Chief football writer of the East Anglian Daily Times was honest enough to admit he was nervous about interviewing owner Marcus Evans but why I wonder? I have interviewed multi-millionaires too when I worked in radio but I cannot admit to ever feeling especially nervous – although I have to confess, it was so long ago so I might have rather selective memories.
The point is that we all need some degree of nerves to maximize our worth in any calling but too much of it can play havoc with our ability to perform and maximise our capacity to get the very best results. Now I wonder whether, in hindsight, Stuart Watson regrets not asking those questions that only someone in his privileged position could ask?
Why for example was the full debt applied to this football club after Evans paid off the bonds at a very big discount? Why is the training ground no longer owned by the club itself – or why has Evans so far failed to appoint anybody with a modicum of football knowledge to help him to run Ipswich Town? And of course why on earth did he chase around trying to snare Paul Hurst, when other bigger names like Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard passed us by? Those were just some of the questions we were hoping you might ask Stuart and because you did not ask them, then sadly, Marcus Evans remains to all intents and purposes a complete mystery.
And to suggest, as Watson did, that supporters are thanking Marcus for his continued levels of annual investment must be put into context. Some supporters certainly feel that way but others are hugely critical of his huge wealth and his miserly spending regime, that has impacted on players and managers alike.
Press officer Steve Pearce obviously knows Evans a lot better than poor Stuart Watson, and this might explain why he has managed to interrogate the owner with a greater sense of conviction and gusto. But surely we would have expected things to be the other way around? Pearce bestows the virtues of having acquired a tried and tested interview technique; which manages to get the very best out of his interviewees – even if that happens to be with the owner of the football club!
Now I have to say, I do admire Stuart Watson for his candidness and his acceptance that he is only human after all, but he will, understandably, ponder on whether he could have approached the situation differently, given a second bite of the cherry? He is a good columnist and I enjoy reading his articles but his forte might not be in the field of intensive interrogative sports journalism? Strangely perhaps, I think Pearce has what it takes to do just that.
And in his article today in the E.A.D.T, Watson confesses to his greatest failing. ‘ Were there any major revelations? No. But in truth, I wasn’t expecting that. As he says, he has outlined a fair bit through various club interviews in the past.’ It is easy, therefore, to deduce what went amiss. He asked the wrong questions.
Dare I say it, Stuart, it was elementary my dear Watson.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich