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Re: Official Statement

Posted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:59 pm
by Rob
we now have agreements with almost all firms to ensure that these outstanding payments are cleared within an agreed timescale.
How can we help the club is simple but very difficult to achieve: - In the long term increase our average gates by 200-300 each home match, whilst in the short term maximize the income from a variety of sources during the close season while no gate money is available.
Together, these two points concern me. What is the BoD's plan if the gates do not increase, and other forms of income are not maximised?

In other words: if income plateaus or continues to fall, how will they ensure that the club remains solvent? Are there contingency plans to stop us racking up loads of debt?

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Sat May 19, 2012 8:13 pm
by Reg
Rob wrote:
In other words: if income plateaus or continues to fall, how will they ensure that the club remains solvent? Are there contingency plans to stop us racking up loads of debt?
I for one would hope we start from right now setting realistic budgets instead of budgets based on figures that we have demonstrated that we are incapable of achieving.

I would base next seasons budget on us having an average attendance of 1000. The economy isn't improving, nor are people's job prospects in the area, so the chances of us miraculously finding an extra 200-300 supporters is slim to zero. If that means we have to adjust the offers made to players just a few weeks ago and also lower our sights when it comes to sourcing new players, then so be it.

The last thing I want to see next season is a bunch of players swanning around on an average wage of £400 per week whilst the club gets deeper and deeper into debt. If we set a budget based on us getting an average gate of >1100 next season, I would consider that to be downright irresponsible. If we are in as much trouble financially as the rumours are suggesting, the bravest thing the BoD could do is to slash the wage bill. Allowing the club to continue to overspend in pursuit of some pipe dream would be reckless beyond belief.

Up to now, I don't blame the BoD for anything that they have done. I don't blame them for spending £40k on a feasibility study that might well come up dry and I don't blame them for taking a punt on the wage bill in an attempt to build a side that 1500 people would want to watch every week. Life is a gamble and they have taken a couple of big ones. Unfortunately, if they don't come off, you have to make some uncomfortable decisions about how you're going to restore some balance to your life.

In our case, this would be to set a budget that stops the bleeding. We cannot afford to start off next season losing money through the turnstiles right from the start. I'd rather us get relegated than go into financial meltdown. We have to convince the creditors that we are serious and committed to paying them back. If your mate owed you £1000 but was still going out partying every weekend, whilst not meeting agreed repayments you would soon get pretty [SwearFilter] off with him. However, if he stopped partying and made an attempt to pay you back, you would be way more supportive, even if he missed the occasional payment. We have to prove to creditors that we're serious about paying them back quickly and within the timeframe agreed. It only takes one to get [SwearFilter] off and decide to start proceedings against us and the lot of them will have to follow suit, then, it's probably too late to save ourselves, much the same as Darlington and Kettering have found.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Sun May 20, 2012 7:28 am
by Evil Gazebo
Rob wrote: Are there contingency plans to stop us racking up loads of debt?
The board are going to sign up to loads of online poker games.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Sun May 20, 2012 9:24 am
by HenneysKnee
Worst part of all about that statement is Martin resigning, he's done a fantastic job for the club and has always been helpful.
The membership is probably the easiest way to get some money in but then how many of the exisiting 500 members will be able to get another 1 person signed up?

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:48 am
by John Very Little
With regard to renewing memberships it doesn't help when the club exclude around 25% of fans from being members as they're under 18.

To correct Reg's point about wages, TK mentioned that we're currently paying an average of £500 per week for players and that is for around 40 weeks a year. If we cut that to an average of £400 per week then we'd have cut our wage bill by 20% and we'd be in profit with our current crowds/income unless the figures have changed since TK mentioned this? Next season I'd guess that having Hoskin instead of Sheridan would also be a wage saving.
We aren't in anywhere near the mess that Kettering and Darlo were in and whilst we have some cash flow issues the club aren't in that bad a financial position according to the accounts from 2 seasons ago (admittedly we've lost cash since then) but even taking that into account I'd say we were in a far worse financial position 5 years ago when we'd lost a fair bit in the previous 4 consecutive seasons.

