BROWNE ON THE BALL: Apology from the Boston United board, but who’s sorry now?

Sorry! David Newton and Neil Kempster.
Sorry! David Newton and Neil Kempster.

Elton John is wrong. Sorry doesn’t seem to be the hardest word.

In fact, sometimes it’s very easy to apologise, especially when you’ve messed up.

How many times have we read stories of the accused on the stands at court using their briefs to issue statements of how sorry they are for their actions?

You get in your car drunk and hit someone. You lose your anger and smash another partygoer across the back of the head with a glass bottle. You argue with the wife, push her down the stairs and she hits her head on the way down. The police stop you with a wholsesale amount of Class A drugs in the back of the car.

Whatever the case, it’s very easy to show remorse when your apology may shave a few years off a prison sentence.

But it’s not just the crims that are quick to realise the wrongs of their ways when they’ve suddenly got something to lose.

Lindsay Lohan wheels out an apology everytime she’s in trouble. But we’ve heard the same words from the likes of Richard Bacon, John Leslie, Tiger Woods and many more who have - in hindsight - issued statements of regret when it would have been better to act responsibly.

That’s why I was impressed with a bit of class from the Boston United board last week.

After sacking Graham Drury and bringing in Dennis Greene they could have celebrated Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Gloucester by playing to the crowd, as if their actions were vindicated by the club’s first win in eight contests.

Instead, chairman David Newton penned an apology to the fans.

Keeping them up to date with the goings on at the club and the reasons for their actions, he finished his (rather long) comments with the folowing line.

“Once again, we apologise for not delivering a better season for you - the supporters - but with your ongoing support, hopefully we will be playing in Blue Square Bet North again next season, where the aim will be to deliver a much more successful season for you all.”

Is this what you would expect from Roman Abramovich after he sacked yet another world-class manager?

Of course not.

The oligarch’s opinion is that it’s his money and his club and he can do what he wants. His cash bought the recent success, so he can do what he likes and not have to justify it.

Newton did something greater than buy success. He (along with Neil Kempster, who never gets the deserved credit for his part in the Chestnuts) saved the club from the brink.

In doing so, he earned the right to do - within reason - what he wanted with this club.

But instead, he took it upon himself to come out and hold his hands up.

It could be claimed that, in a season where two managers have been axed, the board should take some heat for poor decision making and this was nothing more than a good PR stunt from them.

But this public apology is one big chunk of humble pie you wouldn’t attempt to eat unless you truly believe the best thing is to wolf it down.

Sorry can be the easiest thing to say when it saves your own bacon.

But to apologise when you don’t have to takes some guts... and class.