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Messages - TonyM

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General Discussion / Re: Hereford
« on: November 26, 2019, 06:22:27 PM »
Too soon to be really worried, but realistically, the question is creeping into the background as to whether the people of King’s Lynn and surrounding area are truly interested in playing at national level, even in reaching the EFL itself, even maintaining our current level.  Considering the incredible season we have had so far, we certainly shouldn’t be relying on travelling supporters to pull our attendance up to a thousand.  We either need to double the crowd or somehow obtain a proper commercial strategy and policy.
Ok Tony (& Mallard) Dilly, in the post above raises the question of "whether the people of King's Lynn and surrounding area are truly interested in playing at national level." He is clearly talking about fans and attendances in that statement, suggesting that there is not enough demand in the community. By citing the fact that 10 National League clubs have attendances that are not much higher than Lynn's, for me is pretty clear evidence that our fan base is potentially a National League fanbase thus challenging his concern.
My post was not about whether the club has the financial or management infrastructure to cope with the National League. From what I can see, as an outsider, I would say that it doesn't and have said so on an earlier post when I agreed wholeheartedly with Mallard in that regard.
So, Gentlemen, I hope that clarifies my position and that we can all agree that the club does have a potentially National League fanbase but does not yet have the other essentials necessary to survive at Step 1.

Sorry Stan but you are twisting things to the point of complete nonsense - we are not in a similar position to some of the clubs you have compared Lynn with so therefore we don't have a 'National League' fanbase (whatever that may be) as Lynn's fanbase would have much more to cover than some other clubs - if we find a benefactor with really deep pockets who wants to subsidise the club for a year or two that still wouldn't change the fact, in the same way that ultimately Histon didn't have a National League fanbase as shown all too clearly when their benefactor pulled the finance. 

Owners will come and go (some sooner than hoped, some later) but we are probably playing at as high a level as the current fanbase and owner can support, particularly in light of SC's last two programme notes that attendance receipts are a good way shy of where he needs them to be.  Therefore the club has, at best, a 'National North' fanbase (there are currently 9 teams in our league with higher attendances if that makes you feel better)

General Discussion / Re: Hereford
« on: November 26, 2019, 01:48:08 PM »
... just remember that 10 sides in the National League function on attendances of 1,400 or less. Lynn aren't a million miles away from that.

OK Stan, looking at the current 'bottom 5' National teams in the attendance table, basically below 1300 which wouldn't be an unrealistic figure for us should we be promoted (certainly budgeting for anything above that would be very optimistic / reckless).  Three of these clubs (Boreham Wood, Harrogate & Maidenhead) have artificial surfaces available that looks like it provides an additional source of income - something not available to Lynn and a source of frustration to SC reading his notes from the weekend and Maidenhead also benefit from a peppercorn rent on their ground.  I would also guess that 4 of these 5 have a much greater opportunity commercially with maybe only Dover in a similar position to ourselves in terms of the surrounding business community.

So, 'could' we survive in the National, going full-time with all that would entail?  Unlikely in my view based on the current infrastructure at the club but I would accept that there are others currently plying their trade in the National who might provide some answers as to how it could be done in the future.  Btw all of the clubs in that bottom 5 look to have much better facilities than ourselves, maybe once the ground improvements for step 2 are secured this could be something again that is looked at although the Walks site doesn't make that easy, but might be a useful step towards attaining National league football.

General Discussion / Re: Hereford
« on: November 25, 2019, 01:23:24 PM »
Should be a good test as Dover have the best away record in league

Small matter of going to Hereford midweek to overcome first. 

As much as IC and his squad keep producing great results, maybe Saturday was a bit of a wake up call - we swapped a few in and out and that maybe combined with a slightly heavier pitch meant we weren't that fluent, particularly first half, IC changed the shape multiple times during the course of the game but I think the damage was done in how we started - looking to go long too early and we never really got into our stride.  We need to bring the likes of Carey through but it can be a pretty unforgiving environment at times, fans just need to be patient and accept that whilst we are a good side, we can't expect to turn teams over every week - particularly in a cup game where the opposition have set up to play for the replay from the off.

