Bramwell Speaks Out

YOU'VE just got to hand it to the guy.

If Daniel had smeared himself in barbecue sauce before facing the lions, he could not have been more appetising game than Peter Shackleton facing any set of Burnley supporters hungry for answers.

The decision to face the CISA at such a delicate stage in the takeover saga took real guts.

Shackleton knows he does not possess the smooth patter of a Ray Ingleby.

There were times last night when he appeared flustered and ruffled as supporters moved in for the kill on the issue of the board.

Some of his answers seemed needlessly evasive.

Financial jargon was used to mask deep cracks in his defence.

But, unlike Daniel, Shackleton did not have a whole heap of support from above.

His backers do not want too much information being revealed about the deal. Clarets chairman Frank Teasdale would prefer the word takeover was only mentioned in the third lane of the motorway.

As a result, Shackleton is being torn apart by his own camp.

Personally, I would like to see some of the severed limbs used to create an Peter Ingleton or Ray Shackleby.

But, like Frankenstein, that is a fictional impossibility.

So, in the meantime, some of the very progressive Shackleton messages are being lost in the tide of anti-board feeling.

But, throughout the meeting at Burnley's Sparrow Hawk Hotel, he maintained dignity and a sense of humour.

When one investor rang his mobile to ask for an update after the meeting, Shackleton was positively bullish.

His parting shot to me was: "I think I will get more than one vote if you have another telephone poll."

And Shackleton can still ride any storm - providing he has the backing of every board member.

Two of that board - Messrs Holt and Blakeborough - witnessed the mauling at first hand.

Whether their resolve to give the thumbs up to what would appear to be a deeply unpopular takeover is undented remains to be seen.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.