FI­NAN­CIAL

Sunday Mirror - - FOWLER ROBBIE -

man. I can’t em­pha­sise nt he’s been to us. o the house builders, our old ground, that r him – Clough Drive. they nor­mally didn’t ple had died be­cause nt in Leeds and that named af­ter was later ssure them that there ld veer off the straight

ould have been proud here. we played Torquay in ere in the Foot­ball en’t. We had a lot of ed to win. We were ck on the coach when en,’ he said, ‘my dad’s nts a word with you.’ nd he said, ‘Chair­man, you should take a lot of credit for this win to­day be­cause you in­sisted that the team trav­elled down on Fri­day night. The play­ers would have wo­ken up this morn­ing re­freshed. So give your­self a pat on the back’.” Robin­son has over­seen the in­cred­i­ble rise, which mir­rors Wim­ble­don’s jour­ney to the top flight in the 1980s. But it couldn’t hap­pen again, could it? A club that size brush­ing shoul­ders with the elite?

He said: “It’s amaz­ing how much money is be­ing spent. You can­not blame the play­ers. They are go­ing to make as much money as they can for them­selves and their fam­i­lies.

“But chair­man and own­ers should just say, ‘No, I’m not pay­ing it’. The thing is, there are so many clubs with seem­ingly bot­tom­less pits.

“Our aim is to sur­vive. Other clubs have vast for­tunes fund­ing them and their goal is to reach the promised land. Our goal was to reach the Con­fer­ence, it was never the Cham­pi­onship.

“When we played New­cas­tle United last sea­son, I asked their chief ex­ec­u­tive Lee Charn­ley, ‘How much does your team cost?’. And he replied, ‘Well, the start­ing XI cost £55m, those on the bench cost £45m and we’ve spent £30m on play­ers who can’t get in the 18’.

“Our big­gest out­lay is £500,000. We lost to them – twice. Their wage bill would have been phe­nom­e­nal. But al­ways, al­ways it’s not how much you spend, it’s where you spend it that makes the dif­fer­ence.

“The money we have now is the sort Gary Rowett spent when he pushed Birm­ing­ham in the top half. Hud­der­s­field Town’s wage bill last sea­son was only £11m.

“So never say never, but we’re not get­ting car­ried away. It’s sport. We have am­bi­tion. There’s room for an­other Le­ices­ter City tale. It’s not im­pos­si­ble.

“With the right man­ager, right com­mer­cial set-up and con­trols, it is pos­si­ble. Sur­viv­ing is the first ob­jec­tive, ob­vi­ously.”

In­ter­view over, a mem­ber of Bur­ton’s cater­ing team en­ters to clear up a teapot and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing crock­ery.

“An­drew,” said Robin­son, ad­dress­ing the staff mem­ber, “these bis­cuits haven’t been touched. You can re­cy­cle them.”

Bur­ton’s chair­man has learned the value of the de­tails at a foot­ball club... and, like an ele­phant, he doesn’t for­get.

CLEAR MES­SAGE The ban­ner sums it up as Bur­ton fans show their grat­i­tude to chair­man Ben Robin­son and the work he has done get­ting the club into the Cham­pi­onship – and mak­ing a profit trunk is huge, weigh­ing » Al­though the ele­phant it can pick up about 400lb, it is so dex­ter­ous a sin­gle grain of rice. very tiny things, in­clud­ing can stand up shortly af­ter » New­born ele­phants weigh­ing up to 260lb. birth. They are born blind, be eaters. Daily, they can » Ele­phants are avid and con­sume up to feed­ing for up to 16 hours 600lb of food. form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion » Touch is an im­por­tant greet each other by for ele­phants. In­di­vid­u­als their trunks. Older stroking or wrap­ping kicks and ele­phants also use trunk-slaps, ones. shoves to dis­ci­pline younger of emo­tions, such » Ele­phants are ca­pa­ble even cry­ing. feel­ing loss, griev­ing and the long­est ges­ta­tion » Ele­phant fe­males have – they are preg­nant for pe­riod of all mam­mals 22 months. as

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