General Discussion / Re: Advertising/Marketing Opportunity
« on: November 22, 2019, 06:20:15 PM »
Seriously concerned that the bubble will ultimately burst when Ian Culverhouse moves on to pastures new. Still, nothing good lasts forever. And we should all enjoy it while we can.

 :scarf: :scarf: :scarf:

Clubs with true ambitions don't let their successful Managers leave!

 :scarf:  :clap:  :scarf:    :clap:

Ambitions need to be matched by cold, hard cash unfortunately and as we have seen in recent weeks the cracks are starting to appear on that front - not a criticism of SC, I had hoped his intervention would maybe focus some minds but maybe not.  Hopefully the situation can be managed this season to the point where the money can be found to pay for the ground improvements (fans could still play a part in this) and the club can remain at step 2 next season and have another year of consolidation and building the off-field infrastructure required.  Whether IC is prepared to 'sit tight' is up to him and I fully accept it would be one hell of a loss to see him go again but the club is already living way beyond its means and any more 'speculate to accumulate' would probably only result in one outcome

General Discussion / Re: Hereford
« on: November 22, 2019, 01:30:28 PM »
Do Lynn try for a strong run in the FA Trophy (make some money in the process) and consolidate a Top 7 spot or throw everything at a tilt at Top Spot?

Priorities for Lynn this season had to be:
1) securing our place at step 2 next season on the field - barring a complete meltdown IC & the team look like this will be comfortably achieved by Christmas
2) ensuring the ground meets the FA standard to avoid all the hard work on the pitch going to waste - partially complete in that planning application has been made and grant for bulk of the work secured.  GDF seems to have been and gone leaving the owner to pick up the balance of the tab, still remains to be seen if funds will be made available
3) For me a good run in either the Cup or Trophy is far more beneficial than 'focussing on the league'.  Not just in terms of generating extra funds but with the potential of a big 'day out' or visitor to the Walks generating a focus for putting the front and centre in people's minds.  We didn't have a bad run in the cup but still disappointed to go out to lower league opposition, Saturday is a chance to start another run, this time in the Trophy, and a win against Hereford could see us hosting a big Conference National side at the Walks next month and if we do progress tomorrow, I can't see many National clubs relishing that prospect

General Discussion / Re: Weekly raffle
« on: November 20, 2019, 08:36:44 AM »
50/50 seller now stops selling 5-10mins before kick-off as he now has to pay so wants to watch the whole of the game (perfectly understandably in my view), therefore has to get everything packed up and locked away to enable him to get to his place in the stands.  Assume the ladies who came round with tickets have taken the view that they didn't want to pay £15 to sell tickets?

I also don't think there needs to be 'another' raffle - people moan that there is too much focus on taking money from the existing fan base as it is, this would just be another drain on a depleted volunteer network and would it really raise that much?  Given the suggested prizes I think you would do well to break even, match day volunteers are stretched enough as it is and need to be directed to the most financially rewarding activities.

General Discussion / Re: Southport
« on: November 16, 2019, 10:47:08 AM »
I would be more than happy with a point today - record against top half sides is 2 wins, 3 draws and 2 defeats and with Gash missing we will have to adapt our style, not saying the players aren't capable of that but against a top 6 side away from home that is one more thing we could do without.  Would like to see Ward, Burrows and McAuley as a back three as I think we look a bit more solid with 3 at the back and a proper four across midfield, diamond might work against bottom six teams like Leamington but we have to be more compact without the ball against the better sides.

General Discussion / Re: Tonight’s Match
« on: November 15, 2019, 11:34:47 AM »
Les, I would suggest contacting the Friends committee ( as that is something they can probably co-ordinate both in terms of sourcing the half season ticket and then working out a method for choosing the 'lucky receiptient' each week (maybe a local junior coach or school in the hope that they might bring a few others with them?) but obviously that will be down to your wishes.  I know the club already have a scheme in place for those who struggle financially so would be great if the club could use your generous offer in a more promotional sense.

General Discussion / Re: Tonight’s Match
« on: November 14, 2019, 05:42:08 PM »
I can't ever recall the twelfth man scheme whatever it is being mentioned on here. As only 12 people have signed up it doesn't appear well publicised, I would suggest Tony, which was my point really.

