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Topics - TonyM

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General Discussion / Alfreton
« on: February 17, 2024, 07:44:50 AM »
First of two tough away games with the relatively short trip to Alfreton today.  The hosts continue to disprove Dilly's assertion that there is only one way to success and whilst they aren't pretty they are effective as they currently sit in 5th.  Much will depend on how well AL has got on reshaping his squad into an effective team over the past fortnight, lets hope it doesn't have too much in common with the side that took on Chester. 

Personally I would be happy with two points from the next two games, particularly if combined with a more cohesive shape and pattern of play, and there are still enough games remaining for us to catch one more team (which is the ultimate aim).  The truth is Alfreton, Brackley (just a point behind Alfreton but in 8th) and indeed KLTFC are where they are in the league for a reason at this stage in the season.

General Discussion / Chester
« on: January 27, 2024, 12:37:41 PM »
Expect a tough test today, particularly after Tuesday evenings performance.  Hopefully AL has made the most of the past few days in Ely to find a shape that makes more of the players we now have whilst also making us harder to play against, especially our midfield which has seen teams walk though it almost at will will for most of the season.  Also looking for us to be on the front foot early as, whilst I appreciate AL's comments about players feeling the pressure of playing at the Walks, the crowd has still tried to get behind a team that has given them all too little to shout about this season.

I know others have commented on the lack of communication from the club but there doesn't appear to be any sort of preview of todays game on the club site, nor were there highlights (joking aside) of Tuesday evening which isn't great.  It might be helpful that if the club is unable to sort this out for themselves, then maybe one of the local journalists could at least ask for an update on the squad - we know Ponticelli went off injured at Boston but that was nearly a month ago, is Cybulski injured or just not selected, has Powell gone back to Peterborough and why has Walker only played one cameo appearance as a sub when we are supposedly short of leaders on the pitch?

General Discussion / SC's latest podcast
« on: January 26, 2024, 01:34:25 PM »
So having opted out of programme note duty this week, SC did manage to get a podcast out, including an interview with kindred spirit Simon Leslie, owner and chairman of Eastbourne Borough who I think it would be fair to say, isn't short of self belief although in another parallel with SC, finds his side sitting 21st in NLS.  As usual, it was an interesting listen and SC is a good host as he asks questions journalists wouldn't so you often get to hear a very different side of football and this episode is no different and well worth a listen.

In terms of Lynn updates
  * TW has submitted his response so the whole compensation saga is moving forward
  * not a fan of how Wimbledon handled the Bartley loan deal and used it as an excuse to kick supporter owned teams more generally and again express his anti-Independent Regulator stance, not quite sure either were really anything to do with the issue at hand but it seemed to fit SC's narrative
  * very brief mention of the TSI deal, praising how easy 'Joe' is to deal with although no further details of what the arrangement is
  * expanded on his South American trip, seems it was looking at ways of bringing 'kids' across from Venezuela and Columbia, although surprise, surprise it is hard!
  * had a pop at a few lower league clubs who have refused to let their players know we have submitted bids for them, appreciate that this is frustrating and he is right in that we do the right thing by players, allowing them to progress, as shown by the Crowther deal
  * also we confirmed we are now straight with HMRC, although in the main interview he did express surprise about how quick we were chased (as we are a football club)
  * a few new faces at the Walks, new catering manager and a new ops/H&S manager in post and will be sorting the commercial role out 'soon' but he is busy
  * finally called for everyone at the club to stick together for the run in

Podcast available here

General Discussion / SC in the EDP
« on: December 16, 2023, 11:24:02 AM »
Todays EDP article by SC is well worth a read

I guess by now most have already made up their minds about SC, the man, and how his tenure at the club should be viewed but, as ever, he does make some interesting points and the question "if you set out to run a club prudently how do you fund the playing budget whilst fielding a competitive team?" is at the heart of all that is wrong with football across the pyramid.  Personally I think an independent regulator for football will help (something SC hasn't supported up to now) but equally there needs to be an acceptance by both fans and players that the current model is broken.  The real question is how it gets fixed and will that be in a controlled and measured way (unlikely) or continue with lots of individual clubs going to the wall while fans of other clubs bury their head in the sand or complain about their club not betting the house on the next no 9.

Obviously all of that is 'big picture' stuff and Lynn fans face an uneasy few weeks (and maybe months) with SC's admission that he is "not able to fund all of this seasonís further deficit".  I personally can't see there being a Southend style situation where fans pay wages whilst also campaigning for a change in ownership (for those that don't like SC imagine what it must be like having Martin as an owner?) as we are smaller and fans groups are considerably less organised.  Probably the most likely and easiest option would be to sell the few assets we have that could raise some cash (Crowther, Hargreaves, Barrett and Cybulski?) and again fans have to be realistic and realise the situation we are in, I never want to repeat the feeling I had standing on the terraces at the Walks watching Retford knowing the old club was about to be wound up in the High Court days later.

