General manager

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Re: General manager

Post by davebart on Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:35 pm

Posts by the author of this topic have been removed so please bear with the fact that there is some discontinuity.

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Re: General manager

Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:58 pm

I am not criticising the admins' decision at all but I just want to make clear that I didn't request that the posts be removed
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Re: General manager

Post by SteveBradley on Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:09 pm

In my opinion, a football club has to start with the off-the-field structures. Get that right, and the on-the-field stuff will surely follow.

My home town football club (Derry City) has gone bust twice in the last 15yrs because it chucked every penny it had at on-the-pitch success whilst being unable to sort basic stuff out like merchandise etc.

A club like Bath City has to build for success, not buy it or blag it. Having a professional behind the scenes to help get everything into shape and increase income etc will result in a much better and stronger team a few years down the line. And in a sustainable way. If we'd had a decent off-the-pitch set up in our last Conference Premier stint we'd have had a better chance of not getting relegated so quickly.

Build on solid ground, not sand.

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Re: General manager

Post by OliverH on Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:26 pm

I'm not convinced that the GM's job should be to increase attendances.

By the end of 2016 there will have been 30 matchdays. The GM's focus should be on the other 335 days of the year.

We are very lucky to have at least four rentable rooms at Twerton Park, we should be asking the GM to make sure they are always filled. We've achieved strong performance on this front to date through a volunteer effort, but I think those involved would probably agree that a lot more could be achieved if we had someone full time hammering the phones and proactively selling and marketing the space we have available.

By all means the GM should build a great relationship with the local press and radio but you can't expect one person to sort out all of the matchday marketing alongside other duties. We have quite a few skilled and experienced people willing to help out with matchday promotions (inc social media, video etc) on a voluntary basis, and there is potential to build relationships with local universities and colleges to create even more promotional content. Even with all that effort, attendances will still be at the mercy of results, fixture timings, weather etc.

We also have a great volunteer commercial executive in Bob as well as lots of commercial experience and connections on the incoming board. Let them crack on, with the GM assisting by putting in extra hours or tapping additional connections where needed.

Other volunteers do a good job of sorting out ground maintenance issues and I know from speaking to people that with a little organisation more fans would volunteer to help out on the front.

In fact I'd almost question whether the GM even has to play a matchday role, given that our matchdays seem to run just fine on a volunteer basis. Perhaps they could be tasked with improving the matchday experience in terms of food and drink, entertainment etc but again I think a lot of that could be sorted by volunteers. There's only so many a times a year that you can negotiate an F&D contract, the board should be capable of doing this. And any matchday entertainments (cross bar challenge, kids football at halftime etc) would have to be delivered by volunteers anyway, so you may as well encourage them to organise it.

In short, we should be paying the GM to do the jobs where the revenue potential is high but it's harder to attract volunteer interest - for me that's making sure the rooms are always rented out, plus maybe managing the online shop on non-matchdays. (Although actually merchandise and programmes are two things which rarely generate a lot of margin for clubs). As well as taking care of the core admin and acting as the main point of contact for the club, and thus reducing the burden on some of the long-standing volunteers if needed.

Basically we need a grafter with good commercial sense, not a strategist or a visionary.

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Re: General manager

Post by yuffie on Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:34 pm

Interesting, and that sounds very much like what the club tried to do when we were in the Conference Premier a few years back with, as Steve points out, limited success.

The new person would also seem to have quite a task to do better than Bob and Andy currently manage in those main areas, especially if you have to take into account their salary (whatever that actually is) before any increase in revenue begins to make a difference.

For what it is worth I fall into the category that thinks success on the pitch is the only thing that will lead to moving forward off the pitch, both in terms of people through the gate and greater widespread interest the club. And given that the new set up is still talking about running at a loss for several more years, I suggest they make think this as well.

A very tricky balance that many clubs have failed to carry off.

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Re: General manager

Post by BenE on Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:10 pm

OliverH wrote:

Basically we need a grafter with good commercial sense, not a strategist or a visionary.


