Thick Skin & Deep Pockets!

So the saga that is the Sheffield Steelers takes yet another twist as owner Paul Ragan relinquishes control to Tony Smith, owner of shirt manufacturers Rhino Sports. While Ragan maintains that this he so he can concentrate on his other club Cardiff Devils, he will still retain a 50% stake in the South Yorkshire club.
So what now? I hope Mr Smith has deep pockets in order to maintain the unsustainable way that the Steelers are run, otherwise I expect them to be in exactly the same position this time next year as they vastly overspend to try and keep the interest in their ever dwindling fan base, only to find themselves in deep doo-doo once again at the end of the season. Sure it may bring in a few titles, but at what cost?
While Ragan’s antics have been questionable at best and downright immoral at worst, what he has done is no different to that of former owner Bob Phillips in my opinion, however such a view cannot be expressed on Steeltalk, the clubs supposed ‘Unofficial’ and ‘Independent’ message board. On there Phillips is being held up as some sort of messiah by all but a few and anyone who disagrees have there posts deleted as the moderators have become lapdogs for the former owner. To be frank Steeltalk has become a joke, and a particularly bad one at that. At a time when the fans need to debate and discuss such issues, they are being prevented so by a message board that is being run like something akin to a military junta!
I hope Mr Smith comes in and applies the sound business acumen that his predecessors have failed to do, live within your means and pay the bills. If that means you don’t win any trophies, so be it, at least you may have a sound enough footing to compete from season to season. Spend beyond your means and I’m afraid that could spell the end, three different owners in 7 months is embarrassing on any number of levels and I feel they are now very much in the last chance saloon. I hope Smith makes the best of that chance.


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