Monday 27 February 2023

Carpet-bagger Methven

If you read these pages regularly, you will know that I am no fan of Thomas Sandgaard and said his reign was effectively over after he failed to invest in the Summer. He has also lied to the fans about having no interest in selling the club and not knowing Methven etc although those are white lies in my mind given his need to avoid signalling a sale.

Charlie Methven on the other hand is a naked liar. His involvement at Sunderland was characterised by deceptions in terms of ownership and motivation. Sunderland fans have willingly told us all of this. At Charlton he strenuously denied any involvement in a takeover when it was apparent he wasn't here just because he had fallen in love with the football we play. Even when the Texas Takeover became clear he denied any involvement and specifically that he would have no involvement post a takeover, although the seat of CEO was still vacant despite appointing a FD, Technical Director, First Team Coach etc.

Their initial period of exclusivity expired and we had no update or progress for over a couple of weeks before Sandgaard pulled the plug. The reason he gave was that they hadn't stuck to the terms of their agreement and Sandgaard was tired of the ongoing negotiation tactics - he was also being rubbished over trying to increase his remaining stakeholding by 2%. Methven's response was that they had the money and were ready to complete the next day. Not that he had the money and was ready to go ahead of the 31st January of course.

We should remind ourselves that Sandgaard took no risks legally when he acquired the club. He paid for top legal advice and won his day in court. He runs a multi-national and as CEO will be very familiar with seeking and adhering to legal guidance.

Methven's continuing threats of legal action and now pumped up threats of suing for huge sums for 'loss of profits' is laughable. A club losing £500,000 a month that his group could have bought for £8.5m suddenly becomes a £50m profit generating machine? Come on! There is only one driver here. Bad PR for Sandgaard and the club in an attempt to draw a smaller, more realistic "get lost" fee from Sandgaard. It could also be as simple as trying to get their deposit refunded. It would appear Sandgaard may be hanging on to that and might have legal grounds to do so if the deal hadn't completed within the initial exclusivity period or if they had broken terms as Sandgaard claims.

Either way, Charlie Boy has yet to act and looks content to throw aspersions and feed his claims to anyone daft enough to listen. 

I still don't get the billionaire backers bit either. If their consortium had this sort of money behind them, why didn't they complete on time? Haggling supposedly over 2% of the sale price (£170,000) is plainly laughable. 

I don't doubt that there may have been an exclusivity extension clause but would bet that the advice Sandgaard received was clear that he was on solid enough ground to break his deal irrespective. Roll on a takeover. In the absence of a plainly obviously credible buyer (acquiring the assets and setting out a bold investment plan), anyone else could yet prove to be another disappointment but we have to roll the dice and move on.

I couldn't care less whoever wins this argument or what it costs them, just as long as it doesn't affect CAFC. For what it's worth, however, confirmation of a new takeover next month would reduce Methven's group to possibly arguing just for their deposit back and we could move on.

If Spiegal (& Co) do get control, we have to hope that they have a plan for investment despite his comparative wealth being less than Sandgaard's. The argument is a bit of a moot point when Sandgaard is not going to invest another bean in any event. 

Monday 20 February 2023

Cambridge away 1992

Just seen a Tweet from @CafcFacts (CAFC Facts & Stats) about the upcoming visit to Cambridge United - our first Saturday visit since February 1992 and it brought back memories.

I went to the game with eight or nine mates, our usual gang. It was a Second Division game at a time when Cambridge United were at an all time high. They had been promoted the season before under John Beck, who was an unorthodox manager who believed in 'percentage football.' Beck was all about doing anything to gain an advantage and a worshipper of long ball football with big gangly forwards Wimbledon on steroids. It was a game I was looking forward to, convinced we would put these upstarts in their place. It was the post-Lennie era and we still had a decent footballing side with Pitcher, Pardew, Webster, Barness, Lee, Leaburn and Nelson. I was sure we would be good enough to hold them upfront and score at the other end.

In front of a 6,563 gate, we were dragged into a Beck-slogfest against his battlers and in traditional Charlton fashion were reduced to their level and failed to show our class. The winning goal came early in the second-half and battle as much as we did, we couldn't get back in the game. Looking back, Cambridge were probably a better side than they were given credit for - Danny O'Shea, Liam Daish and Alan Kimble in defence with Dion Dublin and Steve Claridge upfront. They could certainly grind it out.

Just before full-time we decided we had seen enough and began the long trudge back to the station. As we left we picked up half-a-dozen others and spent the next twenty minutes collectively moaning about how poor we had been and that we couldn't believe we had been reduced to losing to Canbridge United. 