So a follower rather than a leader. i.e. someone who implements the policy decided by the board rather than someone who seeks the board approval for his developed strategies.
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Re: General manager

Post by Peter Newman on Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:48 pm

Not quite sure what to make of this thread. Did see what Daz wrote and can see why the posts would be deleted for tone rather than content reasons, presumably, but can also see the basic concerns he was expressing in relation to the planned appointment. I think the main problem is it is not clear what we will be getting over and above what is the current position. Of course we have to accept that the current situation only exists because individuals are prepared to provide time and effort for free. It may be they will now regard the new ownership status as an opportune time to take a break and step aside, meaning this “free” element will no longer be available. In this case it will, therefore, have to be paid for within the GM role.

Although the cost of the GM was included in the “bid” financial projection it was reflected by a higher loss figure than would have occurred under the current structure. Assuming the salary is 35k then with the additional employment costs such as NI then the total cost is getting closer to £40k. In the worst case scenario where the GM fails to increase income or reduce costs then just one year’s employment is going to be the equivalent to the contribution of some 150 investors. Since many of the basic level investors will be city supporters who believed their contributions would be the pathway to a more successful football team there is bound to be some scepticism that the first thing that happens is major expenditure on an off field appointment. Yes it was mentioned in the prospectus documents but I doubt many realised the full implication.

I also find it confusing that certain posts appear to be representing the Society committee standpoint but from reading its various meeting reports I find it difficult to believe we are so awash with volunteers that we could face an election process. One post mentioned existing incumbents stepping aside for the good of the club but then thought they would then continue in the role because no one else would be willing to make the necessary commitment. I now see that Oliver has provided another insight into what the GM might be undertaking but I can see nothing there that could justify the quoted salary. Surely if there is a redevelopment then, for that period, there will be limited scope to gain any room hiring or bar income.

Anyway the way terrace stories escalate I am sure that on Boxing Day we will hear that we have a female GM who used to be an unpaid volunteer but is now being paid £50k a year.

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Re: General manager

Post by comrade powell on Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:00 pm

I've kept off this thread until now for obvious reasons - what an interesting read it is now that the unpleasant posts have been removed: posters with differing views, but not resorting to personal comments and abuse to make their points.

This club has relied on the hard work and sacrifices of volunteers throughout its history and I'm sure the new board will be hoping that the present ones will stay onboard and new ones will be attracted.

I had a chat with Bob this evening - he is fully in favour of the new GM role and it's no surprise to hear him say that he is looking forward to working with whoever is appointed.
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Re: General manager

Post by BenE on Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:01 pm

I don't believe any of the posts represent official policy. Doesn't everyone post on here as an individual in their own right unless they make it clear the are making an official statement or announcement?

I read it that as fans we have different views of what is required. Hence the debate.
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Re: General manager

Post by OliverH on Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:06 pm

I'd probably phrase it as a "doer/implementer" rather than a "talker/thinker/planner" (or indeed the dreaded "ideas man").

This is just my opinion of course, in fact I suspect the successful candidate will be picked according to different criteria than those I'm advocating. I am not involved in the recruitment process and this is not the Society Board view.

The chicken-and-egg of on-field/off-field success is a debate that could run forever, but we know from our own recent experience that a playoff victory, finishing 10th in the Conf Prem and getting to the semis of the FA Trophy hasn't had a substantial long-term impact on gates or commercial support.
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Re: General manager

Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:37 pm

Personally, I can't see how, given the right person, off-field non-matchday activities can't be improved by having someone working on them on a fulltime basis. As I have said before, there is nothing stopping current volunteers applying for the role if they feel they could do it.
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Re: General manager

Post by Peter Newman on Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:17 am

There are a number of opinions on how we see the role and even the requirement of the GM. I suppose the only thing that is relevant is how the chairman/board elect see matters and this is covered in the job advert on the bigbathcitybid web page.

I tend towards the Yuffie view where success on the pitch would provide the catalyst to drive an increase in  off-field activity. As has been pointed out we have employed, previously, people in similar roles but unfortunately with no real success. This is not a criticism of the individuals but more a reflection of  the reality of  circumstances at the time.

