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Should we be concerned by Zavier Austins' STFC appointment?
Zavier Austin has been made the new Vice Chairman at Swindon Town by owner Clem Morfuni. But why has this appointment caused such a stir amongst fans of the club? Total Sport Swindon's Ryan Walker gives his analysis on the arrival of Austin below.
Clem Morfuni has been hailed as Swindon Town’s saviour since his successful takeover of the club with Town fans praising the Australian for giving them their club back.
He has set out an agenda that says all the right things and matches the lofty ambitions of even the most hardcore supporters.
He has seemingly given new Head Coach, Ben Garner, the finances to create a competitive team that should challenge for the League Two playoffs and Morfuni's relationship with Swindon fans is so impressive that the new owner has detracted vast amounts of attention away from the players at the club.
However, amidst all the correct decisions that has made Swindon’s new owner an instant fan-favourite, the first question mark was raised against Morfuni’s name on the eve of Swindon’s first home game when the club revealed former Non-Executive Director, Zavier Austin, would return to SN1 as the new Vice Chairman.
In a unnecessary lengthy statement on the clubs official website, Clem Morfuni revealed that Zavier Austin would be taking up the reigns as Swindon’s Vice Chairman, serving alongside current CEO Rob Angus to control the daily ongoings at Swindon Town.
Morfuni is set to jet back to Australia next month and will need someone to run the club as a football club should be run in his absence. So why has this got some Swindon fans worried?
Initially brought to the club by former owner Lee Power, Zavier Austin - then a Company Director at TES Facilities Management Limited - became a Non-Executive Director during Power’s ownership and was the person responsible for first introducing Clem Morfuni to Swindon in 2014.
But unfortunately, his association with Lee Power is a negative that Swindon fans are justifiably concerned about. At the time of his appointment, Power quoted Austin as being someone he knows “really well and is close to”, before revealing that Austin would be helping with redevelopments and training facilities. Developments that never happened.
Lee Power almost destroyed Swindon Town. If he had things his way then he probably would’ve been successful in doing so this summer. Therefore it is understandable that anything associated with him is understandably tainted in the eyes of Swindon fans, and that includes Zavier Austin.
His appointment is like getting a new car but going back to your old one in the scrapyard to grab the radio because you like it and it might look good in your new vehicle. A strange decision to make.
The statement on the club's website highlighted how Austin is a huge fan of Swindon Town, but given he was a close ally of Power you have to question how much he truly loves the club and also his intentions for taking the role at Swindon.
On social media STFC fans were left bewildered by the news with some stating: “This appointment has got the alarm bells ringing,” and based on past events you can understand why.
Rightly or wrongly Morfuni has made a decision to bring Austin back into the club’s hierarchy and this decision can only be judged on how Austin performs in his role, and how the club progresses under Morfuni.
The proof will be in the pudding but this is an appointment that has certainly got some Swindon fans casting an eye over developments at the County Ground.
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