It really is a sorry tale and a classic case of "how not to run a pub." The real tragedy is that Clive has been unable to accept any of the various offers made to him for the pub over the last three years. His valuation has always sat comfortably beyond what anyone has been prepared to pay, a number of them experienced publicans who know the score. Cutting his weekly losses (especially during the close season) is one thing but this could well be the final nail in the pub's coffin in terms of it's potential as a thriving back-street local. I only hope he doesn't live to regret not taking the £69,000 offer he was made at the last-ditch auction in April.
In the meantime, I suspect the Oak might be the place this evening for a free drink or a late one until the pub is dry. Having said that, by it's recent standards, there might not be a lot of 'stock' left to consume.