With regard to the comment that promotion and FA trophy success did not lead to increase gates  etc  is probably that they were both events that came almost by surprise. In the case of the Trophy it is not a high profile competition until  the latter stages and perhaps only reaching the final would have given the club something to capitalise upon. With the promotion season again we only got into the play-off positions at the end of the season- so for most of the time the non-regular supporter would look at the results/table and see, in their mind,  a mid-table side. If we had been challenging from day 1 then there would have been scope, possibly, to have steadily built up attendances and interest  on a longer term basis.

This increased base may have given   future commercial staff  a better product to work with and allowed the team management greater resources for the playing side with greater scope for sustained interest in Bath City. It is probably true that with our playing budget our first conference season was a real overachievement and lack of available financial support meant reality occurred in season two.

IF  we have additional funding available then my view is that an investment on the playing front would/could  lead to a sustained increase in playing performance and subsequent  interest in the Club. Let's face it an increase of 100 in attendance is maybe worth £1k per game plus a greater possibility of cup prize money; so the equivalent cost of the GM could turn out to be self-financing. The employment of a GM could then follow on with an enhanced product to bring to the market place.

In reality we have to accept whichever route we go down there are  no guarantees. We all have our opinions but in the end it is only that  of the new Board that will be relevant and,  hopefully, prove to be the correct decision.

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Re: General manager

Post by OliverH on Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:53 am

I think we can certainly agree that there are no guarantees, yes.

I suppose the boring but more realistic answer is that both on-pitch and off-pitch need to be developed hand-in-hand, rather than expecting one to pull the other along.

Edited to add: And of course, the new board will be accountable to the members for the decisions they take around this and the person they appoint, both through regular opportunities for dialogue and in the 2018 board elections.
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Re: General manager

Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:02 pm

yuffie wrote:
For what it is worth I fall into the category that thinks success on the pitch is the only thing that will lead to moving forward off the pitch, both in terms of people through the gate and greater widespread interest the club.

That's what I think. Look at Maidenhead's gates this season - not far off 1,000 usually. Our attendances at their place before this year were mainly around the 300-350 mark. We had nearly 700 for a home match against Hemel last season, which was our fifth game at Twerton in around a month. As we were top, there was nearly 700 there.

If we go on a good run over Xmas and New Year, people will return.
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Re: General manager

Post by Manchester Romans on Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:15 pm

The Chronicle piece says that the appointment would be our first General Manager, but I'm sure I remember Roy Bence having that title in the 70s.

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Re: General manager

Post by OliverH on Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:01 pm

It is interesting, I admit, to look at a club like Dulwich Hamlet who have somehow managed to be in the playoffs of their division every year for the last 6 years, and how that might be a factor in their strong attendances. And every community-owned club I've spoken to has said that on-pitch performance is really important - the community glow will only protect you so far (although it has definitely helped other clubs attract more sponsorship because the appeal is much different).

I wonder though what would actually happen if we held back appointing a GM and instead added £35K to the playing budget at the start of next season - I think that would work out to an extra £795 a week assuming we pay on an 44-week year?

What would that actually get us in terms of league position next season? Guaranteed playoffs? Or, as suggested above, would we have to guarantee going top or thereabouts early on in the 2017/18 season in order to attract the numbers?

And how well would that, on its own, translate to increased attendances? The estimate of £10 yield per extra supporter is too high I think, as after VAT we only get a little over £10 per adult, so they would all have to be adults for that to work. If the yield is more around the £6-8 mark, you're having to bring in an extra 100-130 people consistently across the season through on-pitch performance alone just to break even on your £35K playing budget investment.

If the improved on-pitch performance brings in 200-260 extra people off a £35K investment, then you've increased profit by £35K and can hire a GM to market a winning rather than mid-table non-league club.

ETA: I guess it's fair to note that a GM who is costing the club £40K (wages+NI etc) would need to bring in £770/week of non-matchday income over a 52-week year to cover their own cost.
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Re: General manager

Post by Peter Newman on Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:57 pm

An increase in attendance would also have, possibly, an increase in net bar income and other income. Perhaps £800 pw extra on the playing side might lead to greater chance of one further round in cup competitions and therefore additional prize money.
It is also worth noting that the estimated £770 per week  of non-matchday income is, as with the possible attendance increase, the marginal element that is   over and above what is currently being achieved. Assuming we could have all our rooms/bars  let out on an almost permanent basis there would be a number of  additional staffing costs such as cleaning as well as additional utility costs so we could be looking at the GM bringing in an extra £1k per week to break even.

