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Queries re: Gift Aid, board representation etc.

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#1
offline Kevin_Rye

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Just thought I'd drop in and respond to a few queries.

First of all, you will not be able to claim Gift Aid as a trust when you are registered (this process will take around 3 weeks from when the forms have been completed). This is something available to charities, and an Industrial and Provident Society, whilst sharing some similarities in that it recycles its surplus (IPS's don't make profits, they make surpluses) back into the organisation, doesn't benefit from this particular tax break.

Second of all, as an organisation you will be able to lobby for a director, and you will legally be able to own shares as an organisation, but this obviously doesn't mean an entitlement to it in the legal sense. The general principle of the trust movement is that you don't hand over something for nothing; if you have money in the bank, you don't throw it down the black hole of the football club. With the greatest of respect to supporters groups who did that for years without reward, a supporters trust shouldn't be operating in that way. Use the money as a bargaining tool if you need to; if you have thousands in the bank, lobby for the supporters trust to be sold shares in return, as any investor would be. The difference is that you, as investors, don't seek to make money off the back of the club, and you're there for the longterm. Brentford's trust, Bees United, have maintained this principle. Even though the club have been in dire financial straits since they began running the club, and now since they've taken it over are still precarious, they have never simply given the club money. They loan it.

Finally, in terms of what division you're in next season, that's dependent on a lot of factors. My personal view is that the club is not necessarily in need of restarting, or dropping many divisions. The club needs to cut its cloth accordingly, which is just good business sense first of all; don't spend £1.01 if you can only afford to spend 99p. It might be that a voluntary relegation would be the best route, but I personally see no reason why that can't be within the Nationwide as a competition - to the South division. Loads of clubs down there smaller than you in crowd terms. Even St Albans, given they're 2nd in the NS, are only getting about what you are atm.

If you have any other queries, visit our website at www.supporters-direct.org. I'll be keeping an eye out for queries as well.

#2
offline A Non E Mouse

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Thanks for popping onto the message board and clarifying a few points.

You raise a good point regarding throwing money at a club rather than "investing". I suppose it's all to easy to just throw the money at the club you are trying to save.

I also take your point regarding what league we should ply our trade in next season. The worrying thing as fans is not knowing how much managers, players and infrastructure cost to run. I'm sure we would all love to start again (debt free) in the Conf South but it's a still a bit of a gamble and there is always a risk that you could over stretch. It's never easy comparing clubs on a like for like - I feel confident we could draw a crowd in Conf South that would achieve hopefully the league average. Personally I hope we do stick it out in Conf South - but we have no idea on who will manage and how much budget they may have.

However, again there are a lot of unknowns. Since Ryman Prem days the milage and therefore cost to travel to some of these clubs has probably increased. We would probably lose a fair bit on lower away fan numbers and although you compare crowd size it doesn't indicate how much someone like St Albans brings in through sponsors, bar takings, functions etc.

Once again thanks for your input for the interesting times ahead.

#3
offline charles

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I would like to point out the average players wage in the conf s and n is about £250-£400 A week.I don't know what players we can attract or compete with if we can't pay this kind of money.I think a lower league would be more advisable.

#4
offline Ribbit

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I don't think we can yet make a judgement on what league we'll be playing in next season - at least not until we've secured a sponser. Certainly if we don't get a sponser we'll be in the ESL and probably at the bottom of it too. Whereas, if we get a decent sponsor, we may well be able to compete with the likes of St Albans, or whoever in CS. We can't tell until we've got sponsorship sorted.

#5
offline Eastside Urchin

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just make sure you can compete within your means,with support like yours you should more than hold your own in esl,we have found that players at that level enjoy playing in front of fans rather than empty grounds and we have a few players who could play at higher level but choose to come to hornchurch for the above reason

#6
offline Kevin_Rye

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I certainly don't think that you need to go down to ESL level, and I'm not even convinced that you need to drop to Ryman level - Prem or Div 1.

Someone made the point about not being able to compete in the Conf South without a sponsor. Your gates could reasonably be expected to be around the 500-700 mark if you play in the Conf South - compete in the division that is. You have a bar that brings in money, you can hire out your facilities for events etc. Of course that's nothing like having one person or a business putting in thousands a week, but then you all knew how unsustainable that was.

