How much more can the supporters take?

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:58 am

The first time I went pitchside I was nearly clattered into by Martin Slocombe at Torquay, made me fear it was a regular occurence. Since then I haven't had any issues.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by yuffie on Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:05 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:The first time I went pitchside I was nearly clattered into by Martin Slocombe at Torquay, made me fear it was a regular occurence. Since then I haven't had any issues.

You see cameraman get wiped out nearly every game in the NFL. And this is properly taken out by 20 stone blokes in armour. Though Coot's did feel a bit like that when he hit me.

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Roman Mike on Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:00 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:The first time I went pitchside I was nearly clattered into by Martin Slocombe at Torquay, made me fear it was a regular occurence. Since then I haven't had any issues.

I think you were in more danger from Stearn who made a b line for the nearest camera when he scored
<sighs> whatever happened to him?
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by BenE on Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:07 pm

yuffie wrote:But why do you think it doesn't exist? Is it simply that they haven't been sacked already? I know that a number of people believed that Adie (and, I assume, Archie, by association) was untouchable under the previous leadership because he was involved in bringing Manda to the club. Is this still the same under Paul?

For what it is worth, I still have enough faith that the members of the board have the best interests of the club at heart (all long-time supporters, like me and you) to support them and the management team until one or both are no longer at the club.

As for the second point, I would imagine anyone currently interested in getting involved in the club would have bought into the Community Club line and either be already involved or waiting for the takeover to be completed. Especially as all comments tend to say it's a case of 'when' rather than 'if' the change happens.

Yuffie I am sure you are not alone in this view but you are the only one to stick their head above the parapet so apologies if it seems as though I am having a go. But...

It seems to me that you see the bid as a conflict where one set of suppporters that you don't trust (the supporters society) is trying to wrest control from another set of supporters that you do (the current board). You don't see it as the bid does (nor the board) that they are trying to save the club.

It occurs to me that the board would have been perfectly at liberty to pursue the community model themselves. All they had to do was make a share issue open to the community with a change to a one man one vote regime. They didn't do this though.

Instead they instigated a three year plan the result of which was a substantial increase in the debt and a boardroom coup to remove the incumbent chairperson.

At the moment they appear to be working without a plan whatsoever and nor indeed any management whatsoever. As I said before the first demonstration of any activity at all at boardroom level would be to ban Archie from speaking to the press. They don't even have to tell him to pull his socks up. That could be left to another time after a lie down and a cup of tea to clear their heads.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Too Late... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:11 am

BenE wrote:It occurs to me that the board would have been perfectly at liberty to pursue the community model themselves. All they had to do was make a share issue open to the community with a change to a one man one vote regime. They didn't do this though.

If it was as simple as that then I am sure that they would have done that. I am sorry to say that this post shows one important reason why I personally have a beef against the community model. This sort of comment by Ben shows a complete lack of understanding of what "The Bid" entails and a complete ignorance that the board are the legal representives of the current shareholders and as a whole cannot actively organise what would effectively be a competing buy-out of the Club. Even if they could and did so, it would effectively be giving themselves a vote of no-confidence and the Club would fall into administration. So this suggestion is a non-starter!

What chance then, when these supporters get a vote each, will they understand how to run a football club (which almost everyone here keeps forgetting IS a business)?

Just to say I have written previously about how I think the one-person-one-vote scenario will pan out here  http://forum.romanforum.org.uk/t684p90-green-light-for-community-ownership

BenE wrote:Instead they instigated a three year plan the result of which was a substantial increase in the debt and a boardroom coup to remove the incumbent chairperson.

In case you haven't read the small print, "The Bid" proposes running the club at a loss for the first few years...

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:25 am

Too Late... wrote:This sort of comment by Ben shows a complete lack of understanding of what "The Bid" entails and a complete ignorance that the board are the legal representives of the current shareholders and as a whole cannot actively organise what would effectively be a competing buy-out of the Club.

Firstly, the largest shareholder - the Supporters' Society - has its raison d'être as the community ownership as a club

Secondly, what would you call it if the club were to sell the club to a new owner other than "actively organis[ing] what would effectively be a competing buy-out of the Club."

Too Late... wrote:Even if they could and did so, it would effectively be giving themselves a vote of no-confidence and the Club would fall into administration.

How do you work that out?

Just to say I have written previously about how I think the one-person-one-vote scenario will pan out here http://forum.romanforum.org.uk/t684p90-green-light-for-community-ownership

Yes and it has been perfectly adequately addressed and challenged on that thread.

What chance then, when these supporters get a vote each, will they understand how to run a football club (which almost everyone here keeps forgetting IS a business)?

