Swindon make Wise appointment

Perhaps that is understandable. Swindon have been relegated to League Two after a 20-year absence from English football's fourth flight, with crowds sliding to less than 7,000. Yet their chairman, the former jockey Willie Carson, seemed delighted, chirping as enthusiastically as he ever did on A Question of Sport. Perhaps he is just pleased that he will not have to stand on a box to address the new manager.

"It's hugely exciting for the club to get such a high-profile figure," Carson said. "We've already started one England manager on his way from Swindon in Glenn Hoddle, and I think we might be starting off another one. We're very lucky to get him."

Wise's presence will bring greater attention than a League Two side would usually attract, something that should help draw fans and increased revenue from advertising and sponsorship. It is four years since Swindon came out of administration, but, despite last week's news that the former QPR chairman Bill Power is to invest more than £1 million, money remains tight.

Certainly there was something incongruous about Wise yesterday, particularly with Gus Poyet alongside him, glowering solemnly like a Bond villain's henchman. It all felt like the pitch for an abandoned BBC sit-com: a cheeky Cockney Jack-the-lad-made-good and his Uruguayan sidekick move to the provinces and go into business with a squeaky-voiced racing pundit - all with hilarious consequences.

"It's certainly a long way down," Wise admitted when it was pointed out to him that all his previous experience has come in the top two divisions, "but we're not fussed about that. I've been told I can run the club my way to a certain level. A lot of clubs would not allow me to do that. I was 14 months at Millwall and took them to the FA Cup final [in 2004] and into Europe, so I didn't do too badly."

Dropping down to League Two will also allow him to continue his playing career, and both he and Poyet - now 39 - have been registered for next season. "We'll lace up our boots if need be, but hopefully the other lads will keep us out," Wise explained. "Hopefully the players who've just been relegated will feel they have something to prove."

The feeling around Swindon is that Wise has too. The word most often used by fans was "gamble", with many recalling with distaste the way Wise publicly blamed the forward Neil Harris after his own gaffe had allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to score in that 2004 FA Cup final. A certain sympathy lingers as well for Iffy Onuora, who was dismissed as manager last week.

Carson, though, is adamant that Wise's appointment is a gamble worth taking. "Iffy came in at a bad time, and I hope he walks into another job," he said, "but at the end of the day we got demoted. If I got beat on a horse I'd get the sack and they'd get another jockey. We had to change things and now we're going down a different route."

He also saw positives in Wise's insistence on a work ethic, which has led to him ordering players back from their summer break on 26 June, a week earlier than planned. "In football," Wise said, "there are two types of players - donkeys and racehorses. Gus is a racehorse because he's got the talent, but there's also a place for hard work, for donkeys like me."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York