Off Field Management

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Post by Beau Nash on Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:18 pm

Whilst our on field performances in the friendlies have been encouraging some of the off field organisation has left a lot to be desired.

Our prices were far too high for training sessions oops! I mean friendlies, especially in the second half with so many substitutions usually disrupting the flow of the game as an entertainment spectacle.  Attendances of: Swansea XI / U21s 131 and Cheltenham 261, who fielded a strong side, prove the point with only the Cardiff City 1033 and Bristol Rovers 837 games showing anything like respectable gates.

There are weaknesses, certainly in decision making, in our off field management which have also shown up in other areas.

There are many instances, but to use just one:

Midsomer-steve wrote: Tue 15 Jul 2014, 15:12 ...and plenty of food for thought. Talking of food - I wish there was an outlet within the bar area for a regular chance to buy hot food, especially pre-match (I remember there used to be). It would not be difficult to better what is on offer inside the ground - both in price and quality - and it would provide profit for the Club! We have been let down twice recently (the latest being last Saturday) in that such food was advertised within promotion of games, but when we arrived early for lunch we were told that there was no provision for it after all. The only excuse was gleaned from a member of the bar staff who said that they were short staffed!! That was bad advertising to say the least, and, if the likes of us are now put off from relying on a similar enticement to attend early in the future, I imagine quite a few others will be too. Sharpen up Bath City - if the shortfall of staff was unforseeable, a notice of apology at the bar on the day would have been the least I would have expected.


Steve forgot to mention the usual / normal shortage of beer, cider etc.

Going back to the end of season, a lot of revenue was lost due to overcrowding in Charlies when Randalls was not available, 1930 hours standing only and packed in like sardines, due to a function.  Surely there was one Saturday or even a Friday or Sunday when the whole clubhouse was available?

On the plus side the Andrew Kerslake - Kerslakesport Bath City Internet Radio, which included a very interesting half time live interview for the Cheltenham game and the New Bath City Website, are excellent.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:21 pm

Yes, I gave the off-field management a fair amount of slack as they basically picked up halfway through the season from the last regime and suddenly there was the possibility of a play-off place.

However, having had the summer to sort themselves out, I would hope to see matters more organised this season.

What you have said above rings true. However, I would say that the attendance for Swansea was always going to be down as it was stuck on a Tuesday between two high-profile friendlies. I think that Cheltenham suffered from being after the Lord Mayor's Show and was a disappointing attendance for a Saturday friendly against D4 opposition. It has to be borne in mind that Cheltenham also had higher-profile friendlies either side of ours so didn't bring as many away supporters. It is a hard one with ticket prices as, to justify a 50% reduction for example, you have got to be pretty sure that that will attract 50% more tickets sales and so on. It is a hard thing to predict. I was pleased to see it was just a quid for kids. I am glad to see that all the special ticket deals are very clear especially on the new website. Mind you, the season ticket prices and, especially, the free season ticket for U16s when you buy an adult one isn't.

Onto other issues, I agree about the food, not least as I think we are now paying more per chip than anywhere else in Bath. At the supporters game, there was food served at the bar but that is obviously a different prospect than a match day.

I have never quite know what the deal is with the functions at Randalls/Charlies. I know that, whenever I have looked at dates, Saturday night always seem booked. We can't really complain if they are functions providing income from both venue booking and bar takings, I suppose.

One area that still seems lacking is in the marketing to the local community and wider afield in Bath. I know that, last season, the Royal Oak wanted to get a pitch side banner but no-one ever contacted them back despite reminders from them and, later, me. Similarly, the Best Of British deli in Broad Street wanted to sponsor a match but never got any reply. To be fair to the club, these may have been in the time of the previous management. However, I know that part of the problem was that these people were contacting the club via the club Twitter and e-mail accounts and there were issues there that meant that people couldn't contact the club via these methods. You could say that they could tried phoning or visiting the club but I am sure nobody, even the greatest supporter, knows when the office is manned nor, indeed, who deals with this. Andy Weeks and Phil Weaver have always been great at addressing anything I have mentioned but there isn't really a commercial/marketing manager at the club who is not only the first point of call and in charge of all these areas. I appreciate that everyone is volunteering but, at the end of the day, businesses that want to support the club are very busy and aren't going to go to the effort to track down and badger the correct person to get things achieved like a supporter might. Even I found it difficult to give the club money via the Supporters Society and the Supporters' Club. Indeed, I am still not quite sure how to do the latter.
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Post by Ashley on Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:33 pm

Don't forget the Cheltenham game was the first Saturday of the school holidays - the most popular day for going on holiday.
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Post by BenE on Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:02 pm

Marc Monitor wrote: Even I found it difficult to give the club money via the Supporters Society and the Supporters' Club. Indeed, I am still not quite sure how to do the latter.

