My Vision

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Reg
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My Vision

Post by Reg » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:52 am

I was talking to a forum poster whilst watching a local game this afternoon and he was saying how his club (Crooklands Casuals) was really trying to get to grips with engaging youngsters and it got us talking. After he moved on, it got me to thinking about how, if I were in charge, would I ideally want to see the club ran.

So here it is.

Firstly, I would buy some property in the area. Several houses, to rent to players/staff. Secondly, I would insist that management and players lived within the vicinity of the town. My thinking behind this is that if we're paying an average wage of say £500p/w, we should expect players and staff to relocate. Why should footballers be any different to other employee's?

If we're ever going to truly move the club on, it requires us to get the townsfolk to get behind the club. We'll all have spoken to people who speak dismissively about the out of towners who have played for the side down the years. Players are seen by many as mercenaries, who couldn't give two hoots about the town/club, this image is obviously very damaging to our quest to improve the attendances at Holker Street.

Once I had the management and players living locally, I would then set up a youth/reserve team, with links to schools and the University of Cumbria, so we would be investing part of the money generated from townsfolk back into the youth of the town, educating them, whilst hopefully unearthing the occasional player who would rise through the ranks to first team level. The idea would be that we start getting the best 14yr olds and upwards in the area into the club at a young age, whilst they're still developing and let them work with professionals to get the best out of them, rather than the keen but limited coaches they currently work with at their current clubs. They could still play for their Saturday teams but also play for a Barrow AFC representative side, kind of like the old Barrow Boys setup that we had when I was a kid.

I absolutely believe that the future of the club should be focused on unity whilst squeezing every drop of value possible from every £ we spend. For as long as I can remember, the club has imported players from afar. Aside from the occasional glorious season, it's just a blueprint for failure and financial hardship, yet we continue to repeat the mistakes over and over.

At the meet the board evening, TK mentioned that the club has a 6 year cycle of feast or famine. I'm not convinced that he's right but I think he's on the right track. Something radical needs to be done to get out of that cycle. If we always do what we always did, we'll always get what we always got and I don't think anybody could be happy with that going forward.

It's a brave step to try and attract players to come and live in the area. Some obviously won't fancy relocating, especially to an outpost like Barrow but if they don't, then they're obviously not buying into the direction the club wants to take, so would we really want them anyway?

The problem with my vision, is that it would almost certainly fail to deliver the instant success that football fans usually crave. My counter argument to that is, what defines success for the club right now as it stands? If just hovering around the lower mid table of BSP is classified as success, it's not going to hold the attention of less committed supporters, as this season in particular is demonstrating. It might be that initially, we have to recruit the best part time players and find them jobs in the area to supplement their football wages, that would represent a small step back from our current full time status, which some people would disapprove of but in the long term, I think it would be of a bigger benefit than giving decent money to the likes of Chadwick, Nicholas, Goodfellow & Ferrell to name but a few who have done very nicely financially out of the club without giving value for money.

My vision doesn't actually cost very much either. Property prices are currently low. It's a buyers market for sure. We're already doing this a little bit by having some of the players living together in Manchester, so it's not a huge step change from that. If we bought the houses and just covered the mortgage and maintenance with rent, it's cost neutral. With having the players living locally, you have instant free quality coaching for the youngsters. Eventually, you would have a splendid community feel about the place which would make it easier to get sponsorship from local businesses.

I'm not saying that my vision is foolproof. I haven't even thought it through properly enough to figure out any pitfalls and I know it's very idealistic but I would really love someone with more nous about this sort of thing than me to look into this sort of idea closely. For me, this is the kind of thing that the community board should be looking at. I'm very sadly aware of just how unlikely my vision is of becoming reality but I think it's a beautiful dream and if I ever win the lottery and invest in the club, it's the direction I would definitely take!


The views expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer

Leo
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Re: My Vision

Post by Leo » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:09 am

I think the major problem with such a scheme right now would be the issue with training facilities. I believe one of the key reasons we have property in the Manchester region as oppoosed to up here is because we train down there, as there are no suitable facilities in the Furness area.

Its a good idea in principle, but am not convinced it would work. As the old argument goes, if the talent in the local area is good enough, why are they only playing in the Combined Counties or whatever league. The fear would be we'd drop down not just 1, but 2 or 3 leagues in the time it takes the best of the locals to rise through the ranks
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Re: My Vision

Post by HenneysKnee » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:51 am

I'd say the standard of training facilities in Barrow would be the key issue Reg; we'd need a custom built training ground really (with 3g pitches etc)
I'd like to see us link up with Furness College/6th Form more, get some people down on work placements to help out around the place

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Three Lie Ins
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Re: My Vision

Post by Three Lie Ins » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:56 am

Reg wrote: Firstly, I would buy some property in the area. Several houses, to rent to players/staff. Secondly, I would insist that management and players lived within the vicinity of the town. My thinking behind this is that if we're paying an average wage of say £500p/w, we should expect players and staff to relocate. Why should footballers be any different to other employee's?
Well one reason might be that we only offer season long contracts, and don't pay wages during the off season. So would you relocate your home and family for nine months wages with no guarantees and certainty?

You describe players as mercenary, and they are, but we get the players we deserve. Loyalty is a two way street and to deliver your vision the Club would have to make long term commitments to players, and pay them for a full year. Unfortunately the Club will not do this as it cannot afford to make long term commitments, and some other clubs who have done so have ended up bankrupt so you can kind of understand why.

So Reg, as always it comes down to money. I agree with much of what you say but unfortunately lack of money makes much of it impractical.

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Re: My Vision

Post by olbarrafancumbak » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:18 pm

I agree with Reg to some degree in that the club falls short with the usage of local players.