As we got closer to town, we were refused service at the first pub ("no away fans") and then again at a second and a third. Just as we were about to give up all hope, we hit the fourth pub which was relatively quiet and staffed only by a young and inexperienced barmaid. By the time she had managed to pour the first six pints, the landlady made a hurried entrance from upstairs, took one look at us and said "no away fans, you will have to leave." I said we had just been served after three knockbacks and were feeling particularly unwelcome. She agreed we could have our round but would have to leave after that.

There were a few students sitting alone around the bar reading and a few locals at the bar. It was then that Alastair Allen ('Scottish Alastair') spotted the piano and took a seat with his pint. As he lifted the cover, the landlady shouted "that's only for piano players" which we all thought was harsh but probably fair. A second later, Alastair's fingers flew across the keys and we all stood agog as a perfectly played classical piece reverberated around and the room. Suitably chastened, the landlady apologised. 

The students were all smirking and enjoying the spectacle when Alastair launched into a honky-tonk tune and began an improvised song all about our day. He summed it all up brilliantly including how we had been misjudged and poorly treated having suffered all day watching Cambridge's 'anti-football'. When he finished he got a round of applause from everyone and the landlady decided we were welcome to stay 😂. 

What chance of a repeat on 18th March?

Sunday 19 February 2023

Derby County 2 v Charlton Athletic 0

Back to Earth with a bump at Derby yesterday. The reality of where we find ourselves as a League One outfit was laid bare. Dean Holden's boys tried desperately hard but were beaten by a Derby side that didn't have to get out of third gear.

We tried to get forward throughout the match and whilst we could put two passes together moving out there was almost nothing in the final third. Technically we were woeful when we got there. Scott Fraser looked outclassed, Corey Blackett-Taylor was marked out of the game and Macauley Bonne ran about looking to head balls on to no-one. Rak-Sakyi at least looked lively but there was no end product. Aneke eventually came on for Bonne as if to underline the fact that we have nothing upfront without Leaburn. 

Albie Morgan was back in for the disappointing Kilkenny but gave another stuttering performance. Dobson did Dobson stuff but he was operating in an over-run midfield.

Michael Hector earned his first start as Inniss was rested but he conceded the penalty for the opening goal with a naive handball and could only watch as the smaller Eiran Cashin held him off to power home the second which ended the contest. That January transfer window is beginning to look exactly what it was - cost-cutting and squad shrinking.

It was demoralising to watch and we might have taken a beating if Derby had bothered to find their higher gears. Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth might just manage that. I expect us to start March back in the bottom-half as we stumble to a mid-table finish.  Half of our existing squad will then disappear as loanees depart and out-of-contract players look for better offers. Without an ambitious takeover, we look set for another Groundhog Year under Breakeven Sandgaard or an equivalent. A modest takeover might be an improvement but we need so much more to compete seriously in this league, like Ipswich, Wednesday, Derby, Bolton and Plymouth. 

Thomas Snadgaard may want to save face and hope for a future windfall by retaining a minor share in the club, but surely he realises that his chances of doing that are only going to be enhanced by selling to an ambitious and financially capable bidder? Piddling about with those barely capable of meeting the 80% purchase price is only going to continue his financial liability and delay any chance he has of being able to one-day cash-in on his minor stakeholding.

As supporters desperate for real change, we really need to be refusing to simply handover our cash committing to another season in advance of seeing the extent of the owner's (whoever it is) ambition. It's all we have left bar the shouting.

Wednesday 15 February 2023

Forest Green Rovers 0 v Charlton Athletic 1

For half-an-hour of this match it looked like we would win it very comfortably but it went downhill rapidly after that. 

Rovers gave us a lot of space early on and seemed unable to get out of their half. Rak-Sakyi was tearing holes down their left, even with two men on him his 12th minute cross to the centre of the box was hammered in by Blackett-Taylor. We really should have gone two-up and made this easy but we lacked a cutting edge. Chuks Aneke was back in the starting line-up in place of Bonne but he struggled to get on the ball and looked short of fitness.

Once Rovers finally found their feet, they made the last 15 minutes of the first-half uncomfortable for us but wasted two good opportunities to level.

Duncan Ferguson had seen how much space our back four had to play the ball around and find our midfielders and it was notable after the restart that they were instructed to move upfield quickly and pressure us when we tried to play out. That worked for them and they began to look increasingly confident going forward. We look very casual when we have a lead and it's hard to avoid the feeling that our players have an unhealthy view that they always think they can score again if the opposition equalise.

