M alcolm Dawson writes…….I am due to fly to Venice soon but my flights are booked with Ryanair, whose pilots have recently been taking industrial action and my hotel was booked through Thomas Cook, who may or may not still be in business if and when I reach the check in desk. Apparently Ryanair shareholders blocked the proposed payment of more than £90 million to Chairman and founder Michael Ryan which he was asking for, leaving me scratching my head and questioning why people with more wealth than I can ever imagine, feel like they need such amounts on top of what they already have. I don’t know how disappointed he must have felt following the decision taken at the AGM, but I know for a fact it will be greater than that felt by Thomas Cook of Melbourne, Derbyshire if the company he founded goes bust.

Titus Salt – not part of the FPP consortium as far as I know.

That got me thinking about a talk I went to recently concerning Titus Salt, mill owner and philanthropist and founder of Saltaire village in West Yorkshire, who is often considered to be a benefactor of the poor, creating his model village which provided former residents of the slums of Bradford, Halifax and the surrounding areas with good housing, parks and gardens, libraries and meeting halls, but no pubs. It was explained that whilst all this was undoubtedly a huge improvement in the living conditions of his workforce it was done for commercial, rather than charitable reasons affording him total control over those he employed, a successful strategy which allowed him to become one of the wealthiest men in Britain by the time of his death.

So what has all this got to do with SAFC? On the eve of an apparent takeover by a consortium of wealthy Americans I came across this article, which I thought worth sharing and I needed a bit of bumpf to introduce. According to some, this investment when it comes, is bound to propel us Man City like up through the divisions to the top of the Premier League and heading for a Champions League final. I fear anyone thinking that is in for a few years of disappointment, though I do expect that should it come about and that Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven are still at the helm, they will steer the club in the right direction and we will be in a financially stable position and higher up the leagues than we are currently. That I’ll ever see another major trophy win in my lifetime is something I’m less confident about.

In the meantime, the following seems to me to be a sensible, objective and realistic article.



Born in Hetton le Hole, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson's first game at Roker Park was the three all draw with Leicester City at the beginning of the 64-65 season. Having spent more than thirty years living in the East Midlands, he was Chairman and Information Officer of the Heart of England Branch of the Supporters' Association but has now returned to live in County Durham.

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