Hornchurch went bust because they were being funded by one person on a whim; as I understand it, when his business(es) collapsed, so did the football club. That is not, as I understand it, what's happening at Canvey, and in my opinion if you dropped that far down, it's not being honest with yourselves over what you might be able to achieve. Instead it's taking, IMO, a bit of an easy way out without even attempting an alternative.

Look at things less one-dimensionally; if Jeff leaves, that doesn't mean you can't compete at Conference National or Nationwide South level, but it does mean that you'll have to cut your cloth accordingly, and more appropriately. That might well mean taking a voluntary relegation, but it doesn't have to mean doing what Hornchurch did under quite different circumstances. And besides, I certainly hope that in the not too distant future that you're owned in a quite different way to how Hornchurch still are.

Running a football business is often as much about self confidence and self belief as it is shrewd financial planning.

Whoever runs Canvey in the long term needs to build a sustainable football club, rooted in its local community. I can think of no better people to do that than the over 150 people who attended on Thursday night; the fans.

#7
offline Eastside Urchin

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can you tell us how hornchurch is run then as you seem to think it is not the best possible way,do you know soething we don't then as in the fans eyes we seem to be doing ok!

#8
offline Kevin_Rye

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According to Companies House, by the time it entered liquidation, Hornchurch Football Club Limited was a private limited company with three directors (including a secretary), with a large sponsorship deal from one person/company.

Now, the new company, Hornchurch Football Club (2005) Limited, is a private limited company, with three directors, all apart from one being the same as the directors in charge when the club went bust. The only thing missing appears to be the sponsorship deal.

What I'm saying is that I think Hornchurch would be better of owned by the people who keep it alive; the supporters. The most telling thing perhaps is that after all the short-term success, it's now at the same level as it was when it converted (as I understand it) from a members club into that private limited company.

And yes, it may well be that the people in charge are fans as well, but they are accountable only to a limited number of shareholders, and they were the ones in charge when the ship went down first time round.

Hope that helps.

#9
offline CanveyLad0

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Well Hx are no more they are AFC Hx where as canvey will still be canvey thats why the situation is different

#10
offline Kevin_Rye

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CanveyLad - indeed.

#11
offline Ribbit

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Yep, there's no reason why we should be AFC Canvey. The very notion is sickening.

#12
offline Kevin_Rye

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I think that the idea of 'starting again' has become a bit romanticised, personally.

It's different if you're Wimbledon, or in the case of Telford where their club went bust and was unrescuable. It's simply not the same in the case of Canvey.

#13
offline Ribbit

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Exactly, we haven't gone bust.

#14
offline Eastside Urchin

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i think you will find the ins and outs are a bit different,i don't know too much but it seems to be run alot differently than before

#15
offline Kevin_Rye

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And without wishing to labour the point, I think that people are looking at Jeff pulling his money out and concluding that therefore it's impossible to run a football club without it.

It's not. It's just impossible to run a football club without doing it within your means, and your means will be different in the future, so it seems.

#16
offline Ribbit

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Bye bye league football prospect!

#17
offline Guest__*

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But are there not some rules against people owning one club and working for another, imagine Jeff works at Chelmsford and we draw them in the cup winner goes to Wembley.

We need to know what is going on I think it maybe time for Mr King to start comeing clean about his intentions.

#18
offline A Non E Mouse

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Quote:
MOB said:
We need to know what is going on I think it maybe time for Mr King to start comeing clean about his intentions.


I think part of the problem has been the limited and sometimes confusing communications that Jeff has given.

I can understand him not feeling ok about turning up to the supporters meeting but all these short one liners on the radio and comments in the papers is confusing and open to interpretation.

#19
offline ken

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he hasnt come clean about anything else all season, im sure he wont come clean till the end of the season now.

#20
offline YELLOW

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Quote:
Kevin_Rye said:
Even St Albans, given they're 2nd in the NS, are only getting about what you are atm.



Had over 900 for their game on Saturday. I believe their chairman John Gibson puts some money into the club to sustain it (he in fact saved the club from folding in 2002). Their wage bill is fairly low and they have a smallish squad which is testament to how well they are doing this season.




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