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Messages - TonyM

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1
General Discussion / Re: Next season's squad
« on: May 26, 2020, 02:18:39 PM »
Mallard, think your 20-30% reduction might end up on the low side unless the PFA are somehow proven right in all this, I think the cuts could (and should) be much greater if football does take this opportunity to get its house in order - Dagenham & Redbridge MD on the BBC saying he isn't signing players for next season until he has more confidence on when it will be https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52805481

Of course, we don't know if those who are signed with Lynn are on reduced contracts compared to last year but given that it looks like there will be a shake up of some sort and we still don't know what league we will be in or when the 20/21 season will get underway we do seem to have a lot of players already signed up.  Did you see in the NLP this week about the lad leaving Darlington and looking for a club nearer his Bedfordshire home?  Looked the sort that might fit the current profile although with Jones signed not sure we are looking but if we are promoted I think right back is probably an area that would need strengthening.

2
General Discussion / Re: Next season's squad
« on: May 25, 2020, 12:45:54 PM »
... Just comes down to clubs voting if they want to play behind closed doors if fans are not viable for rest of the year.

How are clubs possibly going to pay players if some (or all) of the 20/21 season is behind closed doors?  Might be viable at EFL with TV revenue from above and massive adjustments to wage costs but really can't see how it adds up at NL, let alone NLN & NLS level.  Steps 2 and 3 are probably the hardest to accommodate - step 4 is probably OK to allow attendances as they will naturally be less risky but the wide variation in traditional attendance figures at steps 2 & 3 would need very careful management.  Currently step 1 has a TV deal so this would in part allow for some income coming into clubs.  In all of the above the other main question would be around testing of players and that may make any discussion on fan safety irrelevant there isn't a sensible and cost effective way of securing player safety.

In light of all the above uncertainly we carry on signing players and SC said in the recent podcast that both Smith and Carey were signed on two year deals, lets hope we see them play at some point in that time!

3
General Discussion / Re: The big vote
« on: May 25, 2020, 12:35:53 PM »
Interesting article B&G and the guy talks a lot of sense.  Everyone seems to be slowly coming round to the idea that the world will look a different place when we can finally go back to worrying about matters on the pitch but the PFA seem to be the last in the queue to accept this new reality and are certainly not being 'part of the solution', at least for now.  Hopefully Leagues 1 & 2 will be resolved this week although think they have cleverly put the relegation of Stevenage back to the NL in saying they will only relegate IF the National League guarantee they will run next season and who knows when they will be able to confirm that? 

I am still not sure there is the money to justify playoffs the lower down you go, when you hear the costs involved in setting up testing and also bringing players back for one or two games it becomes increasingly unviable the lower down the pyramid you get so there has to be a cut off at some point and I think it may be NL level with step 2 play offs cancelled, the question then would be would the NL relegate any (with just Wealdstone promoted due to the Bury 'gap'), 1 (Wealdstone & KL promoted) or 3 (Wealdstone, KL and the runners up of NLS/NLN all going up)

4
General Discussion / Re: Next season's squad
« on: May 20, 2020, 01:51:06 PM »
Jones is now the latest confirmed returnee.  Nothing against any of the lads who have been signed but given that it looks like there may be a fair bit of upheaval further up the pyramid and we don't know when next season will start, or what league we will be in, I do think it might have been better to adopt a 'wait and see' policy for at least the next few weeks. 

Also saw Alfie Payne was released by Norwich, personally I would have him back in a snap - the better of the two loanees from up the A47 imo and seemed a really good fit for how IC likes to play.  I guess he will keep his options open in case he can to find a full-time option elsewhere but lack of game time last year probably wouldn't have helped his cause.

5
General Discussion / Re: The big vote
« on: May 20, 2020, 01:20:50 PM »
As Matthew Syed said on Radio 5 last week - footballers will be working in one of the safest working environments in the UK with all the testing and protocols that have been put in place.  The difficulty will come when some of the players do 'stupid' things outside of that environment which will put themselves and others at risk.