Whilst I have had my disagreements with SC over the years, I genuinely hope that somehow he can find a way to dig the club out of the situation it is currently in.

General Discussion / Banbury
« on: December 01, 2023, 02:02:29 PM »
So pitch inspection at 8am in the morning per Twitter (X) although nothing on the club website.  Can't see it going ahead based on what it is likely to look like having just watched the forecast.

Potentially another week for the injuries to clear up and AL having a stronger squad on paper to select from.  Still not convinced we have the squad to play how he wants or that AL's formations have necessarily got the best out of the players we have had available (two sides of the same coin?) but we now have the opportunity with only three games before Christmas to really do some work on the training pitch to help us get out of the relegation zone and hopefully to a position of safety in the new year.

General Discussion / New signing
« on: November 07, 2023, 07:08:49 PM »
New signing available for tonights game

Strange that having said we had too many midfielders 2 out of 3 of AL's signings have been midfielders and only a teenage loanee in to address what many, including AL thought the biggest issue was - wing backs.

Wish the new lad well but does seem a strange one in that he is a long way from home, be interesting to know why it didn't work out at Kidderminster, hopefully not home sickness

General Discussion / Darlington
« on: October 14, 2023, 02:37:53 PM »
So, the new lad comes straight into the starting XI with Walker on the bench, also no sign of Ponticelli, is he injured?  Not convinced at sticking with what looks like the same formation and a front three, lets hope Darlington don't have a midfield.

Whilst it is difficult to talk about six pointers before Christmas you do feel that this game has quite a lot riding on it for both teams, both of whom have changed managers recently and will be looking to restart their seasons today.

General Discussion / Latest SC podcast with James Blower (Wroxham)
« on: October 13, 2023, 10:14:07 AM »
Just caught up with SC's latest podcast with Wroxham's chairman James Blower as the guest.  First part is how James got involved with the club and Wroxham focussed then, around 35 minutes in, James asks SC what he thinks of the future and in between the ranty bits there are some real SC gems, including
   *  the Crouch review is great for Labour (ignoring the fact that Tracey Crouch is a Concervative MP and the review was commissions by a Tory government and legislation is now being brought forward by the same/different Tory government)
   *  also again gets the wrong end of the stick with fan involvement and fan ownership when talking about his idea of a debt/equity swap of the DCMS COVID loans
   *  some interesting comments about commercial income and the cost/benefit of having someone selling the commercial side of the club which again smacks of short termism
   *  perhaps most interesting were comments about player 'trading' and how SC sees this as an opportunity for us (maybe explains some of the slightly strange signings over the summer)

The last 15-20 minutes are an update on the current situation at Lynn including an update on the TW saga and also that he sees an expansion of the academy internationally as a potential money spinner and that the gigs thing looks like much harder to raise substantial cash than he originally thought

All in all an interesting listen and can't doubt his interest in 'the business' of football but equally that his inability to truly understand what other clubs are doing and how they are doing it in terms of how they engage with their various stakeholders massively hinders us at times

General Discussion / SC's programme notes re financial situation
« on: September 06, 2023, 09:45:00 AM »
From Brackley thread...

Read SCís programme notes this morning.  Oh my oh my.  Looks like heís very concerned about pay back that loan.  Shame he put the Club in that situation with his failed attempt at staying in the NL.  What happened to the his brainwave of ring fencing £1 from every admission to pay back that loan ?  As for the money the Club is haemorrhaging. With the figures heís quoting why do we have a full time playing staff and paying out for such things as overnight stays.   It seems everything is everyoneís fault where Cleeve is concerned.  Maybe the truth lies closer to home.

Think this probably needs a thread of it's own.  For those that didn't get a programme, essentially SC raised a number of issues (seems he took offence to some fan's comments made to him at an away game)
   *  in 'talks' with DCMS re loan (think it was £400k+ from memory) to convert to shares with these then being donated to the fans, really can't see this as viable and smacks of clutching at straws
   *  wants terms of the loan to be renegotiated as we have been relegated so lost £80k in central funding, surely this would have been matched by reduction in expenditure / player wages?
   *  first payment is 2025 - £58840.54 which is interest, whilst I appreciate this is getting closer it is still a good way off.  If it kept him awake at night then surely should have paid some back after Stevenage game to reduce the capital?  Further payments of £20k twice yearly after that starting in 2026.  Good to see some figures at last as to what any potential investor would be taking on
   *  direct quote "I am upset that these next two matches have not been sponsored and the club really needs the town behind it, as otherwise it simply cannot compete at this level".  For the first part of the sentence, SC has no one to be upset with than himself, he fired Rishi half way through last year and irrespective of whether he was doing a good job or not he was, at least, getting out there and promoting the club to the business community.  As SC must surely realise by now, there is not a long queue of potential sponsors lining up to sponsor games / players and these relationships must be worked on over months, seasons even and it is not just a question of putting a post on Twitter the week before a game and wait for the offers to come rolling in.  As for the second part, the club are probably at, or above, their 'natural' level but some (SC included) seem to think that things 'should' be different - the only way this will be true is if someone makes it different, merely wishing it to be the case will only end in disappointment
   *  there is lots of other stuff about how the budget hasn't been cut by that much and costs are horrendous when we are away but you would have thought by now SC would understand the cashflows of a football operation?  Also says that last home game (Alfreton att 948) left a £4500 shortfall, I do wonder if there are more season ticket holders this season and SC hasn't done his sums

