LIGHT’S OUT . . . the weekly sports column full of wit and wisdom by former Gloucestershire CCC chairman John Light
Forest Green are top of the table – but it is the wrong one. I refer to the Non League Paper card count. Rovers have incurred 45 yellows and six reds. This is too many.
It means suspensions have happened and more are likely. But worse, it means the opposition can, and are scoring from the many free kicks conceded by Rovers and it is costing points.
The creditable fourth position could be so much better. My estimation is goals from free kicks and penalties have cost at least eight points.
I am hoping to be at Lincoln City on Saturday. The matching of a major cathedral city against a Cotswold village is too romantic an occasion to miss.
News that Swindon Town FC are up for sale with their principal investors owed £13million has stunned me.
This is a very unhealthy position for a club which has twice been in administration recently.
Understandably, manager Paulo wants money to improve his squad – all managers do – but it would appear he has been allowed too much.
This is not an empty complaint. I have chaired a professional sports club with financial problems. I am not claiming Gloucestershire CCC to be a perfect model but at least we always knew where we were financially, knew what we had to do and did it.
At monthly board meetings members were informed of the current club’s financial situation. Proper decisions can then be made. We had accurate, up-to-date evidence.
The Director of Cricket is a board member. He was very much party to discussions concerning his cricket budget – and stuck to it.
Chief Executive Tom Richardson was in touch with me on a daily basis. We would have loved to talk cricket all the time – but we had to get the money right first.
There were no freebies. Being chairman cost me money. All travel to meetings, all food and drink consumed at the ground was paid for. Forget the myth of board members downing gin and tonics at the club’s expense. It does not happen – it never has.
That is advice from cricket – but I think much of what I have written should apply to any sporting organisation.
One man who brought organisation to English cricket was Micky Stewart – the first manager our national team had, and the only one not to have been sacked.
Speaking last week at Stow-on-the-Wold cricket museum he entertained all who were there.
What I did not know was that he had turned down a place at Worcester College, Oxford for a lifetime in professional sport.
He had played with Lock, Laker, May and Bedser, he had managed Gooch, Gower and Botham.
“You played football didn’t you, Both? he enquired of Botham. “Five matches wasn’t it? In the third division?” He then rubbed it in, adding: “I was a first division player.”
He knew how to get Ian fired up. Listening to this all round sportsman was a delight.
Perhaps the best all round sportsman Cirencester has produced is Nigel Scrivens, often known by his father’s nickname ‘Rasher’.
Nigel played soccer, cricket and water polo, but especially rugby. His record of more than 300 games for the Cherry and Whites speaks for itself.
He should also be proud of his tenancy at The Bee’s Knees, which he is about to give up. The pub is a proper community one and has in recent years offered all a pub should.
It is tough being in the licensing trade these days and Nigel has decided to step back. He has challenged his customers to drink the pub dry on his last night at the end of the month. I am sure they can.
Alan Haines, chairman of Gloucestershire CCC from 2002 to 2005, has died in Cheltenham following a short illness.
No one fought harder to preserve first class cricket in Gloucester than Alan. Realising sponsorship was essential for the Festival to continue, Alan personally obtained support for cricket at the Wagon Works and Archdeacon’s Meadow.
A county supporter all his life, Alan was a long-standing chairman of the Gloucester and, later, Severn regions. He joined the county management committee in 1991.
His silver hair and immaculate grey suits made him a well known and respected figure wherever Gloucester played.
Ably supported by his wife Brenda, he never stinted in support of his beloved county club.