Well, the Bid quite evidently doesn't forget it is a business because, unlike many of its critics, it has produced a business plan.

What makes you think that a board elected by the supporters won't have a better understanding of how to run a football club than the current directors who, previous to this, didn't have experience either. For a start, the pool of talent available amongst the community ownership is much larger than the rather restricted field of supporters who were able to invest money into the club over the last decade.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Too Late... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:34 am

Marc Monitor wrote:
Too Late... wrote:This sort of comment by Ben shows a complete lack of understanding of what "The Bid" entails and a complete ignorance that the board are the legal representives of the current shareholders and as a whole cannot actively organise what would effectively be a competing buy-out of the Club.

Firstly, the largest shareholder - the Supporters' Society - has its raison d'être as the community ownership as a club That's just what they are. Shareholders. They may have a lot of shares but they are NOT the board! I did not say that shareholders couldn't run a buy-out.

Secondly, what would you call it if the club were to sell the club to a new owner other than "actively organis[ing] what would effectively be a competing buy-out of the Club."   Where did that question come from?  I was only talking about the boards duties and responsibilities to the Ltd Company shareholders. Maybe I also have to remind you that the board are only able to sell their personal shares and would not be selling the club and its assets as a whole to themselves as a "new owner". The bid is a "competing buy-out" and is trying to buy the club as a whole. Even if the initial £750k is raised by the bid it still needs a 75% shareholder vote to agree to "sell" the club to it as a whole and board members votes on that would only be counted as per their shareholding. All-in-all your question is invalid in the context of my post.

Too Late... wrote:Even if they could and did so, it would effectively be giving themselves a vote of no-confidence and the Club would fall into administration.

How do you work that out? Do you realise how much the club is running on a knife edge? Have a read of the auditors notes in the latest published accounts. The club is running under the goodwill of it's CURRENT directors. The board as a whole running a competing bid would take away that promise of their goodwill and the auditor would apply for administration. Of course, the bid could then step in at this point and offer to buy The Club (including it's assets worth £million?) from the administrator along with any other competing business...

Just to say I have written previously about how I think the one-person-one-vote scenario will pan out here  http://forum.romanforum.org.uk/t684p90-green-light-for-community-ownership

Yes and it has been perfectly adequately addressed and challenged on that thread.  Challenged? Yes. That's what this forum is for. And i'm taking the opportunity to challenge some peoples opinion on here too.

What chance then, when these supporters get a vote each, will they understand how to run a football club (which almost everyone here keeps forgetting IS a business)?

Well, the Bid quite evidently doesn't forget it is a business because, unlike many of its critics, it has produced a business plan. Touchy. I was referring to the way supporters seem to forget that the club is a business. But the bid is a business which is trying to buy out the club and not a contributor to this forum so it certainly should have as business plan behind it!              Edit: I forgot to point out that Ben criticised the current board over their 3 year business plan during which they ran at a loss and increased the debt yet it appears the the business plan provided by the bid proposes to do pretty much the same.

What makes you think that a board elected by the supporters won't have a better understanding of how to run a football club than the current directors who, previous to this, didn't have experience either. For a start, the pool of talent available amongst the community ownership is much larger than the rather restricted field of supporters who were able to invest money into the club over the last decade.   Well, that was why I added the link earlier. So people could be reminded of my thoughts on this. But why, if those people are so committed to helping the club don't they apply to become a board member NOW and help the current board to solve the problems it needs to sort NOW? I also have to ask the question as to whether these people will still be around to help the club if/when the bid fails? I personally don't know the answer to that but maybe you could give me an insight as to their intentions?


Last edited by Too Late... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:43 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added the bit after my)

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by yuffie on Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:32 am

BenE wrote:
yuffie wrote:But why do you think it doesn't exist? Is it simply that they haven't been sacked already? I know that a number of people believed that Adie (and, I assume, Archie, by association) was untouchable under the previous leadership because he was involved in bringing Manda to the club. Is this still the same under Paul?

For what it is worth, I still have enough faith that the members of the board have the best interests of the club at heart (all long-time supporters, like me and you) to support them and the management team until one or both are no longer at the club.

As for the second point, I would imagine anyone currently interested in getting involved in the club would have bought into the Community Club line and either be already involved or waiting for the takeover to be completed. Especially as all comments tend to say it's a case of 'when' rather than 'if' the change happens.

Yuffie I am sure you are not alone in this view but you are the only one to stick their head above the parapet so apologies if it seems as though I am having a go. But...

It seems to me that you see the bid as a conflict where one set of suppporters that you don't trust (the supporters society) is trying to wrest control from another set of supporters that you do (the current board). You don't see it as the bid does (nor the board) that they are trying to save the club.

