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Messages - TonyM

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General Discussion / Re: The Pitch
« on: December 10, 2019, 01:58:07 PM »
Please see my former post about the 3rd of the pitch in the shadow of the main stand this time of the year. It will not dry out until March, frosts will not thaw like the rest of the pitch. I offered a 3 figure donation to help to pay for a cover of some type, greeted with a stony  silence from all fronts. The money is out there, and I am not talking about SC paying out again.

Mac, a great offer and if you are in the away end at the Boston game I am sure you could introduce yourself to the guys doing the collecting - SC said he would match what was raised when it was suggested that a collection might raise half of the £4K required, if the away fans could raise more then I am sure the Chairman would be more than happy.

General Discussion / Re: The Pitch
« on: December 10, 2019, 01:52:15 PM »
The cost of a cover for the pitch is £4K , as stated by SC at the poorly attend evening, supporters are going to make a collection amongst the KLTFC supporters at Boston on New Years Day with the hope of raising min.£2k which SC said he would match to get a cover. He had enquired with the Football Foundation for a grant but the process takes hours of paperwork for a small return.

Shame the evening was poorly attended, a suggestion for the next one, free entry and buy your own beer, would have been a bigger money maker for the club. Did they raise anything on the night, maybe ran a football card or two?  :dontknow:

Given how much beer was consumed on Thursday I think its pretty safe to say this alternative would have cost the club money rather than being a bigger money maker for the club, how many more people do you think would have attended?  You said you couldn't go because of work, not the price of the ticket.  The 'all inclusive' price it wasn't bad value and would also have raised a small amount for the club. 

General Discussion / Programme for Dover
« on: December 09, 2019, 01:16:53 PM »
Does anyone know why there won't be a programme for the Dover game - comments in both SC's and Mark Hearle's columns to this effect.

General Discussion / Re: Looking good.
« on: December 09, 2019, 01:15:14 PM »
TonyM, what did you think of the game today?

Personally thought we were a bit too open, OK against Blyth (and Leamington last month) but would like to see us tighten things up.  Not a fan of the 4-2-2-2 system although if we are going to play two 'holding' midfielders would prefer to see Payne in the starting 11.  Positives, thought Henderson and Clunan had good games and Hawkins looked bright when he came on (clearly a cross for Marriott's goal). 

General Discussion / Re: View from the Chair
« on: December 06, 2019, 10:51:45 PM »
Thanks Tony for the summary of the evening.  Sounds like SC was as open and frank as he could be.  Did he mention he still has the ambition to take the Club into the Football League ?.

Thanks (also to B&G), no worries as I appreciate not everyone could attend.  SC did mention the Football League but said that this was a tiny part of his thinking at present, mainly because he has so much on and I think he now appreciates how far away we are on a number of fronts.  For those looking for a more positive spin, he did say he didn't think there was as big a gap playing wise as some might think (having watched the Peterborough vs Dover game last weekend) and also talked about teams getting on a roll and building their own momentum which takes them on multiple promotions.

General Discussion / Re: View from the Chair
« on: December 06, 2019, 03:08:57 PM »
If anyone is attending this tomorrow night would like to know if one of our players is leaving in January? as heard a rumour today? seems strange as the position we are in and the attendances we are getting ? as the fee didnít seem that great 🤷🏼‍♂️ actually think keeping this bunch of players together we could win this league and gain promotion 🤞it isnít true.

Apologies, this was asked and, as you would expect, SC said he had no knowledge of any player going.  Obviously we have scouts coming to games (which SC confirmed although not who they were looking at) and he said he wouldn't stand in the way of a player going full time which I think is the right stance for the club to take. 

Something else I missed from my summary was he was proud of the four lads who are now playing full time (Cameron Norman, Cameron King, FBT and Jordon Yong) and it was a selling point for the club in attracting players, he also stressed that he felt it was important to have good working relationships with other local clubs which I guess is for them to answer as to how valid that is.  He also added that he hoped that at some point in the future we would reach a level where players didn't want (or need) to go.

General Discussion / Re: View from the Chair
« on: December 06, 2019, 01:43:19 PM »
So, my personal thoughts on last night. 

Firstly, a very, very disappointing turn out, I know we all have lives away from the Walks at 3pm on Saturdays but I certainly thought there would have been more people there.

