THE PEPSI MAX BIG ONE - Blackpool vs Crewe Relegation Six Pointer.

TrinidadsNumberOne

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The lean, not-so-mean, 0-0 grinding machine rolls up at Bloomfield Road at 3pm on Saturday against a Blackpool side who are starting to grind out some more positive results than they were originally.

I genuinely think this game will finish 0-0 as that's how we set up to play now. We will also manage just the one shot on target in 90 minutes.

Can't wait to see the reaction of our fans when we draw 0-0 away at Blackpool. "They were in the Premier League a few years ago so it's a great result for us."

Here's to the clubs with the worst boards in the league!
 

JJ1532

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Our board's worst crime is to show too much faith with the manager and perhaps get a little too clouded by their own philosophy. What a bunch of shithouses. Get em out! I feel sorry for them. I reckon things behind the scenes are far tougher than we know, but they probably can't say anything due to risk of getting sued by some of the leeches surrounding the club.

Anyway, onto the game. Hopefully LDV and Kingsley are fit and available for selection. Would give us a few options on the bench for a change. Back 4 were generally solid tonight(especially Guthrie), so if Kingsley's fit, that would leave a tough decision for Davis. Although saying that, Guthrie will probably get treated like garbage as per and get dropped. Hopefully Jones comes in for Atkinson, fed up of him floating around in games doing nothing. Wouldn't be surprised to see Atkinson get dropped for Colclough though and see us go 4-2-3-1. With rumours that Wilson might have been recalled surfacing, I reckon he's going to get a run in the side now.

Against 2 decent defensive outfits in Gillingham and Burton, I can get over not doing much going forward. No excuse in this one though. Can't believe Blackpool have scored less than us. Would be really disappointed if we failed to get anything from this game. Looking forward to this trip, never been to Bloomfield Road as an Alex fan. Also never been in the end behind the goal where we'll be on Saturday. Roll on Saturday.
 

TimeyWimey

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Tbf, I wouldn't wish the Oystons on a team full of Ollie Turtons. At least ignorance is bliss with our board.
 

Vale on Trent

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How does Crewe's board compare to Blackpool's?
 

JJ1532

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They don't, but unfortunately some of our fans seem determined to be ultra negative about anything and everything the club does at the moment. I mean, there's constructive criticism, but then there is complaining for the sake of complaining. I'd have thought looking at our next opponents would give some a new wave of appreciation for what our board do, but apparently not.
 

TrinidadsNumberOne

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Two words: Norman Hassall.

(I'm not generalising everyone on the board, Bowler and Dario are genuinely good guys, their faults are that they're stubborn and like JJ said are too clouded in their own philosophy, but this man and to a lesser extent Dan Potts are responsible for the current plight we find ourselves in off the pitch.)
 
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So it’s not the whole board then, it's just two of them, and one of them is classed as 'to a lesser extent'. Would you like to either delete this thread, as quite obviously there is no comparison between the boardroom issues between fans and directors of Crewe Alexandra and Blackpool Football Clubs, or maybe just deactivate your account, as you are obviously either a Vale fan on a wind up or somebody who has a personal axe to grind against the club as your moaning and groaning is just ridiculous and is not balanced in any way at all. Thanks.
 

TrinidadsNumberOne

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So it’s not the whole board then, it's just two of them, and one of them is classed as 'to a lesser extent'. Would you like to either delete this thread, as quite obviously there is no comparison between the boardroom issues between fans and directors of Crewe Alexandra and Blackpool Football Clubs, or maybe just deactivate your account, as you are obviously either a Vale fan on a wind up or somebody who has a personal axe to grind against the club as your moaning and groaning is just ridiculous and is not balanced in any way at all. Thanks.

Majority shareholder Norman Hassall, a man who has allegedly taken significant money out of the club (though not to the extent of the Oystons) and who pretty much has more of a say than the rest of the board because he owns more shares than them all, does he not? Is it only a coincidence we're no longer transparent about our accounts anymore?

Keep searching for Kev Graham pal, he's not here. I want to see this team succeed but it's hampered by far too many failings on and off the pitch.
 
