Sportsdesk Comment with Daniel Gregory: Reaction to Weaponness story has been an eye-opener

Sportsdesk Column with Daniel Gregory. Share your opinion, email or Tweet @mrdanielgregory
Sportsdesk Column with Daniel Gregory. Share your opinion, email or Tweet @mrdanielgregory

I have to start this column by saying how surprised I have been at the reaction to the story in last week’s Scarborough News regarding the proposed Weaponness Leisure Village.

I was very surprised to see that I had the honour of a namecheck in Scarborough Athletic chairman Dave Holland’s ‘View From Mount Olympus’ programme notes for Saturday’s win over New Mills.

In these programme notes, Mr Holland states he stood next to me for the entire second half of the game against Harrogate Railway.

To clarify, Mr Holland (pictured) did come and stand next to me while I was watching the match and decided not to engage me in conversation before moving on.

He also stated that I ‘embarrassed Jimmy Beadle’ in last week’s story (pictured).

If anyone is entitled to talk on Weaponness, surely it’s Boro’s Jimmy Beadle?

It was also an opinion that a lot of the Scarborough public agreed with.

Some people argued that the timing of the story was odd as well. How so?

The council told us all that Boro would be playing back in town for the 2014/15 season and the article went to print after the club’s first game was, sadly, played 20-or-so miles away in Bridlington.

Mr Holland’s notes stating his displeasure with me ‘embarrassing Jimmy’ were made more interesting by the fact that he was stood 10 yards away from us while myself and Ian Johnson conducted the interview.

Did the chairman speak up during or after the interview? No he didn’t.

It really is a shame that he decided to have a swipe in his programme notes and then in a very disappointing email to the sports editor Andy Bloomfield, manager Rudy Funk and the entire Boro board, rather than speaking to me directly, either on the night or on the phone.

I spoke to Rudy the day before The Scarborough News came out and he was far from happy, but he was allowed to put his thoughts across in his column and understands that we are not the club’s press office.

If a player comes and says he doesn’t think the project will happen (and who is better placed than Jimmy, a fan as a youngster and a player of the former Scarborough FC and current club?), of course we are going to run the story.

Mr Holland’s email opened with ‘I am disappointed that Dan Gregory chose to interview Jimmy Beadle and SN chose to sensationalise that players comments with a back page story which you well knew would embarass the club and Jimmy himself.’

The quotes that Jimmy gave us needed no ‘sensationalising’.

We have no hidden agenda. All of us are desparate for football to return to the town, it is our job to question those who are blessed to be in a position to do something about it.

The club and the council released a joint statement this week, the story is in this week (see page 11).

It doesn’t add anything that we didn’t know.

It is a very complex procedure and the council still need to get funding and also pass the planning procedure, which will be tricky in itself in a residential area like Weaponness.

I also noted the first edition of ‘The View From Mount Olympus’ at the Lincoln friendly, where Mr Holland penned: ‘Please get behind us off the field too. If you can’t then maybe you should join another club.’

Mr Holland should maybe remember that Scarborough Athletic is a fan-run club. Numbers are dwindling and comments like that won’t help get people through the turnstiles.

Share your thoughts: You can Tweet me

@mrdanielgregory or I’d also be happy to chat about it with anyone. You can get me on 01723383858.