Green light for Community Ownership!

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Post by Dodgycarpet on Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:56 pm

thanks oliver. I was presuming that with all this 'detailed' discussion going on I must have missed its release, or some other document.

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Post by Dodgycarpet on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:00 pm

sorry, trigger finger, should have put this in previous message, but should bits of the plan be release earlier creating debate on things out of context (eg 3g pitch)? I mean discussing a 3g pitch idea without the financial forecasts related to such an investment is well, a waste of breath. If the idea is to get some feedback on issues to enable amendment of any draft version, just send the draft version to a few people. I will gladly review it confidentially!

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Post by OliverH on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:04 pm

Thanks Dodgycarpet - there was a detailed proposal that was sent confidentially to the Board on Feb 9, and on that basis they agreed for us to proceed with the £1.4m community share offer. Generally, where I've said on this thread "we'll probably do X Y Z, subject to advice", it's referring to what was in the proposal doc.

We have debated whether it was worth making this proposal doc public, but as it is really just a precursor to the more detailed Community Share Offer prospectus there doesn't seem to be much point. I sense some people are getting (quite reasonably) impatient with "wait and see" so I'm trying to give some sense of the overall direction of our thinking, but yes as you say, it won't be until a proper prospectus is published that people will be able to make a fully-informed decision and have a fully-informed debate.

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Post by Dodgycarpet on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:06 pm

thanks. roughly when will it be published - and presumably in electronic form, as I will probably be abroad again. sorry should this be a PM?  still, gets my posts count up!

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Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:21 pm

Palms wrote:
OliverH wrote: 3G pitch
This is the only thing in my 'cons' column. Crying or Very sad
Have you ever seen a match on a 3G pitch, then? We're not talking about QPR and Luton from the 90's here. Merthyr's pitch is great, as is Maidstone's, plus the Odd Down playing fields new pitch. Real football, no bumps in the pitch, lots of great passing etc. Apart from that, it can be used 24/7, rented out etc with no damage when it is wet. Maidstone will be in Conf Sth next season, and Eastbourne and Maidenhead are also going to install them, so we will get used to it pretty soon.

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Post by OliverH on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:25 pm

Dodgycarpet - in April, and yes electronically as well as paper! You should even be able to buy your community shares online Very Happy

Re: 3G, yes the Maidstone example is very interesting. As well as making money through rental, it massively increased awareness of the club just because everyone who played 11 a side in any capacity ended up going there. Not saying this would work exactly the same for us, but it's a shame that the Bath City Youth, for example, rarely come into contact with TP.

I'll be off the forum until Sunday now, just FYI, will answer Qs in a few days.
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Post by Dodgycarpet on Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:14 pm

thanks!

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Post by yuffie on Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:50 pm

Sir Ged Roddy wrote:
Palms wrote:
OliverH wrote: 3G pitch
This is the only thing in my 'cons' column. Crying or Very sad
Have you ever seen a match on a 3G pitch, then? We're not talking about QPR and Luton from the 90's here.  Merthyr's pitch is great, as is Maidstone's, plus the Odd Down playing fields new pitch.  Real football, no bumps in the pitch, lots of great passing etc. Apart from that, it can be used 24/7, rented out etc with no damage when it is wet. Maidstone will be in Conf Sth next season, and Eastbourne and Maidenhead are also going to install them, so we will get used to it pretty soon.

Sutton as well I think.

There does seem to be the preconception that games on them are somehow 'artificial' so I am quite looking forward to watching us play on them to see if they are any different to normal grass pitches.

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Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:43 pm

I don't mind watching the occasional game on them, the aforementioned Merthyr was arguably the best game I witnessed last season, but all season? No thanks. Playing on it is great for training and the occasional 6 a-side but I couldn't do it full time. I don't find it great on the joints and I know several other, better, footballers think the same. The main differences are the bounce of the ball, obviously, and tackling. Give me grass any day.

If anyone wants to witness it I think the Academy are playing on it tomorrow at Odd Down.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:17 pm

Beau Nash wrote:To use a political analogy of the floating voter we have the floating fan - what the "floating fan" wants is a successful team which creates the emotional atmosphere that is the ENTERTAINMENT the majority are seeking.