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dannyc5

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Norman Hassall is our majority shareholder. This then renders the remaining board members impotent. Maybe that isn't their fault, but the opening post is still 100% correct. Our board is incompetent, impotent, useless, fucking shite, or all of the above. I don't doubt there are good men on our board, but the vast majority of them have absolutely no power. The people (person) that do (does) have power, are (is a) c*** (c***).
 

JJ1532

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Norman Hassall is our majority shareholder. This then renders the remaining board members impotent. Maybe that isn't their fault, but the opening post is still 100% correct. Our board is incompetent, impotent, useless, fucking shite, or all of the above. I don't doubt there are good men on our board, but the vast majority of them have absolutely no power. The people (person) that do (does) have power, are (is a) c*** (c***).
Incompetent how? Useless how? Fucking shite how?

Our board have done a fantastic job over the last 30 years. They have built our club up from nothing. They have given us a decent all seater stadium. They have given us an academy unrivalled in quality and size for a club of our stature. They have overseen the development of some of the best players the lower leagues have ever seen. They have overseen the rise of the first team and have been in charge during 30 years of sustained success. They have done all this despite no major investment, a modest fanbase, in spite the competition from other much bigger and richer clubs. They have built up a nationally renowned reputation, a club that is admired up and down the land. They have kept us solvent when so many have gone boom and bust around us in the last 30 years, despite no major investment ever being sought. They have done all this despite issues with certain directors as already alluded to.

Their biggest crime thus far is giving Davis too much time to turn things around(but then, they gave Dario 4 years without promotion before he came good, so I can see their logic, even if I don't agree with it). In an age when managers get sacked after weeks and months, most others would applaud our board's patience with Davis. Like I said, I don't agree with them, but there is a begrudging admiration in what they are doing.

They also are in desperate need of some young blood, 2/3rds of them are in their 70s and they have lost sight of what's important. They have let their own philosophy cloud their judgement. But they have kept(and demanded to see more of it) it when so many would have ditched it in favour of results. Fingers crossed they realise come what may at the end of the season, that Davis just isn't the right man to take us forward and make a change. All we can do is let them reach this realisation on their own. It always saddens me to see fans rag on a board that have done nothing but work their asses off for this club over the last 30 years. This board bleed Crewe red and I worry far more for the future of this club once they retire and pass on than I do should Davis stay or go, or depending on whoever takes over. I personally feel ashamed and embarrassed for abusing Dario during his final few months with the club.

All I will say Danny is, be careful what you wish for with our board. What would you rather, David Cardoza and his £10m council loan? Smurfwaite and his "sweety jar", putting his foot in it on twitter on a weekly basis? Oyston, a man who seems determined to run Blackpool into the ground? SISU and their ground moves? Lee Power and his dictatorial reign at Swindon? Not to mention the countless owners who have come and gone over the last 30 years who have destroyed clubs or left them in the mire? Wrexham, Stockport, Pompey, D&R, Kettering, Darlington, Halifax, Aldershot, Boston, Rotherham, Luton, Bournemouth.

We are extremely fortunate we have the board we do. Without them, we wouldn't have the club we do now. Yes they are doing things wrong and need some fresh blood and some fresh ideas, but I'd still take them over 99% of the possible boards out there.
 

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You can rant and rave all you want, but that monster of a post is rendered pointless. You are correct in what you say about what they have done in the past, but the past is exactly that, the past. None of our board have any influence any more. It is all down to ONE man. And whilst Hassall is there, the board is impotent. That man has all the power. He is the board, and the board is him. If you don't know this, then I am telling you as an absolute fact, the board is all that man. If he goes, then the others may get a new lease of life, and things will more than likely improve. But as it stands, the board (Norman Hassall) is useless.

And why would I give a fuck about Lee Power? How the fuck do you even know who Lee Power is? David Cordoza and a council loan? So fucking what! Nothing to do with our club, I only care about Crewe. Leave other clubs out of it. Not all of us are sad enough to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Football League.
 

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Also, you pointed out all them dictators at other clubs, without pointing out that we have one ourselves!
 

