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Guest blog: Pride + Passion = Paolo


You will already have gathered that I love dogs and food; however, my greatest passion is - or was - football in the form of Swindon Town FC.

Towards the end of the season, I edited a blog that has stuck in my mind; today, with the writer’s permission, I would like to share it with you:

Pride + Passion = Paolo

Time will tell whether Saturday’s last-gasp victory was a sticking plaster or something more permanent, but here is a letter drafted before the match:

Dear Paolo

Did you ever see the television game show Blockbusters, hosted by Bob Holness? Children had to answer questions based on letters on a honeycomb-shaped board and the winner was the first to create a path either across or down. The catchphrase was “Can I have a ‘P’ please, Bob”, which was always greeted with laughter from the audience. We don’t laugh much at the County Ground these days and are in desperate need of not one but three Ps: passion, pride and Paolo.

Do you have fond memories of your time at Swindon? We certainly do. Just a few are your one-man pitch invasion at Northampton; your promise to get an STFC tattoo if we were promoted (did you keep this promise?); your lucky green coat; your performance of Dancing in the Moonlight with Toploader; celebrating the League Two title in your Mama and Papa Di Canio T-shirt (and the spontaneous singing and applause during the end of season roll call, which was so emotional and highlighted how much the fans loved you); and - of course - the scarf ceremony at the end of each game. There was so much pride and passion, which has not been experienced since.

It wasn’t all good, of course. When it came to buying players, you were like a kid in a sweetshop – trying them and then spitting them out if they didn’t meet with your approval. We almost went into administration. You had bust-ups with your own players - and even the dugout - and walked out on us when we were on the cusp of promotion to The Championship.




Do you remember your comments about how a lion can’t stay in its cage and how some players are chihuahuas and others are rottweilers? We have lots of chihuahuas, but no lion and very few rottweilers. You were almost right when you said it would be difficult to find a manager like you; in fact, it was impossible.

Paolo, please come out of your cage. Form a consortium to buy the club and install yourself as manager. Bring back the pride and the passion. Stick to a realistic budget to ensure the future of STFC and you will be guaranteed a very warm welcome. You may have seen that the fans (Trust STFC, backed by Supporters Direct) are already planning to buy the ground - together we can achieve the impossible.

If you are a Swindon fan, does this resonate with you? I'm sure it is hypothetical, but would you welcome Paolo back or should the past remain firmly in the past? 
Guest blog: Pride + Passion = Paolo Guest blog: Pride + Passion = Paolo Reviewed by Val Woolhouse on Thursday, May 04, 2017 Rating: 5

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