Redevelopment

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:50 am

Steve Whites Missus wrote: How many games per week are we currently turning away?

Apart from the usual end of season local league finals, I'm unaware of the club receiving any requests. And presumably any would be turned away through fears of the pitch being damaged. An advantage of 3G/4G is that the pitch could presumably be used far more frequently and be a revenue raiser. That seems rather obvious, so apologies if I've misunderstood you!
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Timbo_b-o-a on Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:19 pm

OliverH wrote:
stillmanjunior wrote:
Timbo_b-o-a wrote:I am hoping however in terms of a vote it will be very separate from the proposal of a plastic pitch?

That was what I was going to ask. Apologies if it's in the Q&A and I've missed it, but is it the club's decision alone whether we change the surface, or does it go to a vote?

When I was a Society Committee member I asked and received assurances from Nick Blofeld that the two matters would be considered/voted on separately, even if 3G was presented as part of a redevelopment proposal - i.e. that supporters couldn't be presented with "3G or nothing".

As for a vote - we are supposed to be having a Society Interim General Meeting in November. I would strongly suggest that someone proposes a motion to the effect of, "Any change in the playing surface to artificial turf must be approved by a majority of members and considered independently of any other proposal". This should guarantee a vote, otherwise it would be up to the club whether to put it to a vote or just push ahead.

ETA: It's important to recognise that the redevelopment is about the one-off raising of capital that will repay debt, while 3G is about improving ongoing revenues. In that sense they are separate issues - although from a practical perspective, you may as well just do both at once if that's what you want to do. So it makes sense for us to vote/decide on both at once, but don't be led into thinking that it's "3G or bust".

Thanks very much for clarifying Oliver. I think this would be very helpful to avoid confusion and potential misplaced opposition to the redevelopment part, which I expect very few would have an objection to in principle.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:47 pm

I've just been informed that a pre-recorded interview with Paul Williams will be broadcast on Radio Bristol this coming Saturday between 1 + 2 pm, talking about the redevelopment and touching on the recent managerial changes. Perhaps you could mention this to any supporters without online access so that they are kept in the loop. I'm sure there will also be some coverage in this week's Chronicle.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:31 pm

Steve Whites Missus wrote:While the redevelopment is a great idea I'm slightly saddened the proposal had to go down the normal property developers scare mongering route of mentioning...

"without the significant investment in infrastructure and facilities to generate more income, the future of football at Twerton Park will be 'highly uncertain'”.

That quote may have been left out with the proposal still as valid.

It has already been established that the longterm future of the club is uncertain without significant investment. All the options were explored in the report the Society funded four years ago and staying at Twerton was only reasonable because it was no worse than any other option. That was before the true level of debt was revealed.

If redevelopment generates enough profit to pay off the debt then it will be a start but we then need to be viable on a daily basis. Currently we are not. The redevelopment also therefore has to provide the club with facilities that can generate cash flow.

It is not all doom and gloom. We have had an injection of fresh skill sets at boardroom level, for example, but we do have to be realistic.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by bonzo dog on Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:16 pm

Alongside club facilities, we are considering whether the scheme could include a gym, social club/cafe, 3G pitch, meeting spaces and offices. There is likely to be key worker, student and affordable residential accommodation.

I read that as the 3G pitch as an addition and we still keep the pitch as is. What I would say is though we need to keep as much of the carpark as possible. Its alright having function rooms etc but if there isn't any parking that would be a drawback.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:19 pm

bonzo dog wrote:Alongside club facilities, we are considering whether the scheme could include a gym, social club/cafe, 3G pitch, meeting spaces and offices. There is likely to be key worker, student and affordable residential accommodation.

I read that as the 3G pitch as an addition and we still keep the pitch as is. What I would say is though we need to keep as much of the carpark as possible. Its alright having function rooms etc but if there isn't any parking that would be a drawback.

The wording could have been clearer, but I have direct knowledge that a 3G main pitch is being considered. I've heard no talk of a 5-a-side 3G pitch.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by cbtroman on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:25 pm

I think it's right to point out that without this development then the future would look very bleak because it's true. The club couldn't carry on as it was with the mounting debts, it's got to try something new. Don't see any alternative.

Fair to say that the club have struggled off the pitch for near enough it's entire 125 year+ history so this has to go forward in my opinion.

I prefer very, very strongly to not have the conversion to 3G but if it's a choice between this club being in conference south without one or gaining promotion with 3G then I would always go for the latter (albeit the football league doesn't currently accept them which is concerning)

In other words, I think it's worth sacrificing some of the traditions for progress and that might include more things that just the 3G pitch suggestion.