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You can rant and rave all you want, but that monster of a post is rendered pointless. You are correct in what you say about what they have done in the past, but the past is exactly that, the past. None of our board have any influence any more. It is all down to ONE man. And whilst Hassall is there, the board is impotent. That man has all the power. He is the board, and the board is him. If you don't know this, then I am telling you as an absolute fact, the board is all that man. If he goes, then the others may get a new lease of life, and things will more than likely improve. But as it stands, the board (Norman Hassall) is useless.
Ok. Explain to me why Hassall has all the power. I'm interested to see your view of the club and how it's set up at the moment.
 

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Quite simply because he is the majority shareholder. Plus he has Dan Potts (3rd most shares I think?) on his side, so nothing can get done without their say so, as they have over 50% of the shares. Hassall doesn't want anything to change. He's happy as he is. He's made money off us, and can make more in the future if he wants to.
 

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I thought everyone was aware of the Hassall situation? Do you really think somebody would be able to take two huge 'loans' out of the club, if they weren't in complete control? And if he weren't in complete control, and the board you so lovingly wrote about earlier allowed him to 'borrow' this money, then surely that proves that they are incompetent anyway?!
 

TrinidadsNumberOne

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The only way we'll get change at this club is when Norman kicks the can. As Danny said, majority shareholders can veto what the rest of the board want to do. Then you have all that complicated bollocks about the club, pitch, assets whatever being split into multiple companies which I don't even know much about, all I know is that it's happened and there's not much we can do about it whilst Hassall is still around.

Then, owing to Hassall's alleged leeching being covered up, there's the fact a lot of our fans accept the small budget, "we can't do better than fight relegation in a league where the mighty Gills, Walsall and Burton are Top 3" bollocks Morse and McGarry repeatedly stress despite teams on smaller gates without sugar daddies like Burton and Rochdale being able to afford a decent, competitive team mixed with youth and experience fighting at the right end of the table is also a damning statistic and is another reason we're stuck in this purgatory. Davis is responsible for the mess on that pitch over the last couple of years but Hassall is the leech from within who is doing far more damage than Davis' dull shite.
 

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JJ you need to wake up and smell the coffee. I think you love the club so much you've buried your head in the sand a little bit and seem to argue with everyone that has a negative view on the club and the board.
 

JJ1532

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But Danny, you clearly aren't as aware as you think. Daniel Potts is no longer on the board/list of shareholders of any company in the club and hasn't been for 2 years. I've spent the last hour trawling through the accounts of our various companies(yes, I'm a sad bastard). I won't comment on the actual figures in the separate accounts, because I don't understand any of that stuff. But this is what I found:

We have 3 smaller companies. Crewe Alexandra Football Club Ltd, Station Park (Crewe) Ltd and Alexandra Stadium (Crewe) Ltd. The football club is owned by various people, but the majority share is held by Commerical Enterprises (Crewe) Ltd at 61.36%. The other 2 are entirely owned by Commercial Enterprises. Commercial Enterprises is owned by Crewe Alexandra Ltd, who hold 61.36% of the shares in the company. Crewe Alex Ltd is owned by 4 people/companies: Norman Hassall Ltd, Harrold McMillan, Dario Gradi and John Bowler. Norman Hassall Ltd(who own 89.81% of Crewe Alex Ltd) is made up of 4 people. Norman Hassall owns 31% of that company, with his wife and I presume his son owning another 22.86% each.

So, Hassall controls the parent company(whether that's Norman Hassall Ltd or Crewe Alexandra Ltd) so he controls the club right? Seems a fair assessment to make. However, to me it seems that his sole power is somewhat diluted by the time you've reached the lowest companies. I mean, he owns 31% of a company that owns 89% of a company that owns 61% of a company that owns 61% of the football club company. For one man, that to me is quite a dilution of his actual power. Hey, maybe it's a case of him holding the largest share, so his way goes, but I don't see that being the case.