All in all not the most positive of Chairman's messages, guess we wait and see what he puts in the column (assuming he doesn't get AI to write it this Saturday) after 753 turned up on a mild September evening when the league leaders were in town.

General Discussion / Boost the budget
« on: June 06, 2023, 05:29:09 PM »
Creating a separate thread rather than this getting lost in the season ticket debate.

Details of the scheme here

For those that don't want to open the link, basically there are levels of monthly contribution that get you into a draw - £5 draw for a signed ball or mascot package or hospitality for two - £10+ and the prizes are visit to morning training (can take part if you want), travel with team & go to boardroom, chairman for a (home) game, face on programme, go on a scouting mission plus other 'benefits' depending on level of monthly contribution.  On the face of it seems a good idea, we are not a fan owned club like Darlington or Chester so there will always be a degree of scepticism but this scheme does have some 'money cannot buy prizes' that might appeal to some and are relatively cost free to the club.  Hopefully there are some that will look at what they are saving on a season ticket and will consider putting some of it back into the club

General Discussion / Easter Egg hunt
« on: April 04, 2023, 02:55:03 PM »
Not directly football related but Jodie and the Linnets in the Community team are holding an Easter Egg hunt on 6th April 10am-12 noon, £1 per child.  For those that didn't manage to donate an egg (or two) at the recent home games the club will be open 9-10am tomorrow and she will be there from 9am on Thursday for those who would like to take a donation

General Discussion / SC's EDP article
« on: March 18, 2023, 12:23:23 PM »
Latest article from SC in the EDP today -

Positives around the academy but still doesn't want to seem to face the reality when it comes to crowd numbers.  For me it seems pretty straightforward, a lot of 'diehards' were lost when the old folded, new fans have replaced them but we are unlikely to 'double the gate', particularly in the short to medium term, which SC says is what is required to make us sustainable (I have my doubts on that as think it is would probably need more).  SC makes some reasonable arguments, particularly in relation as to what happens to the club should something happen to him but what the article fails to acknowledge that many of the issues are as a result of choices he has made - full time status, push for NL without supporting infrastructure etc. 

I have seen calls on Facebook for more investment or additional investors - why can't people say it for what it is - they want our club to be financially doped to a false position out of someone else's pocket, that can't work for every club and can't be right long term for the good of football as a whole.  Hopefully a football regulator will be in place sooner than later and allow a reset button to be pressed on club finances throughout the pyramid.

General Discussion / Academy
« on: March 17, 2023, 01:23:18 PM »
Couple of announcements from the academy for those that don't look at the main club website, with both u19s and u23s moving to more of a 'full-time' model.  Not really sure what that would mean in practice but if it means putting players on paid contracts then it would be helpful to explain where the money is likely to be coming from unless we are looking at a Chelsea model where we sign up every available young player and then charge loan fees to anyone who needs players - not sure that would work for West Norfolk!

News of former Linnets / Junior Moriais
« on: March 15, 2023, 04:22:28 PM »
Junior has signed a three year deal with Notts County -

Seems a strange signing based on his performances for us but hope it works out for all parties

General Discussion / Farsley at home
« on: March 07, 2023, 02:05:16 PM »
Big three points gained at the weekend with the winner coming after we had been pegged back from a two goal cushion and a chance to build on that tonight against a team in the bottom four.  I know there are some who wouldn't agree (including one who doesn't attend but seems to know our best lineup) but I would like to see us go back to 3-5-1-1 tonight as I think it gives us our best chance of creating chances rather than hoping chances will come.  Still not sure Denton was fit at the weekend, I don't think we see the best of Barrett on cold Tuesday evenings when there isn't likely to be much of a crowd and if Jones (A) is still unavailable I would go with:

         Crowther, Coulson, McFadden
COC, Clunan, Widdrington, Hughes, Jones
            Cosgrave (or Ponticelli)

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