TOWN FLIER is the weekly fans' blog on all matters at Swindon Town FC
THE latest laptop or mobile phone is virtually obsolete before it hits the streets – it feels just like that when trying to write about Swindon Town at the moment.
To say it is a volatile time at the County Ground is a major understatement but we fans do deserve some answers.
Non-disclosure agreements signed by both the outgoing and incoming owners mean that, for now, fans remain in the dark. The silence is becoming deafening.
The only one going public is an extremely frustrated manager who issued a statement on Friday which, while not a resignation letter, contained remarks that might have prompted a disciplinary offence – if only we knew who Di Canio’s boss is right now.
It sounded like a cry in the dark – a plea for someone to listen to him.
Whether or not you think his assessment of the job he and the players are doing is far-fetched (akin to winning four league titles, he says), he is within his rights to be apoplectic that his best player (Matt Ritchie) was sold without his prior agreement or even knowledge.
We have all become fascinated Di Canio watchers. Those unfamiliar with his post-match, player-hugging routine read a little too much into his usual antics after the televised 0-0 bore draw against Crawley on Saturday.
Then again, he did seem to have tears welling up in his eyes.
Fast forward three days and a Town team which had seen the last of Ritchie (boo!), Hollands (boo!) and Martin (hmm!), and was further decimated by sickness, dug out a hugely-committed three points in their 1-0 win at Colchester.
As was the case in the previous two away games of this current run on dreadful pitches (Orient, Crawley), the football was more League Two than the champagne stuff we have become used to – but the team got over the line and moved forward in all three matches.
Then Paolo wrong-footed the local media with his shortest-ever post-match interview.
Paolo has said enough for now. Former majority shareholder Andrew Black claimed on Twitter he will have plenty to say soon. On the same social media site, prospective owner Jed McCrory blasted a Daily Mirror report that he would sack Di Canio as ‘fiction’ and longed to bring ‘closure’ to this whole saga.
I accept that Swindon Town must be a selling club to balance the books, but someone needs to explain exactly why we sold our best player, to our most serious promotion challenger, for approximately half his true value.
And why, on the eve of new money arriving, was a letter circulated to all Football League clubs that the entire Swindon Town squad was up for sale, prompting Bournemouth’s predatory approach.
Anyone who has read David Conn’s brilliant and chilling dissection of modern football and its finances ‘The Beautiful Game’ will know what a bonkers sport it has become.
Large annual operating losses have become the norm and until boards correct the widespread imbalance between players’ wages (and agents’ fees) and actual earned income that will continue.
We assumed this was a well-run club compared to some past models – so why did they end up running headlong to the edge of the fiscal cliff?
It is reported that the former owners do not require their (£13m?) debt to be repaid and that Swindon Town has no other significant debts, overdrafts or creditors.
Surely, until we hear differently, there is every reason to be positive?
The win at Colchester took Town to within two points of the top of League One and stretched the team’s unbeaten run to ten.
By Saturday’s game against Hartlepool, the Football League should have ratified the sale to Jed McCrory and his mystery cohorts and deemed them fit and proper people to run a football club.
The loan deals to bring Bradley Wright-Phillips, Danny Green and Marlon Pack – a player I suggested we buy in the summer – could all be resurrected. Crisis? What crisis?
When Paolo originally came to the club, I was convinced we would be saying goodbye to him about now – the January of his second season. Either because he was making such a fist of it that he would be poached by a Premiership club or that some perceived wrong could be used to make a face-saving exit on the back of poor results.
As we know, his results have been spectacularly good and he is universally loved by the fans. But he is clearly unsettled and he may feel that no amount of bridge building by the prospective new owners will be enough.
Post-Hartlepool, there is another ten-day hiatus before another mouth-watering game at Tranmere in which to integrate any new players.
The club’s blueprint said ‘The Championship within three seasons’. Let’s hope Paolo is given the opportunity to finish what he has started.