Plus, how do we know which companies he takes an active interest in? Do we know how many shareholder votes he takes part in or abstains from? He sits on the board of Crewe Alexandra Football Club, but I'd be willing to bet that his relations with the other directors/board members are so poor, he doesn't attend many board meetings. I don't get the impression he has any influence over the day to day running of the club. We also don't know what powers the shareholders of each company have signed over to the board members of each company. What happens if the actual running of Crewe Alexandra Football Club Ltd is down to the board, not the shareholders? Or, what happens if to pass any major decisions, each company needs a majority vote? Or a vote % greater than the amount Commercial Enterprises holds in the clubs company? I mean, I can't see Bowler making a deal with Hassall when he split the club up into these 6 companies, that there wasn't some sort of clause that meant Hassall couldn't just sell the ground from under us or couldn't just kick the club out of Gresty Road etc. I think somewhere, there is always a way for the club to stop Hassall making any old decision he likes and getting away with it.

It's all incredibly confusing and I only have a basic grasp of what's going on, but to me, to say Hassall has sole control over the future of the club is too black and white for me. There are far too many unanswered questions and confusing business practices going on here for it to be that simple.

JJ you need to wake up and smell the coffee. I think you love the club so much you've buried your head in the sand a little bit and seem to argue with everyone that has a negative view on the club and the board.
No and I'm glad you've termed it like this, because this is my exact point. People use general terms like club and board and use a sweeping negative to tarnish them all. That's my issue. I have issue with someone saying the board are useless when it's one man rendering them powerless. There is no sympathy for them as they battle to try and get rid of him. There is no understanding. I also don't think showing faith in the manager and showing too much belief in their own philosophy is something I'm prepared to rip them apart over. They have worked too long and too hard(and continue to do so, not just in the past, but the present and likely the future as well) for us to simply destroy them without knowing even a reasonable amount of the facts. They fight for the club and fight for the fans. They are making mistakes on the first team front with regards to Davis clearly and need to be more open and transparent with the fans, but I'm confident that eventually, they will realise the obvious and make the change.

But what coffee am I supposed to be smelling? I know full well that Hassall has the club by the balls. But I'm willing to bet they have ways of keeping him from ripping everything down should he try to. I know full well that the club continues to loan him massive amounts of money(A loan of £1,868k for the 13-14 financial year if these accounts are accurate). Until he is gone, we will always be financially hamstrung. I am not kidding myself, but I simply can't bring myself to criticise the board(bar 1) who continue to have our best interests at heart, however misguided some of their decisions might be. It disappoints me that others feel the need to rip the board apart when it's just 1 man and they can't do anything about him. Criticise Davis, he is useless and he can't hide behind his budget any more. Criticise some of the players and their baffling decisions. But the board? Step too far for me.
 

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Potts' shares went up for sale a couple of years ago, but he never sold them. And as far as I'm aware, he was never on the board? And the only other point I can be arsed to come back on is 'I have issue with someone saying the board are useless when it's one man rendering them powerless'. Well that is entirely the point. The board is impotent, as it stands.

Edit: Just checked. He was on the board (or a board) until 2013, but he never sold his shares.
 

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But that's not their fault is it? And if it isn't their fault, why are they getting abuse? That's entirely my point.
 

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I'm not abusing other individuals on the board, just an individual who has control of the board.
 

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And I've just had a flashback involving Hassall, shares and Dan Potts, but I won't be able to find out what it is until people get out of bed!
 

TrinidadsNumberOne

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But that's not their fault is it? And if it isn't their fault, why are they getting abuse? That's entirely my point.

Because they lack transparency. Where are the AGMs? Why is there total silence by the board? They can't necessarily be sued if they say in the correct way that Hassall has loaned the club's well earned money, there are quite a few fans out there who probably don't even know who Norman Hassall is so they won't even realise the extent to which we're financially hamstrung. They'll just believe the media's spin that we're paupers despite the fact we've sold players for millions more than most of the league's clubs over the past couple of years and have, in recent years, spent individual fees on players (Ellis, Inman) that were 4 or 5 times more the value of Burton Albion's record transfer (You know, that footballing giant we played for a point at on Tuesday where nearly most the fanbase were ecstatic at playing for a 0-0 and getting a point at?). The club is a laughing stock and a lot of fans have, in recent years, suddenly adopted the mindset of Davis, Morse and McGarry that we can't compete at a level which we should be competing at rather easily given the clubs infrastructure and the size of the teams at the top end of the table.