Mark Stillman announced about 10 times that there was a supporter's club meeting after the Cheltenham game where members of the club could be found. And of course the supporter's club HQ (shipping container) is at the bath end of the ground and open every game.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:04 pm

Marc Monitor wrote:I know that, last season, the Royal Oak wanted to get a pitch side banner but no-one ever contacted them back despite reminders from them and, later, me. Similarly, the Best Of British deli in Broad Street wanted to sponsor a match but never got any reply. However, I know that part of the problem was that these people were contacting the club via the club Twitter and e-mail accounts and there were issues there that meant that people couldn't contact the club via these methods.

Quite surprised at that as I know Bob Chester works tirelessly bringing in sponsors. I believe we had one for every game last season, and the season before, which considering the rather unattractive opposition we face nearly every home game is a fantastic achievement.

Yes, the Twitter and Facebook accounts were down but now relaunched. The email address had changed, I think the old one was shown in the programme until I heard of this. There was a request to change it before the end of last season but I think I forgot to double check if it was. It'll be fine this time out. Doesn't help with what happened then I'm afraid.

And yes, Supporters Club stuff you only need to speak to someone like Basil at the HQ or any committee members, I'm sure they'll be able to assist.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:59 pm

BenE wrote:
Marc Monitor wrote: Even I found it difficult to give the club money via the Supporters Society and the Supporters' Club. Indeed, I am still not quite sure how to do the latter.

Mark Stillman announced about 10 times that there was a supporter's club meeting after the Cheltenham game where members of the club could be found. And of course the supporter's club HQ (shipping container) is at the bath end of the ground and open every game.

Point taken and, to be honest, I knew that I probably would find it by the start of the season when I want to join.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:05 pm

Yes, SJ, funnily enough, straight after putting that post on here and sending an email to the club about this and another couple of points, Bob got in contact with me which is great. It also appears that he is now the main point of call for prospective sponsors with his mobile number on the website etc. so we, as supporters, can always pass that on to people.

Like I say, I think the club is moving forward from the inertia that happened list season 'for various reasons' and people like Bob, Simon etc are getting their chance to sort all of this stuff out. Also, again, I must point out that I know all these people are voluntary and doing a great job with little time and money available to them. It is very easy for me carping from the sidelines but I think we all just want to make the most of the club.
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Post by comrade powell on Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:24 pm

BenE wrote:
Marc Monitor wrote: Even I found it difficult to give the club money via the Supporters Society and the Supporters' Club. Indeed, I am still not quite sure how to do the latter.

Mark Stillman announced about 10 times that there was a supporter's club meeting after the Cheltenham game where members of the club could be found. And of course the supporter's club HQ (shipping container) is at the bath end of the ground and open every game.

and as far as the SC is concerned, you could look at my siggy below! it's been there for several weeks now...  Wink
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Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:16 pm

Yes, yes, I get the point!  Smile 
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Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:29 pm

I know I am probably being thick but I can't see the Supporters' Society form on here nor on the website. Can anyone point a div in the right direction?
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Post by comrade powell on Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:17 pm

No, you're not a div but quite correct! the forms were removed for editing but not returned. I'll make sure they're put on here in the next 24 hours.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:22 am

Cheers, much appreciated.
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Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:43 pm

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Post by Beau Nash on Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:48 am

The cost of coach travel to away games has been increasing for some time.

As an example, in October last season to Chelmsford: Adult £25, Concessions £22; (£4 extra for non members).

For Chelmsford supporters to TP tomorrow is:  Adult £20, U16 £10. http://chelmsfordcitysupportersclub.co.uk/away-travel.html

Whilst we may have a more luxurious coach and making a comparison just on travel cost may not be "fair" the question has to be asked;  are Berkeley Coach and Travel Ltd too expensive?  

