Redevelopment

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Dodgycarpet on Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:19 pm

Oh and nearly forgot, what is meant by regeneration if the parade of shops? What does that mean exactly?

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:51 pm

All good points.

Regeneration of shops is what has happened at Southgate.

As you say it is the final sell off of Twerton land. This is why it is vital that the redevelopment provides the club with a means to generate income. And to do that you need to get people through the door. We need to do everything we can to get people through the door and the redevelopment has to work for us. Provide us with the facilities to generate money because even getting gates up 1000 will not solve that.

I am glad that so many of the major shareholders are still deeply involved. Despite what people thought, they know the Twerton Park business inside out. I trust that their counsel is constantly sought.



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Re: Redevelopment

Post by freeview on Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:32 pm

The 3Gpitch may be the way to go , not so inclined to say YES tho to the building of more student accomodation in the high street. The site could be developed like the Marjorie Whimster site was alongside, rentable accomodation for young families , single parent familys and the disabled, plenty of local people looking for housing.
Student accomodation is now a saturated market

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by LB on Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:13 pm

All good points made by Dodgycarpet and he asked a lot of the questions that have crossed my mind.

Much has been made of the community involvement but I wonder how much the community is that interested. The crowd for the Hungerford game, if you take out that there were a fair number of away fans, wasn’t that much greater than some of those we have had recently.

There is I think another side to that as well. Much has been made in the past that the club should be seen as representing the whole city - which of course it should - and not just be ‘the little club in Twerton’ and we need to be careful that that isn’t the perception that comes across.

As for student accommodation, I get the feeling that the local authority is becoming less keen on this, partly because of the animosity some residents feel towards students, and that there is as someone else says the feeling of saturation. It is possible that by the time the planning permission has gone in the attitude may have hardened further. It might of course not our problem but the developer if we have sold the land to them beforehand.

I am also not sure about losing the car park - I note that when we are promoting the social facilities one of the things we plug is the car parking available.

I appreciate that in view of the losses the club makes were are at the ‘last chance saloon’ - although I thought that the community take over was that so perhaps we are now at ‘last chance saloon + 1’ - but as this seems to be a one-off chance to put things on the right footing it has to be right.

As for the 3G pitch, it is a difficult and emotive issue, but the important thing is that whatever decision is reached it mustn’t split the club which is the sort of feeling I get from those opposed to it.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:31 am

For myself I am a bit puzzled by the animosity to 3G. I think of myself as a traditionalist but it is the younger supporters who are so against the idea. When I have watched games on plastic I have quickly forgotten about the surface as soon as the game gets under way. And the fact players themselves are against it is irrelevant as far as I can see. What makes them any more informed about the science of it than the man on the street?
But there is no denying that the feeling runs deep. There is something about the very word plastic that polarises emotions. As you say I hope the vote will not cause a schism in the fan base.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:19 am

Dodgycarpet wrote:
finally what is the motivation for Blofeld et al? I haven't met them but is it profit, a hobby, or a passion to help the club which they didnt have any regard for before?  

definitely not profit (where would that come from?) - more like civic duty / interest in the community ownership & redevelopment project and its potential.

I do have a lot of sympathy for the board - it's not easy making big decisions like this in a democratic club. If we were not a democracy, they would just get on with it, and the first fans would hear about it would be when every detail was nailed down - big unveil of the artists impression, fully costed business plan etc etc. We get to have more input earlier on, but the price of that is that there will always be uncertainty and fuzziness around details. I'm confident the end result will be worth it though.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Palms on Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:17 pm

"And the fact players themselves are against it is irrelevant as far as I can see. What makes them any more informed about the science of it than the man on the street? "

What an utterly bizarre thing to say. To my mind the players' opinions should matter the most, they have more experience of playing on it and the effects on their recovery times etc than anyone else.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:27 pm

Sorry - I meant that the players opinions are subjective. Even the PFA admits that there should be a proper scientific comparison between the two.

But it is correct that players overwhelmingly believe that artificial turf with reduce their career span.

But at the same time they believe that teams that play on synthetic have an advantage. I would have thought the logic was that it was the other way round.

Having said this if you look at Tennis then it is recognised that some players are better on some surfaces than others. It is logical therefore that players who have made their careers on grass will prefer it as the surface has been to their advantage.