I'm a firm believer in honesty is the best policy, and unfortunately the board keep sweeping this under the carpet. They may have the best interests in our club but these days, our chairman, who I'm neither abusing nor questioning his loyalty, only speaks to the media when we've achieved a fortuitous last day survival or we're about to sell a player for big money, it makes me wonder just how are they going to protect the clubs future because we hardly hear a peep from them as it is? The Hassall issue has been going on for far too long and I think by the time it's resolved we probably will be run down to the state where we're struggling to stay in the Football League, if not worse. I just lack the faith in the current board to resolve it and we're not getting a sugar daddy anytime soon, so we're stuck in this purgatory indefinitely.

It's not about abusing anyone. It's a desire for competence, clarity and transparency towards a football club that's crying out for significant wholesale changes. I'm not content with the defeatist mantra the whole club has adopted from board to Davis to fans which has made us being seemingly inferior to Burton Albion and Rochdale when our infrastructure and crowds dwarve the both of them (board's fault mainly) an Academy that's not delivering when it should be (Davis' fault) I'm not content with going without a home win it what seems like forever (Davis' fault) I'm not content with spending hard-earned money watching us play for 0-0s every week (Davis' fault) but the majority of fans just allow this to happen rather than ask huge questions of the club and board and it really annoys me. Do they want to support a successful football club or just wallow in this mediocre purgatory in which we've found ourselves in ever since Davis didn't get the Wolves and Doncaster jobs? Everyone bangs on about our 'unique' philosophy, get with the times: We no longer play attacking football, we no longer sell players for big money thanks to the crap tactics that limit attacking football, we've spent the last two years prioritising loanees over our own, face it, we're suffering an identity crisis these days. This is why I have very few positive things to say about the club apart from we have the best and most talented keeper I'll probably ever see play for us at the moment.

I heard Charles Grant who was recently elected to the board a few years ago was our prospective new Chairman post-Bowler and he's apparently got the ambition the club needs if you believe a certain club sponsor. But when will this much needed change occur, because we really need it to before we end up going the same way as other local clubs have done in the area.
 

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I'd love it if our media uncovered the Hassall secrets like the Sentinel managed to do at Vale. Unfortunately none of them seem to have it in them to ask questions.
 
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TrinidadsNumberOne

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I'd love it if our media uncovered the Hassall secrets like the Sentinel managed to do at Vale. Unfortunately none of them seem to have it in them to ask questions.

Cos McGarry's on the clubs gravy train and anyone who questions the club will go the same way as poor Gwyn Griffiths did. He asked something they didn't like and the club banned The Sentinel for a while pre-Rich Sharpe. Ultimately it was the Vale fans who got Bill Bratt, Perry Deakin and all those scrotes out, Sandoz and Radio Joke kept defending them to high heaven. Only the fans can get us out of this mess but most are completely oblivious to it anyway.
 

JJ1532

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an Academy that's not delivering when it should be (Davis' fault)
Not sure how the academy not delivering is Davis' fault? But that's an aside. No, I have issue with people believeing that we aren't producing the talent, this too has become a damanging myth to defend Davis with.

The academy is producing the talent, even after the golden generation of Powell, Clayton and Garratt. Because since then, we have produced some players, but due to the managers mistakes, they have fallen by the way side. Billy Waters being 1. Made a number of impressive cameos in the 13-14 season, started last season well too. But then, he developed bad habits, the coaches didn't rectify them and he got shut out. Colclough too is easily good enough. Had he not had his injury issues(regardless of who's fault they were), he might be further along in his developement now.

But then we have some of the youth teamers. 2 seasons ago, Saunders, Murdoch and co helped our U18s get to the U18 development play offs(which they lost to Charlton on penalties) and also reached the 4th(or was it 5th?) round of the FA Cup, again losing to Reading on penalties. Last season, we got even further in the FA Cup, reaching the quarter finals and knocking out some decent opposition along the way. This season, our U18s have won 7 of their 11 games played so far and look to have some cracking talents in Ainley, Finney and Kirk.

We ARE producing the talent, but unfortunately, once this talent is reaching the first team level, they are not getting opportunities(Saunders being the latest example) or are being allowed to stagnate, lose confidence and go backwards due to inept man management(Baillie, Cooper). Powell, Westwood and Murphy were going nowhere under Dario. Only a change of manager got the best out of them(plus Tootle and Moore as well). Could Colclough, Cooper, Baillie etc look better under a new manager who knows what he's doing? Definitely. It's a myth that we aren't producing the talent, a complete myth.
 