Its been talked about on here since the start of the season, and probably prior to that.  I just checked my last 15 posts (click on my username) and it was mentioned in 3 of them!  It is also in the programme and I think there might be a poster up in the café, sorry not 100% as I signed up at the Friends AGM so don't go looking for it.  That isn't to say it couldn't be advertised better but I am not sure how else the Friends can get their message out, picking up on Blue Moon's point it can seem like taking more from the captive audience.

That said, I think the 12th man scheme is an great way for those who are happy to 'pay a bit more' to do so and in an ideal world that would grow to the point where it could cover the costs of the 'win bonus' thus allowing the club to budget that little bit better.  No way that is currently the case and I would guess the success on the field has meant we are ahead of SC's payroll budget although I do appreciate we are also probably ahead on attendances.

General Discussion / Re: Tonight’s Match
« on: November 14, 2019, 01:42:20 PM »
To be fair to SC, there is nothing much in his programme notes that was far away from what an educated guess could get to, although maybe now some on here will finally dispense with the notion that an 800 attendance figure could be anywhere close to break even for a competitive team at Step 2 at the Walks.  I personally think something has triggered SC to finally come out and say it in black and white, maybe it was IC's frustration re centre back cover or something else but no one can now claim they are not aware - even if you take SC's actual figures with a pinch of salt the bottom line is that we are currently being bankrolled by someone who has gone on record as saying he can't sustain that level of subsidy (lets call it what it is, not investment) longer term.

Mallard's suggestion of a consortium of 'benefactors' is maybe one route although how many people with 'substantial' money to burn would then be happy to throw it on the bonfire when others / a committee are choosing how that money is ultimately spent is perhaps another matter.

Fans can and do have a role to play, Stan I can't believe you have never heard of the 12th Man scheme (£5 per win) as it has been discussed on this forum a number of times this season.  The Friends have fundraising schemes to suit most pockets / circumstances (pitch funding for those who want a one off, 100 club for those wanting a small regular contribution and the 12th man for those who are happy to 'gamble' a bit and may pay a bit more for a successful side)

I think the biggest contribution that fans could now make is to really get behind the GDF, admittedly the Trust seem to have gone very quiet on this which is unfortunate and doesn't help their cause but if they and the Friends could do a joint venture (maybe one joint 'super' Christmas raffle with all funds going to the GDF) and other smaller fund raisers adding into the pot (another quiz maybe?) that would start to address the most immediate financial cause of concern (the ground improvements).

Commercial activities are always seen by some as a solution to whatever the problem is but the truth is they take time and effort (with maybe minimal rewards in the short term) and the club itself under various owners has not been prepared to meet the business community part way - always looking for what cash they can milk rather than what relationships can be nurtured imo.  The idea of a commercial manager is probably valid but I think they would be hard pushed to 'break even' in the short term and the economic climate in West Norfolk so not really sure where the money to set up the sort of infrastructure required is going to come from

Finally can we also not look at the Academy as another 'cash cow' - that view is exactly why the last incarnation failed - this is lads academic future we are talking about and that isn't something that should be first and foremost done for a quick buck - the Dereham scheme has long term roots and is benefitting both Dereham FC AND the academic institution that it is linked to.

General Discussion / Re: Leamington at home Tuesday.
« on: November 12, 2019, 01:30:57 PM »
Tonight, barring injuries not reported, I would go with:
Ward, Burrows, McAuley
Jones, Jarvis, Payne, Fox
Gash, Marriott

Thinking - Clunan has looked jaded at home and IC did hint he had a knock last weekend so give him a rest, Payne is more than capable alongside Jarvis and we have to find a way to cut down on the goals against column - last 8 league games since the clean sheet vs Darlington has seen a minimum of two conceded per game and Marriott can't be expected to cover that every game (in those 8 games we have conceded 17 and Marriott has scored 11!)

For Saturday assuming we are missing Gash through suspension and without any further injuries I would go with a front 3 of Kelly, Hawkins and Marriott and move the ball through the midfield more

General Discussion / Re: Tom Ward
« on: November 08, 2019, 02:55:59 PM »
When all fit  Fryatt, Smith, Ward, McAuley (Centre Backs) and Barrows, Jones and Fox and Kelly (Wing Backs) and Clunan, Jarvis, Richards and Payne, Stewart, Carey, Henderson (midfield) and Gash, Marriott, Limb and Hawkins (Strikers) - THAT IS WHERE I SEE THEIR POSITIONING  :oldman" I suspect some out On Loan again.