I haven't always been SC's biggest fan, partly because I don't believe in the benefactor model and partly because I think he has got some pretty fundamental things wrong in the past but I thought last night he came across very well.  He is first and foremost a football fan (in fact he thought it helped him initially that he wasn't a 'Lynn fan' which allowed him to think with his head rather than his heart) who obviously takes a great deal of pride in how IC sets his teams up to play.  He shares a lot of traits with many business owner-managers I have worked with and that remains a worry for me in terms of expanding the off-field team but he seems to have an idea of what that structure would look like, even if he wouldn't put a timescale on when we might see it in practice it last night.

The other big thing that impressed, other than his willingness to sit at the front and take questions, was I now have a different slant on things that have been appearing in the programmes this season - things that happen at 'other clubs'.  I had always read this as having been written in a 'self-pitying' way but last night when he spoke about things other clubs do, he obviously is all the time looking at how he could adopt or tweak what he sees elsewhere to his situation at the Walks.  Whether it was my reading or his writing I am not sure but I have in the past suggested he needed a 'confidant' to run his Chairman's notes past before sending off for publication and maybe that is still the case.

So in conclusion, those who didn't attend missed a good evening that, whilst not confining all of my concerns re promotion, funding, etc to the bin, did make me more optimistic that we are in much, much better hands than when Buster was in charge.  I wouldn't go as far as DD's post above as I think IC is head and shoulders the best thing to have happened to the club and even appreciating SC's hand in that he did also appoint Simon Clark, so maybe we can settle that it is sometimes better to be lucky than good.

General Discussion / Re: View from the Chair
« on: December 06, 2019, 11:10:16 AM »
So, for those that couldn't make it here is a brief summary.  I will post my thoughts / opinions as a different post and try to keep this one 'neutral', although it wasn't a minute taking type of evening

Around 25 people came along to hear SC's thoughts on past, present and future, with Mark Hearle steering the conversation based on a chronological timeline.

* How SC came to be involved - always been a football fan, with Chelsea being 'his' team but had looked at Wrexham, Cambridge but for various reasons not the right fit.  Family commitments and location made Norfolk attractive and King's Lynn were, in effect, the only option.  Looked into the club and liked the history / potential.  Met with Buster and had a number of false starts in buying the club before eventually getting the deal got over the line.  Praise for the work Buster had done but effectively had taken the club as far as he was willing, moving up would be a greater financial risk, also added that Buster never really understood 'football'

* The first season - hadn't had contact with GS prior to buying the club but happy to give him a chance when he took over.  Thought GS did OK but with limited budget and also other work commitments didn't see him taking the club forward, got to after Christmas (ish) and could see Lynn were not going up and not going down so looked to make the change.  Met IC through a Daggenham scouting trip and 'got on' and things progressed, change mid-season was to give IC the best chance at a promotion push the following season by having a look at what was already at the club and what would be required

* 17/18 season - very happy with the progress under IC, particularly the style of football played.  Highlights being doing the double over Hereford and the Weymouth playoff semi, low point was the playoff final defeat which was combined with illness inc trips to the hospital.  Knew IC was going 2-3 months prior to the end of the season but IC wanted to stay on till the end of the year.  Also the manner that Oxford dealt with signing Cameron Norman has left a bad taste.

* 18/19 season - with IC departed the club needed a new manager and praised Simon Clark's effort but acknowledged that IC had left some big boots to fill.  Apparent fairly quickly that it was the wrong choice and thought Clarke may have 'lost the dressing room' buy overcomplicating things and being 'afraid to lose'.  Did praise Clark for the signings made.  Knew he needed IC back and B&F were always 'short term' (impression was this was a mutual thing).  Got IC back and immediately confident we would make playoffs as he thought the squad was better with Clark's signings plus Marriott & Hendo signed by B&F.  Surprised by ease at which we won the Central playoff games but critical of the off field mess that the authorities made of the playoffs / super playoff situation, but did all he could to keep this away from the players.  Warrington was relief as thought we had blown it in second half but thought only one team in it during extra time.

* current season - didn't really know what to expect as hadn't seen much step 2 football and target was to 'stay in the league' but not as surprised as some at how well we are doing, pointing to better pitches helping 'our' style, teams not having seen us before and also no longer being the big team in a league to be shot at so possibility that some of the bigger teams are struggling to be 'up' to face King's Lynn.  Now thinks playoffs are a realistic goal as squad size / budget will probably win out over the course of the season when it comes to the top spot, could be us but unlikely.

