Swindon fans: our owner is an enigma

Ahead of their game with Vale, Swindon fans are not overly optimistic about their chances this season while there are doubts over both manager and owner.

James Smith interviewed two fans from the Town End website.

About the fans…

REG SMEETON – I’m long of tooth, I can remember losing 1-6 to Vale in 1960 in the match fixed by Jimmy Gauld.

Ells – Nothing exciting really – I’m 24, I’ve only been a town fan for about 14 years but it has aged me terribly. I’ve had a season ticket pretty much ever since I told my Dad that I actually hated going shopping on a Saturday.

How are your team doing?

Our current in-out model doesn’t really allow for any reliable predictions…

REG SMEETON – I’d argue that most right-thinking Town fans expected this season to be a bit of a struggle given the loss of players in the summer and the replacement with loans and inexperienced kids.

Ells – Our current in-out model doesn’t really allow for any reliable predictions. Our best players were inevitably going to be sold in summer, but they were in essence replacements themselves, which rendered the “will they be adequately replaced?” question a bit of a mystery until kick-off. Off the back of last season I don’t think anyone knew really what to expect, but I don’t think anyone (apart from Reg) expected us to be quite as bad and uninspired as we have been at times. An incredibly long injury list just seemed to keep getting longer, and we’ve seen far too many first team regulars fresh out of non-league and nappy nights. We’ve experienced a brief resurgence under Lingy (including the 4-0 at Chesterfield), which has given a bit of optimism, but who knows where we’ll go from here now he’s gone.

Where you think you will finish?

REG SMEETON – Relegation is a possibility, but not an inevitability. January, with the window and fixtures, will give us a good idea.

Ells – I think we’ll survive the drop. I would say mid-table, as our performances have shown potential, but with the current upheaval I’m not sure.

Who should we watch out for?

REG SMEETON – Ben Gladwin, if he’s still with us. Capable of the sublime and the ridiculous, catch him on a good day and he can destroy you, catch him on a bad day and it’s the ground infrastructure in danger.

Ells – Ajose is the obvious answer, having scored nine goals in a weak team. He’s also formed quite an impressive partnership with Jon Obika when we’ve been playing two up top, which we have been lately under Ling, but….

What are your thoughts on your manager?

REG SMEETON – Ah dear old Lingy, got to love him, he may turn out crap as a boss (OVF Note – this was written prior to Ling’s resignation), let’s face it most do, but his part in Town’s 4-3 Wembley win v Leicester means his place in the Pantheon of Town heroes is secure. More Theseus than Zeus, a minor deity.

Ells – I’ll let you know as soon as I find out who he is J

What are your thoughts on your board?

We don’t have a Board in the traditional sense, rather an owner. Mr Power is an enigma…

REG SMEETON – We don’t have a Board in the traditional sense, rather an owner. Mr Power is an enigma, on the one hand there is a school of thought, that he’s a bit Dell Boy, so shouldn’t be trusted, on the other he has sorted the installation of new floodlight bulbs.

Ells – We’ve spent most of our history seemingly being run by rich men, poor men, or crooks, and I think the majority of our fans are still trying to figure out current owner Lee Power. Personally, following the Di Canio era of ridiculous spending, I find it quite refreshing that we’re aiming for sustainability, even if he’s not so great with the media. It’s like we all went on a massive weekend holiday with coke and champagne and strippers, and it was great, but it’s quite nice to just put your slippers on and watch Only Connect for a bit, you know?

Did you attend the reverse fixture earlier this season?

REG SMEETON – Handing Vale a point, with a comical penalty in added on time, it’s the sort of thing we’re all too capable of doing this season.

Ells – I did. Being relatively early on in the season I’m not sure how much of a reflection it was on either side now, but I think we were the better side and was furious at the time!

Any views & memories of players and managers that have been involved with both teams?

REG SMEETON – Barn Door Billy (Paynter). Remember him missing a couple when Town were three down at Vale Park, before we came back to get a point at 3-3. I liked Billy, his partnerships with Simon Cox and then Charlie Austin were very decent for Division 3.

Bobby Smith – a manager who produced one of our finer sides in the late 1970’s into 1980. Did he really sign David Peach for £150,000, because he fancied his missus?

Ken Beamish – achieved our lowest ever league position in his one season in charge… cheers!

Ells – Paynter will of course be unforgettable, not least for his ability to go from being Super Billy to Barn Door Billy in such a short space of time. His partnership with Austin, including 3-0 home and away victories versus Leeds where he scored four were both highlights for me in a fantastic season. And Dany N’Guessan, I suppose… not a bad little player but I think if there was a round on Swindon or Port Vale on “Pointless” you’d be doing well to name him. Sorry Dany.

A score prediction?


Ells – 2-1 to Vale Dodds, Leitch-Smith; Ajose.

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