Paul McNamara from the Bournemouth Echo on his club's success story

MAX Demin has indisputably been a force for good at Bournemouth.

The Russian’s investment enabled Eddie Howe to mastermind the club’s remarkable transformation.

I’d go as far as to say that Demin is the model owner; the antithesis to some of the unscrupulous individuals who have got their claws into a few luckless clubs.

A supporter’s instinct on hearing about potential foreign investment these days is probably to fear the worst.

That is obviously a consequence of the various shenanigans at Leyton Orient, Blackburn, Birmingham and Leeds et al.

I think the only concern Bourne- mouth fans had when Demin became involved in 2011 was how little they knew about him.

Given his reserved nature – think a taciturn Roman Abramovich – they still have no real insight into the man himself. None of us do.

His actions, though, have spoken volumes for his honest, ambitious intentions. He has consistently supported Howe in the transfer market – Bournemouth spent a record sum on Jordon Ibe last summer – while committing plenty of cash to developing the club’s infrastructure.

The training ground and stadium have been significantly upgraded, with a move to a new ground being planned in time for the 2020/21 season.

Most importantly, he plainly has a fantastic relationship with Howe, which would suggest he lets the manager get on with his job.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but Juan Sartori’s background would suggest his intentions are sincere.

If the Uruguayan’s proposed takeover of Oxford becomes a reality, then, there could be some exciting years ahead at the Kassam.


Richard Sharpe from the Lancashire Telegraph on Blackburn's woes

I’M afraid there can be very little positive news with how the foreign ownership is viewed among Blackburn Rovers supporters.

When the Venky’s took over, the club were mid-table in the Premier League. Next season, they will be playing in Sky Bet League One.

A lot of the issues are well-known, but six-and-a-half years on, it has been a pretty alarming decline.

The owners came in with big intentions, publicly saying they wanted to sign Ronaldinho and Beckham.

Although the football under Sam Allardyce was not always the best, the club had become a household name in the Premier League and comfortably in mid-table.

But they replaced Allardyce with Steve Kean and that proved a total disaster, relegated to the Championship within 18 months of the managerial switch, and the Venky’s arrival.

A number of further bad decisions followed and last season’s relegation came despite the club reportedly having the ninth-highest wage bill in the division.

It’s the lack of communication that has caused most discontent among fans, with hand-written statements the only lines of contact with the owners.

Star names have left the club and simply not been replaced. Although they finished last season well under Tony Mowbray, the damage had been done.

Blackburn will be among the early favourites, with the bookmakers at least, to go up next season, but the truth is nobody has any idea of what the team will look like come the start of the season with an uncertain summer ahead.

Relegation will hit hard, and further cuts are necessary, in what will be another uncertain summer at Ewood Park.


Richard Parry from the London Evening Standard, where Chelsea have thrived, but Leyton Orient have not

Let us get one thing straight. Foreign ownership in itself is not inherently dangerous.

Where the problems lie, and this is apparent with some British-run clubs also, is the risk of disconnect between the club and supporters stemming from incompetent ownership.

This can exist throughout the football pyramid of course, but the balance is at its most precarious in the lower regions of the Football League when initially it seems that the club can only go one way: up.

Sadly, that is often not the case.

News of potential overseas investment initially excites the fans. Their ears prick with the dream of becoming the next Chelsea, Manchester City or even Fulham – when they rose through the divisions under Mohamed Al-Fayed.

But it’s when things stagnate, or worse still decline, that their initial ambitions are replaced by more long-term, modest, goals rather than overnight success.

Long before I joined the Evening Standard I interviewed a group of Portsmouth fans, still a Premier League club at that point.

They had won the FA Cup the previous season – an achievement far beyond their wildest dreams – and as much as they cherished that day at Wembley, they would have gladly given it all back for stable, solid infrastructure and mid-table finishes.

Leyton Orient face the same problem.

From being a penalty shoot-out away from the Championship in 2014 they now find themselves out of the Football League. An ownership which had promised to take them to the next level has dragged them perilously backwards. Orient, and Charlton too albeit to a so far lesser extent, have lost those community values within the top brass which lower league clubs needs to survive.

Dreaming big is natural and applaudable, but it must be gradual.

Unless the infrastructure is there to attract the global audience most foreign owners want – the executive boxes, the ‘prawn sandwich eaters’ and so on – a club can easily become lost between two stools, leaving the fans disillusioned and craving the simpler life they once had.