We were very fortunate not to concede. Our players must have blocked ten shots in the final fifteen minutes and it was all hands to the pumps to try to slow them down. Ashley Maynard-Brewer kept us in front with the save of the match towards the end when he showed tremendous reflexes to get down so quickly and so low to push out a shot he had no right to expect to save.

Dean Holden's post match press conferences when we lose are usually all about what's not good enough at this club and how it won't be tolerated or acceptable in the upcoming match and this has largely been the case with a win-lose-win-lose-win sequence. I find those a tad disappointing because our losses have been largely very disappointing and down to performances Holden has told us won't be tolerated.

By comparison, when we win, he talks much more about the game and is usually comprehensive, honest and accurate in his assessments. It is still early days and it could go both ways for him but the season is over and he doesn't have a squad to that looks much better than mid-table in any event.

We remain desperately short of central attacking options. No surprise that a winger is top scorer.  Bonne doesn't look like fulfilling his promise of making it up to us and Aneke looks like he is working his way back to another break-down. Leaburn has a hip-knock and Holden seems reluctant to try Daniel Kanu again.

Our dependence on loan players is an indictment on any serious attempt at building a side capable of promotion and being competitive in the Championship but beggar's can't be chosers.

The next three fixtures against Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth looks ominous and a real test but we have a tendency to up our game against the better sides. 

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Hello Marc Spiegel

Takeover 2 (this year) confirmed by Thomas Sandgaard as Marc Spiegel, another American and owner of global waste management and recycling company Rubicon.

We also had proof yesterday that Charlie Methven was only here for the money. In a carefully worded zoom piece for the BBC online, he expressed surprise that Thomas Sangaard called time and said his group would be considering legal redress "for penalties" and that he considered his deal was still on. Sandgaard chose not to bite 'at this time' and reitereated that the deal was off because it over-ran and wasn't completed as per the terms of exclusivity. 

Methven is flying a kite to save some face and for a pay-off. I suspect he will go the way of Paul Elliott and that Cardiff dentist and be sent packing.

CAST's own legal eagle has summarised it neatly here;;

So what to make of Marc Spiegel? First thing is he Tweeted a couple of short, cryptic but excited sounding Tweets last week about his love of football and a possibly "momentus" decision. Those were quickly deleted yesterday after he was named and Charlton fans began responding.

He is a big sports fan and has money although I suspect he is some way behind Sandgaard who has found it too rich for his liking. We need to understand his plans but if he is behind this alone I don't see the incentive of a flip that wouldn't show him in a good light (unlike an American investment house who couldn't care less). 

Immediate view is that he may be prepared to do the running for a couple of seasons and hope he can find footballing success that eluded Sandgaard and help rebuild the club's fanbase. If not, hard to see him not looking to get out after he is £15-20m down. 

Sandgaard has also appointed Peter Storrie as temporary consultant CEO to see the club through this next attempted sale and possibly another if there is one. Widely experienced but not without form of his own. Hopefully he wont be here long enough to do any damage. Rumour too that ex football agent Jon Smith will be appointed as Technical Director. Smith too is well experienced and managed Diego Maradona at one time. I would think he too would be costly for Sandgaard so suspect another 'consultancy' role.

Back at the coal-face, Charlton finally win a sending off appeal! Inniss available to face the mighty Forest Green Rovers tonight.

Friday 10 February 2023

Bye-bye Charlie Boy

Delighted to see that Thomas Sandgaard has pulled the plug on asset-stripper Charlie Methven. We have dodged a bullet here. 

Sandgaard has said that the terms of the agreement hadn't been met and he couldn't let it drag on. Methven has said they had agreed a price of £8.5m and that the money was ready to go. Who to believe?

The fact is, we are ten days beyond the exclusivity deadline and a deal had not been closed. Methven was shit-stirring last weekend via "a well-known Charlton businessman" and trying to get fans to pressure Sandgaard to do a deal. The nonsense about Sandgaard holding out for another 2% didn't sound realistic, especially if they had "three billionaires with £53m ready to go." Saying Sandgaard had failed a commitment to pay a first installment of £17m to Duchatelet for the Valley and Sparrows Lane was also horseshit. Sandgaard may well have had an option for that - he spoke about it once before, but it has never been provisioned as a liability in the accounts and we know he agreed an increase in the annual lease in exchange for an extended lease, so a purchase commitment made no sense. If he had committed contractually to buying the assets, does anyone think he would have kept it to himself when it would have given him overwhelming fan backing?

