THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Dan McCauley is not the most popular man in Devon, as David Pay explains

Distinguishing features Slobodan Milosevic lookalike from north Devon. Has also been chairman of Tiverton Town and on the board of Exeter City. According to the Times list of wealthy people, he has a fortune larger than the chairmen of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Chelsea. He is Fat Dan, aka the Fat Controller.

Habitat Apart from the aforementioned Tiverton, he is boss of Rotolok engineering (no, we have no idea either). Also owns Drakes Island, in Plymouth Sound, where he is building an entertainment and leisure complex. I suppose it could offer employment to all the staff he has got rid of during his reign.

What use is he? He arrived in 1992 with promises of providing money and good players. At that time we were in the (old) Second Division, playing the likes of Leeds, Newcastle and Sunderland. Now we are resident in the (new) Third, locking horns with Hartlepool, Rochdale et al. In the intervening period he has appointed an ex-England goalkeeper as manager, as well as a man with a proven record of promotion via play-offs, and publicly fallen out with both of them. Admittedly he has seen a lot of his money wasted, but he has also behaved like a spoilt child at times, to the detriment of the club. The last two managers have been sacked by mobile phone, so the current incumbent (Kevin Hodges) is advised to stay out of contact at all times. The few half-hearted demonstrations against him seem to have finally taken their toll as he has rep­ortedly agreed to sell the club to Richard Walker, a Cornish pro­perty developer (alarm bells ring).

Who remembers his birthday? Certainly not the managers he has employed, nor the backroom staff he has sacked, nor even the majority of Argyle fans. The local council would not even talk to him regarding a new stadium.

Quote Unquote
“There is no manager I would rather go to Wembley with” he said of Neil Warnock prior to our play-off final with Darlington in May 1996. By November that year the fans were chanting “We want Fat Dan out” at Luton, following the sacking of Warnock. This year he claims to “have outstayed my welcome”. I wonder why.

Other offences to be taken into consideration
Basically his premise that Argyle will be successful with no investment. It just cannot be done at this level. As a businessman he must have realised that.

From WSC 154 December 1999. What was happening this month

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