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Mick Dennis

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  1. Hi purple,As an aside, I always read your posts with interest. Your grasp of the finances is often enlightening.On this matter:Of course it''s true that the idea of a director of football or a sporting director has been around a long time. Other clubs have been going down that route for a very long time, and some have given up and returned to the all-powerful chief exec model. I don''t know of Comolli''s conversation with Ed Balls, but clearly at that stage Balls and Co discounted the advice.  It was the departure of Moxey, so soon after the head-hunting process  — together with the admiration by then of Steve Stone and feedback from senior staff — that persuaded most (although not all) of the board that the club should be rearranged into two "silos". I am happy to concede that the idea wasn''t, strictly speaking, born then; perhaps you''ll accept ''nutured and allowed to mature''.It might, indeed, seem obvious with hindsight, but it was such a dramatic change that there were some who were wary. Delia made up her mind though, went against her usual policy of seeking unanimous consent, and said, "This is what we''re doing".The point of my MFW piece was merely that, having seen how the relationship between Stone and Webber (and their "silos") has developed, and watching a happy hierachy interacting with fans, I felt bouyed and wanted to pass that on.On the MFW site, some have commented that they''d rather have success on the field than approachable, open heads of the organisation. But it''s not an either/or.
  2. Greetings.I''m not going to get into a long debate with anyone in this thread, but perhaps I can clear up a few things.1) Yep, I''m friendly with the majority share-holders. I''m not going to apologise for that. The friendship started because they spotted a lot of Norwich references in stuff I used to write when I was an executive of the (London) Evening Standard.Does that friendship make me biased? Of course. They''ve shown me great personal kindness.But I''ve never hidden the fact that I like them personally. And the point is I am not writing some sort of independent inquiry or tablets of stone. Like everyone else who blogs on MFW, I start with a viewpoint, which, in my case, everyone knows.Very many, including Rob Butler, refer to me as the club''s PR, or similar. But that infers that I have briefings and use them to spin a particular key message or messages. I don''t. For example, I haven''t spoken to anyone at the club about the last transfer window.Some choose to discount everything I write or broadcast because of my firendships. That is their perogative. It strikes me as a much sillier bias. But hey-ho!2) My friendships are not all I bring to the table. I spent four decades involved in sports journalism, watched football in a professional capacity on four continents and had to understand the workings of many other clubs. I have friends on other boards, and talk regularly to football folk who really are ''in the know''. Sorry to brag about all that, but it provides some more context to what I write or broadcast (and seeing how other clubs'' fans respond to situations I know about is what keeps me sane when supporters of our club go into meltdown!).3)  Most, if not all, of the information in yesterday''s MFW article has been in the public domain before. That''s true. I just pulled it together in one place to provide what I hope is a rounded picture of the current financial situation at our club. In particular, it was a response to a blog on the same site which seemed not to understand the reason we had to make a profit at one time and the truth about one of those years of profit. It was also response to the latest outpourtings of tosh about lack of ambition, because it was probably showing more ambition than prudence in January that left us short of funds for this last window.That''s what I meant by being less well-placed than in 2014, by the way. I meant less well-placed financially. I agree that our squad is probably better stocked than then, with the one glaring difference being a shortage of striking options.Some bits might be new. I am not sure that the specific dangers of the Cullum bid have been outlined before. I don''t recall telling my Sullivan story. But I am incredibly old now, so it''s possible I''ve started repeating myself.4) Finally, the reference to Matt Holland in the MFW piece is accurate. A £4.5m deal was done for him to leave but he turned it down and stayed on wages that they couldn''t afford. There were other debts, of course, but selling MH would have helped them keep going. My reason for mentioning it is that too many folk completely ignore ongoing commitment to wages when they think about a club''s finances.That''s it. I''m sure some will now pick this post to pieces and accuse me of all sorts of things. But, if you''d rather, I''m always happy to talk face-to-face to anyone who supports the same club as me and I''m at nearly every game. I''ve got to dash away at the end tonight though: more grandchildren due tomorrow. More green and yellow stuff to buy in the weeks ahead!