On a different tack it looks like the EFL are serious about the idea of a salary cap in L1 and L2 as reported here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52738597
I think if it gets approved the National League will come under pressure to follow suit (might use the extra promotion place as leverage) which will be a good thing for football in general but I know SC is adamantly opposed to, likewise any FFP rules being brought into the non-league game.  I think post-COVID we need to get to a point where all of NLN and NLS are back to part-time and probably a good chunk of the NL are also part-time.

6
General Discussion / Next season's squad
« on: May 14, 2020, 01:47:58 PM »
Given that so much is uncertain about next season - what league we will be in, when the season might start etc some strange news out of the Walks today with Chris Smith and Sonny Carey signing for next season - https://www.kltown.co.uk/single-post/2020/05/14/Smith-and-Carey-agree-new-deals-with-Linnets

Not knocking either of the lads personally as I think both had good seasons and given their ages / potential both would be classed as good signings in normal circumstances, but when Gloucester's chairman came out yesterday saying he has negotiated pay cuts for some of his players and won't sign anyone on more than they are on this season it does concern me that we are maybe jumping the gun.  SC said in his podcast there were a number of players on multi year contracts but then the article only references Rory, Hendo and Barrows as players who signed new contracts for next season.

I guess things will become clearer in the coming weeks and maybe a delayed start to the 20-21 season could help the club financially until such time as non-league is allowed crowds as SC has previously stated that all but one of the players have agreed to not be paid until the season starts rather than 1st August.

7
General Discussion / Re: Chairman's podcast
« on: May 12, 2020, 01:13:51 PM »
I have suggested he could have someone from a Supporters Trust run club or maybe the FSA as a future guest.  I had thought that Chester might be a good option but they may be a bit busy at present with the initial proposed takeover which now looks like it has fallen through.

Would be interesting to hear SC's take on both those issues in the NLP, although I would also add Paul Doswell's idea of a salary cap to the pot - SC has previously stated his dislike of FFP and this also formed part of his conversation with Kieron but I really do think this has to be part of the 'reset button' to include both a salary cap and some form of FFP regs all the way down to step 2, maybe even further.  They don't have to be particularly onerous to comply with but just need take out the financial doping that goes on up and down the leagues.

Not sure an interview with IC would fit in with the tone of the podcasts and maybe something he could do as a separate exercise as sort of 'fans forum' either with Zoom or maybe something KLT TV could look at doing?

8
General Discussion / Re: Chairman's podcast
« on: May 11, 2020, 01:39:32 PM »
Finally caught up with the latest episodes (5 & 6) of SC's podcasts, could still do with a bit of editing although he has previously explained that this isn't currently possible in how they are recorded and his technical expertise but 90 mins + could be viewed as 'too long'.  That said two interesting guests with a common thread

Episode 5 had Martin Knight from Bradford PA who seems to have an impressive CV in business but still new in post and to football, so will be interesting to watch how things develop.  SC seems keen on the streaming model and that was the main topic with Martin but think both may be a bit optimistic with possible numbers and value, also to come out was how little of the National League's BT money made it's way down to NLS and NLN clubs.  One thing this COVID situation has highlighted is the gaps between the various steps in the football ladder and maybe post-COVID we may see a realignment - could argue that div 2 and NL have more in common than with div 1 and certainly NLN and NLS clubs will probably look more like their step 3 counterparts than NL sides in the future.

Episode 6 had Kieron Maguire, who has written a book - The Price of Football - and is a lecturer on football finance.  Admitted he didn't know much about step 2 but some good insights to football finance in general.  Funniest bit for me was when talking about streaming and suggested that clubs needed to be realistic about where they are in the pecking order and that ultimately it would be a race to the bottom ie if all of football adopted the streaming model and Everton were offering their games at £5 a go where would that leave a step 2 side in terms of pricing?  Think the penny sort of dropped for SC although he bravely carried on thinking that there was more value to KLTFC than is probably the case (can never accuse SC of underselling when it comes to pricing!).

