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Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 18:22 UK

McParland's Meadow Lane memories

By Robin Chipperfield
BBC Radio Nottingham

Ian McParland
McParland spent eight years as a player at Notts

Notts County's high-profile signing of former England defender Sol Campbell had manager Ian McParland casting his mind back to another era and another centre-half.

"Years ago, we were trying to buy Glenn Roeder from Queens Park Rangers and the fans had a whip-round," recalls McParland, a player at the time.

If a reminder of how times have changed at Meadow Lane were needed, surely this was it.

In 1983, the Magpies were in the old First Division, yet could not afford the money needed to bring Roeder from west London on a permanent deal.


The £150,000 it would have taken for Roeder to move up the M1 was to be half-raised by supporters, and matched by Notts chairman Jack Dunnett, but the money could not be found.

Notts were relegated that season under the management of Larry Lloyd, despite the squad including the likes of McParland, Martin O'Neill, Justin Fashanu, Nigel Worthington, and John Chiedozie.

"We had some good players," recalls McParland.

The good players are becoming more commonplace again but it is different now, where the objective since the summer takeover by Munto Finance, is financing a push to the Premier League.

Many national newspapers suggest that Campbell's monthly wage would have paid the transfer fee of Roeder back in 1983.

Following the cash injection and the arrival of Sven-Goran Eriksson, Campbell, Kasper Schmeichel and a host of other players, the media spotlight is firmly focused on Meadow Lane.

Sol Campbell (l) and Ian McParland
McParland's latest signing Sol Campbell has played at three World Cups

McParland insists he is comfortable with that. "Nothing fazes me, I get on with it," insisted the Scot.

"As a football manager, you take everything in your stride. And that's what I do.

"Whether you've got money or no money, whether you've got a player injured, and you're worried about him playing on the Saturday, (as a manager) you have to take it on the chin."

McParland's Magpies have started the season well, with three wins from their opening four matches and sit proudly on top of League Two.

If they make it back to the top flight, you can be sure that £150,000 to sign a defender will not be as difficult to find as it was a quarter of a century ago.

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