Could we not use the facilities at Lancaster Uni and get the best of both worlds, the local lads could travel to Lancaster fairly cheaply and easily and the Mercenaries (as Reg puts it :lol: ) could travel to Lancaster with relative ease from there locations across the NW?

I think there has to be that blend of experience (always from away I guess) with the best of the local lads that are available at any given time. And as some of you would know, there IS some Real Talent in our corner of the world who would probably love the opportunity to play pro football and as we have also seen over the years, puts players in the proverbial shop window with real opportunities to make money from, to benefit the club?

Football is a business regardless of whether you play at the top or the bottom of the footballing tiers and its how you apply your business knowledge that allows you to be a success or a frosby flop.

Whatever the future holds, there will be some brave decisions and choices to make, there will be the ups and the downs but so long as we all keep caring, the club has a heartbeat and with that, it also has a chance.

Long Live Barrow AFC

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Re: My Vision

Post by audigex » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:51 pm

olbarrafancumbak wrote:Could we not use the facilities at Lancaster Uni and get the best of both worlds, the local lads could travel to Lancaster fairly cheaply and easily and the Mercenaries (as Reg puts it :lol: ) could travel to Lancaster with relative ease from there locations across the NW?
Almost certainly not

Firstly, the facilities aren't that great - there's a couple of average astroturf pitches and a few waterlogged football/rugby pitches.

And probably more importantly, they're not available for enough hours a week even if we decided they were good enough. The fields and astroturf are under pretty heavy utilisation, with the students (who own the facilities and therefore rightly get first dibs) wanting more training time than can be provided at the moment. The astroturf is used heavily in winter because the fields are waterlogged, and in summer the astroturf is taken up by casual football etc while the main teams are on the pitches.

It's possible, but probably a compromise that pleases nobody.
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John Very Little
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Re: My Vision

Post by John Very Little » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:09 pm

If we win the development bid there are football pitches as part of that. I know its intended as a community type facility but surely we'd have preferential treatment for things like training in midweek if necessary?

However I think that persuading players to live here would be an issue as how many from the Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds/Newcastle areas would leave their families and move here where there's very little attractions or much to do compared to the bigger places that we are trying to attract the players from?
When Clark Masters stayed here he said he was a little bit stuck for things to do during the week - on a Monday evening for instance?

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Re: My Vision

Post by dcarradus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:55 am

But what more is there to do in bigger places everywhere is the same apart from its on a bigger scale than here what would you do on a monday night in liverpool/manchester ok they have concerts an bowling an bigger clubs/bars but what else thats so different
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DocsStepover
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Re: My Vision

Post by DocsStepover » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:24 pm

Get a Nandos and all those problems disappear!!

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Steeley
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Re: My Vision

Post by Steeley » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:15 pm

dcarradus wrote:But what more is there to do in bigger places everywhere is the same apart from its on a bigger scale than here what would you do on a monday night in liverpool/manchester ok they have concerts an bowling an bigger clubs/bars but what else thats so different
Shitloads more
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Fartvs Antiqvvs
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Re: My Vision

Post by Fartvs Antiqvvs » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:47 pm

John Very Little wrote:
... However I think that persuading players to live here would be an issue as how many from the Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds/Newcastle areas would leave their families and move here where there's very little attractions or much to do compared to the bigger places that we are trying to attract the players from?
When Clark Masters stayed here he said he was a little bit stuck for things to do during the week - on a Monday evening for instance?
I think you have hit the nail on the head there JVL. It is a question of being somewhat isolated at the end of a peninsular.

As a so called "Village team" (3,000 residents approx.), we don't have any problem recruiting players as we are nicely situated within half an hour of Bath, Gloucester, Bristol, Swindon, Cirencester and their sporting academies, plus good access to the M4/M5 to recruit a little bit further afield such as Oxford, Exeter, Yeovil, Reading, Newport, Cardiff etc.

PS. And most of these locations do have a Nando's. :)
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Re: My Vision

Post by dcarradus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:04 pm

Like what steeley a casino
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John Very Little
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Re: My Vision

Post by John Very Little » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:07 pm

Dave, in short my point is why would players leave a big urban centre with lots of facilities and lots happening to come to a place like Barrow with very little of either, miles from anywhere, as well as leaving their families and friends?

Other than playing Conference Premier football there is no reason why they would leave their current homes and come here, especially when there isn't any other attraction or significant renumeration to persuade them to do that?

dcarradus
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Re: My Vision

Post by dcarradus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:53 pm

A fair point john have we ever had our own training facilites in barrow or have a barrow team trained regular here in the past i wonder how many other teams train so far away like us ?
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Jonty
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Re: My Vision

Post by Jonty » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:20 pm

Fartvs Antiqvvs wrote:
John Very Little wrote:
... However I think that persuading players to live here would be an issue as how many from the Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds/Newcastle areas would leave their families and move here where there's very little attractions or much to do compared to the bigger places that we are trying to attract the players from?
When Clark Masters stayed here he said he was a little bit stuck for things to do during the week - on a Monday evening for instance?
I think you have hit the nail on the head there JVL. It is a question of being somewhat isolated at the end of a peninsular.

As a so called "Village team" (3,000 residents approx.), we don't have any problem recruiting players as we are nicely situated within half an hour of Bath, Gloucester, Bristol, Swindon, Cirencester and their sporting academies, plus good access to the M4/M5 to recruit a little bit further afield such as Oxford, Exeter, Yeovil, Reading, Newport, Cardiff etc.

PS. And most of these locations do have a Nando's. :)
If we had all the resources / nice stadium / facilities / finances, etc, players would come here I am sure of that. Living anywhere from Barrow along the A590 (say up to a 50mins / 1hr commute) and could be within easy reach of Training (if in Barrow) and the Major NW cities /- L'pool / Manchester. Money talks.
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