All in all the podcasts are an interesting listen both as a general fan but also from a Lynn fan's perspective to give a better view on SC's thought processes.  He is obviously open to ideas and changes that would benefit the club and the podcast is certainly a way of expanding his (and our) knowledge but I am still concerned that there isn't a board in place at the club as dictatorships, no matter how benign, are rarely the best form of management model.

9
General Discussion / Re: Venue cancellation
« on: May 09, 2020, 10:58:38 AM »
Really? He has been taking part in some of Stephen Cleeve’s podcasts, so I would hardly think so.

Pretty certain Mark has been furloughed.  I don't think his appearances on SC's podcasts would be covered in the furlough regs (personal non-commercial activity by SC) but answering emails to hirers of the Blue & Gold almost certainly would do as that would be a normal part of Mark's employed role.  From HMRC website-

You cannot ask your employee to do any work that:
* makes money for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation
* provides services for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation.

10
General Discussion / Re: The big vote
« on: April 22, 2020, 06:07:50 PM »
Not seen anything official, but my guess is that now that the pressing situation with clubs and player contracts, particularly at step 2 where they finish in April, has been resolved the National League can now take their time to resolve what happens.  My money is on them taking a 'waiting to see' approach and then provide some options once the position in the EFL is clearer.

11
General Discussion / Re: Chairman's podcast
« on: April 22, 2020, 01:56:35 PM »
Latest on Twitter

"@BBCRadioManc understands Oldham Athletic have asked players to move onto the furlough scheme or face redundancy. The Latics are not willing to top up wages above 80% meaning those earning above £2,500 per month face significant pay cut. "

Think this may just be the start, although Oldham were always likely to be fairly near the front of the queue on this.  Much as employment law should protect players the truth is that if clubs don't have the money they can't pay the wages.  That's why it needs a 'higher level' arrangement thought the EFL, National League, FA and PFA to sort some sort of compromise rather than lots of individual agreements, this looks like a decent start https://www.thepfa.com/news/2020/4/14/joint-statement-from-the-efl-pfa - extract below with particular emphasis on final sentence

"As a result of these discussions, it has been agreed that the EFL and PFA will form a working group of six club captains/PFA Delegates from League One and Two, supported by a representative nominated by the PFA, to engage in dialogue in respect of players’ wages. While the working group will not be a formal negotiating body, it will help to ensure that players are fully informed as they continue to hold discussions with individual clubs.
In establishing the new group, the EFL and PFA acknowledge the common problems faced by the League and it's member clubs, and the need for all parties to be part of a solution. Dialogue with the working group will enable the League both to listen to the concerns of players and to explain the extent of the financial challenges. It will focus not just on the short term (May and June) but will address the medium-term position from the start of July onwards and into next season."

Without wishing to add to the doom and gloom, quick article from AFC Fylde chairman https://nonleaguedaily.com/im-not-gonna-support-the-football-club-at-the-level-that-ive-supported-it-before-during-shutdown-afc-fylde-chairman/  with the key takeaway being that he (rightly) says "it’s morally wrong for me to ask all my managers in my, shall we say, ‘real business’, to take pay cuts, or to furlough people on the government scheme, and to have to terminate some people, while at the same time fund my football club – which, as I explained, of that 95 percent is wages – and to pay every single player full wages"


12
General Discussion / Re: The big vote
« on: April 22, 2020, 01:29:04 PM »
Certainty at last as the National League clubs vote to end the season
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52381612

Glad to see sense prevailed and they announced this before all votes were in after Exeter said in the NLP that they didn't think clubs should be voting on something like this so wouldn't - could easily have increased the wait for clubs at step 2 who now know their season (and contracts) can come to an end at the right time.