I suspect Methven's US backers were still struggling to raise the funds and more likely were nipping Sandgaard to try and reduce what they needed to raise.

Worth remembering that Sandgaard wants to cut his losses. Project Break-Even isn't a rumour. If Methven and Co had met the price I think he would have grabbed it. More likely they hadn't and he was unimpressed at being abused by Methven.

The reliable Ben Ransome at Sky (pretty sure he is a Charlton fan too) has also reported similar but has mentioned backing of Methven's bid by US businessmen Gabriel Brener and Joshua Friedman. I don't doubt this but I can't believe they were any more committed than a minor stake in the investment company's "fast burn." If they were, this wouldn't have drifted on. They are probably the "three billionaires" Methven was bragging about, although neither qualify. Brener is worth less than Sandgaard and Friedman is CEO of an asset management company and an internet search suggest he has less money than Methven.

So goodbye to Scott, Rodwell and Warrick. We can also expect to see "SE7 Partners" shut down before taking breath. Holden has said he is interested in extending his time with us and Sandgaard moved quickly today saying he was looking at strengthening his contract. That is a good move which will be well received by fans and should help us finish the season on a high.

It could also be, of course, that Sandgaard has an increasingly better second offer. If that proves to be the case, it surely had to be more positive for us than what Methven's backers were threatening. I will say it again, he doesn't want to be on the hook for our running costs going forward and I can't see that changing. There remains a deal to be done.

Wednesday 8 February 2023

If it looks like a duck....

Hugely frustrating following the fortunes of Charlton Athletic on social media at the moment. I know not everyone has the time or, frankly the interest, to be across everything but it's so depressing to see so many fans who appear to have no common sense or simply can't see when they are being misled.

The Oxford Gang.

Charlie Methven started appearing in the Directors Box at Charlton several months ago. He is an Oxford United season ticket holder and has held several posts at the club, so you wondered why? Sandgaard then appointed Scott, Rodwell, Warrick and Holden from nowhere having told the Fans Forum only days before that he had been searching for a CEO for two years with two head-hunting firms but couldn't find anyone!

Methven admitted he had been talking to Sandgaard but was not involved on any takeover or Sandgaard's appointments. However, Scott played for Oxford for three years and knew Methven from then. Rodwell had worked for Methven at Sunderland. We then found out that Methven and Warrick had just registerred a business called 'SE7 Partners.' So it looked very much like Methven was being economical with the truth and was indeed involved in a potential takeover.

We then had a scoop concerning a sales prospectus in the US for the club and an associated email trail from an investment house that said they were raising £11.3m to acquire the club and provide a modest operating budget (I was one of several fans who saw this). It said they had an experienced management team in place and it named Scott, Rodwell, Warrick, Simon Lenagan and, surprise, surprise, Charlie Boy himself as CEO. So it now looked and sounded like Methwen was involved in a potential takeover.

Next up, Simon Lenegan started turning up in the Directors box with the others. Lenegan is a fellow Oxford United fan. His father once owned the club and was Chairman of the EFL. So it now looked, sounded and smelt like a potential takeover.

The US Investment House

The email trail explaining their strategy made it very clear that this was "a fast burn." A short-term plan to get in, slash costs and sell on at a profit. The operating budget of £4m was only going to last 8 months at the current run rate, so it couldn't be long term. There was no money to invest in the club or the playing squad so the idea that they would win promotion next season before selling us on was laughable but they never claimed that as part of the plan. The detail, as I have explained previously, was all negative cost cutting and club shrinking. An asset-stripper like Methven, with his track record at Sunderland, was as perfect for the task. I will agree with anyone that this plan doesn't add value so why would anyone pay a premium, but that is their plan. If they get the club and it doesn't play out, you can see us entering Administration at some point next year.

The Takeover

We then had a Sandgaard-backed announcement that he had given exclusivity to a US-based takeover group. There was no deadline but fair to assume it was throughout January. Scott, Rodwell and Warrick had all come in on short-term contracts. Scott confirmed his until 31st January and told us he was appointed to oversee the January transfer window and confirmed there was money to spend and that he "wouldn't have accepted the job if there was no money." I believe him, after all he managed to spend over £150m this Summer at Forest, although their title challenge has faded.