* future - step 1 achievable with existing squad / facilities / crowds but would need more infrastructure behind the scenes as more admin burden, biggest issue / block to going full time would be training facilities.  Would be a risk if crowds couldn't be maintained due to results / league position.  Extra income from being in a higher league would be swallowed up in travel / accommodation / admin costs leaving not much more for playing budget.

Other themes throughout included
* pitch - massive amount of work has been done but still much more to do (see below)
* commercial - acknowledges needs more support but bringing in a full time person, even on £20K who then produces £10K extra means a hit to the club
* facilities - work now done for this season, knows what is required if we go to step 1 (minimal) and football league (lots, inc new changing rooms 'somewhere' as they can't be fitted under the stands)

Questions (apologies if I have got some of the answers included in the above)
* volunteers need to be loved more???
* does SC want us to go up?  After consideration, yes
* will someone come in to help on the commercial side next season whether we go up or not?  Needed, so probably
* Friends / Trust need to work more together?  Not really under SC's control but grateful to both organisations for money into the club, also praised the proposed donation from a group of fans from the main stand
* Sheet for frost, possible collection to be organised in the away end at Boston?  SC said cover would be about £4K, if the collection could even raise half that (questioner thought we might have 1000 travelling so £2 average donation) SC would match it

Sorry if I have missed anything or anyone else thinks that any of the above needs correcting but it was a pretty long evening

General Discussion / View from the Chair
« on: December 04, 2019, 02:07:35 PM »
The club are running another event in the B&G.  Tomorrow it is the turn of SC to face what I would assume will be a fairly gentle Q&A session with Mark Hearle.  Everyone is very keen to stress this isn't a fans forum so don't go with that expectation but even so its a chance to hear SC's take on things and maybe a nod or two towards things that are in the pipeline and there might be the odd question from the floor at the end.

Tickets are £9 in advance or £10 on the door (inc a hot dog and a pint) and as they are still pushing this on Twitter, my guess is it isn't yet a sell out.  Doors open at 6.30 for a 7pm start

Hope to see as many there as possible.

General Discussion / Re: The General Election and Football
« on: December 03, 2019, 08:14:08 PM »
Tony can I ask what makes you think there is a doubt about the money being available to complete the stage one of the Ground grading improvements by March ?  I thought the funding was coming from a 3rd party Grant.

Taken from the EDP article at the time "the grant will assist with some, but not all, of the cost involved in this development with the club meeting the balance of money required".  Full article here

I don't know any more details than are in the public domain but it wouldn't be unusual for grants to be subject to some form of match funding / contribution from the club, obviously the GDF could be counted towards this contribution.  As per SC's programme notes from the Leamington game he said he needed to put in an additional £30K (written after the GDF money had been paid to the turnstile company).  Whether that is a 'worst case scenario' or not, my guess is there is still a sizeable chunk of money that needs to be found to cover the cost over and above the grant funding.

General Discussion / Re: The General Election and Football
« on: December 03, 2019, 06:21:30 PM »
[Sadly I think the current Trust board are setting themselves up to be seen as 'part of the problem'.

 :dontknow:   May I ask why?

It's only a personal opinion.  The GDF 'proved' that the Trust could do something practical to help the football club rather than being seen (by some) as 'anti' any owner of the football club (if it wasn't the Trust).  Fundraising events were held and the money raised has been used as a down payment on the turnstiles however, given that the funding for the ground improvements is still work in progress, I would have expected to see the GDF to continue.

Now if, hypothetically, funds can't be found to complete the required work in the timescale required to get FA approval for step 2 next year SC could point to a) the suspension of the GDF and b) the other funds held by the Trust and ask if the Trust is really there to help the club.  I appreciate (probably more than most) what is and isn't in the B&G Trust's constitution and how monies can be spent but the GDF was an ideal opportunity for the Trust to prove it is relevant and not just a protest group.

General Discussion / Re: The General Election and Football
« on: December 03, 2019, 05:31:29 PM »
...Food for thought to the Club closest to all our hearts ( I hope).  Would a Trust run Club at Kings Lynn be competing at the top of Step 2 and would we as fans be enjoying the style of Football we have the privilege of watching at the moment ? Sustainable under its current M.O.  not a chance.  So do we enjoy today and hang tomorrow or do we as fans try and get involved in helping the owner maintain this level?

