John Mounteney: Notts Take over is historic

Posted on July 23, 2009. Filed under: Premier League, Soccer | Tags: , , , |

John Mounteney: Notts Take over is historic

IN more than two decades as vice-chairman and 63 years as a supporter of Notts County, I have experienced wonderful highs and terrible lows. I have seen the Magpies playing in the top-flight of English Football, against the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool.

I have even seen them beat Manchester United at Meadow Lane, with Ian McParland scoring the winning goal.

But I have also seen the club almost go out of business.

When we were in the old Division One under Jimmy Sirrel, I never thought the good times would end. After Jimmy, we enjoyed more memorable success under Neil Warnock and Sam Allardyce.

We won successive play-off finals at Wembley to return to the top-flight in the early nineties under Warnock.

But he was the last manager to guide us into the top-flight, of course.

And we have not been at the top table for 17 years.

Under Allardyce, we won the old Division Three in record-breaking style in 1998.

I look back on all the success with enormous fondness.

But ever since the Albert Scardino days, the club has been on a downward spiral.

We have endured the dark days of administration and relegation into the basement division five years’ ago.

I have always said Notts would continue to struggle without major investment so now I can finally see some light at the end of a tortuous tunnel, following the takeover by Middle Eastern consortium Munto Finance.

There have been many historic days in the history of the club.

There was the day Jimmy walked into Meadow Lane in 1969 and the day it was saved from extinction in 2003.

I think today could be another day that people look back on as hugely significant in a few years’ time. I publicly backed Munto’s proposals from day one and I’m glad the majority of the members of the Supporters’ Trust did, too, because the future of Notts was ultimately in their hands.

The Trust was instrumental in helping to put together the Blenheim 1862 consortium that saved the club from dying, and that will never be forgotten.

And now they have done the right thing in almost unanimously backing Munto, who can now take the club forward in a way it never could.

Munto have the resources for major investment, the kind the club has never seen before – and they have an audacious vision.

I have to admit it will feel strange no longer being a shareholder after so many years, I have been involved in the club’s affairs for so long.

But I will still be at Meadow Lane supporting the team, like I have for most of my life.

As an avid supporter, I will still be hoping Ian McParland can achieve the success we all crave.

I wish Munto and its head Peter Trembling, who is the club’s new chairman and chief executive, every success in the future.

I hope they deliver on their promises of taking the club back into the Championship within five years; it is where it belongs.

The world’s oldest League club certainly does not belong in League Two, playing against the likes of Dagenham and Accrington.

I vividly remember some of the city derbies we played against Forest, with Les Bradd scoring at the City Ground and Charlie Palmer’s goal in the last derby at Meadow Lane 15 years ago.

I hope for those kind of occasions again, maybe one day we can rival Forest once again.

The club can now look forward to a bright future and I wholeheartedly approve the takeover.

I’m sure my old friend Jimmy would have, too.

Like everyone, I know he was deeply saddened by the way the club has declined.

There was nothing more he wanted than to see Notts County rise again.

Hopefully, now the club can.

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