I am not sure that is empirically true. Equally anecdotally, I attend the games regularly with ex-pat Norwich, Ipswich, Plymouth Argyle, Spurs, Arsenal, Sheffield United, West Ham and Rovers supporters. Adding the fact that I was going regularly when I was ostensibly a Cardiff City supporter and you would surmise that many 'floating' supporters are those that are (a) living far away from their 'first' team (b) priced out of the market of their 'first' teams especially if they have kids, (c) still enjoy the live football experience or (d) a combination of those three.

What any of those supporters will know is that the 90 minutes on the pitch actually has very little bearing on your experience. If the 90 minutes was  that important, you would end up with most football grounds completely empty apart from Real Madrid, Barca, Chelsea, Man Utd etc. Now, I know that these teams are the most heavily supported but there is still a lot of people prepared to go to completely unsuccessful teams because it is the nature of football supporting that it is nothing to do with other entertainment or leisure activities. I once travelled to Holland to see Wales beaten 7-1 with Vinnie Jones as captain and still had a terrific weekend with my fellow supporters.

Let's face it, we all go and pay money to stand outside in often terrible weathers, eating often overpriced and substandard food and not being allowed to drink alcohol while, in the higher echelons of football, having to endure the perils of surly police, stewards or rival supporters. Not only that but what you are watching has a very high chance of ending extremely disappointingly for a much higher emotional investment. Even if I had paid money to see the three most recent Star Wars films, I would not have felt the heartache that I felt at North Ferriby and yet I will still be renewing my season ticket. Not only that but my Norwich mate who drove me up to North Ferriby will also be doing that and the Arsenal and Rovers supporters who we travelled up with will be at Twerton most weeks.

Football isn't about entertainment on the pitch. If it was, it would fail miserably most weeks. It is about the whole live matchday experience and that is why many of the supporters I share the terraces with feel more of a bond with Bath City - their 'second' club - than they do with their 'first' club. There is no chance of them being in the Premier League or the Champions League but they can be swept along in the ludicrously disproportionate delight of an FA trophy run.

Believe me, I saw Cardiff at Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final, FA cup final, League Cup final and at the Millenium Stadium for a play-off final and the trip to North Ferriby was as excellent a day out. Not because of the result obviously but because of the tension, drama and the bloody great day out with mates.

That is why football is different from entertainment. You can have a great day out at football travelling hundreds of miles to watch your team lose whereas if you were treated the same way for the theatre or cinema, you would ask for your money back. It doesn't work like that with football. The future of Bath City comes from those supporters who live in Bath (or, in the case of the uni students, moving to the area) who want the live football experience where you turn up, pay on the turnstiles, stand on the terraces where you want next to your mates, have a coffee and Freddo bar or a pint at halftime and enjoy the elements that you can't get from watching Match Of The Day or the 'Champions' League highlights. Hopefully, they will bring on the next generation who will feel that Bath City is 'their' club. As it is, I see kids who are enjoying Twerton Park as much as Real Madrid on ITV or FIFA 15 or whatever.


Last edited by Marc Monitor on Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:25 pm

Sir Ged Roddy wrote:
Palms wrote:
OliverH wrote: 3G pitch
This is the only thing in my 'cons' column. Crying or Very sad
Have you ever seen a match on a 3G pitch, then?

To be fair, Palms, along with myself and 20 other Bath City supporters played on a 3G pitch a couple of weeks ago up at Odd Down so he probably knows them. I also played on the one at Keynsham Town.

To be honest, I disagree with Palms to an extent and quite like 3G pitches. Personally, I think that the pitches that are grass weaved into the plastic and based in sand are probably the best but they aren't as good for renting out commercially so 3G is a good compromise. As it goes, City's football would suit it as we don't rely on hoofing the ball upfield and it holding up in grass.
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Post by 2weirdtown on Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:05 pm

Marc Monitor wrote:
Beau Nash wrote:To use a political analogy of the floating voter we have the floating fan - what the "floating fan" wants is a successful team which creates the emotional atmosphere that is the ENTERTAINMENT the majority are seeking.

