Petty Pays Nowt

Sunday, 4 November 2001, 0:01
5 mins read
Current Swansea City Chairman Tony Petty has revealed that he has no money to pay Swansea stalwart Mel Nurse.
Speaking before Saturdays game against Rushden an indignant and at times angry Tony Petty revealed that he would not be paying any money at all to Mel Nurse, and in fact turned the tables on the Swans legend. Petty said ” Mel came to see me last week and told me he couldn’t handle the pressures of being on the Swansea board, he said he wanted out. I agreed and he left the club, then the same day he went and did this deal to buy the club shop and car park, you can draw from that what you will, this deal was done behind my back, I prefer face to face dealings ” Sinister ? Less than two hours later Petty and current Chief Executive John Shuttleworth who offers ” Business Solutions ” to a porn actress were led from the Vetch Field flanked by security and police to protect them from angry fans.
At the conclusion to Saturdays game hundreds of Swans fans gained entry to the pitch and made their way to the centre stand where Petty, Shuttleworth and ex ” Swans Landlord ” Mike Lewis were situated. Minutes later Lewis was attacked by fans suffering blows to his head as security once again managed to keep him away from a baying mob. A shocked looking Lewis was led away after being attacked outside the Harry Griffiths bar. Swans fans from all supporters groups had barracked Petty throughout the game from the centre stand, and leaped to demonstrate their displeasure as Petty hurriedly exited the stand with five minutes of the game to go. With that hundreds of fans swarmed across the field of play to join in.
Only two weeks ago John Shuttleworth was asked to leave a Swansea nightclub by door staff fearing he would be attacked in Jumpin’ Jax in the City Centre.
Swans fan Ken Giles from Carmarthen spoke of the incidents after the game ” It was very hostile and even I felt a bit scared at the anger on some fans faces. The real problem was Petty being there, he just is not welcome here. And then when Lewis was spotted, well, what does he expect ? You never condone violence, but he is holding everyone in Swansea with contempt, sheer contempt. The fans were so angry it was obvious what was going to happen, why is Lewis here ? Why does he continue to rub our noses in it ? ” Lisa Thomas from South London summed up the feeling, ” Lewis is behind all of this as is Petty, Mcclure, Burgess, Hamer and even Peter Day have been instrumental in our downfall, all bleeding us dry and laughing whilst it suits them. Today’s problems are a clear warning that we have had enough, and if Lewis thinks he can walk back in here and get away with it he is joking. He holds all of us with contempt and that is summed up by his presence at Swansea even when he has nothing to do with us. Even genuine fans had to be held back “
The final word went to Keith Hughes from Pontardawe, ” Lewis is the worst kind of asset stripper, he does it with a smile and then walks back in here like nothing has happened. He has been driving Petty about all week, and he is still actively involved at the club. Both Petty and Lewis have been warned before this but what do they do ? They turn up and try all the lies again and again. The best thing Petty can do is leave, and quickly, that’s the best advice anyone could give him, and as for Lewis, I think he has got the message, he should never darken our doors again, he is a criminal “
On Real Radio’s phone in last week Petty and Lewis were threatened with violence and one caller talked of a fifteen hundred pound ” job ” on Tony Petty.
On Sunday a club spokesperson said, ” Yesterday was the most frightening feeling I have ever had at a football match, and following Swansea can be hairy enough at times. Mr Addison the manager was traumatised by the incidents ” On Radio Wales Colin Addison said ” I have worked all over the footballing world and I have never met with such anger, it was surreal. But the supporters here are magnificent, and it is clear they have had enough ” Colin Addison is expected to make a public statement about the sackings of Glan Letheran and Ron Walton on Monday after studying the radio tapes of Tony Petty’s version of how they left the club. It is expected that Addison will add ammunition to the Petty Out campaign and give his side of the sackings story. On Real Radio Alan Curtis and Ex Swan David Giles launched in to the current regime as callers flooded the lines with complaints and criticism.
And with all that Mel Nurse gave Tony Petty a Saturday tea time ultimatum. ” Pay up now ” Petty stated again on Sunday that he had no money and that he would again listen to offers for the club. Having turned down a genuine fifty thousand pound offer three weeks ago he must now be wondering what he has to do to cease the anger of Swans fans. Of course there is only one thing he and his accomplices can do – Leave. Mel Nurse will be watched closely this week as he takes his fight to save the club a step onwards with legal meetings planned for Monday and Tuesday. He has two options.
1. To force the club in to administration in the same way as Hull, Swindon and Chesterfield survived last season.
2. To follow a lengthier route to seize the club as payment for the debt he has purchased from Alan Wix at Ninth Floor.
Petty tried to frighten Swans fans with talk of liquidation last week, something that will not happen at the club as long as Nurse is in the background. And then went on to talk of The Morfa Stadium. Falling in to the same trap as Neil Mcclure he attempted to bluff Swans fans with talk of the development as being the only hope for Swansea City FC. A stadium that has no connection with Swansea City, no ownership of Swansea City and no hold to Swansea City. In fact The Morfa has nothing to do with Swansea City at all. And then Petty offered a fans board to the club. Something immediately rejected by The Midlands Avon & Gloucester Swans who state they will not at any level enter in to any dialogue with Petty at any time apart from sending him a leaving card as soon as possible. Ex Supporters trust member Tony Davies was asked and initially accepted, but then reversed his decision. The big question here is what would any fan want to do on Petty’s board ? And more importantly who would they be representing with first The MAGS declining and FOSCFA expected to take the same route.
Swans fans have been held in contempt for the past four years by a stream of alleged business people believing that a trip to Wales and a pat on the head to the fans will appease all. In a way proving the
” Thick Welshies ” tag given to all Welsh people by a certain club employee three years ago. On Saturday the worm turned after four years of lies and promises to fans who have heard and had enough.
The anger spilled over, and the soap opera continues.
Further demonstrations will no doubt surface at family club Torquay United next Saturday, and hopefully Lewis, Petty and Shuttleworth will not be there. The antagonism has to stop now and the club returned to on the pitch matters and the fight for football league survival. Survival that many saw coming over twelve months ago but were banned by Mike Lewis for warning of the consequences of selling the family silver. And indeed the consequences of trying to kill Swansea City Football Club.
Something today even Mike Lewis must be wishing he deal with differently.
Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

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