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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 December 2007, 17:28 GMT
Fitton reveals vision for Swindon
Swindon Town
Wiltshire businessman Andrew Fitton wants to establish Swindon Town as a Championship club within three years.

Fitton and his consortium agreed a conditional takeover of the Robins on Friday, with a deadline of 11 January for the deal to be finalised.

Fitton told BBC Radio Swindon: "Our plan for this club is that we think it has a place in the Championship.

"If in three years time we are in the Championship I will have succeeded, if not I will have failed."

Fitton added: "I don't think it is ever wise to say we'll be in the Premier League in five years time. Those are absurd ideas.

"Where this club should rightly be is a well established Championship club and once we get to that stage maybe other things can happen.

There is a shortlist already, but it is not a shortlist of one, and nobody should think that

Consortium leader Andrew Fitton

"Can we get there this season? Well, it is a big ask but it is not impossible.

"I think I will be judged on whether we are in the Championship in three years time.

"We might get lucky and get close to the play-off positions this season and that would be great, but let's not set the bar unrealistically high."

Although the takeover is not expected to be formally completed until early in the new year, Fitton and his consortium will start to oversee the running of the club immediately.

One of the first tasks will be to appoint a new manager, with caretakers Dave Byrne and Ady Williams continuing to look after the team following Paul Sturrock's return to Plymouth.

Fitton insists the consortium do not have someone already lined up, but will now step up their search in earnest.

"We have already had some talks but will sit down on Christmas Eve to go through the applicants," he said.


"There is a shortlist already, but it is not a shortlist of one, and nobody should think that. There are three, four, five names on there.

"We would like to talk to them between Christmas and New Year if that is possible, or the first few days of January if not.

"Once you start talking the process can be quite rapid, but we will handle the process properly.

"We will interview three or four people, we will decide who our preferred choice is and we will go and get him.

"We have to have a look at what is available and we have a set of criteria against which any prospective manager will be judged.

"He will have to have had some proven success. That will be one of our key criteria.

"We don't want to bring someone in who is completely unproven. It is just not wise at this stage of the club's development."

Our objective now is to make this into one of the best run and managed clubs in the country

Consortium leader Andrew Fitton

Fitton is pleased the protracted deal to take over at the County Ground is now nearing completion.

"We did think we would get here, but we didn't think it would be quite as difficult to get here as it has been," added Fitton.

"At one stage when the deal fell apart one of my business partners said 'I can't believe you are letting this happen. There's nobody better at getting things across the line than you are.'

"That gave me a renewed challenge to get over the line or my reputation would have been shot, but it was a difficult deal to do.

"Our objective now is to make this into one of the best run and managed clubs in the country.

"If we can do that I believe we can produce a successful football club. It has got to have a sound base because recently the base at this club has not been sound but more like shifting sand."

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