13
General Discussion / Re: Chairman's podcast
« on: April 22, 2020, 08:47:47 AM »
...The PFA and FA may well be involved in such discussions, but a contract is a contract. The fact that its a football contract makes no difference and they will be subject to contractual law. If FA, PFA and Clubs just try to cancel contracts, I can see the Players, Agents and their Solicitors being busy in the coming months...
B&G, I take the point but football contracts are not 'normal' employment contracts - employers and employees can't just walk away from them in the way that would apply to the rest of us with a bit of notice.  Hence the PFA need to be involved and unfortunately they don't have a great record at 'looking at the wider picture' but football needs them to accept that the 'reset button' needs to be pressed and they need to be part of the solution.  Now I can't say how it 'should' pan out but when there is lots of talk about a number of clubs looking at the administration route to get from under player contracts as the reality of the impact of this virus on future income starts to become more and more apparent.

14
General Discussion / Re: Chairman's podcast
« on: April 21, 2020, 05:27:32 PM »
...Tony, did I read it correctly that all Lynn players ( loaners apart) are all on contract until the end of April 2021 ?  So much for what the guy from Havant was saying about earnings as far as Lynn are concerned.

The quote from SC on Twitter was:
"Accept the 2 year contracts situation certainly in this current situation not ideal - we only  have 4 players who are contracted from next season for 2 years the rest are just next season only so we can live with it (I hope)"

I suppose the key words are 'the rest' but would take it that we have a good chunk of this years squad already on contract for next year and four on contract until the end of 21-22 season - absolute madness for a step 2 side. 

It's all well and good people talking about 'pressing reset' and the like (and I would certainly be in favour of wholesale changes throughout the leagues) but this is where the FA and the PFA need to show some leadership and come to some sort of arrangement where pre-COVID contracts can be cancelled by clubs to allow them to survive.  Yes individual players may end up potentially losing out but I feel that is a price worth paying to avoid seeing a whole raft of clubs at all levels of the pyramid going into administration as their only route out of these contracts. 

Again I think this would have to come hand in hand with some form of salary cap from the Championship all the way down to NLN / NLS, would rather see that than a more robust 'fit and proper' test as that has proven to be very difficult to implement even in the woolly form it is now.

15
General Discussion / Re: Chairman's podcast
« on: April 21, 2020, 01:51:41 PM »
Tony,  what did you think of the Blyth Spartans ideas on re-structuring at EFL 2 and National Leagues in this weeks NLP?

Certainly made a lot of sense and worth further thought by the powers that be.,   Not sure they would be a great advantage to Clubs like Lynn who are stuck out on limb, but hasn’t that always been the case.

I read the article and can see why it would appeal to them - Blyth is a bloody long way from lots of places so the more regional things are the better off they will be, conversely for KLT we would probably be as well off in the National as we would National North in terms of travelling.  Likewise, elsewhere in the BBC article that B&G has referenced Andy Pilley from Fleetwood is suggesting making leagues 1 AND 2 regional (again citing travelling costs)

Unfortunately there is now such a huge gap between each of the divisions from steps 1-5, mainly through the distortion of TV money that it is difficult to row back from, although I would question whether the country can support 5 divisions of 'full-time' football clubs, post COVID.  Certainly a case for decreasing the sides in the Championship to (say) 20 where TV money forms a bigger slice of club income compared to gate receipts ie loss of 3 home fixtures would have a lesser impact.  Division 1 needs supporting from above as its unlikely to secure its own TV deal so will always have to live off the scraps from above but again if that was it for 'league' football then maybe that could be made to work financially.  If you then made the current div 2 the pinnacle of non-league (possibly full time) then that could survive with a smallish BT type deal, then make everything below part-time within a regional structure.  The biggest thing for me is that whatever rises from the rubble is that it is built on sustainability and for me that means two things - a salary cap at each level (all the way down to the top of part-time ie KLT) and proper, independent audit of club finances. 

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