It does worry me though that without a proper sign of serious intent from the club of trying to gain football league status then the club will suffer regardless with poor attendances.

Even if the club is financially secure it would seem to me a waste of time if it doesn't become a competing club at a higher level as a result of this major redevelopment.

Don't think it's reaching for the stars to get in football league, it's only two promotions away.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:54 pm

cbtroman wrote:
I prefer very, very strongly to not have the conversion to 3G but if it's a choice between this club being in conference south without one or gaining promotion with 3G then I would always go for the latter (albeit the football league doesn't currently accept them which is concerning)
 

More like Southern League. Our annual operating losses are still being subsidised by an interest-free loan that will be repaid by the redevelopment (read the Bid prospectus). After the redevelopment we are on our own (albeit debt-free and secure in our existence). So we need to quickly build our revenues up before then if we even want to stay in Conf South. GM & commercial / marketing director are making promising progress but it's a steep curve. 3G could add a hefty chunk in the revenue column. If you don't want 3G, start buying more Gem in Charlie's!!

(PS if you've thought about volunteering but haven't, now is probably the time!! volunteerbathcity@gmail.com)

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Colin Voutt on Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:16 pm

OliverH wrote:
cbtroman wrote:
I prefer very, very strongly to not have the conversion to 3G but if it's a choice between this club being in conference south without one or gaining promotion with 3G then I would always go for the latter (albeit the football league doesn't currently accept them which is concerning)
 

More like Southern League. Our annual operating losses are still being subsidised by an interest-free loan that will be repaid by the redevelopment (read the Bid prospectus). After the redevelopment we are on our own (albeit debt-free and secure in our existence). So we need to quickly build our revenues up before then if we even want to stay in Conf South. GM & commercial / marketing director are making promising progress but it's a steep curve. 3G could add a hefty chunk in the revenue column. If you don't want 3G, start buying more Gem in Charlie's!!

(PS if you've thought about volunteering but haven't, now is probably the time!! volunteerbathcity@gmail.com)


There are other good beer as well, on a rotation.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by cbtroman on Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:56 pm

No doubt that the redevelopment will work in Bath City's favour but in terms of attendances I can't seem them improving at all if the club remains in conference south even if this project goes ahead.

The appetite is simply not around for thousands to attend a game against East Thurrock or Whitehawk (no disrespect to them)

I want to see the club play at the highest level it can

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Peter Newman on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:35 am

The redevelopment is certainly going ahead rapidly. According to the news section it would seem the game against Braintree could be taking place in a large tent!

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by kermit on Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:35 pm

Peter Newman wrote:The redevelopment is certainly going ahead rapidly. According to the news section it would seem the game against Braintree could be taking place in a large tent!
It's always good to canvas support! Are the Poles being roped in? I'm hoping to bring Guy and Peg along.
I understand it means "main event"....but I had to Google the term!
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:46 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:
Timbo_b-o-a wrote:I am hoping however in terms of a vote it will be very separate from the proposal of a plastic pitch?

That was what I was going to ask. Apologies if it's in the Q&A and I've missed it, but is it the club's decision alone whether we change the surface, or does it go to a vote?

Very simply, Mark. We, the Supporter's Society members, are the club and no-one should lose sight of that. As such, there will be a vote by the Supporters' Society members on whether we have a 3G pitch or not.

I have my own feelings on 3G pitch but will await the evidence and research that, I am sure, the various working groups will bring to the debate to make a final decision. Certainly, the informal straw poll of this forum's posts seems to suggest that there are mixed feelings so a democratic vote with all the appropriate information and consultation beforehand would be the only sensible way forward.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:19 am

I'm definitely for democracy, but if there is a vote, it surely has to be taken by those who have actually seen a match on a modern 3G pitch! I have seen them at Sutton, Odd Down (for the youth team) and Merthyr, and I found that after the first couple of minutes, I didn't even notice the pitch. There are strict rules and testing on 3G pitches - how high the ball bounces, how easily it runs; there are no similar rules for grass pitches!
There is an understanding prejudice, as older people remember seeing on TV the 1980's pitches at QPR, Luton, Preston and Oldham. They were dreadful. Most City fans do not travel away, so have not seen a proper 3G pitch, and even those who do travel are unlikely to have seen one of the few 3G pitches in our league.
A 3G pitch at Twerton would allow us to level the pitch, perhaps move it a bit towards the Bristol end, and then slightly enlarge the Bath end terrace. It could then, like Maidstone's, be used all through the week, and be properly maintained; Maidstone say that their huge increase in crowds may well be because so many kids come to the pitch during the week that they know where their local club plays, and they come again with their parents on Saturdays.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:49 am

Marc Monitor wrote: As such, there will be a vote by the Supporters' Society members on whether we have a 3G pitch or not.