Perhaps the best investment we could make is to fund a session with a clairvoyant who has a crystal ball with a proven track record. Doubt there is one in existence!

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Re: General manager

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:56 pm

Just thought I would do some number crunching about attendances*. Here are the attendances for a couple of recent seasons. The promotion season (1), the first season in the Conference (2), the second season in the Conference (3), the season with the highest-placed final place since relegation (4) and last season (5).

(1) 2009-2010 13293
(2) 2010-2011 24691
(3) 2011-2012 18942
(4) 2013-2014 12584
(5) 2015-2016 13224

Of course, the seasons are in the Conference are the best attended. Why the season when we finished 7th is less than last season I don't know but, of course, you are going to have the odd fixture on the right date, the odd fixture postponed to a freezing Tuesday night in February and the larger travelling sides coming up or down a division. What, I think, we can definitely deduce is that it is only really promotion that guarantees larger gates. In a way, this makes sense. Unless you run away with the league at the start, attendances are only going to pick up towards the end of the season when it looks like you are going to be around the play-off/promotion places.

Discounting at 13/14 being an outlier, it looks like you can add a total of 5500-11500 upon promotion depending on where you are in the National League. That is, on current admission, at most, £70,000 - £150000  (assuming people aren't going to be put off by the higher admission prices). As Oliver has pointed out, that isn't profit but revenue so we wouldn't recoup all that. The massive difference would be the extra costs of being in a national league - travelling costs, possible policing etc. Also, one would have to assume that the squad would remain semi-pro. If it goes full-time, salaries are the biggest expenditure that any club has so those figures would be eaten into greatly. Those figures also assume that the extra people are all full-paying adults.

I may have time to do the rest of the recent seasons to see if the ones I have picked are all outliers and the other seasons are higher. However, I very much doubt whether there would be anymore than increase of a total of 1000 people per season on top of current figures, giving us a maximum of £13000 gross. That is not going to get you much as far as players are concerned and certainly, even if it were all invested into the squad, wouldn't guarantee a promotion place maybe not even a play-off place.

Quite simply you need to have off-field and non-matchday revenues that aren't dependent on success on the pitch. They could quite well be dependent on the profile of the club but that is a different issue that is as much - if not more to do with the marketing and publicity of the club -  than what goes on on the pitch. A general manager would definitely be involved with that, I would have thought.

*Only league ones as any club would be mad to budget for extended cup runs and so I haven't included them. Also, I am only including attendances as I don't have any easily found figures for off-field/non-matchday income.
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Re: General manager

Post by SteveBradley on Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:42 am

OliverH wrote:It is interesting, I admit, to look at a club like Dulwich Hamlet who have somehow managed to be in the playoffs of their division every year for the last 6 years, and how that might be a factor in their strong attendances.

I think being adopted as the 'hipster' club for people in Dulwich and Brixton has had a significantly bigger impact on their attendances than their inability to win a play-off from the Ryman League to be honest.

I used to go watch Hamlet a few times a season 5-10 years ago, and there were only a few hundred at games then. Then a local trendy Brixton forum called Urban 75 adopted them as a team to go support (the Editor was a former and disillusioned Cardiff City fan) and started to arrange for people to go down. That seems to have been the catalyst for their hipster attraction. Now they get crowds of about 1,500, and have been over 2,000 3 times this season already. They really have cornered the 25-45yr old creative professionals market in that part of south London.

Plus, it's probably chicken and egg. If you have 1,500 turning up to every game in the Ryman League, the least you'd expect is for your resources to deliver a team that makes the play-offs every year. They should really have gotten promoted by now to be honest.

OliverH wrote: And every community-owned club I've spoken to has said that on-pitch performance is really important - the community glow will only protect you so far (although it has definitely helped other clubs attract more sponsorship because the appeal is much different).

The key lesson attendances-wise that I took from our discussions with other clubs when doing the original BCFC community club proposal in 2012 was that in of itself it doesn't magically give you higher attendances - you have to work at that. But it does draw your core support closer to you, so when times are bad on the pitch you have a higher base-level than you would otherwise retain.