  3. In fairness to Wes, he opted to stick with us when we dropped into League One (contrary to what is suggested in this thread). After that dreadful afternoon at Charlton, Gunny asked them all who was ready to stay and fight. Wes was. He had to force his way into Lambert''s plans. I think the tragedy, for Wes and the team, is that he''d just done that -- forced his way into the side -- under CH when Villa''s offer of a longer contract ''turned his head''. My ideal resolution would be for him to stay and play. He''s the last survivor of the pre-Lambert era and, as such, has been part of the extraordinary narrative of our club through the most amazing period any of us will live through. He can''t play with ''2 up'', in my view, but would be an incisive alternative to the RVW role in the 4-4-1-1 in the first half v Hull.
  4. ... could have run on.... I''ve really got to go now. Life beckons.
  5. OK. That was a 140 character summary. I knew they weren''t sacking Tues night or Weds, as some assumed or hoped, after Craven (good word) Cottage. Their position, as I understand it, is as elaborated in my post on this thread. And lest anyone doubts, I fervently hope we win tomorrow and v Newcastle and that CH survives, thrives and stays for a decade. That might be a minority view, I concede. I am learning the hard way that Tweets taken out of context can be misleading! In answer to a tweet saying the atmosphere v Hull might be fraught, I Tweeted: "I agree fans prob" or some such, in the context of the conversation. Before I knew it, there was a storm of protest saying I was blaming the fans for our current lack of wins. I''m not that brave or daft, although I did think someone could have Rubin last Sat at Goodison and closed down fracking Gareth Barry.
  6. Greetings. Thanks to those on here kind enough to point out that I am a fan. My wife and I have home and away season tickets. Home games are a 260 mile round trip. My dad was from Norfolk. I hurt as much as anybody when results and performances are poor. I have a loose arrangement with the Express which allows me to watch Norwich in return for going anywhere they like on the Sunday or Monday. How much do I know? Well, when the Birmingham Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Telegraph and others were saying Villa had bid £1.5m for Wes, that he had handed in a transfer request and had told team-mates that he would never play for City, I tweeted and wrote in the Express that there had been no written request, the bid was £750k, and City would not sell him. When I do KNOW something, I state it as fact. Otherwise I say that I think or believe stuff. And sometimes things change. So when asked on talkSPORT about signings, I said I thought CH would seek loan signings from Spurs. In fact, I knew from Spurs that he wanted Andros Townsend. It didn''t happen, and the player then bloomed rather well at WHL. I have some good sources, but I am also,told stuff on a confidential basis sometimes and would never break a confidence. I haven''t said City won''t sack CH. I''ve said they want him to succeed, will support him, and believe that change mid-season can be very damaging. I can''t predict the future, though. I can''t enter into a debate here about CH or RVW or Tom Cobley because I have a lot of work to do and a life to live. But I will always talk to any fellow Yellow Army members at games, if they don''t swear at me or my wife -- as has happened. I have a different perspective to some because for four decades I''ve been working closely with other clubs too. I know that there are currently 10 PL clubs who all fear relegation, doubt their manager and say there''s no commitment, lost the dressing room etc. I was at Villa on Monday and heard their fans saying all of that. Finally, I hope that we all realise that we have more in common than divides us. I certainly understand why many fans have had enough, and they are entitled to that view. I salute the 1500 who went to Fulham and tried to keep singing and chanting on a horrid night. I was a boardroom guest that night. I don''t apologise for having a posh seat when offered. But I didn''t have champagne. I was driving. My wife had it though! OTBC
  7. Perhaps I can help with this one, since I have to drive to WHL a lot during the season. It is easily the worst ground in London, both in terms of finding somewhere to park and in terms of getting away through the traffic afterwards. If you have to drive all the way, get there as early as you can manage and head for Weir Hall Road (look on Google maps or similar). The North end of this road is free and not too far a walk. Almost everywhere else is residents only, or maximum of an hour or so. I would strongly advise against using one of the carparks, such as the one on Tottenham High Road near the ground. Seriously, you''ll grow a beard waiting to get out afterwards. The advice earlier in this thread about parking on the way into London and getting a train is by far the most practical. Overground, the station is White Hart Lane. If you want to use the tube, you need to aim for Seven Sisters station on the Victoria Line. It''s two miles from the ground but a straight walk -- and good fun after NCFC have won.
