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Hempstead Gaz

The bigger picture

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it was a bit upsetting to hear Andy on RK sounding so down, not about the performance on Saturday, who everyone agreed the ref was truly awful, but about being only part time.

This interview in now reiterated on Ceefax page 394 today.

We are now at the crossroads of our long term future in the Conference.

It is looking likely that both Canvey and Weymouth with be promoted this year, who have cash and fanbase respectively.

Assuming we stay up, and the 3 most likey to go down are Leigh, Northwich and Margate, the prospects for us in 2004/5 look quite bleak.Yet another season will loom with us scrabbling around as relegation candidates.

We cannot get better players in as

a) We are not full time and

b)We do not have the fanbase nor the funds to go full time.

 

In order to achieve a we need to up the crowds and increase revenue. How?

By my reckonning, with our average attendance looking artound 1200, our income through the turnstiles is expected to be (roughly) 1200 x 21 games x £10. = £252,000 (I know season ticket holders are less, but I have ingnored the seated fans to cover this.)

Rhe cost of running full time I would envisage (and I am not privy to Full time conference salaries)to be something like this :

15 players x £28000 = £420,000

Manager and coach = £60,000

Total wage for full timers = £480,000.

This leaves a shortfall of approx £230,000, which equates to about 1000 paying fans per home game.

The question of how to get an extra 1000 through the turnstiles is one that needs to be very quickly and seriously asddressed at boasrd level.

Failure to do so will lead to our eventual decline in the same way as Dover and Welling.

It has already be seen almost without exception the only successful teams in the Conference are full time, and I believe this is our next urgent task.

Appoint a full time Marketing/publicity manager, give him a sponsored Fleet car, set up a small shop in Gravesend town centre and really push hard for the extra support by visiting schools and businesses in the area.

Well meaning supporters tried last summer (and worked very hard) but to no avail.

We need to adopt a more professional outlook or all our efforts will lead inevitably to relegation and mediocrity.

 

 

 

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15 players?

 

So only 4 on the bench and in the sh*t with injuries and suspensions?

 

We need a MINIMUM of 1000 extra paying supporters AND extra income via advertising and sponsorship as a very basic minimum.

 

However, I do recall a mention in the local press several weeks ago, of how Mr Gladwish was looking to put more money in next season, over and above the already agreed sponsorship, so who knows what the future holds.....

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We have a full time chief executive...what does he do? It was Brian who called Victor regarding the sponsorship deal.. Does Glenn produce significantly more to the club then he is being paid for being full time? Id rather he was ditched and Andy made full time. Would give him time to go and watch reserve team football at least while he has a business and could try and combine that with some chief executive duties for the Fleet. Does Andy want to become a full time manager?

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I'm not sure Chatham Gary's budget of £480k would be enough.

15 players is not enough.

Is £28k the average wage for a team who are capable of promotion? ( rumour has it Chester are losing £65k a week on ave gates of 2744 )

Is £60k enough for a full time Manager and Coach?

We have seen plenty of teams whose over ambition has been a route to disaster...I would hate to see us go down that route.

If we want to challenge for the conference we need to at least double our average gate if we don't then we will be relegated sooner rather than later.

Going full time would not guarantee success but a simple look at the table will show that staying part time will guarantee relegation eventualy.

Having said that I'd rather watch the Fleet back in the Rymans than not watch them at all.

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I think now is our best last chance to make a sustained effort to become an established Conference side rather than an under funded, under equiped team that struggled for three years before succumbing to to the inevitable relegation, as so many have done before.

It really depends on the true ambitions of the board.

Iv'e followed Fleet from Alliance to Beazer Homes South to Rymans back up to Conference.

I'll watch them whichever league they play in, but I must say any sane person would always prefer the Conference.

I just hope the board agree.

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Gary

 

I totally agree mate. I would watch the Fleet whatever level they play. Problem is it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. To stay in the Conference and who knows, even challenge for the league, we need to at least double our average gate. The only way that will happen is to be successful on the pitch, and we won't do that unless we attract better players. Which we can't do on our budget. The Board, the Trust, and various individuals can do a lot to try to attract more support. But at the end of the day, we will only get a permanent increase in our fan base if we are successful.

