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The Next 6 Months?

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Post by Luton Roman Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:53 am

2weirdtown wrote:So, it seems there is no immediate prospect of normality returning.  Is there a window of opportunity here to help secure the club's future by channelling all the money we're not spending at matches into the club by other means?
Back in the first lockdown, the funding initiative to ensure City's participation in the playoffs was a roaring success.
Maybe the club should do something similar to assist the way ahead for the next 6 months.  
I, like others I'm sure, have been buying 50/50s, programmes, live streaming and so on in addition to other donations.  But, perhaps a more focused central funding pot would draw in more widespread contributions?

A lot of uncertainty around at the moment. Back in the summer there was a novelty value to ensuring City could participate in the play offs, support was wide and varied, effects of job security yet to bite. Now, even if NLS resumes on 6th Feb, what about funding? will the season even finish? not much to focus a funding drive on, and that's without the economic effect that has now hit home on so many. Difficult to see a positive response on the scale of before at this point.

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Post by comrade powell Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:09 am

Luton is right, things have changed since the summer. I think crowdfunding drives are an excellent way of appealing to floating fans and even those in the community who have no direct ties with the Club. But I  feel what is really needed is regular income rather than one offs and there are already several things in place - Pledge, Goldline Lottery, fortnightly virtual draw, Easyfundraising, membership of SC, programme sponsorship etc - which supporters will hopefully get involved in.
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Post by pete mac Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:58 am

We have almost had a full month without significant income. All the streams mentioned help but fall way short of monthly costs I believe. With significant current debts I don’t think we can afford to let this get any worse.

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Post by Beau Nash Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:52 pm

nonleaguedaily.com report today:

The 2020/21 campaign at Step 2 was announced at the end of last week as entering a two-week suspension, with uncertainty over the funding arrangements to allow clubs to continue playing without supporters.

The National League have this morning confirmed to clubs that fixtures will resume on the 6th.

Official confirmation over plans regarding funding is still to come.
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Post by kermit Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:34 pm

I think it would be madness to restart on Feb 6th without cast iron assurances that all costs are covered by grants, bail outs (call it what you like).
Any plan to restart which is reliant on a loan should be rejected.
Unfortunately I wouldn't trust the board of the National League to come up with anything either cast iron or acceptable.
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Post by LB Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:44 pm

Nigel Huddlestone (Minister for Sport?) has announced a funding package for the Step 3 to 6 clubs which will apparently be available from tomorrow, although as they have to apply they aren't going to get the money straightaway.

As for the National League, he said "The National League has already benefitted from Government support schemes through a £10m Government-brokered cash partnership with the National Lottery. With precious public money, we are providing support to the National League in the form of loans."

The pedants among us might question whether it is a Government support scheme if they didn't provide the money, but isn't this exactly where we were before the two week suspension? So why has the league announced that games will restart on 6th February unless they really have found someone else to provide the money? 

It will be interesting to see how Concord, Slough and others who said they wouldn't play until the funding was sorted out will react to this. I wonder if having been caught on the backfoot by this the league is trying to get in first this time and dare the clubs to do it again, a sort of 'who blinks first' game, but I think that is probably crediting them with a bit too much intelligence!

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Post by Twerton Parker Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:58 pm

Madness!  After this country's 100,000 deaths mark has just been passed do we really need more Level 6 football that nobody's allowed to go and watch (does it really need any football at all, for that matter)?  I appreciate that for the players their earnings probably make an integral part of supporting both themselves and their families but don't we have the Furlough scheme take care of that?  The continuation of the season is of no significance in the overall scheme of things at a time when the number one priority for everyone surely has to be getting on top of Covid and all the misery that it brings.

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Post by comrade powell Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:48 pm

Keeping its precious promotion to the EFL appears to be the only thing which the NL is concerned about. A duty of care to its member clubs and transparency both seem to lie far down its list of priorities.

I hope many other clubs, including our own, will back the stance taken by the likes of Concord.
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Post by Beau Nash Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:12 am

STATEMENT FROM NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH AND SOUTH CLUBS
A joint statement from 16 National League North and South clubs.

28/01/21

"Firstly, we wish to acknowledge the decisiveness in which the National League dealt with our concerns by supporting our request for the immediate suspension of our competitions on January 22.

We have this evening received a letter from Nigel Huddleston MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sport, Tourism and Heritage) inviting us to a webinar tomorrow, which will allow Sport England to set out the criteria for loans and grants (the latter of which is available only for those with no ability to repay loans).

Loans are merely an extension to our life support and therefore foolhardy.

We have yet to receive any assurances as to how we may mitigate against our inability to test our employees and volunteers for COVID, or against the government’s insistence that we trade whilst insolvent.