OliverH wrote: I wonder though what would actually happen if we held back appointing a GM and instead added £35K to the playing budget at the start of next season - I think that would work out to an extra £795 a week assuming we pay on an 44-week year?

What would that actually get us in terms of league position next season? Guaranteed playoffs? Or, as suggested above, would we have to guarantee going top or thereabouts early on in the 2017/18 season in order to attract the numbers?

And how well would that, on its own, translate to increased attendances? The estimate of £10 yield per extra supporter is too high I think, as after VAT we only get a little over £10 per adult, so they would all have to be adults for that to work. If the yield is more around the £6-8 mark, you're having to bring in an extra 100-130 people consistently across the season through on-pitch performance alone just to break even on your £35K playing budget investment.

If the improved on-pitch performance brings in 200-260 extra people off a £35K investment, then you've increased profit by £35K and can hire a GM to market a winning rather than mid-table non-league club.

ETA: I guess it's fair to note that a GM who is costing the club £40K (wages+NI etc) would need to bring in £770/week of non-matchday income over a 52-week year to cover their own cost.

I personally see the whole issue as very black and white. Firstly, BCFC has been running at a loss of on average somewhere in the region of £100k per year. And we've secured feck all success off the back of that. That isn't sustainable, and having someone devoting their full-time attention to plugging that annual loss is absolutely essential in my view.

Secondly - where is the money to spend more on the team supposed to come from in the first place ? We're already running at a significant loss each and every year ? If we aren't generating that money ourselves through our off-the-pitch work, where will the magic beans appear from ?

Third - focusing your resources on the team is fools gold. Tried by many clubs with deeper pockets and a bigger fanbase than us, many of whom have hit the rocks as a result (over 100 insolvencies in English football since 1992). You could spend a fortune on players and still not be successful, as it's effectively a gamble. And then we're back to the point again that you still have to have the funds to throw the dice in that way in the first place. If you do it without strong revenue-generating capabilities to underwrite that spend, you then end up bankrupt and/or homeless.

Fourth - whilst spending money on the pitch won't deliver guaranteed success, I'm personally convinced that getting the club into shape off the pitch WILL lead to better performance in the future. Because it will result in greater incomes - which you need to have a better team. I just can't understand how people are saying a club that is regularly posting a £50-100k annual loss should focus its non-existent resources on players in the hope that that will somehow deliver success and/or greater attendances.

Maybe it's my experience of coming from a League of Ireland background where clubs have gone bust on a regular basis through 'chasing the dream', but I can't fathom how people think chucking money at players is a better and safer route to long-term success than focusing on the revenue-generating capabilities that you need to be able to fund those players in the first place. It would be a bit like spending all your car money on new alloy wheels, body mould, spoilers etc, whilst failing to keep the engine ticking over. One day it stops working and you find you've swapped a car for a flashy looking ornament.

You can have jam today, or jam tomorrow - but not both. Invest now to ensure success in the future, rather than gamble in the hope of instant results.

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Re: General manager

Post by yuffie on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:04 am

Some very interesting and good points there from Steve.

I wonder if the 'elephant in the room' here is whether the new set-up would be prepared to see us drop down a level to build the off-field side without the financial commitment to, at least, tread water in the NLS? Then see if crowds, sponsorship, etc can be increased to a level where we can move back up the non-league pyramid.

When the community club idea was first mooted a few years back, of all the clubs that were given as examples, the only two who I felt were similar enough to City to be meaningful comparisons were Merthyr Tydfil and Dorchester Town. I am not sure what the current set-up with either club is but they are both now in the Southern League.

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Re: General manager

Post by Peter Newman on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:27 am

I don't think anyone is advocating that we actually gamble £xx ( of non-existent funds) on the football side.
What is being highlighted is that we are prepared to invest  a similar amount of non-existent funding on an action that may or not prove successful.

Is this not also a  gamble for a club that Steve Bradley states is losing £50-100k per annum?

On the subject of meaningful comparisons is Tamworth a community club? .