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as fewer and fewer teams remain part time

that means that there are more quality players to choose from who only wish to play part time

eg chris moore

therefore i suggest no panic measures yet

i think there is life in being part time in the conference

take away our first few games and we would be midtable

for the moment i suggest keep part time

go on another cup run next season

and more sponsorship

and who

knows there may be enoigh coming through the gates for the following season to be fulltime

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Quote:
Ronnie said:
To stay in the Conference and who knows, even challenge for the league, we need to at least double our average gate. The only way that will happen is to be successful on the pitch, and we won't do that unless we attract better players. Which we can't do on our budget.


Which is why we need more alternative avenues of income.
Can't we get a company to sponsor the ground, like Scarborough have?

Others and myself have made this suggestion several times before - with our relatively high-profile (albeit non-league) there's enough publicity guaranteed for any company that chose to have the ground in their name?

The Renault Stonebridge Stadium lol

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I'm certainly not disagreeing with you Daz, but if a club has to rely on outside income it has a pretty fragile existence. Yes, we need income from every available source, but most importantly we must have 2000+ people through the gate for every home game.

 

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Dave

 

There are several of my relatives at every match (some that you don't know). I agree that if they all came it would go some way to solving the problem. I also note that the only member of your family who attends is a rather dodgy brother in law who never sees us win!!!!

 

cuddle.gif

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Its a simple proble. Not enough people through the gate.

 

Its not as simple to solve.

 

The problem I believe is accessability. Ok , its walking distance from Northfleet Station and buses stop outside, but Gravesend is a huge area. It stretches as far out as Shorne and Meopham. In reality , how do we expect people to be arsed to get off there bums and come and see us. The answer is to integrate entrance to travel.

 

Do we advertise strongly in the far reaches of the borough. Maybe if our dear friends at the Reporter could give us a 1 page advert , and then utilised the space we could increase revenue. My advert will include.

 

1) A clear Map indicating parking availabiltiy

2) Details of buses and approximate journey times from the far areas.

3) Details of forthcoming fixtures.

4) A map of the ground showing facilities (bar etc.....)

 

I would also seriousley consider the gate prize. Im a season ticket holder , but can hardly ever get anyone to come down. Number 1 reason is gate price. £10 is a Psychological number. Are we obliged to charge £10 or can we charge less (£8).

 

Can we not offer a voucher scheme through the schools. The kids thingys at the start of the season were good , but how many of the people who attended have come back.

 

I am also not seeing enough advertising around the town. Can we not approach the council about advertising on the backs of the parking tickets in town. I know its a cost , but maybe we could come to an agreement somehow.

 

Lets chuck everything into the melting pot and see what happens.

 

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Some good ideas there - we have also have a few supporters from Arriva Bus Co at our games - I wonder what the cost is to advertise on the back of their tickets - sometimes there are adverts, lately there hasn't been!

 

Or maybe a sponsorship deal with Arriva to cover the cost - they win in extra fares, the club wins in free advertising?

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I don't disagree with any of the posts and each has it's merits, we certainly do need to increase the gate, but how many posts have highlighted in recent weeks the fact that the ground looks like a dump for both inside and out, the stand still has it's now legendary hole in the roof.

 

the cost of a family ticket which i buy for almost every home game is not the bit that puts me off, it is the cost of the snack bar that adds up, this puts people off.

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The issue that worries me the most is that two years ago there was talk that most second and third division sides were going to go part time and now it seems every conference side is going full time but at present it would be financial suicide to go full time even with a financial benefactor if one could be found. What has our new Chief Executive done I see very little evidence of increased marketing campaigns etc to intice people in to watch Gravesend for the first time and once here to increase income within the ground. I also see he increased the costs of player sponsorship and surprise surprise we have bugger all players sponsored. the Gladwish deal was done by Brian, and every scheme that has been created seems to have been a reasonable idea but poorly communicated and poorly operated The fact we did not sell out for the Notts County game was a disgrace and came from a misguided effort to ensure no regular supporter missed out the only real loser was the clubs income streams. There are many many income streams that we have not undertaken I remember Dovers initial success came from a massive local Dover lottery scheme that raised nearly £5000 a week. We used to run the 100 club that raised good money but that has now folded why not restart that but ensure people pay by direct debit so the collection of the money is not so onorous. Why not start a 250 club at £10 a week which is £2500 per month with half going in prize money and half to the club less some expenses and then try to increase this on a gradual basis.