I am not sure that is empirically true. Equally anecdotally, I attend the games regularly with ex-pat Norwich, Ipswich, Plymouth Argyle, Spurs, Arsenal, Sheffield United, West Ham and Rovers supporters. Adding the fact that I was going regularly when I was ostensibly a Cardiff City supporters and you would surmise that many 'floating' supporters are those that are (a) living far away from their 'first' team (b) priced out of the market of their 'first' teams especially if they have kids, (c) still enjoy the live football experience or (d) a combination of those three.

What any of those supporters will know is that the 90 minutes on the pitch actually has very little bearing on your experience. If the 90 minutes was  that important, you would end up with most football grounds completely empty apart from Real Madrid, Barca, Chelsea, Man Utd etc. Now, I know that these teams are the most heavily supported but there is still a lot of people prepared to go to completely unsuccessful teams because it is the nature of football supporting that it is nothing to do with other entertainment or leisure activities. I once travelled to Holland to see Wales beaten 7-1 with Vinnie Jones as captain and still had a terrific weekend with my fellow supporters.

Let's face it, we all go and pay money to stand outside in often terrible weathers, eating often overpriced and substandard food and not being allowed to drink alcohol while, in the higher echelons of football, have to endure the perils of surly police, stewards or rival supporters. Not only that but what you are watching has a very high chance of ending extremely disappointingly for a much higher emotional investment. Even if I had paid money to see the three most recent Star Wars films, I would not have felt the heartache that I felt at North Ferriby and yet I will still be renewing my season tickets. Not only that but my Norwich mate who drove me up to North Ferriby will also be doing that and the Arsenal and Rovers supporters who we travelled up with will be at Twerton most weeks.

Football isn't about entertainment on the pitch. If it was, it would fail miserably most weeks. It is about the whole live matchday experience and that is why many of the supporters I share the terraces with feel more of a bond with Bath City - their 'second' club - than they do with their 'first' club. There is no chance of them being in the Premier League or the Champions League but they can be swept along in the ludicrously disproportionate delight of an FA trophy run.

Believe me, I saw Cardiff at Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final, FA cup final, League Cup final and at the Millenium Stadium for a play-off final and the trip to North Ferriby was as excellent a day out. Not because of the result obviously but because of the tension, drama and the bloody great day out with mates.

That is why football is different from entertainment. You can have a great day out at football travelling hundreds of miles to watch your team lose whereas if you were treated the same way for the theatre or cinema, you would ask for your money back. It doesn't work like that with football. The future of Bath City comes from those supporters who live in Bath (or, in the case of the uni students, moving to the area) who want the live football experience where you turn up, pay on the turnstiles, stand on the terraces where you want next to your mates, have a coffee and Freddo bar or a pint at halftime and enjoy the elements that you can't get from watching Match Of The Day or the 'Champions' League highlights. Hopefully, they will bring on the next generation who will feel that Bath City is 'their' club. As it is, I see kids who are enjoying Twerton Park as much as Real Madrid on ITV or FIFA 15 or
whtever.


Spot on Marc
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Post by Colin Voutt on Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:55 am

Marc Monitor wrote:
Beau Nash wrote:To use a political analogy of the floating voter we have the floating fan - what the "floating fan" wants is a successful team which creates the emotional atmosphere that is the ENTERTAINMENT the majority are seeking.

I am not sure that is empirically true. Equally anecdotally, I attend the games regularly with ex-pat Norwich, Ipswich, Plymouth Argyle, Spurs, Arsenal, Sheffield United, West Ham and Rovers supporters. Adding the fact that I was going regularly when I was ostensibly a Cardiff City supporter and you would surmise that many 'floating' supporters are those that are (a) living far away from their 'first' team (b) priced out of the market of their 'first' teams especially if they have kids, (c) still enjoy the live football experience or (d) a combination of those three.

What any of those supporters will know is that the 90 minutes on the pitch actually has very little bearing on your experience. If the 90 minutes was  that important, you would end up with most football grounds completely empty apart from Real Madrid, Barca, Chelsea, Man Utd etc. Now, I know that these teams are the most heavily supported but there is still a lot of people prepared to go to completely unsuccessful teams because it is the nature of football supporting that it is nothing to do with other entertainment or leisure activities. I once travelled to Holland to see Wales beaten 7-1 with Vinnie Jones as captain and still had a terrific weekend with my fellow supporters.

