Bad spring for West Bromwich

First the Baggies were relegated, even though they played some really good football and proved to be by far the most attractive of the promoted sides last season, and now the building society has gone bust.

Well, actually I don’t think it has gone bust because a rescue package has been agreed, but it has imprudently mis-lent its way into a position where it would have been bust without a bail-out.

In this, it’s certainly not alone.  At the BSA conference in Harrogate a couple of weeks ago, I detected a pallor in the faces of a remarkably large number of the delegates which, I decided, meant that they weren’t expecting to be at the conference next year.  (It’s possible, of course, that the pallor simply indicated that their provincial home towns hadn’t seen much sun yet this spring.)

It hadn’t occurred to me before that there might be a correlation between the performance of towns’ financial institutions and their football teams.  If there is, it doesn’t seem to work in Scotland, because Dunfermline had rather a good season this year.   And I don’t think it can apply in Middlesborough, where the team has been relegated but I don’t believe there is much in the way of a financial services sector.  But as well as West Brom, it certainly applies to Newcastle, home to Britain’s previously-worst-run mortgage bank and currently-worst-run football team;  and things certainly haven’t been going well for Derby County or for that region’s now-rescued building society, or for the equivalent institutions of Scarborough. 

And then of course there is the enigma that is Norwich and Peterborough – Norwich relegated from the Championship, Peterborough promoted from League 1.   What are the implications for the building society?  Looks like it can expect some ups and downs.

2 thoughts on “Bad spring for West Bromwich

  1. Delia Smith, co-owner of the “Canaries”, has just been awarded the CBE, not for services to soccer, but for services to the food industry. Norfolk is known for its turkeys, for instance, there are whole model, industrial cities of them there. But Peterborough United is another kettle of fish. The owner, Darragh MacAnthony is a property magnate aged 33. “The reason I bought Peterborough was because I was looking to buy a football club and they were the only one available at the time,” he says. “It’s as simple as that, there’s no big mystery. I wanted to buy a club, I bought one.” The manager of Peterborough is Sir Alex Ferguson’s son, Darren. He said towards the end of last season, “I don’t want to be a League One manager [which is what he was]. I don’t want to be in this league.”

    Norwich FC is a homely football club which is supported by proud and plump people and surrounded by the largest swathe of fertile and fecund agricultural land in the whole country. By contrast, Peterborough United may yet turned out to be like Wire and Plastic Products, WPP, bought by Martin Sorrell as his shopping basket to put companies in. We may yet see Darragh and Darren at the helm of a rebranded, relocated European behemoth of a football club, by the name of FC Bilbao or Benidorm or some such, by far outstripping the benign mutual style of the romantic-failure clubs which do not share such unsentimental ambitions.

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