I hope the board and off field management are giving some thought to the club's finances as the poor start to the season is certain to reflect in attendances both home and away.

http://bathcityfc.forumotion.co.uk/t334-do-you-live-in-weston-bath#3395

comrade powell wrote:If so, perhaps you would be willing to distribute fixture posters. Please ring Bas for details on 07881728689


Before the Chelmsford game last season (Community Day) there was a lot of work done by many in delivering and getting displayed posters in local businesses.  The details were fed back so the database should have ALL the details of deliverers and sites.

I don't have a mobile so can't ring Bas, or I could, but I am not prepared to incur phone costs of £10 / second using a landline.

I hope everyone understands that this topic is NOT adverse criticism of individuals, especially volunteers, but an attempt to get US to question how we do things and look for alternatives to improve.
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Post by Ashley on Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:28 pm

I thought there was more to life than money... and I'm an accountant.

Well done for ringing all the coach operators in Norton-Radstock and Bath though to get some quotes for Chelsmford.
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Post by Diving Belle on Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:43 pm

I assume you are volunteering to run the coaches next season as well as delivering posters!! Why criticising hardworking volunteers if you are not prepared to help yourself.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:26 pm

As far as the posters are concerned, The Hope Pole to the top of Chelsea Road are now done. It is only Weston High Street that needs doing.

I collected my posters from Bas at the Supporters Club HQ/container. He may still have some more for distribution tomorrow.
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Post by comrade powell on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:54 pm

Beau Nash wrote:The cost of coach travel to away games has been increasing for some time.

As an example, in October last season to Chelmsford: Adult £25, Concessions £22; (£4 extra for non members).

and if you glance at this link, you will see they have gone up again for this season...
http://bathcityfc.forumotion.co.uk/t304-basbus-fares-2014-15


For Chelmsford supporters to TP tomorrow is:  Adult £20, U16 £10. http://chelmsfordcitysupportersclub.co.uk/away-travel.html

Whilst we may have a more luxurious coach and making a comparison just on travel cost may not be "fair" the question has to be asked;  are Berkeley Coach and Travel Ltd too expensive?

Well Berkeley's may well be more expensive than the company Chelmsford use, but it might not be very practical for us to sign up with them! There was a time when we did seek quotes from several other local companies, but Berkeley's were always the lowest. One company actually promised they would beat Berkeleys quotes, but went very quiet on receipt of what I sent them. Another did offer some attractive prices for certain trips, but there was a problem (as described below). Incidentally, that company went out of business a couple of months ago.

Anyway, here's a challenge for you - our invoice for the Chelmsford trip in November will be £750. Why not ring round local companies for a quote - approx 50 seater with toilet - leaving Twerton at 0915 and arriving back at around 2130. It wouldn't surprise me if you did find something which at least matches Berkeley's, but before you come back on here with it, do read the small print. From experience, most companies have cancellation charges. With the one mentioned above, they kicked in 7 days before the trip. In recent seasons we have had to cancel trips because of a late change to the fixtures (usually due to cup runs either by ourselves or opponents) - this has never led to us being charged for the postponed trip. Should a match be called off on the day because of the weather (very possible in November), you would expect a 100% cancellation charge. I can recall several times when we have been sitting on the bus at TP waiting for the results of a pitch inspection, only to be told the game was off. Despite the driver and coach having been out of the depot for up to an hour, the SC was not invoiced a penny. There have been other occasions when news of the postponement has come en route - we got as far as the M3 last year on the way to Woking - but have only been charged a fraction of the amount quoted. Still, I will be interested to see the results of your research...

Another thing which you should understand is how the fares are fixed by the SC. In fact, Berkeley's have frozen their prices for the SC for the past 3 seasons (another reason why we keep with them), but we have to break even. So our fares each season are based on the average number who travelled the previous season, which for 13/14 was 22. From the forum SC page advertising our fares...
There will be separate fares for adults and concessions, with a difference of £2, based on the wish expressed by the regulars for them to be based on an average of 24 travelling. The coach regulars were asked their views at a recent meeting
 

The SC has pledged to cover the first £50 loss for any trip - we cannot budget for much more than £1000 over the season, if we are to continue to fund the team's travel. Those selling and buying refreshments at the tea bar and matchday draw tickets bring in much needed income, as do those who become members of the SC. I hope you have, Rob.  



