He’s spent a lifetime in the Her Majesty’s diplomatic service so Sir William Charters Patey, KCMG, recently retired British Ambassador to Afghanistan and new chairman of the board at Swindon Town FC, should easily be able to handle the sideline antics and backroom rows with Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio.
Sir William, whose biography is listed in Debrett’s, the modern authority on all matters etiquette, taste and achievement, replaced well regarded chairman of the board Jeremy Wray in a surprise move on 15 October. It would seem he has been brought in to apply his charm and persuasive tact to negotiations about the redevelopment of the County Grounds with landlords Swindon Council.
The financially desperate council may even see an opportunity to offload an asset and generate capital for other projects.
Having worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 1975, with many postings in the Gulf region, Sir William brings with him a well endowed address book. Some of his vast network of well connected wealthy contacts may be interested in property development in Swindon and an interest in being part of an ambitious football club in a delightful town not far from Heathrow airport.
What were they thinking, beyond what’s happening on the football pitch at the Swindon game against Coventry on Saturday 13 October? Richard Wintle’s shot, two days before the change in chairman was announced, captured Jeremy Wray, front left, and town legend Don Rogers, in the director’s box, and Sir William Patey, rear right, and wealthy town director Sir Martyn Arbib, rear left
Image by Richard Wintle ©Calyx Multimedia, 41, Churchward Avenue, Rodbourne Cheney, Swindon SN2 1NJ • 01793 520131 MOB: 07836 205196 www.calyxpix.com