MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: Boddy blow already?
9:00am Tuesday 8th January 2013 in Sport
SOME of the pounding of keyboards borders on the hysterical over Dave Boddy, not even yet started as County’s new chief executive.
Boddy has been compared to both Jerry Sherman and Anthony Hudson by posters on County’s fan forum.
Some will argue I’m wrong to present views of the fans’ forum on here, but by the same token many people on the messageboard are imploring me to address this. As ever in this column I will call it like I see it and await the cat calling.
First off, I don’t take any great issue with the appointment of Boddy, but let’s address some of yours.
1) He ruined Worcester City; their fans say so.
I listened with interest as Boddy presented his views on his time at Worcester, something I asked him about on first meeting.
Boddy was strong in his belief that the financial troubles at the club were recession-led rather than his fault and I’ve similarly read with interest the views of Worcester fans who paint him as the non-league Peter Ridsdale. It should also be noted Worcester City had debt when Boddy arrived.
Who is in the right on this issue is difficult for me to assess – I can only listen to the people involved on both sides – but it’s not of huge relevance to Newport in the sense that Boddy doesn’t arrive as anything other than an employee.
He has already expressed in black and white in this paper that he must justify his position by increasing revenue.
If Boddy doesn’t cut the mustard in his role, he will be fired, just as a manager would be.
2) Boddy lost lots of money in his time with Worcestershire CCC and is a football groupie.
No and yes. No, the stuff about Worcestershire CCC is totally false. He wasn’t at the county when they lost a lot of money and even if he had been, it was a result of the flooding of New Road in 2007.
And Boddy admits to football being “like a drug” to him, and makes no apology for being obsessed by it.
How you think on that depends on your views on what makes a good CEO. The FAW CEO, Jonathan Ford, Mr Coca Cola, has no real feel for football. That has had its merits, certainly, but think back to the England ticket fiasco and tell me it’s better to have a non-football person.
3) Boddy is a freeloader. Why do we want someone on a salary who is taking money out of the club?
Because it’s 2013. The only argument from the fans I dismiss out of hand is the one that says you don’t need anyone else running the club. You do. You’re not Southern League anymore, you’re a full time outfit. You need to be run by professionals who don’t have other interests. The Matt Southall consortium also thought that a CEO was essential.
4) Why didn’t the club advertise the position?
A stance I have a great deal of sympathy with. In my view, they should’ve done. It’s much easier to justify saying you’ve appointed the best person for the job if you’ve interviewed for it. As the club hasn’t dealt with time constraints they should’ve interviewed other applicants, in my opinion.
In mitigation, the last time the club invited applicants and appointed someone on the back of that, it was Hudson who ended up being a less than stellar choice.
5) Chris Blight worked with Boddy at the Football Conference, why didn’t County call him for a recommendation?
Are you kidding me? Three months ago Blight was getting the same level of scrutiny, now he’s an endorsement source? Make your mind up.
6) Tim Harris has a business history with Boddy . A conflict of interest?
Yes he does and yes it is. That’s why Harris endorsed Boddy and then told the board it would be inappropriate to sit in on the interview, so he didn’t.
7) Why no Trust input?
Two members of the board are trust members. They were in on the interview and sat with the rest of the directors as Boddy’s appointment was announced.
In conclusion, while I’d sympathise with the view that the CEO should’ve been an advertised position, I don’t have any grave reservations on Dave Boddy. What I would urge, is that people at least give him a chance. That’s only fair.