CityLeaks

Well, it has been a tough start to life in the Premier League - but did we expect anything else? Referees, injuries and suspensions aside, there has also been some pretty positive stuff: our team is gaining some well-deserved praise for its fighting spirit and skill, it was great to see my Sunday paper choosing Grant Holt as Man of the Match against Chelsea and the dour Alan Shearer was mildly encouraging on Match of the Day.

As I keep telling myself - early days, early days.

Last week’s writer of this column, Robin Sainty, considered calling his piece “Mystic Rob’s prophetic thoughts”. I don’t know what you were on Rob when you wrote: This week I shall be off to Stamford Bridge and the delights of Didier Drogba, a man for whom being vertical seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Let’s just hope we can keep him out of the penalty box!

Well, the Drogba horizontal plane was certainly achieved - by our very own John Ruddy! NB Please don’t try to do any more prophesying Mystic Rob - you were far too accurate for comfort.

No Premier games this week, so I’m offering my own long-range forecast - that that red for Ruddy and the failure of the ref to award a second yellow to Torres were the beginning of a long hard season of poor reffing decisions affecting our progress.


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Although to be honest this isn’t really a forecast: we’ve seen it all before.

I was away on holiday for the first two league games of the season and the MK Dons debacle. I can report that the sun does still exist, and it is possible to feel really warm. My holiday reading this year - apart from keeping up with the scores via my phone - was the WikiLeaks book about our recently arrived Norfolk resident Julian Assange.

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Back at home I was really up for stories of leaks, scandal and conspiracy theories concerning my team, and sure enough, I got one with the issuing of David McNally’s statement about the state of play between NCFC and BBC East.

McNally’s main beef was that: “...the BBC regional football programme Late Kick Off broadcast a factually inaccurate story regarding an alleged multi-million pound transfer we were, according to them, about to complete with Peterborough United for their then striker Craig Mackail-Smith.”

Hmmmm. I watched that episode of Late Kick-Off. I have to say that Dion Dublin’s suggestion that he had inside information on the CMS transfer was unfortunate. At the time I felt this was straight off Football Rumours via one of my favourite NCFC heroes. I felt uncomfortable for myself and Dion.

However neither Dion nor Matt Holland were, in my opinion, in any way to blame for this “leak”. The producers are responsible for programme content - and they should not have allowed speculation to appear as unchallenged fact. Something should have been said before the end of the programme.

Now I can support David McNally - who has a ruthlessness which some supporters are uneasy with - in his comments about this programme.

What is strange, and why I refer to WikiLeaks, is the timing of his statement and the ongoing stand-off with BBC East. This needs sorting out Mr McNally - and soon. It is the local fans of the football club who will suffer most. Even if there is a lot more to this than appears in your statement, get on the phone to the BBC.

Ruthlessness has a place in the boardroom and in pursuing excellence at the Club. Dealing with the Media requires a different skill set. A softer approach need not be a sign of weakness. Please.

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