MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: County have off-field problems, but the chairman going on holiday isn't one
Updated 10:06am Tuesday 8th April 2014 in Sport
I SERIOUSLY doubt that there is a single one of us who hasn't dreamed of what it would be like to win the lottery.
I'm not talking £10 for a couple of numbers, or a little windfall that will pay for a curry or two or a city break, I'm talking hitting the jackpot.
Even scooping a few hundred thousand pounds would be life-changing, but if you did something ridiculous like win the Euro Millions, suddenly you've overnight got a comparable fortune to the top Premier League footballers, musicians and actors.
What would you do with the money? Where would you go? Who would you help? Could we not list hypothetical questions all day?
It's tough to say, being that it would be such a unique and incredible turn of fortune, it's highly unlikely any two people would have similar plans for the money.
Personally speaking I'd be touring the world and visiting every large sporting event I've ever dreamed of attending, travelling safe in the knowledge that myself and immediate family would never again have to fret financially.
Having a fortune allows you to fulfil your dreams and the prospect of visiting far flung countries and experiencing as much of the world as possible would be a dream come true for this dreamer who had always had pretentions of grandeur!
However, I can also, with equal ease, tell you what I wouldn't do with my (hypothetical) money.
I wouldn't invest it in a football club. Not in a million years.
If there is a more thankless, dispiriting and infuriating way to invest money won, I'd like to hear it.
In terms of an investment choice, getting involved with a Football Club is about as attractive as a business opportunity with Bernard Madoff.
Everyone knows it's a sure fire way to lose money, meaning that to do so, it simply has to be a labour of love. And the rewards, even then, are sketchy at best.
We all know I'm talking about Les Scadding, so let me cut to the chase. The online criticism of him for going abroad this winter is absolutely ludicrous. People demanding that he be in the country at all times are asking for something completely unfair and unrealistic, and frankly, it comes across as more than ungrateful.
A quick history lesson. Man wins fortune. Man lives in Newport area and likes football. Man is invited by chairman of local football club (non-league) to come and watch game. Man comes. Man enjoys. Man is told more about the club, the history, the passion of the fans, the desire to complete a journey back to Football League. Man is interested.
A season passes, the man, keen to remain in the shadows, just can't stop himself from going to games. He could be in Barbados or Grenada, but he'd rather be in Braintree or Grimsby. Man continues to travel to games with chairman and other board members. Man offers to invest in club and unofficially is essentially appointed as a non-executive director.
A few months pass. Due to unsavoury comments from a tiny minority of fans, County chairman Chris Blight resigns. County are suddenly stretched to the brink off the field.
What does the man do? The man steps up, that's what the man does. The man offers to become chairman. The man is aware for the need to for the club to have a public face behind the scenes and the man is willing to do that.
Immediately when he was appointed chairman, Scadding made clear two things. Firstly, that he'd happily invest in the club where he could, but there was no prospect of him becoming a sugar daddy. Secondly, he had no suitable experience, nor any desire, to actively complete the day-to-day duties of a chairman, as Blight had.
County's new chairman was focused only on creating a better infrastructure for the club off the field, appointing a chief executive, a commercial manager and a full-time media officer and club secretary (that should probably be two separate posts, a minor quibble) and ensuring County wouldn't again be caught with a crisis on their hands should one director walk away from the club.
Mr Scadding was true to his word, he lived up to every promise made and every single time County have been in need, he's been there for them.
Rain washes out six weeks revenue? Les plugs the hole until the home games are re-arranged. County suffer a defensive crisis due to injury? No bother. The chairman sanctions loan deals, including one for an international footballer.
A year earlier... County want to sign Christian Jolley? Mr Scadding delivers again.
And with a full-time chief executive in place, if Mr Scadding wants to deal with such issues from a sun-lounger on the other side of the world, who on earth are we to judge?
I can't think of many more ridiculous things than telling someone how they should be spending their time or their money. Especially when they've already done so much for Newport County.
Despite recent rumours, Mr Scadding is committed to Newport County AFC and they are lucky that is the case. He contacted us a while back about a headline he didn't like online. He was in New Zealand at the time, I believe.
However, with all that said, it is clear County must have a real think about how they operate off the field.
It can't be a preferable situation to have so few faces in the boardroom and there is a real disatisfaction developing about the supporters' trust and how much influence they truly have at the club.
County badly need to address the fact that with Mr Scadding away, Howard Greenhaf is out on his own and the club can't merely be content to say that they would always welcome anyone who wants to get involved at board level.
The Exiles need to be as pro-active in recruiting fresh faces and voices behind the scenes as they have in improving their sponsorship and commercial endeavours in the past 18-months and that needs to be a priority.
I'll get the ball rolling by suggesting that if he's willing, Blight is the first person invited on board.
He's hard working, he's a fantastic ambassador and despite being prone to grandiosity when it sometimes isn't needed, he's a dedicated communicator. Who can forget his 1400 word email updates? Such eagerness to communicate directly to fans would be no bad thing.
And I wouldn't stop there. The Smile Council are an influential fundraising arm and they represent many of the more vocal supporters who have issues with the current board for their failure to hand control of the club over to a consortium in 2012.
Would a voice from the Smile Council represent the club better at board level than by sniping online or in a pub? Unquestionably.
Not for one second am I going to tell you that I think Newport County AFC are all they can be off the field, that they haven't made mistakes, even this season (notably with the pitch at Rodney Parade), nor will I contest for a second that they are simply short of numbers.
But criticising Les Scadding for going on holiday wherever and whenever he likes? It's simply preposterous and grossly unfair to someone who has done more for Newport County AFC than one could ever realistically have expected.
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