Will the Society Committee ensure that this happens?
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:39 am

You are probably more conversant than me on this, Oliver, but my understanding, all the way through the Bid process, was that there would consultations on all parts of the redevelopment and a vote on a 3G pitch. Indeed, it may be in the prospectus although I haven't perused it recently?

Whatever, if needs be, this particular Supporters Society Committee member will bring forward the motion you mention (or similar) at the AGM. As you and, I hope, others know, I am quite the advocate of democracy. Having said this, it would be nice if I wasn't the only one bringing forward motions at the AGMs. As I am pains to point out, it isn't a case of 'us' and 'the club'. We are now the club and there are many ways that supporters can engage directly with the club from bringing motions at the AGM, standing as Supporters Society Committee members, standing for a role as a Director or voting for any of these. Indeed, it is vital for evolution of the club as a community club that this happens. The 3G pitch is an issue that is obviously important to the supporters and, as such, should have full supporters engagement and I would hope that, amongst the supporters, someone would like to practice their newly acquired agency in the running of the club by bringing forward such a motion.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Dodgycarpet on Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:44 pm

These things should start at the"top" of the structure - what is the ultimate strategic aim? If it's to become a league club then a 3g pitch is a no-no from the start as it would prevent this happening. If the aim is to be solvent but non league then it's a must.
So... What is the clubs strategic aim (as opposed to your or mines individual opinion)?

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Dodgycarpet on Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:25 pm

Plus people keep asking how many requests for pitch hire we've turned down, but we won't have had any as we don't have a 3g pitch as of now!

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:40 pm

I think the club has received requests for pitch hire quite often in recent years, but it's only in the short window between season's end and pitch maintenance programme that they can be allowed.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Dodgycarpet on Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:57 pm

True but that's no indication of the scale of demand, the number of requests we'd have it it was a 3g pitch.
People would love to play at TP; I remember the only bath and district finals i got to were when the club didn't let TP be used and they were at larkhall etc, so disappointing!!

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by cbtroman on Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:09 pm

Dodgycarpet wrote:These things should start at the"top" of the structure - what is the ultimate strategic aim? If it's to become a league club then a 3g pitch is a no-no  from the start as it would prevent this happening. If the  aim is to be solvent but non league then it's a must.
So... What is the clubs strategic aim (as opposed to your or mines individual opinion)?

A question I keep asking myself and one I think that definitely needs to be answered at least for the benefit of the wider Bath public.

Could be excellent timing to answer it as well due to the redevelopment consultation process coming up in the near future plus who knows a good cup run with possible national TV coverage


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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:30 am

Dodgy and cbt, I'll raise your point with the board. It is something which has been discussed and it's a case of when and how it's made public.
Thanks for raising it.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by SteveS on Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:34 am

Some good points here. I am a traditionalist who likes football to be played on grass but in our situation I think the 3G / 4G option is a must. Ideally I would have a grass pitch with an additional 3G to support it but the move that may create that sort of space for us is just not going to happen.
When thinking about 3G / 4G you have to think about the benefits beyond just letting it out for 6 a side etc. Obviously we would save money as the team would train on it saving the current training facility hire costs. It would also enable close links to be developed with Bath City Youth who could use this facility. The Community Foundation would also be able to run lots more holiday and community schemes. By bringing more young people and those from the community to Twerton Park the aim would be to give them more affinity to the club and attract them to games. The club needs to develop young support.
There are other revenue streams that can be opened up such as team building days for local business. With new function type rooms and better catering options through the new stand you have the opportunity to improve the internal offering and the chance to go outside on the 3G to take part in activities. Again this is the opportunity to attract new people and business groups to Twerton.
There are other things such as childrens football parties etc.
You need to think how the 3/ 4G can be used to develop support as well as the direct revenue options.
Regarding the football league with so many clubs now looking at the 3/ 4G option I think it only a matter of time before they accept it.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:43 pm

Dodgycarpet wrote:These things should start at the"top" of the structure - what is the ultimate strategic aim? If it's to become a league club then a 3g pitch is a no-no  from the start as it would prevent this happening. If the  aim is to be solvent but non league then it's a must.
So... What is the clubs strategic aim (as opposed to your or mines individual opinion)?

As others have said, it's a reasonable bet that the League will accept 3G well before we are anywhere near in a financial position to be promoted twice. I personally wouldn't view a 3G pitch as the club accepting limits in terms of its ability to climb the pyramid - it would be a bit of a calculated risk, perhaps, but not more than that. Especially as we would need a serious boost in non-matchday revenues from somewhere anyway before we can transition to a full-time squad - as a co-op, we can't really borrow against the future.

