In Monk we trusted
In Monk we trusted – The thoughts of one of our members. They are the opinions of that person and not necessarily those of Blues Trust
Most Bluenoses would agree that last season the above statement was truly felt by most. Whatever Garry Monk did in his team selection, the change in formation or the style of play, we trusted his judgement. Most of us believed that this trust was well placed as he had not only saved us again from relegation but had built an excellent relationship in the club with the players, backroom staff and most importantly us fans. We had our club back, and that was largely thanks to Garry. Optimism was at a high, not seen for years. We were even talking about a push for the playoffs!
Then in the close season came the sacking and the allegations of wrongdoing not only from the board at Blues but also Middlesbrough and now Massimo Cellino. This all centred around allegations of business dealings in which Garry Monk’s agent James Featherstone was involved. From Middlesbrough there were claims of overpayment of fees, from Blues that Ren didn’t want the agent involved in every deal. The Daily Mail article on the allegations just read like media sensationalism rather than hard facts.
The statements issued from the CEO Dong Ren seemed to be full of assertions crafted, I believe, to suit his own motives. That was to exert more direct control on the team, the style of play and the recruitment of players. Why else would a CEO move his office to oversee training at Wast Hills if that was not the objective? He has no place there.
Concerning the other claims re financial irregularity, surely it is the responsibility of a board and their accounting team to check on payments made and to ensure that they are correct. Not that of a manager and his agent.
When the news of the sacking broke, Garry Monk stated that he could not comment on the allegations being made as clearly there were confidentiality clauses in his contract which limited what he could say.
However, in the past days he has been able to now issue a statement through the League Managers’ Association. In this carefully but strongly worded statement he says that he completely refutes the totally false and unsubstantiated allegations made against him by Blues, Middlesbrough and Cellino. He goes on to say that his legal team are reviewing all false and unsubstantiated claims and building a legal case, including but not limited to, defamation of character.
To launch a legal case for defamation you must be certain that the claims against you are false and therefore need to have redress through legal action.
From the information now available it does look as if there has been some level of ‘witch-hunt’ against Garry by those who may have other motives and reasons for claims against him.
In the past weeks we have also seen the reaction from some of the players. Whilst not referring directly to what has happened with Monk, Connor Mahoney who earlier stated he would like to return to Blues after last season, now signs for Millwall, Viv Solomon-Otabor chooses to leave for CSK Sofia although offered a renewed contract and worst of all the club captain Michael Morrison walks away as he cannot agree terms. Coincidence? Maybe not?
Of course, we all wish Pep Clotet and the team the very best for the new season and hope that we can enjoy a successful campaign, but the more we learn about the boards’ actions behind this summer of turmoil the worse it seems to get. It does all seem like deja vu.
David J Roots
A Blues Trust member