A difficult night for me

Last updated : 20 December 2004 By Tony Scholes

It’s all well and good asking me to make a decision based on common sense and to look at it all sensibly as a business deal – how on earth could I do that? This is the Turf we are talking about.

Clearly it was the major talking point of the Club’s 107th Annual General Meeting and there were a lot of searching questions from people who understood the deal a lot more than I did – although one nuisance of a shareholder tried to turn the discussion into one on Stan Ternent.

Barry Kilby outlined the structure of Longside Properties, he owns 51%, John Sullivan 25% and Magenta Properties 24%, they are a company well known to Sullivan.

Inevitably it came to the vote and when acting Chair Ray Ingleby asked for a show of hands the sale went through with very few voting against. In the end I was less concerned about the deal than I was initially and decided that I would not vote against it. But I simply couldn’t vote to sell Turf Moor and so chose to abstain.

The rest of the business was completed without much ado with John Turkington re-elected and new directors John Sullivan and Jon Wilkinson being elected after joining the board in the last year.

Wilkinson is definitely the financial man on the board and he dealt with all the questions relating to the sale of the ground and the training ground.

The board is down one in numbers now with Bob Blakeborough having stood down after over eighteen years as a director, he was the longest serving member of the board and that now passes to Clive Holt who was surprisingly quiet tonight.

There was a short question and answer session after the formal meeting and during this Steve Corrigan, Clarets Trust Chair, was told that any buy back of Turf Moor by the Trust would be looked on very favourably.

Manager Steve Cotterill spoke about the youth system and also had comments to make about the incident that cost him £800 and his place in the dug out on Saturday.

I’m somewhat numb by the events of tonight – I am still trying to take it in that Turf Moor no longer belongs to Burnley FC. The considered opinion I sought tonight suggested the deal was the right one – I hope so.