Our transfer window wasn't actually anywhere near as bad as some feared (me included). We didn't sell Leaburn or Kanu and we moved out some players who had had their chance and failed. However, the simple facts were also that we brought in c £500k in fees for Stockley and Kirk, spent nothing ourselves, brought in short term loanees and cut our wage bill by shrinking our squad. We were misled by Scott and he also passed it off as a Holden-led window because he only wanted a 16 man matchday squad. Holden has gone along with this and with another win on Saturday has everyone purring. However, we are two injuries away from another positional crisis. Amazingly, some fans are still talking about a several million pound rebuild in the Summer. Others are saying they are glad new owners aren't buying the Valley or Sparrows Lane because spending on a promotion challenging side is more important! 

On Sunday, someone close to the takeover told a 'well known Charlton supporting businessman' that the takeover was well advanced with three (3) US billionaires involved and £53m ready to buy the assets as well as the club but that the nasty Thomas Sangaard was now playing hardball for an increased two per cent stake which was unacceptable to the three (3) billionaires and that the deal would be off within two days unless he relented. If you are going to tell a lie, it might as well be a big one, but honestly, who could believe this? The news was broken with tittle-tattle about Aneke's health and the searing injustice that Martin Sandgaard's office at Sparrows Lane was bigger than Dean Holden's. Laughable. Methven even commented on LinkedIn that he didn't know about three billionaires "but wasn't inclined to deny it." This from the man who told us he wasn't involved but is the most obvious suspect to have fed the gossip onto social media. No credible journo would have touched it and Methven would have to have exposed himself if he had gone down that route. 

Earlier this week the reputable The Athletic is reported that a US group are about to amnounce a £10m takeover and that Charlie Methven will be announced as the Chief Exec. So it now looks like a takeover, sounds like one and is about walk like one. 

What's next?

Sorry to tell you, but without big money, this group will be unable to do anything more than what they have outlined in their plan to would-be investors. Once they have control we will see their 'fast burn' and there will be no room for wishful thinking, wait and see, Summer rebuilds or any dreams of a promotion challenge. Dean Holden is doing a great job but he cannot succeed under a strategy that only focuses on costs and profits.

I also doubt they will be able to find anyone willing to pay them a big profit for selling players, slashing services and potential revenue streams as part of a short-term plan. Then we will be in real trouble because the money will run out.

Our first chance to stop these people or thwart their plans will be to withold season ticket revenues, at least until we see their 'Summer rebuild.' Like ESI before them, they will pocket this if we give it to them early.

Sunderland fans, God bless them, are shouting loud warnings, in the same way we were desperate to alert Rochdale fans about Matt Southall. Yet, there are still Charlton fans out there who think they are just bitter or that Methven and new owners deserve a chance, even when we have seen the blueprint. God help us.

If you are truly undecided or want help to make you mind up, may I recommend Netflix's Sunderland Til I Die. Charlie Methven is there in full technicolor. He knows he is being filmed throughout and still manages to come across as a clueless, entitled, public-school idiot who doesn't listen to anyone and makes a howler of everything. What's really great about it, is that we manage to piss on his chips in the last episode at Wembley. If this takeover plays out as it promises, as supporters we will need to do it again.

Sunday 5 February 2023

England 23 v Scotland 29

I was at Twickenham yesterday for what I believe was my 12th visit in 35 years to see Scotland and it was the first time I have seen us win there. A superb match was nip and tuck until the end when Duhan Van Der Merve bolted in from the wing and crashed three tacklers to win it for Scotland.

Steve Borthwick's first team selections seemed to be on track for much of the game. Two good Max Malins tries demonstrated why he had been selected. The England pack was slightly on top but failed to turned the game when Scotland replaced their front row in the second half. 

Instead it was left to Scotland's backs to win the match. With Finn Russell the thinking is often quick but yesterday the passing across the line was lightning quick and it gave Scotland the edge. Huw Jones had scampered in to touch down a clever grubber from Tuipulotu for the first Scottish try and Van Der Merve scored the try of the game mid way through the first-half when he ran the length of the England half and evaded five tackles to score. Ben White added the third after breaking the line and charging home in the second-half.

To make things even better, the Addicks held on for 60 minutes to win for only a second time on the road, at Exeter. Rak-Sakyi volleyed an early lead from a Dobson chip and Blackett-Taylor raced on to a Ness through ball to slip the keeper. The Grecians pulled one back but we held on for the points. I was delighted to see Rak-Sakyi holding up a shirt remembering Ben Jay after he scored and it was good to see Dean Holden on the train with supporters after the match. 