I think it's talking about more fan involvement not necessarily full fan involvement.
Would the trust have got the club to step 2: no, but does the club need the supporters, through a fully engaged and proactive trust, to sustain the current level?  Project Linnets definitely needs a team effort but what that team looks like is open to question.

No surprise where I sit on this, although it don't think it should be in any political party's manifesto but preferably put forward as a private members bill so that all who feel they can support it do so without the nonsense of Politics (with a capital P) messing things up.  Personally I would be very keen on Supporter Trusts having the right to buy into a club but wouldn't have thought it would ever apply below the EFL.  As for TV money 'filtering down', I think the fact that this is even talked about shows that since the inception of the EPL the pyramid has been turned upside down and its no longer 'grassroots' football that supports the top of the game but the other way round.  Probably a 'better' way of sorting out football's mess would be an extension of the financial fair play model and far stricter rules on financial doping which could ultimately lead to more sustainable models being adopted at all steps in the pyramid.

As for our club, I think we could well be where we are today under a Trust run model as there were wasted years towards the end of Chapman's regime as the club stagnated whilst he found a buyer.  SC is gradually realising what his early promises will need financially to back them up and it isn't a pretty sight for a sole owner.  Fans can do their bit, particularly if the Trust decided to be 'part of the solution' and relaunch the GDF then we could all 'do our bit' for the most pressing financial hurdle - the ground improvements required to keep us at step 2 - sadly I think the current Trust board are setting themselves up to be seen as 'part of the problem'.

General Discussion / Re: Change of Name
« on: November 28, 2019, 10:59:11 PM »
Any reason for the proposed change of name?  Presume this would be something for the AGM next year?

General Discussion / Re: Hereford
« on: November 27, 2019, 01:23:24 PM »
Tony,  the gates are short of what most clubs enjoy in the National League.  Do you believe Kings Lynn ( and district) has the potential to support a Club in the top tier of Non League Football?
Currently no, in the future, possibly but getting to the numbers required will take time, hence...
You say that it would be beneficial to have a few seasons at this level to consolidate crowds.  What was the average crowd for the last time we played at this level when we were a very mediocre team at this level ? 
1058.  We are on our highest average attendance since 86-87 which is another reason to doubt there are another 500 fans just waiting for National League football to come to the Walks.  I don't doubt attendances would rise with higher profile opposition, greater away support etc but given the radical shake up required to the cost base and squad (how many could afford to or would even want to go full time) I can't see how the numbers add up
Itís a gamble which ever way we go.  Itís not like The Chairman can say to IC, I donít want promotion this season.  If itís on then surely the Club as a whole has to give it a real good go. 
I think that would be speculating for disaster not for accumulation.  I am not saying we 'throw games' but if we can't afford the current squad I hope SC resists any pressure to add to that burden after Christmas, at least until the ground improvements are complete and paid for, remember the last time we were at this level it wasn't results on field that got us relegated.
Think the commercial side failings are the Club have been well documented.  The thing is for the club to progress then we need all our ducks lined up in a row. We have to capitalise on every advantage we have.

Could the Chairman do more to bring in extra revenue ?
Could the fans do more to bring more friends, family etc ?
Could the media department do more to spread the word ?

If the answers to all the above is yes then thatís a start point.
All those questions were equally valid at the start of the season.  SC has been trying to bring in more income since he took over with variable success or are you now saying circumstances may mean he is willing to reduce his shareholding in an attempt to bring in more funds?  Fans should always be looking to introduce newcomers, particularly as we are so dependant on the financial doping of a single benefactor.  I know you have a 'problem' with the media dept, but we are where we are and unless/until we have a massive shake up behind the scenes I really don't see what is going to change and that certainly wouldn't be where I would start the changes

General Discussion / Re: Hereford
« on: November 26, 2019, 10:08:44 PM »
Great result tonight, don't think it should be underestimated what it takes to go that distance midweek and produce the performances/results that IC and his squad have been getting.  Back to the league Saturday so need to refocus but also hoping that we get a good crowd for Dover - real test and might be stretching some budgets with four consecutive Saturdays on the bounce, what can we (the fans) do to see the gate over 1500?

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