Despite what the media and Dale Vince, the chairman of Forest Green Rovers, has said about us being unable to sign players as we are in an embargo, I can confirm that we have had directions from the EFL on how we can sign players.
As regards Dale l can only say that during my several telephone discussions with him, l have found him to probably be one of the strangest people that l have ever come across in football - and in my 20 plus years in the game, l have met hundreds of players, managers , directors and club owners, so that’s saying something!
I have read and heard his recollection of our telephone conversations and have given them the credit they deserve and promptly dispatched them into the bin.
What l can say is that he knows what he agreed in August 2018 and l have made it clear that we are still prepared to make the first payment, as always agreed from the outset, being next week when we receive the EFL distribution monies. If this is not now acceptable, then so be it, but don’t go blaming me for disappointing Christian as we have made it absolutely clear that he is welcome here. I understand that the only reason he won’t be here is because of Dale and that’s a shame as he is unable to play at any other clubs this season apart from FGR or us. As regards the breach of contract claims, well that will be for the courts to determine, if it gets that far, as we intend to adhere to the agreement next week and if he rejects the payment, then as I said, it will be for the courts to determine which party is in breach of contract.
Furthermore, Dale’s allegations about me negotiating a deal with Christian before l even spoke to him is total nonsense and vigorously denied. I never met or spoke to Christian before he signed with us.
The truth of the matter is that it’s probably sour grapes as he knows he negotiated a poor deal in August 2018 and he foolishly tried to renegotiate the terms last Friday and bring an additional £250,000 forward to August/January this year and next. As l have previously said this was flatly refused and remains the position now.
Everything else he has said is totally irrelevant as far as l am concerned and l won’t lower myself to respond to his disrespectful and misleading comments.
I have to say that I found the t-shirts FGR are selling quite humorous and I’m sure the Supporters Trust will greatly receive the funds they generate. We are thinking about printing our own which will say, ‘Yes We Ken’ and we will donate all proceeds to those employees of Ecotricity who were made redundant.
That said, I am not sure where his offer of a free pint of beer fits in with his green philosophy.
l can only imagine it’s his way of getting his 15 minutes of fame and as much free publicity as possible. The same probably applies to his business if the following link is anything to go by:
He’s probably achieved more air time and press coverage over the last few days than ever before. Good luck with that and well done.
It seems that I’m not the only football chairman he has taken an exception to. When the chairman of Carlisle United, Andrew Jenkins, refused to try some vegan food on offer at FGR’s New Lawn in January last year, Vince responded by making the following bizarre statement:
“How many years will it be before we all look at families that made their living or fortune in the meat trade - in the same way that we now look at families that did the same in the slave trade. Not long [in my opinion].”
The articles relating to this can be found here and you can make your own minds up:
What was that all about?
I have also seen the latest articles about the Baronesses and also the planned mass protest, and if these people think this is beneficial to the club then so be it. Unfortunately, people seem to be coming to their own conclusions without knowing the full facts and believing everything they read. I would have thought that the two seasoned and respected politicians would have known better when it comes to the media and perhaps they should have taken the time to contact me to get the facts?
In fact, Baroness Taylor used to be a frequent guest to the Chairman’s Suite on match days but hasn’t been for a while. Perhaps if she’d have still attended she would have been able raise her questions to me directly?
As the English poet John Lydgate wrote: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”
This is never truer than when you are working with football clubs as it seems that for a very small minority whatever l do or say is wrong irrespective of all the good things that have happened in the last two years or so.
Maybe they just have a short memory and don’t recall those dark days in March 2016 or the highs of May 2017 and May 2018, the concerts and the rugby league matches.
Again, there have been some reported inaccuracies regarding the payments due to Norwich City for the loan signings. There is an agreement in place to pay what is owed from the EFL money.
Despite all of this the staff continue to do a great job and the businesses and results have improved drastically over the last two years. Well done and a big thank you to each and every one of you.
Over the last couple of days I’ve received a lot of well wishes from supporters and people within the game and for that I am extremely grateful.
I will always continue to do my best for the club.
Fortunately, l get inspiration from some of the quotes of Winston Churchill and hopefully the following will help us all get through these difficult times:
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
I believe I have said everything I need to on the FGR matter and I won’t be making any more comments. My focus will now be on the Bristol City match at the weekend and to ensure that we retain our Championship status.