DAN THE FAN: Can Clem win back the Town Faithful? – TrustSTFC

DAN THE FAN: Can Clem win back the Town Faithful?

Dan the Fan

After enduring a dreadful October and watching Michael Flynn’s side slide down the League Two table, nobody expected what happened on Saturday, in one of the most embarrassing moments in Swindon Town’s history.

I won’t dwell on our F. A Cup First Round defeat for long, as we don’t want to relive that day, but in 144 years of incredible highs and lows, our defeat to non-league Aldershot Town comfortably sits near the top of the club’s darkest days.

To be 7-0 down at home after 58 minutes against any side is an absolute scandal, with the four goals we scored in return being utterly meaningless.

I would love to write that the mistakes made on Saturday were firmly put behind us when facing Colchester United on Tuesday night, but after an impressive first-half display, we failed to show up for the second.

The U’s equaliser came from a good cross into the box, which was sadly put into his net by Liam Kinsella, but the defending for the home side’s second was non-existent.

They were allowed to bring the ball forward without a challenge from midfield and allowed a cross into the box for an unmarked Samson Tovide to give Matthew Etherington’s side the lead.

The home side’s third goal arrived from a counter-attack, finished by Noah Chilvers.

Amazingly, after the awful run of just two wins in the last twelve games, Town still sits tenth in League Two, three points behind the playoffs, but with our recent run, fans will be looking nervously behind us in the league as we’re only three points from 17th place Doncaster Rovers.

During the game last Saturday, rumours began to spread about wages and bills being unpaid at the club and that Town owner Clem Morfuni had received an offer to buy the club.

Later the same day, social media reports emerged claiming the earlier rumours were, in fact, the case.

Clem Morfuni released a statement the following day addressing the points made over unpaid wages, bills, and the club being up for sale.

According to the statement, all wages and bills have been paid, and the club isn’t for sale, but in his statement, he also emphasised: “We receive expressions of interest from potential people to buy the club entertaining such discussions does not equate to actively seeking a sale, even if some may interpret it that way.”

The line that interested me the most was, “Entertaining such discussions does not equate to actively seeking a sale”.

It’s clear that the report about a potential sale wasn’t a shot in the dark, somebody or some people have made an offer or asked Clem what his price would be to sell up.

Since purchasing the club in the summer of 2021, the Australian businessman has been on a ride with his relationships with supporters.

I will always be truly thankful for what he did in buying the club that summer, even though it’s escaped some people’s minds how bad things were in 2021.

Huge debts were owed, and someone needed to step up, he consolidated the debt and removed risks created by the debenture.

Sadly, it’s true to say a lot of the trust built up with fans was severely damaged when the issue surrounding shares was finally made public, after being undisclosed for many months, with the club’s hierarchy left in the dark.

I, like a lot of people, felt let down by the Chairman as he knowingly misled the Town Faithful, and since that moment, something hasn’t felt right at the club.

A lack of investment in the first-team squad after being promised a squad to compete for promotion, which is now coming back to bite Michael Flynn as our lack of squad depth is a factor in the club’s downturn in form.

To the home shirt on sale at 50% off the retail price just a few months into the season, something you see with a month left of the season, not in early November.

Concluding that the club needed a quick influx of cash into the coffers, which gave credence to the rumours of financial unrest.

I was encouraged to see the Trust put out a statement yesterday afternoon explaining their position on all these matters, that statement perfectly outlined how they will work with the club to ease fans’ concerns and ask the hard questions to the club’s ownership.

The most important being arrangements for the Trust’s treasurer, Scott Curtis, to undertake an inspection of the club’s financial records.

This is an important move in letting someone look over the books and see if what’s been said to the fans in public is the truth.

This Saturday, Town welcomes high-flying Stockport County to the County Ground in a huge test for our depleted squad.

I’m still firmly a believer in the talent of our front three, and what we witnessed in the opening two months of the season can be rekindled.

We know that will be irrelevant if we don’t see a substantial improvement at the back if lessons aren’t learned from the past couple of games, the Hatters will inflict more misery onto Town’s season.