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Agree with Steve

Post by pete mac on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:45 am

Totally agree with Steve.

That's the way forward for me.

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Re: General manager

Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:06 am

[quote="SteveBradley"]
OliverH wrote:a local trendy Brixton forum called Urban 75 adopted them as a team to go support (the Editor was a former and disillusioned Cardiff City fan)

A friend of mine and fellow refusenik of the team that used to be Cardiff City, as it goes, but I digress.

Steve, you have written pretty much everything I was going to as I sat down this morning. The club has been making a loss forever and this isn't because people have been embezzling large amounts of money or, indeed, because anyone has been doing anything particularly wrong. Judging from the fact the Chippenham Town can offer Pratt more money than us suggests that we haven't got the biggest playing budget going (and that Chippenham are setting themselves up for financial issues long-term, I suggest). Having said that, we haven't done badly on the pitch but have not shown anymore financial stability even though we have been promoted and had the odd good cup run. This shows the truth of football especially at non-league level. You can't keep a club in the black just relying on matchday revenues every fortnight therefore you have to maximise your non-matchday revenue (as well as match-related activities like merchandise etc.).

As I say, no-one has done anything wrong in the past but it has been done by volunteers who have had their time taken up just keeping the club's operations, finances, marketing and publicity ticking over. Even then, there has been some amazing efforts. I have seen league clubs who can't get shirt sponsors organised for the start of the season yet Bob is able to announce the sponsors well in advance of this. As I say, however, we still keep losing money in the region that Steve outline. Yes, as has been talked about before, the community club means that, aside from financial input, we have a wider pool of volunteers to draw on and, as time goes on, more so. The 1000BC team has, itself, been able to make some progress on marketing and publicity and will continue to do so.

However, the wider revenue streams, that are possible from the rentable areas that we have, need to have someone full-time to attract. I have just booked a party at the Widcombe Social club (ironically because Charlie's/Randalls was already booked). They have about half the rentable space that they have and employ a full-time manager. We need someone not to just take bookings but to actively go out and get bookings, to make the club a destination venue not somewhere that people only know about because they go to a match or are local.
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Re: General manager

Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:21 am

Peter Newman wrote:I don't think anyone is advocating that we actually gamble £xx ( of non-existent funds) on the football side.
What is being highlighted is that we are prepared to invest  a similar amount of non-existent funding on an action that may or not prove successful.

However, there is more likelihood of it being successful than investing it in the playing side. £35000 over a season works out as £800 a week more to spend on players. That will not guarantee a play-off place let alone promotion and, as we have said, anything lower than promotion does not add much to the attendance figures.

Is this not also a  gamble for a club that Steve Bradley states is losing £50-100k per annum?

Of course but it is a question of speculating to accumulate and investing in off-field activities is, as has been explained, a far better investment of what isn't, relatively, a great deal of money than spending it on the much more capricious nature of a football team and attendances following them. .

On the subject of meaningful comparisons  is Tamworth  a community club?

Current community clubs.