  8. I drive to Stamford Bridge regularly. You can park on streets off North End Road free after 6.30 and, for a youth game, I''d expect to be able to find spaces easily enough at the north end of North End Road (!), near its junction with the A4. There is also a pay car park at a hotel in Lillie Road. On first team match days you cannot drive near the ground, but I''d think you could get to the car park at Fulham Broadway station shopping mall on Monday. Give yourself plenty of time to get across London, of course. OTBC.
  9. The definition of interfering with an opponent is also on page 104. It is too long to cite in full, but the key words are "preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball". Seb played the ball and so the opponent did not commit this definition of an offside offence. I know the commonsense definitions lead people (including Chris Hughton) to believe the player was offending because he was actively involved in play, but that is one of the frustrations for refs and others, that arguments and debates go on without pundits explaining the actual law, which has been like this since 2005.
  10. The definition of interfering with play is set out on page 104 of the Laws booklet. It says: "interfering with play means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate". That is why linesmen sometimes seem to flag late. They are waiting for a player to touch the ball. The definition is complicated by the fact that linesmen are told, unofficially, to flag if one player is running forward from a clearly offside position on his own, and is clearly going for the ball. They are told to do this to save time and/or to prevent the striker clattering into the goalkeeper. But in the incident yesterday at Sunderland, the linesman (assistant) was correct not to flag. I don''t understand why MotD and other pundits don''t bother to look at the Laws and explain the interpretation which had been in place for all of FIFA since 2005.
  11. I was at Spurs. First City game I''ve missed for yonks. Full marks to the Y''Army for making the trip for such an early start. I was there last year under Lambert when City folded without much resistance. Big, big point today
  12. For the Bassong one, the player in an offside position did not commit the offence of offside. Since 2005, interfering with play means touching the ball and interfering with an opponent means preventing the opponent from either seeing or playing the ball. The Sunderland player did neither, so the Lino was correct not to flag.
  13. Although all handballs have to be deliberate, the guidance to refs is that a player who "makes himself big" with his arms up or out is making a deliberate movement. So if the ball then hits his arm, it''s handball. I''m still not sure the ball hit any part of Bunny''s hand and I''m sure he didn''t want the ball to hit his arm. I''m equally sure Seb didn''t want the ball to roll along his arm after hitting his chest. But if both had been Sunderand players, I''d have wanted a red for the keeper and a pen for the second ''handball''. It doesn''t matter now, though. And we''ll win there next year, if they stay up.
  14. To clear up some confusion: Bunn was sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity, for which the sanction is a one-game ban (v Wigan). To be guilty of that offence, a player has to commit an offence punishable by a direct free kick (or a penalty) which prevents an opponent from having an obvious chance to score. Foy thought Bunn handled outside his area. All handballs have to be deliberate. And, in other news, that was a huge point and we are staying up.
  15. My wife and I bought seats and would have liked to sit (because of my great age and because standing in seats is neither sensible nor comfortable). But we were to the right of the first aisle (from our perspective) and, as everyone in Yellow to our right was standing, we wouldn''t have been able to see if we sat. There are times (Portaloo Road two seasons ago for instance) when you just have to stand because of the occasion. There are other times (Everton away this season) when it is not necessary. It''s no big deal for us, but it is for anyone with children. The Peterborough stewards were daft, though. They were telling us to sit down, but understood that we wouldn''t be able to see, so did not push the issue. If they had started in the aisle to the right of all the City fans, and told them to sit down, the rest of us would have done so. Yet they didn''t venture over there at all and just kept shrugging at each other. On a more general note about London Road, what an uncared for dump it has become. I worked at Mansfield on Sunday, and the three stands they had open were clean and well-maintained. The entrance to the away seats at London Road was like a ghost train: all ancient cobwebs, broken lighting and peeling paint.
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