Last edited by BenE on Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Notters on Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:55 pm

BenE wrote:For myself I am a bit puzzled by the animosity to 3G. I think of myself as a traditionalist but it is the younger supporters who are so against the idea. When I have watched games on plastic I have quickly forgotten about the surface as soon as the game gets under way. And the fact players themselves are against it is irrelevant as far as I can see. What makes them any more informed about the science of it than the man on the street?
But there is no denying that the feeling runs deep. There is something about the very word plastic that polarises emotions. As you say I hope the vote will not cause a schism in the fan base.

I can answer why I dislike the idea of 3G at Twerton Park:

- I don't think an artificial surface suits a traditional ground like Twerton Park. We are lucky to watch football in one of the most traditional grounds in the country, and I fear that 3G will put people off coming here in the future. Personally, I'll be more selective in my attendances - I barely miss a game at the moment.
- Funnily enough, I share similar concerns about our future finances if we were to install 3G. I think £600k is a massive gamble for potentially little return. Paul Doswell recently came out in the press and said Sutton only make £50k a year in profits from their artificial pitch. I don't know much about Sutton as an area, but Bath City would have competition from Odd Down, local schools, Bath University and possibly the Rec.
- Whilst no evidence has been found of any link between artificial pitches and cancer, there is still an area of research that hasn't yet been explored - the accidental ingestion of the rubber pellets or the exposer of the rubber pellets to cuts or grazes. A former NHS chief (Nigel Maguire) is calling for a halt on the laying of artificial pitches until full research has been carried out. If you read his story, you'll understand why he is calling for a ban and why some players are against it.

I don't think those higher up have any nefarious reasons for supporting 3G, to answer your question earlier this week. I understand their reasons, and why people are supportive of it - and I respect that. I just hold a different opinion  Smile .

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:11 pm

I think the board is making a similar projection £50-60K profit a year.

However I do acknowledge that no one has admitted to a basic commercial reality. If you have one business that is at 100% capacity then if you start up another in direct competition then both businesses will likely trade at 50% capacity. 

There are obviously a finite number of people who want to use pitches in Bath. But as with everything else people want to use the facilities at the same time. It is more difficult to get people interested in a five a side game on a Sunday for instance. 

So my understanding is that the board projections are based on 7 hour usage rather than 12 hours potential. Of course the senior team will want to train and play on it at the optimum times as well.

However could you to expand on your first reason. Why would 3G put people off attending?
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:52 pm

Dodgycarpet wrote:
finally what is the motivation for Blofeld et al? I haven't met them but is it profit, a hobby, or a passion to help the club which they didnt have any regard for before?  

Well that certainly comes over as pretty 'sharp'! There have been plenty of opportunities to meet the board members during the past year and those who have will surely agree that Nick Blofeld in particular has gone out of his way to explain issues and answer questions. Yes, there are a few newcomers to the club alongside long term supporters amongst the 9 directors, but surely you welcome new faces with fresh ideas and new contacts.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by SteveBradley on Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:21 pm

comrade powell wrote:
Dodgycarpet wrote:
finally what is the motivation for Blofeld et al? I haven't met them but is it profit, a hobby, or a passion to help the club which they didnt have any regard for before?  

Well that certainly comes over as pretty 'sharp'! There have been plenty of opportunities to meet the board members during the past year and those who have will surely agree that Nick Blofeld in particular has gone out of his way to explain issues and answer questions. Yes, there are a few newcomers to the club alongside long term supporters amongst the 9 directors, but surely you welcome new faces with fresh ideas and new contacts.


One of the benefits of a community-owned club stated right from the start was that it would enable Bath City to tap into the huge talent available in the city. It then seems rather strange to start questioning the motives of individuals who get involved in that way, as predicted from the start (though I appreciate that isn't what the poster meant).

The bottom line is that we are better able to attract new people to help a community-owned club than one that is just owned by a few people. Nick Blofeld and others are proof of that, and their input and expertise should be welcomed. The more the merrier.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:54 pm

As it nears the vote, after all the pros and cons have been put forward, I have become less sure of how I would vote.

I can see that there is a real concern that we could fork out a load of money on something which then doesn't provide revenues but saddles us with debt.

However I am still leaning towards voting for the board to investigate the financial implications in depth, because I do not see any viable alternatives being put forward. Having done the sums the board may say - you know what, it doesn't stack up. But at least they need the chance to look at it thoroughly.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 pm

BenE wrote:However I am still leaning towards voting for the board to investigate the financial implications in depth, because I do not see any viable alternatives being put forward. Having done the sums the board may say - you know what, it doesn't stack up. But at least they need the chance to look at it thoroughly.