Let's face it, we all go and pay money to stand outside in often terrible weathers, eating often overpriced and substandard food and not being allowed to drink alcohol while, in the higher echelons of football, having to endure the perils of surly police, stewards or rival supporters. Not only that but what you are watching has a very high chance of ending extremely disappointingly for a much higher emotional investment. Even if I had paid money to see the three most recent Star Wars films, I would not have felt the heartache that I felt at North Ferriby and yet I will still be renewing my season ticket. Not only that but my Norwich mate who drove me up to North Ferriby will also be doing that and the Arsenal and Rovers supporters who we travelled up with will be at Twerton most weeks.

Football isn't about entertainment on the pitch. If it was, it would fail miserably most weeks. It is about the whole live matchday experience and that is why many of the supporters I share the terraces with feel more of a bond with Bath City - their 'second' club - than they do with their 'first' club. There is no chance of them being in the Premier League or the Champions League but they can be swept along in the ludicrously disproportionate delight of an FA trophy run.

Believe me, I saw Cardiff at Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final, FA cup final, League Cup final and at the Millenium Stadium for a play-off final and the trip to North Ferriby was as excellent a day out. Not because of the result obviously but because of the tension, drama and the bloody great day out with mates.

That is why football is different from entertainment. You can have a great day out at football travelling hundreds of miles to watch your team lose whereas if you were treated the same way for the theatre or cinema, you would ask for your money back. It doesn't work like that with football. The future of Bath City comes from those supporters who live in Bath (or, in the case of the uni students, moving to the area) who want the live football experience where you turn up, pay on the turnstiles, stand on the terraces where you want next to your mates, have a coffee and Freddo bar or a pint at halftime and enjoy the elements that you can't get from watching Match Of The Day or the 'Champions' League highlights. Hopefully, they will bring on the next generation who will feel that Bath City is 'their' club. As it is, I see kids who are enjoying Twerton Park as much as Real Madrid on ITV or FIFA 15 or whatever.

Well argued!!!!

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Post by Timbo_b-o-a on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:06 pm

Marc Monitor wrote:
Sir Ged Roddy wrote:
Palms wrote:
OliverH wrote: 3G pitch
This is the only thing in my 'cons' column. Crying or Very sad
Have you ever seen a match on a 3G pitch, then?

To be fair, Palms, along with myself and 20 other Bath City supporters played on a 3G pitch a couple of weeks ago up at Odd Down so he probably knows them. I also played on the one at Keynsham Town.

To be honest, I disagree with Palms to an extent and quite like 3G pitches. Personally, I think that the pitches that are grass weaved into the plastic and based in sand are probably the best but they aren't as good for renting out commercially so 3G is a good compromise. As it goes, City's football would suit it as we don't rely on hoofing the ball upfield and it holding up in grass.

I fully understand the club investigating this what with the revenue they can produce but I would be heartbroken if we got a 3G pitch. To me it would be an admission of inferiority as a club, removing ourselves from the real world of football on grass. Blood and thunder slide tackles and variations in pitch condition are part of the game's beauty to me. I'm just imagining a 1st round FA Cup tie versus a league side on a 3G pitch and to me it would just feel like a bit of an embarrasment. I also understand that it knackers players' joints when playing on them week in week out.

Of course times are changing and we need more revenue so if City's very survival hangs on it then I can see it may have to go that way but I personally would not be watching on regular basis. Sad
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Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:27 pm

You wouldn't watch City regularly if we had a 3G pitch? Really?

I have to say that, though I don't mind them to play on, I am ambivalent about watching clubs on them as I have not a great amount of experience of it. I am going to watch my mate play for Keynsham Town on Good Friday os it will be interesting to pay attention to the pitch. I will ask him how their joints are as well.

I think it is a development that, as Oliver has said, is open for the sort of debate that community ownership can engender and I look forward to that. It isn't though a 'deal-breaker' for community ownership.
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Post by Steve Whites Missus on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:38 pm

It will be an interesting dilemma if community takeover succeeds and the shareholders vote against a 3G pitch.

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Post by Mark Tanner on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:53 pm

Could always build a 5 a side all weather pitch by using some of the car park?

That would keep everyone happy although you'd need a constant general manager at the club at all times for it to make money/not get vandalised.