With no apparent end in sight, this excruciating pandemic has us all facing financial imbalances of varying degrees.

All of this is adding to additional stress and uncertainty that could and should have been avoidable.

Having since been ordered to re-schedule our postponed games in accordance with the National League rules, we must now reiterate our stance.

Without adequate and fair funding towards COVID testing and to offset against the loss of income, we are unable to uphold the integrity of the football pyramid and insist that the season is curtailed no later than Friday, February 5, to allow all clubs to be assessed for grants.

AFC Telford United – Andy Pryce
Alfreton Town – Wayne Bradley
Bradford (Park Avenue) – Martin Knight
Concord Rangers – Antony Smith
Curzon Ashton – Wayne Salkeld
Chippenham Town – Neil Blackmore
Darlington – David Johnston
Dulwich Hamlet – Ben Clasper
Farsley Celtic – Joshua Greaves
Gateshead – Neil Pinkerton
Guiseley – Gary Douglas
Hereford – Rob Crawford
Kettering Town – David Mahoney
Slough Town – Kay Lathey
Southport – Ian Kyle
Spennymoor Town – Tony Wilson"


More detail about the webinar next Monday - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55848918 - resolution expected.

There will still be the question of funding for January and February which wasn't covered by the first tranch. My guess is the season could be ended for North and South but continued for Premier but  the Government could do a u-turn and give grants not loans for all. scratch  
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Post by Twerton Parker Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:15 am

Putting aside the question of whether or not it is medically prudent to be meeting up to compete in the season's remaining fixtures, why is the league insisting the season continues whilst at the same time expecting/assuming/instructing clubs to go direct to the Government for financial assistance to carry on? If the League is insisting the season continues I can't help thinking that they should be the ones providing the financial support clubs need to continue and not instead expect them to go cap-in-hand to the Government for it. That, if I've understood everything correctly, is simply the league being selfish and putting their own self interest ahead of the country as a whole.

As for the webinar with Nigel Huddlestone next week, it will be interesting to know what our own club's view is regarding taking part in the webinar with him.

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Post by comrade powell Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:56 am

TP, I believe supporters will be contacted today via the weekly Newsletter and SC email with details of a Meet the Manager Zoom meeting next week. It sounds like members of the Board will also be on hand to answer questions. You will be invited to ask questions on the night or send them in advance. Your question at the end sounds very pertinent!
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Post by LB Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:24 am

With regard to the webinar, the Concord chairman took part in the one this morning and has tweeted the following:
Summary of meeting with Sport England.
 If approved for any type of funding it will take 4/6 weeks at best to
 receive money.
 No actual clarity on security.
 We are to assume normal revenue commence beginning of April.”

He goes on to say that this means that the clubs are being asked to vote next week despite being unsure of getting financial support in the near future. He has suggested that the league should be suspended for at least another 4 weeks, but as others have pointed out, this just increases the fixture chaos.

Depending when the vote takes place, could be done and dusted by the meeting on Wednesday, although somehow I doubt it.

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Post by LB Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:15 pm

Beau Nash wrote:STATEMENT FROM NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH AND SOUTH CLUBS
A joint statement from 16 National League North and South clubs.

28/01/21

"Firstly, we wish to acknowledge the decisiveness in which the National League dealt with our concerns by supporting our request for the immediate suspension of our competitions on January 22.

We have this evening received a letter from Nigel Huddleston MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sport, Tourism and Heritage) inviting us to a webinar tomorrow, which will allow Sport England to set out the criteria for loans and grants (the latter of which is available only for those with no ability to repay loans).

Loans are merely an extension to our life support and therefore foolhardy.

We have yet to receive any assurances as to how we may mitigate against our inability to test our employees and volunteers for COVID, or against the government’s insistence that we trade whilst insolvent.

With no apparent end in sight, this excruciating pandemic has us all facing financial imbalances of varying degrees.

All of this is adding to additional stress and uncertainty that could and should have been avoidable.

Having since been ordered to re-schedule our postponed games in accordance with the National League rules, we must now reiterate our stance.

Without adequate and fair funding towards COVID testing and to offset against the loss of income, we are unable to uphold the integrity of the football pyramid and insist that the season is curtailed no later than Friday, February 5, to allow all clubs to be assessed for grants.

AFC Telford United – Andy Pryce
Alfreton Town – Wayne Bradley
Bradford (Park Avenue) – Martin Knight
Concord Rangers – Antony Smith
Curzon Ashton – Wayne Salkeld
Chippenham Town – Neil Blackmore
Darlington – David Johnston
Dulwich Hamlet – Ben Clasper
Farsley Celtic – Joshua Greaves
Gateshead – Neil Pinkerton
Guiseley – Gary Douglas
Hereford – Rob Crawford
Kettering Town – David Mahoney
Slough Town – Kay Lathey
Southport – Ian Kyle
Spennymoor Town – Tony Wilson"


More detail about the webinar next Monday - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55848918 - resolution expected.