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Not necessaryly, but it would be in direct competion with the Gold Club lottery that has been running for a couple of years now.

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the big problem here is not so much full time but playing national football .. footy should be regionalised (spelling alert?) from div 2 downwards making part time a much more viable option for cash strapped clubs.. as fro relegation, in the current enviroment conf south footy would generate bigger crowds if your at the top of it then messing around at the bottom of the conf.. plenty of promotion and relegation slots or play off slots generate intrest and crowds..

they also make relegation a chance to regroup rather than being a disaster as only one club goes up..

look at colchesters crowds in the conf and look at their crowds now mid table in div two.. ??

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Nice to see Glenn Aitken staying sensible while other Conference clubs rush into full-time status...

 

Look here

 

Also, I hear that Adam Miller has made the latest England National Game XI squad - another reminder of players that we can't sign or keep because we can't outbid other clubs in our league.

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I totally agree with the regionalisation of the game.

 

Not being funny, but only the die hards will goto chester in January or down to Exeter in February whereas a trip to more teams within 90mins would benefit those clubs and I am sure more fans from those clubs would travel away and hence more away support at our place. I dont think we will get the league restructured though , so lets look at it more realistically.

 

I agree the ground looks a mess inside and out. Can we not use the close season period to get some volunteers to sort something out. Areas I think need improving are

 

1) Get rid of that clock thing. Its falling apart , hasnt worked in donkeys years and is unattractive.

 

2) Try and seperate the burger stall and the Tea bar or at least sort out some kind of system to queue. Its bloddy annoying when I have me chips and cant get away as I have to battle through the tea bar queue.

 

3) Sort the hole out. Nuff said.

 

4) Get this club promoted to the public. Get people coming through the door using facilities available to us.

 

5) Could we not do a package of say Entry, Burger, Programme and a pint for £13 or so.

 

6) Schools. The future is in the schools. Cant we do some sort of scheme where we give out some voucher scheme and when the vouchers are redeemed , the school gets points and once they have x number of points they get a gift or somehting like footballs , afternoons coaching from player , ten free tickest and so on.

 

7) The wish list. An interesting concept. There is obviousley stuff the club needs from Stationary to paint to cones to balls etc..... Can we not have some interactive wish list where fans can donate this kit if they have it going spare at home or fancy dipping into their pockets.

 

Gravesend is going to grow massively in the next ten years and the football club has to decide now if it wants to be part of it.

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how about a volunteer list with what ever thier particular trade is or at least what they can do even if its helping the other trades this would enable the club to get work done for only the cost of the materials and perhaps a few cups of tea

 

this will enable the fans to contribute effectivly towards the club but without the need of large amounts of cash

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It does get frustrating when I read good suggestions being put forward by supporters on these forums, but see no actual signs of any of them being put into action by the club.

 

As Riverview said, Gravesend is going to change beyond all recognition in the coming years and it would be a shame if the clubs best chance of attracting new supporters were wasted only for potential fans to make the trip to The Valley or Priestfield.

 

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The Supporters Trust did appeal for volunteers to help out at the ground during the summer months. I remember Jessica, in particular asking on several occasions for volunteers. It was put on The Forum as it was before the trust had their own website so any of us could see it.In the past I know supporters have answered the call for help. I can remember getting home from working in London one Tuesday and going to the ground to help shovel snow and ice from the pitch and guess what the match was cancelled - referee would not pass it as 'fit' but we had fun trying to get it ready. I think some people would be prepared to help but maybe haven't got the transport.

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