Advertiser says Unfortunate tactics from club chairman
Trust chairman Willie Marshall closed last Thursday night’s meeting by telling the assembled audience of anxious fans it had been “illuminating”.
It certainly was – but for all the wrong reasons.
Club chairman Jim Ballantyne confirmed that Airdrieonians are in a perilous position following owner Tom Wotherspoon’s untimely withdrawal of essential funding – hardly illuminating, given the Advertiser had already reported that Ballantyne himself demanded £10k from the Trust to pay players’ wages and then threatened to resign when refused. When our story was put to him by a supporter, he declined to confirm it outright, choosing instead to recall “heated discussions over funds” and“long nights of contemplation about my role at the club”.
However he made no attempt to deny its accuracy.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Advertiser conducted detailed conversations with not one, not two, but three well-placed individuals who all confirmed the chairman had indeed asked for the five-figure sum and subsequently threatened to walk away when it wasn’t forthcoming.
We also tried to contact Mr Ballantyne for comment on several occasions by various methods. All these attempts were ignored.
More disappointing than his lack of candour were his disparaging remarks about the press in general and the Advertiser in particular.
Disappointing because for many years, decades in fact, and long before his involvement with the club, the Advertiser has diligently covered and faithfully championed Airdrieonians FC and its affiliated organisations. So that he chose to denigrate the paper over a newsworthy – and, more importantly – accurate story is unfortunate.
More unfortunate, perhaps even misguided, was his assertion that the club’s fans, of whom around 200 of the most devoted were present, are too demanding on the team and whoever is sitting in the managerial hot seat.
Being told you’re part of the problem while simultaneously being asked to provide the solution is not only risible – it’s enough to have any dedicated Diamond reaching for the swear jar.