Beau Nash wrote:
I hope the board and off field management are giving some thought to the club's finances as the poor start to the season is certain to reflect in attendances both home and away.

http://bathcityfc.forumotion.co.uk/t334-do-you-live-in-weston-bath#3395
Beau Nash wrote:
comrade powell wrote:If so, perhaps you would be willing to distribute fixture posters. Please ring Bas for details on 07881728689


Before the Chelmsford game last season (Community Day) there was a lot of work done by many in delivering and getting displayed posters in local businesses.  The details were fed back so the database should have ALL the details of deliverers and sites.

I don't have a mobile so can't ring Bas, or I could, but I am not prepared to incur phone costs of £10 / second using a landline.

Pleased to hear that you can distribute the posters in Weston. Do you want me to inform Bas, or will you see him at the SC HQ tomorrow?

I hope everyone understands that this topic is NOT adverse criticism of individuals, especially volunteers, but an attempt to get US to question how we do things and look for alternatives to improve.

Not a problem with me, Rob. I look forward to seeing the results of your research with local coach companies, that you're helping the SC to meet their goals by joining up (apologies if you already have) and distributing the posters to weston.
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Post by comrade powell on Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:29 pm

so did you pick up the posters today, Rob?
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Post by Dodgycarpet on Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:24 am

Sounds like the sc have got it right with regard to Berkeleys especially re cancellations. I would warn against people ringing round for quotes though as small businesses tend to detect unreal pricing requests and if the Time comes when we need to seriously get other quotes they may not between seriously.

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Post by Dodgycarpet on Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:27 am

Not between, 'be taken' seriously is how it should read. Sorry struggling with my tablet's qwerty and auto type and can't find the 'edit' button either......

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Post by Dodgycarpet on Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:11 am

Not between, 'be taken' seriously is how it should read. Sorry struggling with my tablet's qwerty and auto type and can't find the 'edit' button either......

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Post by comrade powell on Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:29 am

I was simply suggesting Rob Wills gets a quote for a single trip. And I'm aware that any quote is likely to be higher for a one off than if you are looking for 20 plus trips over a whole season. Another reason why we get such a good deal from Berkeley's.

I very much doubt that he will take up my challenge, which was the result of his comments which have irritated a lot of people who put themselves out to help our club.
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Post by Drexl on Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:08 am

Beau Nash wrote:The cost of coach travel to away games has been increasing for some time.

As an example, in October last season to Chelmsford: Adult £25, Concessions £22; (£4 extra for non members).

For Chelmsford supporters to TP tomorrow is:  Adult £20, U16 £10. http://chelmsfordcitysupportersclub.co.uk/away-travel.html

Whilst we may have a more luxurious coach and making a comparison just on travel cost may not be "fair" the question has to be asked;  are Berkeley Coach and Travel Ltd too expensive?  

I don't have a mobile so can't ring Bas, or I could, but I am not prepared to incur phone costs of £10 / second using a landline.

I hope everyone understands that this topic is NOT adverse criticism of individuals, especially volunteers, but an attempt to get US to question how we do things and look for alternatives to improve.

You question an extra £5 to travel on a substantial coach journey yet you pay £10 / second to call mobiles? Maybe you should switch to a cheaper phone provider, that way you wouldn't need to penny pinch on the more important things in life...  Laughing

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Post by Beau Nash on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:09 am

The Chelmsford game topic seems to have gone "off topic" with some comments that should be here.

To summarise: There are SOME, not ALL, in positions of management (off field) who seem to be living in a fool's paradise, there needs to be change but it is unlikely to happen until the debts are called in.  With the on field performances being so poor the dwindling attendances may bring that change quicker than expected.

@Drexl:  Do you really think it cost £10 / second to call a mobile from a landline?  Even the rip off telephone providers wouldn't get that one past the pathetic excuse for regulators.  I exaggerated to make the point.

Supporters Club / Coach Travellers have subsidised Bath City Football Club Ltd, a shareholder owned company NOT a community owned club, for far too long;  if the company's trading cannot generate its own revenues then how long can that subsidy continue?

Posters:  Please pass to Bas  cheers the details of the sites I posted in - http://bathcityfc.forumotion.co.uk/t94-leafelt-drop-for-the-community-day - when I recover from my "cardiac event" I may be able to revisit and find some more.
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