Also could have table tennis tables at the club to rent out in the main bars for after school clubs/league games. Potential for a tuck shop too if you ran it as a youth club type thing. Small businesses could operate from the 'spare office' or from the up stairs bars etc. Lots of possibilities if the club had the manpower to get them off the ground.

Make sure you pledge your support for the community ownership scheme at the supporters HQ today. Donations would also be accepted to go straight into the pot, I think we still need another £1,399,940 to go by my last count.
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Post by Steve Whites Missus on Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:01 pm

We really need Ken to direct the next Bond movie and donate the proceeds.

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Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:38 pm

Steve Whites Missus wrote:It will be an interesting dilemma if community takeover succeeds and the shareholders vote against a 3G pitch.

It's pretty straight forward really. If the community shareholders vote against it, it doesn't happen. No real dilemma. Some will be disappointed with the result but that's democracy.
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Post by yuffie on Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:53 pm

Given that is quite possible that next season four clubs will have 3G pitches it is not beyond the realms of possibility that if we did stick with grass we could end up in the minority at this level. And if the pitches do become widespread in non-league it can only be a matter of time that league side begin to make the switch.

I don't understand the idea that rubbish pitches somehow add to the beauty of the game. As a spectacle the match at Hemel a few weeks ago was dire largely because of the dreadful surface. If that had been on a 3G pitch it could only have improved the quality (though obviously we may not have won as easily!). If you are of the view that crowds at out level would be improved by better quality football (not a view I am really sold on) then a better playing surface should be one of the first moves to make.

Also is there any real evidence that 3G pitches cause players problems? Maidstone have had theirs for a least 2 seasons so surely it would have been clear if they were losing players who developed joint issues.

As I say I'm neutral about the pitches but looking forward to seeing us play a few times on them next season.

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Post by SteveBradley on Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:14 am

Artificial grass has come a long way from the old sand-based low-pile carpet which was a skin shredder if you fell on it. Those old pitches had lots of studies suggesting they were bad for players' joints - particularly the twisting motion of knees. But I'm pretty sure as the generations of artificial grass have improved, those concerns have become out-dated.

Bath City spends more money than it brings in every season. That can't continue, so the club is going to have some big decisions to make. Either the income goes up significantly, expenditure goes down significantly, or a combination of both takes place.

Ruling an artificial pitch out-of-hand could therefore have implications on other areas of the club e.g. less money to spend on the team. With less money coming in, less can go out again.

An artificial pitch would not only create income through pitch rental. You could, for example, use Twerton Park for open air concerts, as the surface wouldn't be ruined by covering it over.

The bottom line is we need to bring in more money and/or spend less every year if we're to stop the spiral of debt that is slowly killing the club. That may result in a few compromise decisions.

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Post by Dodgycarpet on Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:08 am

I think the new generation of artificial turf is fantastic to play on. I thought the old stuff was pretty good too even in the 80s, just the odd bounce to add to spectator entertainment! The team I played for in the Birmingham Festival League used an astraturf pitch as we were the team for a community centre that installed it. we won the league and didn't lose a home game all season. I'd like to think its because we were terrific but the opposition more accurately identified the pitch as the key, yet they all wished all clubs had one - train on it, play on it 24/7 - only one postponement and that was due to a foot of snow.

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Post by Steve Whites Missus on Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:01 am

Does the 1.4 million contain an amount for installation of a 3G pitch? If not where is a loss making business going to raise the required money?

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Post by BenE on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:05 am

My understanding is that it doesn't. I have been trying to work out what the £1.4m consists of. I reckon it must be 700K of debt. 500K of shares. 200K first year running costs.

So if a 3G pitch was to be installed the money would have to be raised. My other understanding is that a community club will not be allowed to run at a loss.
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Post by OliverH on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:23 am

Correct, it does not. We would have to look at other financing options e.g. grants, loans, financing packages from 3G providers.

A community club (specifically, a community benefit society) can run at a loss as long as it can borrow money to cover that loss (i.e. just like the current limited company BCFC). Obviously our intention is to return the club to profit, but legally we would be free to borrow to cover short-term losses. The question then is who would lend to us, at what rate, would it be secured against TP, and would the membership vote to borrow money rather than, say, cut the playing budget - but there's no golden rule that says a community benefit society must be profitable every single year or otherwise instantly dissolve.
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