Uneasy times at Notts County

25th February 2012

“Thank you Martin, Always a pleasure.” My parting words following an interview for URN last thursday in advance of what turned out to be his Swansong at Hartlepool that Saturday. As he held the door to his office for us to leave and shook each of us by the hand and thanked us for being there, with hindsight maybe the writing had been on the wall before Martin Allen’s sacking following the woeful display witnessed by 300 fans and the Notts Board. A decision that has taken the fans and indeed many in the footballing world by shock. The statement issued by owner and chairman Ray Trew last Sunday left many more questions than answers…

To start with, there’s no mention of results anywhere in the club’s statement and a variety of rumours suggesting uneasy relationships between the board and manager combined with a conflict of interest in footballing decisions seemed to be what proved to be the end of Allen’s tenure at Notts County. This notion of results having little bearing on the board’s decision is concreted by only Allen mentioned as being “relieved of his duties”, rather than the rest of the management team of Carl Muggleton and John Schofield. An assurance from Ray Trew himself that there would be no “Knee-Jerk reaction” and the decision made was in the best interests of the club has left everyone scratching their heads as to the nature of the parting of company and I’m convinced the whole story will be kept between the individuals involved.

Which brings us to his replacement; Keith Curle. A man who has never managed above League 2 and struggled in his own right before working with Neil Warnock at QPR for three years. A nasty fans’ backlash following this revelation saw a real rift already in place ahead of his appointment. Every man deserves a chance and for Curle, a chance to manage at a higher level than previously with a board and club that back him. If only a select corner of the fans would instil the same faith in the club, rather than angrily making their opinion known with threats of boycotts and refusal to renew season tickets the least of the problems.

This pales in insignificance to the potential bombshell dropped this morning, with strong rumours of Ray Trew himself stepping away from the club following foul abuse levelled at his family through the social networks. No matter what the circumstances around Allen’s dismissal and indeed the seemingly inevitable appointment of Keith Curle, for the clubs ‘saviour’ to walk away… that £10million invested in his two year reign will see us appointing administrators rather than new managers. Anyone involved with abuse towards individuals and indeed their families should be treated with the same severity as those found guilty of racist abuse towards footballers. Nothing less.

Dave Straw