Steve Lansdown's ownership of the club
Posted by: Big Dave
Date: 18 August, 2012 08:53
First, a caveat. If anyone reads this as a criticism of Mr Lansdown, they are wrong. I would happily criticise Mr Hargreaves, as he writes utter tosh and thinks that we all should bow to his opinions, but I am very aware that without SL we would have gone bust in 2008/09. I am very aware that he has made a force in the championship with real ambitions to be a premiership club again. I recognise as well that his stewardship of the club through Chris Booy is without the unpredictability and mistakes of our previous sugar daddy between 1998 and 2003 (buy a load of players then destabilise the coaches, then think a deal changing the club's name would solve all the problems of a disconnect with th city). No way. Not one iota. SL has been good for Bristol Rugby and the city owes him that gratitude.
I just want to ask a few questions about his ownership, simply because I'd like to know what the long term plan is.
SL is in majority ownership of the club, but that does mean that we have a sugar daddy, and I would hope that we do not find ourselves in trouble should the unthinkable happen and he falls under a bus. I understand both Keith Barwell and the Sainted Lord of Everything and How it Should be Done, Cecil thingy at Worcester, have reduced their holdings and are no longer sugar daddies in the sense it is vulgarly understood. No doubt the winder Lansdown family would like that at some point too.
SL seems likely to take us to Ashton Vale or Gate, dependent on what happens with the Memorial Ground and UWE. How do we guarantee that we do not end up as unloved tenants of a football club at some indeterminate point in the future? Will the Vale be owned by a holding company of which Bristol Rugby and City could be both tenants and owners?
I like where we are and I like where we're going at the moment. OK, a few questions about the ground over the next two years, but the next 5-10 look rosy for the mighty Bris.
But, it's the decade after this one I'd like ot know about. I hope some thought is being put into how we secure our success in the longer term.
I'll finish with a hymn of praise to the Booy/Lansdown era, lest anyone should need reminding that this is not a criticism of either.