Last Night's Fan's Forum

Last updated : 22 November 2002 By Rob Davies

Well over what looked like maybe 300 attended the question and answer (with a few arguments) session in the Oriental Suite last night at the Lane.

I was one of that 300 strong crowd. Arriving at 7.30 I was amazed to find that there was only a few seats left so I grabbed one quick!

Radio Nottingham’s Magpie correspondent, Colin Slater, chaired the meeting. General manager Tony Cuthbert, Albert Scardino, Billy Dearden and 2 of the players, Richo and Paul Bolland joined him at the front. Later on in the evening Notts County’s administrator, Paul Finnity joined the panel and was quizzed about Notts’ finances.


Fans agreed we have to forget Southport
he first fan to pose a question started by saying that last Saturday had been and gone and we should all forget about it and move on. I’m not sure how easy it will be to forget about what happened but we all certainly want to move on. Anyway most fans agreed with what he said as it was greeted by cheers and claps from all quarters of the room.

Most of the discussion was based around Notts’ currant financial situation and the likelihood of us coming out of administration in the near, rather than distant, future.

On the administration front it was revealed by Paul Finnity that they are apparently at the last hurdle of raising finances but they still have a lot of negotiations to do with various parties before the loan is agreed – hopefully within 3 or 4 weeks. He also added, "I would love to be out (of administration) by the end of December". Take that for what you will as we all know how people will twist things to make them sound good. But I’ll give him credit, he did come and talk to the fans, which is more than, I’m sure, most administrators would do. It was also interesting to hear from a relatively unbiased person on the club’s state.

Staying with the money; Tony Cuthbert said that for every £100 that the club receives, £131 is paid out again and also we have budgeted on an average attendance of 7,000 with 22 permanent players. Apparently thought Tony Cuthbert had been at a meeting of all the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Division club and there it was suggested that there should be a cap on how many players you can have in your squad. The number being 24. Whether the plan will ever come to fruition is another matter. I would like to think it will as it is the only way that you will stop some clubs who just seem to buy, buy, buy and end up with about 30 players in their squad as opposed to Notts having just 20.

Finances beginning to be sorted out

The whole meeting was quite civilised with only one minor argument between to fans; which was over how much the club is in debt. Which was never properly cleared up but it seemed to be in the region of £2 million at the moment. Paul Finnity also said that when he was called into the club, we were in the region of £6 million in debt.

Other questions were asked about the team not performing. Billy said he would not answer very personal questions about individuals' performances. Some fans have been wondering about the whereabouts of young left back, Paul Riely, because of the shortage of players for defensive positions in recent weeks. Dearden said that he had a drop in form over this season and didn’t really deserve a first team place at the moment. But, he said that he hopes that Paul will come

Bolly will be out for a few weeks longer
out of the dip in form that he’s suffering and challenge for a starting 11 place again.

Bolland didn’t escape the inevitable question about his injury. He said that his cast should be off in a week or so, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before he returns to the side.

The players were asked about not trying and all the other questions

Answered some tough questions
that have been banded about. Bolly said that it wasn’t through the lack of effort that the results weren’t coming. Billy said "Our new target is to get up the league as quick as possible and there is not reason why we can’t do that". Well there wasn’t really much else he could say was there?!

Billy was also questioned about Gary Brazil and whether his duties at the Centre of Excellence and as a coach conflicted. Billy said basically in an ideal situation he would not have 2 roles and so would be free to concentrate on one of them.