Aylesbury United F.C. – In July 2009, The Aylesbury United Supporters Trust was able to gain control of the club, which thus became a fan-owned football team.
Bamber Bridge F.C. - The club is fully owned by a community organisation that represent supporters of the club.[3]
Banbury United F.C. - In August 2015, a supporter-led Community Benefit Society took formal control of the club.[4]
Chelmsford City F.C. – The club is currently registered as a company limited by guarantee (CLG) and claims to be owned by its members. However, as of 2015, the club intends to convert to a community benefit society.[5]
Congleton Town F.C. – The clubs shareholding was passed over to a newly formed supporters Trust in 2014[6]
Dorchester Town F.C. – from 2013 the Supporters Trust own a joint majority shareholding in the club.[7]
Exeter City F.C. – Following relegation to the Conference in 2003, the club was taken over by the Exeter City Supporters' Trust.
Hendon F.C. - Over the summer of 2010, the club was bought out by the Hendon FC Supporters Trust, an Industrial and Provident Society.[8]
Hyde United F.C. - Buyout from former owner John Manship occurred on 2015-06-27.[9]
Lewes F.C. – On July 9, 2010 "The Rooks" became a member-owned club with six founder members of the new Rooks125 group forming the inaugural Board of the new Lewes Community Football Club ownership body. In April 2011, the club announced details on how fans will be able to become owners of Lewes FC. From July 2011 shares in the club have been available from £30 per annum. Shareholders are entitled to vote and stand for election to the Board of Directors. The first of these elections took place in October 2011. As of December 2011 the club has over 800 shareholders. In 2011 the club introduced the "Support and Save" scheme whereby shareholders are entitled to discounts from participating local businesses.
Newark Town F.C. - "Newark Town Football Club Limited was registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. It is known as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) or a Community Benefit Society and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority."[10]
Newport County A.F.C. - On 1 October 2015 Newport County Supporters Trust took over ownership of the club.[11]
Newport (IOW) F.C. – in 2008 ownership of the club was fully transferred to the supporter's trust.
Peacehaven & Telscombe F.C. - In June 2016, the club was purchased by a community group representing fans of the club.[12]
Prescot Cables F.C. – The summer of 2005 saw a change in organisation, with a new football committee formed from the Supporter's Club taking over the reins of the club.
Saffron Walden Town F.C. – On 4 July 2012, members voted to convert the club into a Community Benefit Society.[13]
Tonbridge Angels F.C. - During the 2014–15 season, steps were taken by supporters to purchase shares in the club to make it majority owned by supporters. They will contest the 2015–16 pre-season Supporters Direct shield, with their first match against Fisher F.C. on 25 July.[14]
Wrexham A.F.C. - Since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club.[15]
Wycombe Wanderers F.C. – On 30 June 2012, the Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Trust formally took over the club.[16] which resulted in financial stabilization and ended a transfer embargo.

Phoenix Clubs[edit]
AFC Croydon Athletic – The club was formed by fans of Croydon Athletic F.C. after that team folded in the 2011–12 season.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds – The club was formed in July 2011 by supporters after Rushden & Diamonds were expelled from the Football Conference and subsequently liquidated.[17][18][19] At an open meeting chaired by a supporters group called SaveRDFC, a mandate was agreed upon to create a phoenix club,[18][20] fully owned and controlled by its supporters.
AFC Telford United – Sold out to private ownership 24-10-16.[21]
Canterbury City F.C. – Reformed in 2007, they are the first football club formed as a community interest company. Under the club's constitution, membership "is open to all" and includes the right to vote in the election of "key members of the board."[22]
Chester F.C. – Phoenix club formed in 2010 and owned by City Fans United[23] after Chester City F.C. wound up
Darlington 1883 – The club was to be initially 10% owned by 1883 Community Interest Company (1883 CIC), and for 1883 CIC's shareholding to increase as additional donations were received.[24] The club's constitution states that no person may own more than 15% of the club; however, entities such as charities, community amateur sports clubs, industrial and provident societies, community interest companies or other not-for-profit organisations may be able to acquire greater than 15% of the club. (Conditions for 15%+ ownership include the objective of community ownership.).[25]
Fisher F.C. – The club was formed in 2009 by members of the 'Fisher Supporters Trust' when Fisher Athletic Football Club was wound up in the High Court due to financial problems and closed down.[26]
Hinckley AFC - Replaced Hinckley United formed by fans in 2014.
Merthyr Town F.C. - Formed by supporters after the demise of Merthyr Tydfil F.C. in 2010.
Runcorn Linnets F.C. – The club is run by a trust, which is an Industrial and Provident Society, and is registered with the Financial Services Authority.[27]
Scarborough Athletic F.C. – Following the liquidation of Scarborough, Scarborough Athletic was founded as a continuation[28] or rebirth of the previous club by a supporters' trust named The Seadog Trust. They took on the same red kit, nickname, motto and official club logo from the original club.[29]
South Liverpool F.C.
Protest Clubs[edit]
AFC Liverpool – Cooperative.[30] Formed as a protest against high ticket prices in the Premier League.
AFC Wimbledon – Fully owned by The Dons Trust, a Supporters' Trust.,[31] formed as a breakaway club in the surrounding controversy of the Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes.
Coventry United F.C. - Formed after Coventry City moved to Northampton
F.C. United of Manchester – is a Community Benefit Society. One member, one vote basis.[32] Formed by disaffected Manchester United fans.
Enfield Town F.C. – The club was founded on 23 June 2001 by the Enfield Supporters' Trust due to disaffection with the owners of Enfield FC.
1874 Northwich F.C. – The club was founded on 15 November 2012 following a vote by former Northwich Victoria supporters, who were members of the Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust. They voted almost unanimously, 141 to 4, in favour of breaking away from the club they supported and forming a new team in their town. The club is fully owned by its supporters, and is run by a democratically-elected board.
New Clubs which started as Supporter Owned[edit]
City of Liverpool F.C.[33]
Minority Supporter Owned[edit]
Bromsgrove Sporting F.C. – Founded in 2009 as a supporters consortium with the plan to buy Bromsgrove Rovers and take them out of administration. When another owner was found for Rovers it was decided to create a new club instead. The Bromsgrove Sporting Supporters' Society, a registered community benefit society, owned 30% of the club as of January 2014.[34] Three supporters serve on the club's board of directors.[35]
Cambridge City F.C. – As of September 2011, the Cambridge City Supporters' Trust (CCST) owned 10% (a minority) of the club. According to the CCST secretary, CCST now only has appointment power for one director position.
Carlisle United F.C. – The United Trust (also known as the Carlisle United Official Supporters' Club) owns a 25.4% stake in the club.[36] At least one elected member of the trust sits on the board of the club.[37]
Chesham United F.C. – As of the 2014/15 season, Chesham United Supporters' Trust (CUST) held only a 2.69% shareholding in the club, and has "no direct responsibility for running the parent club."[38] CUST had previously acquired at least 43.25% ownership of the club as of September 2011.[39] CUST's previously-stated ambition was to earn no more than 49.9% of the club, "a safeguard so that no one party has an overall majority stake in the club".[40]
Hereford F.C. – The club's majority owner is a group of four benefactors (the Jon Hale group). The Hereford United Supporters Trust is currently a minority owner, although it aims to "own an equal 50% stake" through future fundraising.[41]
Portsmouth F.C. – Portsmouth became the largest fan-owned football club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust (PST) successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013.[42][43]
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Marc Monitor