However, what a team selection dilemma for Ian Culverhouse.

My Team:
3 from 4 at the Back                       Fryatt - McAuley - Ward           
1 from 2 on Right Wing Back           Jones                                     
1 from 2 on Left Wing Back             Fox
3 from 7 in Midfield                        Clunan - Richards - Jarvis
2 from 4 Strikers                            Gash - Marriott

Subs:  Barrows/Smith - Henderson - Carey/Payne - Stewart/Kelly - Hawkins/Limb

I think of Kelly as more of an attacker than wing back and Stewart is a forward but must be the prime candidate to go out on loan.  Once (if) everyone is fit then that's a squad of 18 (don't think Stewart or Limb are anywhere near step 2 standard) but injuries and suspensions are likely to mean IC will rarely have to perm 16 from 18 for a match day squad.  We can all agree to disagree over who is then in the starting 11 (I would have Henderson and Kelly well ahead of Richards in a midfield 3)

One thing that does concern me is that IC seems very fixed with his starting players - having said he was going to get on the bus and see what he had on Tuesday he then fielded the same 11 and didn't really use the bench.  Personally I think some of the lads on that bench are equally as good, if not better if given the chance, as the starters.  If tomorrow goes ahead then I would like to see some of those other lads being given the opportunity to play from the start

General Discussion / Re: Tom Ward
« on: November 06, 2019, 05:09:30 PM »
If it is Ward then an great bit of work by IC - Ward was the most improved player in IC's first spell at the club, can play in a two or, more importantly, in a three and will add real competition for those centre half spots when everyone is fit.  Just what the squad was missing at the start of the season, better late than never.

We all knew the squad was paper thin at the start of the season and given that IC likes the option of 3 at the back we always looked to be a centre half light, although Burrows looks like he could do a job in a back three, playing as one of a two really does expose him.  Personally if it needs to be one in - one out then the squad could perhaps lose an attacking midfield option (bench had Carey, Hawkins and Kelly on Saturday) if IC does have a defender earmarked but can't find the finance although this really would send a clear message to IC and the fans about where we are as a club.

Certainly not coming on here as a SC backer as he has got, and continues to get, lots wrong but I really don't buy into the idea that the club should be sloshing in cash after a reasonable cup run and a rise in gates from last season as I still think we are a good way away from break even and that's before the club has to spent anything on upgrading the facilities, albeit at a reduced cost after the grant application was successful. 

Priority for this season has to be 1) staying in this league, 2) funding the ground improvements and 3) taking steps towards putting in the structure off the field that will support a viable step 2 side.  This isn't all down to SC and finding a 'big name' sponsor, I still think the Trust could and should run further GDF fundraisers and 'ordinary' fans can still do their bit in terms of the various Friends fundraisers (just compare the numbers we have on the 12th man or the ground squares compared with other clubs at our level)

One last thing, forgive me if I don't 'enjoy the ride' if it ends in a crash, was on the terraces under Bobbins and don't want to be there again, IC is the best thing that has happened to this club in a long, long while and as fans we have to realise this and SC needs to do what he can to work with all of us to ensure we can keep him as long as we can.

General Discussion / Re: Tactics On The Pitch
« on: October 10, 2019, 10:32:13 PM »
I watched Chester early doors in the season. Big team, quite direct and scrap for everything in the middle Of the park.  Think that’s the battle we have to win.

Can IC come up with the combination that can compete in the middle?  Do we look to be more solid early on with Clunan, Jarvis & Payne or play our usual attacking option (probably Henderson) but risk losing that key battle?  I would certainly go with a back three to allow Jones & Fox to push that little bit further up into the midfield to allow the two/three lads in the middle to put in the hard yards - Gash & Marriott up top are a handful for most teams.  Big thing for me on Saturday (and any game really) is that we go out to dominate possession and play the ball around, not many even at step 2 can keep us out when we move the ball quickly.

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