Rob Trent & Gavin Meaden profile Bournemouth's ownership
Who’s in charge at Bournemouth? Well, we’re not sure. Prior to the receivers being called in, the club has been in a state of turmoil, resignations from the board at one stage leaving us with only two directors. The general perception amongst the supporters is that Norman Hayward is now top bod. A month before that it was Ken Gardiner, who ‘resigned’ through ‘ill-health’.
Distinguishing Features Norman’s cuddly, balding, and an exceptionally pleasant personality. He’s the sort of person you’d like your daughter to marry, if she hadn’t found anyone by her fiftieth birthday. As for Ken, his main ambition was to build a new stadium, the capacity of which gets smaller throughout the decade: the sort of person you’d like your daughter to marry if you didn’t like her very much.
Habitat The football club must be the only part of Norman’s scrap metal empire making a loss. For home games you’ll find him in the executive box. Ken, who held the reins for two years, liked to style himself as “a man of the people”. He would watch one half of every game from a different part of the ground, until his popularity began to wane.
What use are they? Norman has his uses. He’s returned to try and save the club, in the face of stiff opposition from those bastards at Lloyds Bank, who are doing their best to bring the club down. Ken raised the profile of the club (and himself of course), but took his eye off the ball just long enough for our debts to increase by around £2 million.
Which international celebrity would they get on best with? Norman would prefer a quiet pint somewhere to glitz – Ken would try and get photographed with anyone at all (Brian Mawhinney, Michael Howard even the man who played fourth German in Allo, Allo if he thought it would advance his profile).
Quote unquote Norm managed a “Thank you Daily Sport!” for their donation to the rescue fund. Ken’s baby was the new stadium: his statement that work would begin on 1st January 1997 (it didn’t) was believed by no-one except Ken himself.
Other offences to be taken into consideration Ken managed to arrange a friendly with Dynamo Tbilisi, apparently on the basis that we had “first option” on any of their players. He also kindly took on the role of overseas scout, a first for the club. We’re still waiting for the imports to arrive. Norman’s only offence was that he didn’t step in earlier.
From WSC 121 March 1997. What was happening this month