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Re: General manager

Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:53 am

yuffie wrote:I wonder if the 'elephant in the room' here is whether the new set-up would be prepared to see us drop down a level to build the off-field side without the financial commitment to, at least, tread water in the NLS? Then see if crowds, sponsorship, etc can be increased to a level where we can move back up the non-league pyramid.

Haven't seen even a sniff of that thinking, yuffie, and, indeed, there is no reason for that. It has been shown that, even while playing disastrously and flirting with relegation, the attendances keep broadly the same. If we went down a league, I think that attendances would, however, really take a knock. Not only that but I am not sure how it would help the off-field side. Whatever issues we have with attracting people to hire rooms or whatever would still be there. Turning briefly back to current on-field matters, I can't see why we would get relegated with our current set-up. We didn't under the previous managers and, to me, Owers looks more than capable of keeping us in this division.

The real 'elephant in the room' is whether, if being promoted, we would refuse it due to the extra expenditure. Again, I have never heard a suggestion of this and, again, there is no reason for it. There is capacity for the extra attendances to be better exploited now and, with a GM in place, even moreso. Not only but it is madness for a club not to have the ambition of being promoted. While I am quite happy watching football at this level, the raison d'etre for supporters is the promise of success and this means the possibility of promotion. Something that would be the death knell of attendances would be to take away that possibility.

Personally, I think that the club would be best securing non-matchday revenues and making sure that all the off-field operations and activities are secure now so that, should we be promoted, we are maximising extra revenues. Should we get promoted before we are quite prepared, we should still be on our way and better prepared than we would have been. I think that even just with the extra volunteers with their experience, energy and ideas, we would be well prepared. With a GM in place, even more so.

When the community club idea was first mooted a few years back, of all the clubs that were given as examples, the only two who I felt were similar enough to City to be meaningful comparisons were Merthyr Tydfil and Dorchester Town. I am not sure what the current set-up with either club is but they are both now in the Southern League.

See above.
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