There will still be the question of funding for January and February which wasn't covered by the first tranch. My guess is the season could be ended for North and South but continued for Premier but  the Government could do a u-turn and give grants not loans for all. scratch  
Our old friends at Boston take a different view:

https://www.bostonunited.co.uk/news/club-statement--29012021-2596940.html

And perhaps not surprisingly so do Dorking:

Marc White
@DorkingWDRS
asks all
@TheVanaramaNL
clubs to "take their time, listen to Sport England's meetings, there are grants for those that really can't survive. I don't want a simple yes/no resolution on Monday. We shouldn't rush this"

As some have pointed out, Marc White's bankrolling of Dorking means they don't have the same financial pressures as a lot of clubs at this level. If you have nothing better to do there is a 20 minute 'manager's update' from him on Dorking's twitter account.

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Post by comrade powell Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:38 pm

I believe we have a moral obligation to ensure that does not happen.

Just about the last club in the country who should be lecturing others on morals! Evil or Very Mad
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Post by LB Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:23 pm

Whatever the outcome, as this goes on I can see it being very divisive both between clubs and within them, as somebody is going to be on the 'losing side'. There were plenty of differing opinions as to the merits or otherwise of taking part in the playoffs and I can see this happening again.

Looking at twitter just now, Altrincham have come out and said "we must play on to maintain the integrity of the league" (a bit late for that now possibly) while Kidderminster have said that there is still insufficient clarity about the funding to be able to vote next week, and they still don't know what the voting options are or how votes will be allocated.


Last edited by LB on Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BenE Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:35 pm

At least the Boston chairman is prepared to offer an opinion. And especially as it runs against the perceived wisdom.
Other clubs appear to be hanging on to his coat tails without offering their tact support.
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Post by the demon headmaster Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:50 pm

Well, surely if the 'moral' obligation is to the integrity of the competition, the competition doesn't exist without the clubs - ALL the clubs. To resume a league that may yet not finish, without any financial security, whilst putting many in jeopardy is just incompetent.

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Post by the demon headmaster Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:53 pm

I also would not support any further crowd funding effort. The club has enough of my money and I'm not going to support us taking on more debt.

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Post by OliverH Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:15 pm

the demon headmaster wrote:I also would not support any further crowd funding effort. The club has enough of my money and I'm not going to support us taking on more debt.  

I don't blame you - I won't be seeking a refund on my season ticket (my first ever one Rolling Eyes ) as a sort of donation to the club, but I'd find it very difficult to just chuck more money into the void.
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Post by comrade powell Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:28 am

A very welcome statement from Nick Blofeld this morning on the position of the Club and Society committee...

https://www.bathcityfc.com/board-update-league-loans-and-club-stance/

For financial and health reasons surrounding the continuing of the season, plus the all round pointlessness of it all, I shall certainly being offering my support this evening.
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Post by Beau Nash Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:48 pm

"As a Board and the Society Committee we are unanimous in agreeing to stop playing as we are not in a financially strong enough position to do so without further funding and we do not want to take on any new loans. This would simply increase our debt, something we have been determined to reduce and ultimately remove as soon as we can, and grants no longer appear to be an option."

I would add to the statement "the probability of players contracting the virus, as past infections prove, is very high; so for health reasons and the subsequent postponement of fixtures...cessation of the season is the wiser choice".
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Post by LB Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:58 pm

Just looking at Twitter a few minutes ago there were statements from Dorking, St Albans and Chester. Dorking perhaps not surprisingly in view of their league position and financial backing are going to vote to continue, while St Albans appear to be leaning that way although their statement is a bit of a 'sitting on the fence' one. Chester have suggested that the suspension of North and South should be extended for another week, which seems a not unreasonable suggestion if it is possible this could be sorted out by the weekend.

As somebody else pointed out on here, whatever the outcome this isn't going to end well.

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Post by Steve Whites Missus Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:53 pm

So we could play this weekend.... then it all stops. How bizarre.

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Post by comrade powell Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:01 pm

Hopefully it will snow.
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Post by the demon headmaster Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:28 pm

comrade powell wrote:A very welcome statement from Nick Blofeld this morning on the position of the Club and Society committee...

https://www.bathcityfc.com/board-update-league-loans-and-club-stance/

For financial and health reasons surrounding the continuing of the season, plus the all round pointlessness of it all, I shall certainly being offering my support this evening.  

Thank the Lord! He is absolutely right and I see no other way of looking at this problem. Clear, decisive leadership. Thank you Nick and the Board.

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