TrinidadsNumberOne

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Not sure how the academy not delivering is Davis' fault? But that's an aside. No, I have issue with people believeing that we aren't producing the talent, this too has become a damanging myth to defend Davis with.

The academy is producing the talent, even after the golden generation of Powell, Clayton and Garratt. Because since then, we have produced some players, but due to the managers mistakes, they have fallen by the way side. Billy Waters being 1. Made a number of impressive cameos in the 13-14 season, started last season well too. But then, he developed bad habits, the coaches didn't rectify them and he got shut out. Colclough too is easily good enough. Had he not had his injury issues(regardless of who's fault they were), he might be further along in his developement now.

But then we have some of the youth teamers. 2 seasons ago, Saunders, Murdoch and co helped our U18s get to the U18 development play offs(which they lost to Charlton on penalties) and also reached the 4th(or was it 5th?) round of the FA Cup, again losing to Reading on penalties. Last season, we got even further in the FA Cup, reaching the quarter finals and knocking out some decent opposition along the way. This season, our U18s have won 7 of their 11 games played so far and look to have some cracking talents in Ainley, Finney and Kirk.

We ARE producing the talent, but unfortunately, once this talent is reaching the first team level, they are not getting opportunities(Saunders being the latest example) or are being allowed to stagnate, lose confidence and go backwards due to inept man management(Baillie, Cooper). Powell, Westwood and Murphy were going nowhere under Dario. Only a change of manager got the best out of them(plus Tootle and Moore as well). Could Colclough, Cooper, Baillie etc look better under a new manager who knows what he's doing? Definitely. It's a myth that we aren't producing the talent, a complete myth.

I badly worded it but pretty much what I meant was we know there are capable players in that Academy but they're being coached by Davis (hence his fault for the Academy currently not delivering the money) to play this ultra-defensive brand of football which is the worst I've ever seen any football team play since Craig Levein's 4-6-0 formation for Scotland. Last two years the loanees took the place of the youth and it's obvious that Dario and the board weren't happy about that hence the considerable lack of them this year. The Crewe attacking players have been suffocated by this horrible brand of football and look utterly devoid of confidence or any ability to score multiple goals in matches on a regular basis but when you have a lot of our fans praising played for 0-0 draws with Burton Albion in the way they did on Tuesday, they allow this to continue themselves.
 
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Some interesting stuff on this thread, other than me being accused of ‘hunting’ Kev Graham, still it makes a change from being accused of being this guy. Anyway, I never have understood how our board works, in terms of who has the ultimate power on decisions etc. One thing that does alarm me is the HS2 situation. If Mr Hassall does have the final ‘say’ on all decisions then why would he care what division the team was in if the ground was ripe for selling due to HS2. It would not matter if the Alex were in the top flight or in the Crewe Regional league as he (or maybe they) would be sitting on a fortune regardless. It does make me wonder why nothing is ever said, why the club was valued a few years back (you would only value your house the intent of selling one day). The press say HS2 is not 100% going to happen, but I reckon its nailed on, hence why that tory prick Clr Jones has been bumping his gums regarding Crewe and the HS2 situation, basically he has been given the nod from the government so he can big the situation up. Interesting times ahead.
 

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That HS2 thing makes me laugh. People got excited because one computer generated model of the plans for Crewe station showed flats where the ground should have been. It doesn't for one second mean there were(or are) serious plans to make the club relocate. It would cost them millions to move us, especially considering the location would be inevitably be worse than where we are now. I would bet a large amount of money that if HS2 ever does get built, Gresty Road won't be affected in the slightest.

Anyway, enough off pitch discussion, on to the game.

Good to see LDV should be back for this. Jones is obviously there, Bingham(yey?) is back in training. Injuries starting to clear up. Not sure what I'd do for this. I'd love to see the useless King dropped, but if the rumours about his loan are true, that isn't going to happen. Jones for Atkinson is an obvious one, but I'd be surprised if Davis moved away from the 4-3-3. Hope he does though.
 

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