Lengthy interview in today's BFP. These are the quotes used:
“It was a very hard time for the club when I came in. It had been taken over by the trust and I think they had done a miraculous job just to keep it surviving but it was in a tough way.
“The best way to liken it would be we were in casualty with lots of pipes sticking out of us. The attraction for me was being a business person and being in that situation. “In the second year as the team developed and as the finances got a little better, we weren’t quite at death’s door but we were still in casualty. “From a footballing point of view, we tailed off a bit as the season progressed but the Aston Villa games were a wonderful experience for all of us. “This year we set a positive budget, it is the first budget we set that has been a positive as everything else has been a negative and we have financially beaten all of the budgets and we have made a small profit each year which is fantastic. “For me the journey is just to survive. The club has been around for 130 years and it is a legacy and I wouldn’t want to be the one at the helm when it all went horribly wrong and I want to pass it over to the next person and make sure it is in a better condition than when I took it on.”
Post Wembley 2015
“After the game, I shook the Southend United CEO’s hand and said ‘Thank God you got it and not us’. “It would have been a financial disaster for us. The way the solidarity payments are made and the deals that were in place at the time and all the incentives that were there, we would have been knackered. “Unashamedly, I think we would have been in a worse spot than we were a year earlier and I don’t think people understand the implications of going up. “You always want a team to do well but financially, what’s the point of putting yourself in that situation. “I said to the board early on that the best thing we could have done that season was get to the playoff final and lose. “What is exciting now is that this season has been a typical League Two season. We didn’t start great, had a fantastic run and now we are in a quiet period. “It is all about the team that carries momentum forward now and if we get to the playoff final, I will be the one that is saying let’s win it this time please as I now believe we can cope with going up to League One and at the end of the five-year plan, to be in a position where we are a stable League One club. “Financially we are secure enough with the basic payment changes and with the contracts we have for the players, it would be a fantastic reward for the players and the club to be playing football in League One next year.”
On this season's FA Cup run
“I was driving up to Blackpool with Gareth and I was absolutely thrilled. There is a side of me that would have rather had a bigger club,”
“The capacity at Tottenham isn’t great at 33,031. The business side of me said ‘Oh great, it’s a Premier League club but we could have gone to a stadium the size of Newcastle in the Championship’. “You either want a club you can beat or a club you can take loads of money out of. As it turned out we played a club that we could beat and take loads of money out of so it was a double winner for us.”
"What is critical with any situation like this is you can’t keep asking fans for more money. “What we have to do is go forward. The 500 Club was put together last year and the 500 Club was an opportunity for the fans to say 'I am going to put my hard-earned cash into the club but I want it going to the playing side.'
"We were on this fantastic run and what was critical was that cash could be used to support what we were going to do. “We knew we were going to Tottenham at that stage and we knew we were in a good place as regards to the Checkatrade Trophy so it was time for us to show the fans that we have aspirations from a footballing point of view.
“Everyone gets bored of me going on about the commercial side and the transfer window in January was all about saying we have ambition and do not under-estimate how hard Gareth and his team worked to bring these players in.
“When you look at who we brought in, I think it is pretty impressive and hopefully the fans understand that every single spare penny we have, we are trying to put onto the football pitch.”
The run in to the end of this season
“It is so close this season and whoever gets into the playoffs will have earned their money getting there, but if it is us then I will be the loudest voice, trust me. “It’s not just about the money but really as a mark of what this group of people both on and off the pitch deserve because I think they have done a tremendous job in taking a basket case and turning it into something they can be very proud of.”