Very well put! As a member of the board I really can't see us diving into something which could saddle the club with problems which could set it back for many, many years. Despite some misgivings expressed at the recent meeting and online, I hope everyone can see that this stage has been reached following extensive research and consultation. As you say, a 'yes' vote gives us the positive signal that we have the support to really look into the practicalities.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:47 pm

I notice that Forest Green Rovers, like Dartford, are looking to build a ecologically sound sustainable stadium. I should probably know this but would there be opportunities in the next stage of the project to suggest similar features in our redevelopment? Bearing in mind that not all will want them and economic factors, of course.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Notters on Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:53 pm

BenE wrote:
However could you to expand on your first reason. Why would 3G put people off attending?

There are those, like myself, that prefer to watch regular football on a grass pitch. It just feels more authentic and traditional. Our pitch, old-school terraces and floodlights just make Twerton Park a glorious place to be in. It must appeal to away fans, groundhoppers or those who just want to watch a bit of local football every now and again.  

There are also those who see installing a 3G pitch demonstrates a lack of ambition to achieve football league status, so you could forgive them for questioning what is point in attending games if the club has no intention of winning them.

Those supportive of 3G may not associate themselves with either of the sentiments, which is fair enough. Myself and most of the people I attend games with rarely use our heads when deciding whether or not to turn up to a game. Once something doesn't feel right, it'll be harder to find the motivation.

BenE wrote:
However I am still leaning towards voting for the board to investigate the financial implications in depth, because I do not see any viable alternatives being put forward. Having done the sums the board may say - you know what, it doesn't stack up. But at least they need the chance to look at it thoroughly.

That is a really good point and I can't fault your logic at all. I'm too far in the pro-grass camp to be persuaded otherwise, but I certainly don't disagree with you.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by SteveBradley on Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:21 pm

Notters wrote: It must appeal to away fans, groundhoppers or those who just want to watch a bit of local football every now and again.  

I love the old school nature of Twerton Park as well. But our attendances would suggest that it has limited genuine appeal to those sets of people you've mentioned.

Notters wrote:There are also those who see installing a 3G pitch demonstrates a lack of ambition to achieve football league status, so you could forgive them for questioning what is point in attending games if the club has no intention of winning them.

Conversely - you could argue that refusing to install an artificial surface demonstrates a lack of ambition for the club overall, and to progress towards Football League status. As where else is the club going to get the income (or the playing advantage that 3G seems to give teams) to come anywhere close to securing two promotions within a reasonable time period otherwise ? The club is in no financial or structural state at the moment to play in the Football League. Until that changes, it is just a pipe dream. And I personally can see an artificial surface being a positive contributor to addressing those underlying issues, rather than a negative one.

Notters wrote:Those supportive of 3G may not associate themselves with either of the sentiments, which is fair enough. Myself and most of the people I attend games with rarely use our heads when deciding whether or not to turn up to a game. Once something doesn't feel right, it'll be harder to find the motivation.

This is all valid stuff. As football fans we're all emotional creatures, and generally tend not to like significant changes.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Twerton Parker on Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:24 pm

So with the vote coming up tonight it seems obvious to me that having re-read Nick Blofeld's statement on the matter (where he says tonight's vote "is not a decision to immediately install" a 3G pitch) the sensible thing to do is to vote 'Yes' for the investigations into the viability of the whole project carrying on whilst at the same time, as we will not have committed to the thing going ahead, let the debate continue until the time for the final installation vote does indeed need to be taken.

(And apologies for this if someone's already said it - these ten pages of thread take a lot of catching up on!)

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:56 pm

Don't quote me, but I think that this week's vote is the only opportunity for Society members to state their preference. The final decision once the further investigations have been carried out will be made by the club's board.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Dodgycarpet on Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:03 pm

So then, the conditions that have to be met are:
Based upon the above findings, an investment in 3G for BCFC is recommended, subject to the
following:
• Supporter and community engagement and endorsement;
• Further deliberation and consideration of the Football League’s position (by June at the
latest);
• An appropriate funding strategy for the upfront cost of installing 3G;
• Further analysis and verification of the underlying assumptions made in this Study of 3G
demand, 3G maintenance and management costs (relative to the current operating costs
of BCFC); and
• Inclusion of 3G in the ground re-development project, to share certain costs and to
maximise the potential of its financial and community impact.

