Wednesday, 16 December 2009

What the hell is going on?

Watford FC apparently stands on the brink of administration. Three key board members, including the chairman, have resigned, the club needs to find millions of pounds in a very short space of time in order to keep trading, the ground may have to be sold…

And at this critical juncture, it’s almost impossible to find out what’s going on. It’s become a cliché that the internet has made it possible to find out anything you want, at any time, but of course that isn’t true. You can only find out what someone wants to tell you.

I’ve just spent half an hour online trying to get an update on the situation. Normally I would rely on the WML, where you can normally get the inside track on events at club, or at least knowing hints about what’s going on. Not today – I haven’t had a digest for more than 24 hours. Whether it’s melted down under the weight of concerned messages (not to mention expressions of schadenfreude over the departure of Brendan Rodgers from Reading), or – conspiracy theory ahoy – it’s been shut down by the club somehow, I have no idea. I only know it’s not there when I need it.

Meanwhile, the national news outlets – the BBC, Reuters, the newspaper websites – haven’t updated their stories since around 11 o’clock this morning. The official club site is still carrying the statement that was posted after the AGM last night. The Watford Leisure site has the official announcements (including the suspension of trading of shares on the AIM), but nothing more.

So thank goodness for the Watford Observer, which has been updating the story throughout the day, as I just discovered. I’m not at all comforted by what I’ve read there – if Graham Taylor is worried, I’m terrified – but it is at least reassuring to know that the local paper is on the case if no one else is. If the worst does happen, I suspect we’ll hear it there first.

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