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Last Night's Meeting (04/05/2006_

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#1
offline The Great Eckscape

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Right then, for those of you who were not able to attend, and also for those who did but need clarification, here is a run down of yesterday's events.

Earlier this week, Chris Gardner spoke to Jeff on two occasions and had an open conversation with him. During these meetings, Jeff made it clear that he was completely against the Supporters Trust idea. This is because he believes that the job of running the club can be done by the fans, and he does not want outside groups (aka Supporters Direct) being a part of this.

As much as I do not agree with his judgement (I feel he hasn't taken the time to discover exactly what a Trust can offer us), we still need to take this on board. Jeff's ideal solution would be a "Vice President's Club." This would involve supporters creating standing orders and therefore making a set weekly contribution. After discussing this and gauging opinion, we don't believe that this would create sufficient funds to run the club. Also, I think that this is a passionless method of supplying funds. I would much rather we gain funds by blood, sweat and tears, as this will give us a much tigher "community spirit" that the club needs.

Before last nights meeting we then discussed exactly how we can meet Jeff half way, so that the club is run purely by the fans but we still can raise funds in the same way. After seeking legal and financial advise, it was recommended that we form our own Limited Company. This company will suit both parties, as it means that we are dealing with an entity which Jeff knows and trusts, and was voted for last night as the way to progress within these limitations. This company will have three directors who were elected last night, namely Chris Gardner, John Morris, and Gary Sutton. This is the minimum number of people we must have to start a company, but this can be increased in the future by electing fellow supporters.

The lease for the ground has been signed by Jeff for 15 years at the cost of around £8,500. It costs over £1000 per week to open the gates (including costs like insurance, bills, rates etc.) We will need to secure a sub lease to enter a league, so this a bare minimum we must get if we are to play football next season. We believe that we will need a minimum of 10 years sub lease to be allowed into the leagues were are aiming for (I will go onto this). Figures ranging from between £700 and £1000 have been mentioned as the cost per week to get the sub lease, but nothing official has been agreed. One thing that has been made clear however is that Jeff will not be making a profit out of us.

Also, it was voted and passed that John Batch will be the First Team Manager next season. As the squad will consist mainly of this seasons reserve team, it was felt that he would be the perfect man for the job. John is Canvey through and through, and will be undertaking this role without demanding a fee or wage.

The level of football we will be aiming for Level 8 (Southern League Division East preferably, but the Isthmian League Division 1 is also an option.) However, this is decided by the National Game Board through the FA, so they will indicate where we can play after hearing our intentions. John believes (as do most people) that with his current squad, along with some good signings, we will be able to compete in this league and generate local interest/enthusiasm.

All in all, there will be some FACTS about next season that people will need to accept. Firstly, Jeff King will be our landlord as he owns the lease. Personally, I would much rather us deal with Jeff King directly than through the Council as whatever people may say, he will deal with us under the basis that he wants the Football Club to continue.

Secondly, we are all going to have to push, recruit, advertise, drag in if necessary, the people to attend matches. We believe that attendances of around 300-350 will be sufficient, with potential pricing structures (only suggested at the moment) of £7 Adults, £1 Child.

Thirdly, and most importantly, we must stick together and go forward as a unit. There is no point on dwelling on what has happended, we have initiated "Plan B" and we are going to need everyones support to make this work and ensure our football club remains.

If anyone has any questions that I have not answered in this post, please post them and I will reply to the best of my ability.

#2
offline Matt H

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With regards to the Southern/Isthmian League decision, will this decision be made before or after the proposed League restructuring?

I just ask because the costs of going to somewhere like Taunton will obviously be greater than say Ilford for example.

Also, with the proposed admission prices for next season. Just a suggestion again, I'm open to offers <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> What about 6 pounds for Adults and 2 pounds for Children? An Adult bringing a child would pay just the same amount, but for those adults i.e. Oldies, (no offence) who have grown up children 6 pound seems fairer than 7 for the level we would play at. Or am I being too picky? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

#3
offline The Great Eckscape

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As I say, these were just ball park figures for the moment. I think we want to keep the "Kids for a Quid", but maybe £6 would be a more reasonable price. I will keep everybody posted as to any further discussion on this.

#4
offline eggy

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maybe £7 entrance but that includes a programme?

#5
offline Matt H

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Quote:
eggy said:
maybe £7 entrance but that includes a programme?


That sounds good

Adults - 7 + programme
Concessions - 5 + programme (?)
U16s - 1 + 1 extra for a programme

#6
offline The Great Eckscape

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I like the sound of that, it would mean that companies would be more willing to advertise in the programme as it's distribution would be greater. I'll certainly put it forward, and when we get to that stage we'll get everyone's opinions/suggestions together so we can find the acceptable average compared to running cost requirements.