Regarding the Feaseability Study I hope that's told us other things that we can implement to increase income or reduce outgoings if we're unsuccessful with the development bid and I certainly don't blame the board for spending a little cash in trying to find ways that will improve the club in the future.

On the point about Martin I'd thank him for his efforts and I've heard he's not well so I hope he gets well soon and wish him well for the future. It will be interesting to see if his position is re-advertised or perhaps a cheaper solution is sought?

I hope the clubs statement is taken as it was intended which is honest and to try and encourage everyone to get behind the club as clearly it would seem we need to at present.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:17 am
by Hadrian
John Very Little wrote:With regard to renewing memberships it doesn't help when the club exclude around 25% of fans from being members as they're under 18.
Good point but could it be related to the legal situation involving company ownership?

Wouldn't prevent a separate 'Junior Bluebirds' scheme of some sort being introduced though with some sort of benefit.

Would a fiver a year offering a junior membership card, a couple of half-price ticket vouchers and early access to tickets for any all-ticket games be worthwhile without abstacting normal income? 'Junior Gold' could include the season ticket with the monthly payment option to be offered by a relative as a present.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:48 am
by Bingo
a birthday card signed by your favourite player etc ..

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:46 am
by oldtimer
Yesterdays play-off final result hasn't helped. We've now lost 3 of the bigger away supports in Darlington, York and Fleetwood. Halifax would have been a bit of compensation, but even they blew it in their BSN play-off.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:27 pm
by Adam29
oldtimer wrote:Yesterdays play-off final result hasn't helped. We've now lost 3 of the bigger away supports in Darlington, York and Fleetwood. Halifax would have been a bit of compensation, but even they blew it in their BSN play-off.
Fleetwood never bought that many too us, darlo same (not including last season as that was a one off)

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:01 pm
by oldtimer
That's right Adam 29, what I meant to say is that they brought more than anyone else.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:25 pm
by spongebobsquarepants
I see that increasing membership numbers has been mentioned a few times on this thread but how can this be achieved?

I am a floating fan and have followed Barrow to varying degrees over the last 15ish years.

I have been to all the big games during that period without any difficulty and can choose which games to go to at my leisure.

What benefits would becming a member give me? Why would I shell out an extra £20 (or whatever it is) on top of the money spent on match day entry!?

I'm sure there will be at least one reply that contains the phrase 'you will be giving more money to the club'.

Whilst that might be an incentive for some (those people are probably already members), it is unlikely to be any incentive for those that are currently not members.

Unless there is a benefit or some form of reward people will simply not bother becoming a member because it is a waste of money.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:29 pm
by Lancaster Branch
As a 'floater' what would entice you to become a member? You're the sort we'd be looking to sign up so rather than the regulars saying "10% off in the club shop" it's probably more useful to say what would swing it for you.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:29 pm
by HenneysKnee
Agree with the above; although I do feel printing membership forms in the evening mail for one week before renewal is due would encourage some of the older generation who would just do it to give us a boost (especially if accompanied by an article about rising costs etc etc)

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:45 pm
by spongebobsquarepants
Lancaster Branch wrote:As a 'floater' what would entice you to become a member? You're the sort we'd be looking to sign up so rather than the regulars saying "10% off in the club shop" it's probably more useful to say what would swing it for you.
I haven't put lot of thought into this before people start ripping it to bits but here are few ideas:

How about with your membership you get a few vouchers to be used over the course of the season whereby you get a free drink if you are in the Cross Bar before 1:30-2pm on a match day. It should benefit both parties....I get a free drink but as I am in the Cross Bar earlier than usual I would be likely to spend more money.

Some sort of junior membership scheme would be good where there is a weekly or monthly raffle with the winner getting to go 'behind the scenes' on match day and meet all the players staff etc. A raffle each week/month for adults with the winner getting the chance to sample the corporate facilties with a guest or two.

Reduced entry for a couple of games each season.

Members could get a discount when hiring the Cross Bar for private functions.

Not sure if this could work but the club could try getting some local businesses signed up so when you become a member you get some sort of booklet listing the businesses and giving you money off in those stores on production of your membership card.

Re: Official Statement

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:59 pm
by Lancaster Branch
Fair play.

I think members do get discounted rates for the Cross Bar already.