Well thank goodness for that. The Murco network has been sold at last (see News, page 4) after four years on the market. It got to the stage where it seemed like it was never going to happen, and as in a ’whodunnit’ that runs for too long, people seemed to have stopped even wondering about who indeed would be ’doing it’.

Needless to say it’s gone to a good home you could say it’s gone back home, considering the predominance of ex-Murco bods at Motor Fuel Group. And it needs a good home after having been picked over and snubbed over the years by many potential buyers who decided it wasn’t for them at least not at the price being demanded, and what with the refinery included which was also key to putting more than a few prospective purchasers off. Like viewing a house next door to a giant factory why would you? When finally the two elements of the deal were split confirmation of the refinery sale was announced in July the network sale could progress unencumbered.

But not before many of Murco’s head office staff had paid off their mortgages with the ’bonus’ payments they had been receiving to keep the ship afloat and respectable for visitors. Have to say I think they’ve done a great job.

But while one major question has been answered, there are many questions that remain unanswered, that is until the deal is completed and after a period of introspection MFG reveals its plans for the network. What will happen to the company owned sites, the brand, the dealers? I’m confident that under the careful stewardship of MFG managing director Jeremy Clarke, we won’t have to wait another four years for the answers...

Meanwhile, I’m very much looking forward to the Forecourt Trader Awards this month tickets are selling fast. Yet again another extremely competitive year, which has made judging a pleasure as well as a headache as there are so many worthy winners. Well done to all finalists!