#7
offline Spursman

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One thing that might be beneficial is to make season tickets available as soon as some sort of pricing can be agreed. I would be happy to pay for a season ticket now (and one for my daughter) as a gesture of support (as I am sure many others would be) to start getting some much needed money into the coffers ASAP.

#8
offline The Great Eckscape

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The trouble is we cannot price season tickets until we know for sure which league we will be in. Different leagues will have different numbers of home matches, so we really can't say until then.

#9
offline Matt H

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Glen, do you know what is going to happen with the Official website? Will Wayne be working on it off his own back or has it been suspended for now?

#10
offline Yellow Bungle

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Price it at the upper end of the range - get people to sign up before the enthuiasm wains and they start drfiting of and they will be prepared to pay a premium to save the club.

Only thing I would suggest is that the money be kept ring-fenced so that in the event theat we do fold before a league game is played the money can be refunded.

#11
offline Spursman

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Fair enough Glen but how about if people made a donation in lieu of a season ticket which could be issued to them later, say £150 or so?

Once the prices were agreed tickets could be printed and distributed and the supporter could pay the balance (or be given their refund) then.

It would be a kind of way of advancing the club money now as a pay now, get season ticket later scheme?

#12
offline The Great Eckscape

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All money raised so far is in the Supporters Club bank account and will be kept there until all arrangements have been finalised.

As for the Official Website, as far as I am aware it is being kept alive as it is a profit maker. However, we will be looking at arranging an alternative site to act as a Supporters Club site.

#13
offline ken

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i think we are all missing the point, ticket prices are something that is sorted out later, we need people to be coming in and putting money into the club. who will supply the kits, sponsor them, advertise around the ground, pay wages. we need funding other than that coming through the turnstiles and not from the charity of fans. if Jeffs companies are no longer putting money into the club then every trace of them needs to be removed from the ground

#14
offline South Mouth

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Dont you think its funny though that he tells us he's not willing to bankroll us at an amount of £8-9,000 a month but then takes out a lease on our ground that costs...erm, wait...

The Great Eckscape - The lease for the ground has been signed by Jeff for 15 years at the cost of around £8,500.

Just a thought. It's like President Bush style manipulation. Not very subtle at all.

#15
offline Sharming Paula

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Cheers Glen - keep up the good work mate. Lets hope theres lots more out there with the same determination and guts as you.
Your a credit to the club (as are the other backroom staff)
Thanx to ya all!
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/applaus.gif" alt="" />

#16
offline The Great Eckscape

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This is a one off payment of £8,500, not an on going cost.

#17
offline South Mouth

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Fair enough.

He's still trying to screw us though.

#18
offline Yellow Bungle

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One thing I'm not clear about is how the transfer between the old Ltd co holding the club registration to the new Ltd co is going to work.

Will existing contracts in respect to sponsorship be novated into the name of the new co, or is this just away to get out of honouring a deal?

Also, will the alcohol licence for the premises be transferred or is the licencee with us? Assuming the bar goes with the club, is part of the deal that we take existing contracts or do we need to negotiate new ones?

What is happening to any debts of the existing Ltd co - are they also coming to us? Are there any "Football Creditors", if so will Jeff sort them out before we get kick out of any league before we have started?

I think that we need to have a more accessible and transparent channel of communication, to avoid rumours and to ensure everyone knows what is happening and how they are best placed to help.

As this forum is widely used by us, why not try to formalise it as a coordinated communication method in the short term - we could set up serious and separate threads to cover the set up of committees, and individual committees thereafter, allowing people to access information and make suggestions. If these threads are established, we should respect their serious nature and leave the "banter" on other thread.

As has been said in a number threads, we need to speak with one voice, and to do that we need coordination. I would propose that the first working party head to be appointed be in charge of membership and interbal communication, and the first task (already underway no doubt) is to compile a database from the forms we filled out and establish an e-mail newletter. It won't reach everyone on the list, but it is a cheap and effective communication tool to start with.

#19
offline Spursman

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Quote:
ken said:
i think we are all missing the point, ticket prices are something that is sorted out later, we need people to be coming in and putting money into the club. who will supply the kits, sponsor them, advertise around the ground, pay wages. we need funding other than that coming through the turnstiles and not from the charity of fans. if Jeffs companies are no longer putting money into the club then every trace of them needs to be removed from the ground


Agree with what you say here Ken but until these people come, it was something I thought that could maybe in the interim period, start to bring money into the club. It is not charity, it is paying money up front for your admission to the games next season and a gesture of not only this but of your solid desire to support the club when it most needs support and money most, ie now. We can wait for these companies, sponsors etc to come but how long is it going to take? Money on the table is what it is all about and the bills are not going away are they?

Totally agree re the King companies. All must be removed and taken down as soon as the sponsorship money is up.

#20
offline Yellow Bungle

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Yeah, like a bond scheme.




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