YOU could not make it up. The colourful recent history of Swindon Town took another unique turn this week when the club was involved in not one but two court cases on the same day, writes Danny Hall.
It always seemed ironic that Nile Ranger’s chosen penthouse base in Swindon, Gordon Gardens, should be just a stone’s throw from the local magistrate’s court.
Given his repeated off-the-field indiscretions and subsequent appearances in front of ‘the beak’ it was never going to be long before he made his debut there.
His latest misdemeanour caught on CCTV cameras outside his own front door, is another unsavoury twist in the troubled striker’s life.
He is seen slapping an unidentified woman three times before kicking down his locked front door, presumably because he had misplaced his electronic key fob.
He faces a charge of causing criminal damage and possible eviction from the rented property.
We presume the woman prefers anonymity as she does not seem to be pressing charges for the assault.
On the field Ranger was superb for Town; he’s clearly too good a player for League One and Town were a significantly better team with him than without him.
But the club were always well aware that Nile comes with a lot of baggage. He became a hated figure among Newcastle fans because of wasting his natural talents due to his extracurricular activities and the same has occurred at Swindon.
The club shied away from taking appropriate action when he repeatedly failed to turn up for training earlier in the season but with this latest incident and a pending drink driving case to come it is time to draw a line under Ranger’s career in Wiltshire.
He’s a sublime talent on the field but a disaster waiting to happen off it.
The other case was much less predictable; just when we had forgotten about Jed McCrory’s inglorious tenure as owner of Swindon Town, up he pops again.
It would seem that Lee Power did not dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s when dealing with his takeover and the former Banbury chairman is now challenging Power’s ownership of the club.
Two hours of legal wrangling in London’s High Courts on Tuesday got us precisely nowhere and we still wait to see who has their hands on the ship’s rudder.
A disappointing defeat at Notts County, where we ended with only nine men on the field, derailed our excellent end-of-season run which has coincided with the return to decent pitches and away from mudbaths.
The party line is that Town have done exceptionally well to finish the season in seventh or eighth – ahead of the likes of MK Dons, Bristol City, Bradford, Coventry and perhaps Sheffield United.
That was fair comment in the close season when we did not know we had, but after seeing the capabilities of this free flowing team on the lush pitches of late summer, I think it is a case of what might have been.