So what we are voting for really  - is are these the correct conditions? they seem sensible so seems folly to vote against.  but in that case I don't get the point of the vote. Its a bit like brexit  - surely we need another vote when we know what the proposal will look like in reality?

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:54 pm

The way it was put tonight was this -

After this vote, the further investigations will happen and the outcome of the investigations will be voted on finally by the Club Board and the Society Board/Committee. There is not going to be another vote by the Society members. Once it was decided at the last IGM that there was going to be a vote on 3G, it made sense to hold this vote at the earliest possible juncture - taking into account the fullest possible feasibility studies, projections and consultations - so as not to spend any more money than needs be. People have had to be paid to get where we are today and it would be irresponsible to carry on any further investing time, money and resources into this until there was a mandate to carry on or not.

However, that does not mean that the democratic process is closed to anyone. Aside from the normal avenues open to anyone when a development is being proposed, planned and built, as has been mentioned above, the final recommendations will be voted on by the Society Committee and the Club Board. Places on both of these are coming up for re-election (in the case of the former) and election (in the case of the latter) at the AGM in June. This includes mine on the Society Committee. Anyone who is a Supporters Society member can put themselves up to be a candidate in either of those (or, indeed, both, I think).

What I would say is that it wouldn't be the most responsible - and probably unsuccessful - move to get oneself voted on these groups as a one-issue disruptor. Also, as many - who are currently on both groups or have been - know, it is still very difficult to get your views accepted without support and a good case. There are still 11 other people on each group you have to persuade. There are also very many other issues involved in these groups that need scrutiny and decisions made outside of any one issue - how ever major an issue it is.

However, if this issue means that there are more people prepared to engage with and get involved with the democratic process that now runs this club, I am very happy to see it. As Michael said tonight, in other clubs, this process wouldn't have happened, the supporters wouldn't have had a vote and wouldn't still have a chance to influence the decisions over redevelopment (including 3G). A lot of hard work went into providing the democratic processes in the club that enabled tonight's vote and, whichever way the vote goes, I am proud that, at this club, the supporters got their say.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Peter Newman on Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:21 pm

Although the vote may be in favour of the board recommendation if, at a later stage, there is concern over the financial implications of  the project  surely members could put a motion to the AGM/IGM  requiring  its termination. One of the selling points of the new structure is its open democracy so it does seem strange that we are now appear to be advocating no further general membership involvement.

With regard to someone with different views getting themselves elected to the committee surely that would be a positive. Although they would be likely to be outvoted it would allow minority opinions to be heard and perhaps result in some modification to a proposed course of action.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:42 am

Peter Newman wrote:Although the vote may be in favour of the board recommendation if, at a later stage, there is concern over the financial implications of  the project  surely members could put a motion to the AGM/IGM  requiring  its termination. One of the selling points of the new structure is its open democracy so it does seem strange that we are now appear to be advocating no further general membership involvement.

That's correct Peter - I think it's more the case that the Society Committee / Club Board has not made any plans or commitments to initiate such a vote themselves.

It would be possible, for instance, for a motion to be brought to the next AGM that would secure such a vote for members once a future proposal was finalised. (Note also that there is not currently any automatic right for the members to vote on the specific plans for the wider redevelopment). You could also bring a motion to ensure that the club needs members' permission to borrow more than £X, which is not uncommon at community-owned clubs I believe.

Of course you always have to balance this against the danger of tying board members' hands too much, so that they can't sensibly negotiate and sign contracts with future partners, or even plan how they invest their own time and attention. But for the really big strategic decisions it might be appropriate.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by rncfc on Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:32 am

As an outsider, I would have to ask that if you install a 3G pitch then what is the point of existing as a club? Is one promotion the height of your ambition? Bath is a decent sized place and it would only take 1 good season, 1 good cup run, etc, to be knocking on the door of the top 7 in the Conference.

A side at the level you're playing at, and seeming in decent shape for next season installing a 3G pitch is just mental. Selling your soul and futures for an easier existence at the level you're at.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:34 pm

The expression Hope Springs Eternal appears to apply here. Bath City has been in existence for 125 years. If the only point of being a football club is to get into the league then that whole existence, and the existence of thousands of football clubs, has been meaningless and pointless. We might as well just jack it in tomorrow and all support Man City.

As Steve says above: Installing 3G actually shows more ambition because you are trying to generate the wherewithal to compete.
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Re: Redevelopment

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