Well Gaunty’s had a bad week; there was all that nonsense with the Euro MEP calling him racist during a heated debate from an OB feature at the European parliament the other day, then his beloved football team Coventry City announce they’re on the verge of going into administration (unless the Ray Ranson consortium can come up with the necessary buy-out investment).
I’m not entirely sympathetic on either count to be honest. I checked into the European broadcast by mistake and he was clearly up for a squabble from early on. You could tell the mood he was in from the incessant playing of the opening refrain from Land of Hope and Glory at various times through the transmission. It was deliberately anti-European in tone and I started listening to the debate with the MEP on border controls I think but I switched over before it got over-heated as I wasn’t in the mood for his little-Englander views. Radio 5 was no more interesting to be honest. Despite the (off-air?) accusations of racism and Gaunty apparently telling the guy to f*** off, I think it all ended with apologies all round. Storm in a teacup then and I bet the resulting publicity didn’t harm the ratings. Within a day or so he was picking up on the nationalistic theme advocating a national anthem for England. I think he’d been reading my posting on ‘national dirges’ as he fancied Jerusalem. But I fancied it because it’s a stirring song about the country whereas God Save is about privilege and is anachronistic and tuneless. He wants it because the other parts of the UK adopt their own anthems these days, so England must do too. Each to their own.
So far as Coventry’s concerned I feel bad that a significant football team is in danger of going under. But they probably won’t. I don’t know whether Ray Ranson has the necessary funding (has any man made more unsucessful offers to take over football clubs?) but somebody will turn up (they always do) probably from abroad, sadly. The thing I’m not sad about is the mis-management which has led to the club’s problems. Was building a new stadium and committing the club to crippling debts the right move? Would it have made more sense to combine football with other significant much-needed sports facilities eg national darts/snooker centre, basketball venue, midlands aquatic centre etc or alternative entertainment venue? Anyway I can’t blame Gaunty for poor thinking and decision-making in the past but I couldn’t help smiling at the memory of Gaunty’s jaunty triumphalism when the Cov beat Man U in the Carling Cup earlier this season. He was full of Coventry FC for a spell boasting about his invitations to the corporate facilities (that’s very Talksport-like) and how they were going to win the Championship at a canter. Well relegation threatens now if they suffer a points deduction and Ian Dowie’s already made it clear he’ll be off if that happens. JG’s not so bubbly at their prospects now. I think he can kiss dreams of the Premiership goodbye for a long time.
But smiles apart it’s not a time to gloat. It’s a prospect facing many clubs these days outside the top dozen or so in the Prem. Why more haven’t gone under is a miracle. Perhaps Ray’s time has come.