[I do sometimes wonder if I'm missing something whenever I hear talk about "ambition" and "strategic aims" and "long-term vision", at least in the context of a community-owned club that can only spend what it takes in. Each year you have to look at your overall budget and decide how much invest in players and how much to invest in marketing. Invest too much in players and you get a winning team that no-one's heard of and an under-utilised ground. Invest too much in marketing and you get lots of people coming (once) to see a losing team, and sponsors losing interest. By trial and error you seek the right balance that advances the club more or less equally on and off the pitch, season by season, bit by bit. If you're not in a position to borrow against the future, I don't see how that formula changes depending on whether your "ambition" is Conference South stability, Conf Prem, League Two or Champions League. But I'm probably missing something.]



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Re: Redevelopment

Post by cbtroman on Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:56 pm

OliverH wrote:
Dodgycarpet wrote:These things should start at the"top" of the structure - what is the ultimate strategic aim? If it's to become a league club then a 3g pitch is a no-no  from the start as it would prevent this happening. If the  aim is to be solvent but non league then it's a must.
So... What is the clubs strategic aim (as opposed to your or mines individual opinion)?

As others have said, it's a reasonable bet that the League will accept 3G well before we are anywhere near in a financial position to be promoted twice. I personally wouldn't view a 3G pitch as the club accepting limits in terms of its ability to climb the pyramid - it would be a bit of a calculated risk, perhaps, but not more than that. Especially as we would need a serious boost in non-matchday revenues from somewhere anyway before we can transition to a full-time squad - as a co-op, we can't really borrow against the future.

[I do sometimes wonder if I'm missing something whenever I hear talk about "ambition" and "strategic aims" and "long-term vision", at least in the context of a community-owned club that can only spend what it takes in. Each year you have to look at your overall budget and decide how much invest in players and how much to invest in marketing. Invest too much in players and you get a winning team that no-one's heard of and an under-utilised ground. Invest too much in marketing and you get lots of people coming (once) to see a losing team, and sponsors losing interest. By trial and error you seek the right balance that advances the club more or less equally on and off the pitch, season by season, bit by bit. If you're not in a position to borrow against the future, I don't see how that formula changes depending on whether your "ambition" is Conference South stability, Conf Prem, League Two or Champions League. But I'm probably missing something.]




Just a few thoughts about this (apologies for the long reply)

Firstly club history I think is all important in this. Yesterday for example there was an interview with the 1977/78 championship winning players. One of them mentioned how they played Plymouth in an FA Cup tie and how there were over 7,500 at the game at Twerton Park. That season of course they became champions and would have been promoted if it wasn't for the election system used in them days to gain entry to the football league.

This was before my time but I know that it meant a great deal to many supporters who believed that by rights we should have had a crack at league football. I am not sure how long you've been a supporter of the club but I know that most fans know how significant that was.

I think for some fans they haven't forgotten, that for many years, the club were striving for football league status and were totally committed to doing so. It was without doubt a core part of the club's identity.  

Obviously times change, the whole game has changed with sky tv etc. and so the dream is more distant than perhaps even then. That said in some supporters minds (and mine as well) the emphasis really should be on league status as it is arguably what made Bath City one of the highest non league clubs in the country as opposed to say a western league team.

Becoming a league side I always believed was the dream but then of course comes reality;

It is correct to point out that ambition/long term aim is totally dependant on what the supporters put in with this new model and so if the gates etc. don't improve then football league or even a single promotion won't happen. I think that's ok because sustainability is all important, and I don't want the club to "win or go bust" but the difference is to what extent is not being ambitious acceptable?

My concern is a scenario similar to Poole Town who gained a play off place but couldn't compete because their ground wasn't up to the requirements of conference premier. I feel that is unfair to the fans, players and wider public.
If however the club were honest with the fans at the start (not sure either way if this happened with Poole) and said that the club were not aiming for promotion then even though I would find that personally near enough impossible to accept, at least you knew as a supporter where the club stood.

If such a situation occurred at Bath City I wouldn't go to the league games but may well attend FA Cup ties.

In short I suppose the issue here is one of communication. When we got relegated from the conference premier with Britton I was personally puzzled by the club not sacking him. If they perhaps said that there was a very detailed five year plan (that needed Britton 100%) to become financially stable or something, then even though I would find that hard to make sense of, you would perhaps be more sympathetic to the idea.

Overall all though I don't see any reason why the club couldn't sensibly aim for the league 2 in the long run. It's a challenge and that's surely what football is all about at the end of the day.

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