European football, a ‘gagging order’ and a new manager. Just another week at Notts County

October 30, 2009

So another week at Meadow Lane is over, and we’re all looking forward to the game against Shrewsbury tomorrow. But like most weeks following Munto Finance’s takeover, we’ve barely been out of the news.

Firstly, we had the confirmation of new manager Hans Backe, who will watch tomorrow’s game from the stands. Secondly, Sol Campbell brings the PFA into his fight with the club over a ‘gagging order’ (I’m sure this isn’t the first time Sol Campbell’s name has featured with the word ‘gag’ in the same sentence, but I digress…) and Peter Trembling has continued to outline his future plans for the club. I’ve described following this club as a rollercoaster in the past, and we seem to be picking up pace.

Sol Campbell’s refusal to sign the confidentiality agreement between him and the club threatens the remainder of his very career. After walking out on a five-year contract after a month, part of me can’t believe the cheek of the man. However, I have a bit of an ethical dilemma. I’m a firm believer in ‘freedom of speech’, so despite my outrage at the disdain he treated us Notts fans with, I have a great deal of sympathy with his argument, and believe he should be allowed to have his say.

I appreciate that in some businesses a confidentiality agreement is commonplace. However, football isn’t just any old business, and I have to admit to being intrigued as to his official reason for leaving. Whatever it is, I can only imagine it is about the club’s owners and the finances within the club. However, I would hope that the FA’s recent ratification of the takeover should dissolve any fears the club have of Campbell’s knowledge.

The other issue I have here is more long-term. What is to say these issues with Campbell won’t happen again with another top player further down the line? Will Campbell’s experience stop other players from signing for us? It isn’t quite a precedent, as there was a similar issue with Bobo Balde at Celtic, only he refused to leave, but it definitely isn’t commonplace. Obviously, we’ll only get the answers to my questions when we come to them, but it leaves a little doubt in my mind.

However, after reading the NEP’s interview with Peter Trembling, the doubt turns back into excitement. Trembling clearly believes that the club’s ambitions are attainable, and although we can’t see massive investment in the playing squad whilst we are in League 2, he does acknowledge the eventual target is to be challenging for the top 4 in the Premier League. I can’t help but pinch myself at that statement, considering we have almost lost our football league status in the last couple of seasons. Hell, I was at Meadow Lane against Bury in 2006, when we were minutes away from relegation! Now, the club are genuinely talking about competing for Champions League positions!

However, some of us fans (myself included) do need bringing back to Earth a little. We need to get to the big time first, which is where the new gaffer comes in.

Sven believes that Hans Backe is the man to get us there, and that’s good enough for me. Backe has already said he loves to play attractive, attacking football, which is music to my ears. Hopefully, that’ll start tomorrow with a good win against Shrewsbury and a place in the top 3 again come Final Score.

I hope we can welcome him with the loudest rendition of the ‘Wheelbarrow Song’ for many a year, and if just a few of you have the same level of excitement that I do, the atmosphere will be electric. And I can’t wait.

See you on the Kop.

6 Responses to “European football, a ‘gagging order’ and a new manager. Just another week at Notts County”

  1. colin Says:

    I’m not a county fan, but for vaguely professional reasons, I was having a look at the official website.

    I know this must have been debated to death previously, but what is there a strange mutant letter aitch doing in the middle of your new badge please?

    I have had a look on some websites but I am none the wiser. Is it a company logo?

    So why the H?

    colin (blade, pity me)

  2. colin Says:

    Oh and sorry, its nothing to do with gagging, unless you tell me different!

  3. Mike McKenna Says:

    Hi Colin

    If I’m honest, I hadn’t even noticed it, so I’m afraid I have no idea. If I find out I’ll let you know.

    • colin Says:

      ta mate, please do.

      If you read various threads on other websites, there seems to be a feeling that it somehow represents Robin Hood, but I think that is nonsense, the bloke with a funny hat and a long bow is the accepted Robin Hood reference. I’ve a feeling the elusive ‘Munto’ are sneaking a branding of some sort onto it.

      I know nothing about the ownership of County, but from the outside, it does appear dodgy as hell!?

      Do you think Campbell, far from just coming the big ‘I am’ and walking out in a strop actually saw through it all and got out while the going was good?

      History alone will decide!!

      keep me posted please,


  4. Mike McKenna Says:

    This is from the recent Q&A session, straight from Peter Trembling.

    “The “H” is about the heart, the heart of the city, the history, the heritage, and the H is the key to Nottingham Castle. It was all about the new brand.”

    So there you go.

  5. colin Says:

    Blimey, that’s erm…. abstract,

    It’s a wonder more clubs don’t have ‘H’s on them !

    BTW I like the generic striped Nike kit, its proper and pure. I saw some of your lot didn’t like it because it wasn’t distinctive enough. They miss the point and presumably don’t really understand gent’s clothing.

    many thanks,


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