe some of the outrage on the messageboard is based in reality, just misplaced on this particular issue.
I have no issue whatsoever with County selling shirt sponsorship to the highest bidder. My understanding is that Acorn wanted (understandably) to retain exclusivity and County want to sell to more than one party. Good for them. If it boosts the coffers then stick branding on the front, the back, the collar, the shorts, the socks, even get little Sam Foley Alice bands made for the whole team if it is possible. The more the better.
However, I believe a lot of the anger on this issue emanates from a feeling that the club are alienating Acorn MD Matt Southall and I share that concern.
Now, I’m not going to bore anyone with the whole consortium background, but it’s clear a rift has developed between Southall and the present County board and that’s absolutely not in the best interests of the club.
How could it be? Southall is one of the most well-known local businessmen in South Wales and is a lifelong County fan.
If issues of personality are creating a rift between him and the board, the onus is on the board to rectify that, as it’s unquestionably in the best interests of the club.
And the irony shouldn’t be lost that a man who’d be well placed to do just that would be former chairman Chris Blight. Just as he’d have been a voice in the corridors of power at the Conference during the Gateshead saga.
His departure hasn’t really benefitted anyone.