Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Kev, are you out there?

Now, this may be a little left-field, but I’m going to try it. 

8 years ago – in case you didn’t know – Barry Town went bust with, what, over £800,000 worth of debt?  The majority of which was owed to HM Customs and Revenue.   We’d been in debt for a while, of course.  I believe it was over £200,000 by the time Paula O’Halloran got the club off her hands.  But this was now an astonishing new level of debt.

It was a sticky situation.  It didn’t look great for Fash at the time, considering he came in and was meant to be our lord and saviour.  We’d had a bunch of problems for a while, so when Fash came in the outlook was pretty bright.  I think he was associated with us for about 6 months before the bubble was stretched too far.

Unfortunately, he never really got his fee under the table.  By the time he’d brought in Adebayo Akinfenwa and Abiodun Baruwa in the New Year in order to aid manager Kenny Brown take an unprecedented Treble Double of WPL titles and Welsh Cups, he was off in the jungle on some TV show.  He never did find Taribo West for us. 

He came out of that show, and the shit really hit the fan(s).  Our pre-Champions League  preparation in summer 2003 was a game against Barnstaple Town (wow, we’d take that nowadays!), and an infamously slovenly game against some touring Frenchmen which has become known as the ‘jumpers for goalposts’ game.  An absolute bloody shambles.  But there were reasons.

Nobody liked us.  There was an ugly end to the 2002-03 season after an off-field spat with Bangor City – not handled well by the club, but then, not handled well by them either.  The players didn’t really like us.  They loved Barry Town, yes, but they loved it more when their pay-check arrived.  Quite often, it didn’t.

The council really hated us.  Man, they wanted us out of Jenner Park even before the Champions League game.  Personally, I thought that was a disgrace.  Barry Town Football Club was the best thing that had happened to the town since the docks themselves were chiselled out of the Glamorgan coastline.  With maybe Butlin’s in-between.  European football in Barry, and the council wanted us out?  Poor.  All the world’s a stage, and the VoGons  wanted to close the curtains.  What was it, £3,000 for one fixture they wanted?  Fash was exasperated by their stance, but perhaps he was already preparing an exit strategy.

Not long after the heroic exit (another one!) from Europe, matters quickly came to a head.  Fash was in the national newspapers for something entirely different, and it was in everybody’s best interests that he left.  He did.  Sharpish.  This didn’t look good for Fash or Barry Town, and what later transpired at the club seemed to get thrown at Fash.  Now, I’m no Fash apologist, but I have it on good authority that sum that he put into Barry Town at the beginning, was all that he took out at the end.  And boy, what an end.

A supporter-run Steering Committee was established and everybody were chasing their tails.  Stories of bailiffs taking the furniture were rife.  Stories of the bailiffs not getting any answer at the club in order to take more furniture away were even more prevalent.  Fortunately, the fabulous framed photos of the O’Hallorans with all that booty earned in the 1993-94 season was rescued before that too disappeared.

Who was watching telly when Jamie Morallee was pictured dramatically shaking the locked Jenner Park gates for the benefit of the BBC Wales TV cameras?  All beamed live across Wales.  Oh, the humiliation.  I’m sure I heard one of the players say “all my stuff’s in there” which actually made me laugh at the time.  The bailiff’s had probably made that disappear as well.

But the biggest disappearance was that of Kevin Green.  What happened to him?  It was if the hullabaloo surrounding Fash’s exit was the perfect smoke-screen for Green’s quick exit stage left.  Nobody appeared to have given a shit.  There was no man-hunt, no comb-over detection vans going around – nothing.  The last I heard, he had some kind of holiday company selling trips to the Greek islands or somewhere.    

But out of the complete and utter misery of that period in 2003 (it actually got far FAR worse), Kevin Green appears to be the only one untarnished financially or emotionally by the whole thing.  I’d love to hear his side of the story.  I only bring this up now, because I see from my stats sheet that I’m getting hits from Greece.

It can’t be, can it?

Is that you, Kevin? Are you with Taribo West?

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