On 7 August last year, with Sevco fans hollering for some money to be spent, and with the memories of King’s £30 million “investment” promise still fresh in the mind, Dave King tackled the question as to whether he would allow the manager to spend big in the window. King said that the August – September window wasn’t his priority; the team had already proved they could “compete” after knocking Celtic out of the cup.
No, the real cash was being “kept in reserve” until January.
He had already sanctioned a number of signings including that of Barton, Rossiter, Kranjcar and Dodoo. Whilst not quite sure that they were done – they weren’t; they added Senderos, AKA The Invisible Man – he said he couldn’t see the manager being given any big sums of money at that point, but that they would evaluate what was required and spend big in this window.
Today that spending has been revealed in its totality; £250,000 for Port Vale’s second string keeper, and that only after failing to get him on hire purchase. Two loan signings, who have gone straight into the first team, which says a lot for the dross Warburton has bought.
This is not the only promise King made on that day, and which hasn’t been kept. He told the fans the club was close to a “solution” on the Sports Direct issue; he brings that up almost constantly, because he knows their supporters see it as the biggest issue they face – there are far bigger ones, but that’s not important right now – and some kind of magic wand to solve all their troubles in one go. That promise hasn’t been kept and the matter is heading for the courts.
Will the media highlight the August interview when they do their wrap-up of this window’s business? No, they’ll get right onto focusing on which of our players will leave in the summer. This is a fact, and I’m already bracing myself for it.
But this is a serious issue for that club, and for its fans. They have, in place, at the top, a serial dissembler, an outright charlatan who cannot be trusted in a word that he says. When this window closes you wait and see, he’ll give an interview to one of his pet journalists in which he’ll blame Mike Ashley and others and make grandiose promises about spending in the summer, all the better to sell season tickets. It will be more lies.
I’m not suggesting a course of action; that’s not for me to do. There may not be one that they can take anyway; this guy is like Trump, and the situation they face is one not dissimilar to that which American voters are now contemplating; this is a matter now completely out of their hands. But as Trump has to run his stuff by Congress and the Senate, King has to maintain the confidence of the guys who sit in the boardroom and work at the club full-time. If Sevco fans want to apply pressure, it’s those guys they need to push.
King is thousands of miles away; protesting him isn’t going to do a heck of a lot of good.