I had feared we might lose yesterday and that the more fickle amongst us would be on Holden's back. The win was well worked and Holden's post match interview was another lesson in telling it as it was and explaining very clearly what he set the side out to do and how it worked. He has the common touch and is very hard not to like. I do wish he wasn't associated with Methvin & Co but I guess that's not his problem and he certainly seems happy enough to be getting on with his job in spite of the ownership uncertainty.

Bring on Wales at Murrayfield 😁.

Thursday 2 February 2023

The mirror cracks

An entirely predictable January transfer window and no word from our 'owners' on conclusion of that or of the expiry of the contracts of the Methven gang - Scott, Roddick and Warrick.

Until this afternoon, that is, when Scott gave a brief window update to Rich Cawley which for me cracks the facade of three billionaire buyers or any pretense whatsoever of big money. 

First off, we need to remember he told us six weeks ago that he was here to supervise the transfer window and that there would be money to spend. He was as bold to tell us he wouldn't have accepted the job otherwise. Mystic Meg told us at New Year that the window would be a disappointment and another exercise in cost cutting. That is what we have just witnessed but Scott tried a massive bluff today.

He has claimed they are "generally happy with it" and that Dean Holden wanted to "cut the squad numbers because he couldn't train the way he wanted to." Scott said that having "five or six players involved who wouldn't be playing on matchday doesn't create a good culture." It will be interesting to see if Holden backs this because from what we have seen of him, it doesn't fit.

They have obviously had to think long and hard about how they could position a disapointing window which had definitely not left us stronger and this was the best they could muster. What a load of bullshit. How gullible do they think we are? Show me one other fair sized club in the country that maintains a small playing squad and claims it is good for morale/culture? Jose Mourinho broke the mould with a preference fora first team squad of 22. A couple more injuries and we could well be struggling again.

Indeed, one of the things we were told Holden did when he came in was to break up the dinner tables at Sparrows Lane that had become the preserve of the first team, U23's and the women's teams and get them all mixing. Now we are to believe he wants the 16 matchday squad players training on their own. 

Asked about his contract which expired on Tuesday, he tells us "it becomes a rolling contract if all parties agree." That's double-speak for he is out of contract and nothing has been sorted out. They knew this was coming and questions would be asked but it's not been addressed yet and you can guess why. Thomas Sandgaard has been taking some heat from fans and indirectly from Methven and Co so cannot be happy with takeover progress, so not hard to fathom why contracts have expired.

Scott has tried to maintain the facade of a ticking clock but nothing else supports that. He also claims they rebuffed offers for youngsters but I believe that was most likely because they haven't managed to complete their takeover and therefore Sandgaard wouldn't sanction it and they probably couldn't have agreed on how fees would affect the price for the club and who would pocket what. 

Wednesday 1 February 2023


Another unambitious and ultimately disappointing January transer window but it could have been worse. We might have flogged Miles Leaburn if we had received a minimum bid. 

Another window where all of the players incoming are largely unknown, journeymen looking to eke out their careers - Kilkenny apart. I don't suspect any of them will appear on the backs of replica kits and all will be injured or gone in May.

We also managed to ship out more players than we loaned in! Sadly, most will also be returning in May after their loans expire, so I can't get too exorcised by it. They got a fee from Fleetwood Town for Stockley which I am guessing would be relatively small beer (£200k) and something from Eoghan O'Connell (similar?) who couldn't get to Wrexham fast enough.

The net will be a reduction in a couple of of longer term contract exposures and a net monthly wage reduction balanced out to some extent by incoming loanees.

I titled this post "meh" because I can't really be bothered to list the players. Those who are bothered will have wasted yesterday in anticipation once again. To be fair, it's also largely immaterial now as we aren't going anywhere, although they have left us tantalising short again at centre-back. 

No word from Dean Holden but no doubt he will push out a messsge today saying he is not unhappy with the result and the need to rebuild in the Summer etc.

No word either from Sandgaard or the takeover group with exclusivity. Pretty sure the exclusivity period would have expired yesterday in line with Andy Scott's contract and probably Rodwell and Warrick's too. That doesn't mean they are out of the running but their plan must have been to raise the funds and get EFL approval in time for an annoncement about now. Sunday's attempt to put pressure on Sandgaard was clumsy and amateur. I think it may have been more about finding excuses for failing rather than any serious attempt at getting a takeover across the line. There was too much side gossip for that which will have provoked Sandgaard unnecessarily.

Frankly, I think we are much better off with Sandgaard than a short-term cowboy takeover that would damage the club even further. Losing exclusivity may open the door for a better, longer term bidder with some ambition. We live in hope.