My post wasn't intended as any criticism of the Community Ownership bid. I have pledged my money and will continue to do all I do now (if required) for the club under any future ownership.

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by BenE on Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:35 am

yuffie wrote:My post wasn't intended as any criticism of the Community Ownership bid. I have pledged my money and will continue to do all I do now (if required) for the club under any future ownership.

Ok that is a fair reply. Sorry if I misconstrued.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by BenE on Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:51 am

Too late - I do not wish to reopen old wounds as far as the bid is concerned and especially on this thread which should really be about the management of the club by the current incumbents.

You do seem to be vehemently against the community club idea. I find that strange given the poor record of all the clubs that follow the standard way of running the business.

Nevertheless I readily admit I have never really been interested in the complexities of ownership of businesses. You imply that the current board couldn't issue more shares. Isn't that exactly what businesses do when they float on the stock market?

You say the club will run at a loss for the first three years of community ownership. Where do you get that from? The intention is that it will not run at a loss. But they will need working capital.

Finally unless I am reading this wrong it is not a buy out. It will buy nothing out at all. The money raised will merely pay off some of the debt. It isn't rasing a penny to buy shares from anyone who already owns them. The existing shareholders will retain their shareholding.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:54 pm

[quote="Too Late..."]
Marc Monitor wrote:
Too Late... wrote:This sort of comment by Ben shows a complete lack of understanding of what "The Bid" entails and a complete ignorance that the board are the legal representives of the current shareholders and as a whole cannot actively organise what would effectively be a competing buy-out of the Club.

Firstly, the largest shareholder - the Supporters' Society - has its raison d'être as the community ownership as a club That's just what they are. Shareholders. They may have a lot of shares but they are NOT the board! I did not say that shareholders couldn't run a buy-out.

My point is that, as the largest shareholder, the society has a representative on the Bath City FC Board of Directors and takes part fully in Board matters.

Too late... wrote:Secondly, what would you call it if the club were to sell the club to a new owner other than "actively organis[ing] what would effectively be a competing buy-out of the Club."   Where did that question come from?  I was only talking about the boards duties and responsibilities to the Ltd Company shareholders. Maybe I also have to remind you that the board are only able to sell their personal shares and would not be selling the club and its assets as a whole to themselves as a "new owner". The bid is a "competing buy-out" and is trying to buy the club as a whole. Even if the initial £750k is raised by the bid it still needs a 75% shareholder vote to agree to "sell" the club to it as a whole and board members votes on that would only be counted as per their shareholding. All-in-all your question is invalid in the context of my post.

You appear to have changed the context somewhat between your points. Are you talking about the Board as a whole (including the Supporters Society), the  major shareholders as a bloc, every Board member as an individual or every shareholder as an individual (I am not up-to-date as to how many shares have been pledged to the Bid). As we know, the reality of the context of the board is that, while the Supporters' Society is the largest shareholder, there is a block vote of major shareholders.

Too late... wrote:
Too Late... wrote:Even if they could and did so, it would effectively be giving themselves a vote of no-confidence and the Club would fall into administration.

How do you work that out? Do you realise how much the club is running on a knife edge? Have a read of the auditors notes in the latest published accounts. The club is running under the goodwill of it's CURRENT directors. The board as a whole running a competing bid would take away that promise of their goodwill and the auditor would apply for administration. Of course, the bid could then step in at this point and offer to buy The Club (including it's assets worth £million?) from the administrator along with any other competing business...

Any single creditor could force a repayment which, if defaulted, could put the club into administration but the board as a whole being involved in a community buy-out does not automatically mean a vote of no confidence and administration. Both could be put forward, of course, but it isn't automatic and this is the reason for negotiations.


Too late... wrote:
What chance then, when these supporters get a vote each, will they understand how to run a football club (which almost everyone here keeps forgetting IS a business)?

Well, the Bid quite evidently doesn't forget it is a business because, unlike many of its critics, it has produced a business plan. Touchy.


No, just tired of people sniping on the sidelines and not putting forward credible positive alternatives


Too late... wrote:I was referring to the way supporters seem to forget that the club is a business. But the bid is a business which is trying to buy out the club and not a contributor to this forum so it certainly should have as business plan behind it!              Edit: I forgot to point out that Ben criticised the current board over their 3 year business plan during which they ran at a loss and increased the debt yet it appears the the business plan provided by the bid proposes to do pretty much the same.


Well, the bit in bold is a generalising straw man. I can't speak for Ban but the constraints that the bid has on it for raising debts does make it different. Also, there is a difference between a short-term hit for a longer-term benefit and maintaining the status quo.

Too late... wrote:What makes you think that a board elected by the supporters won't have a better understanding of how to run a football club than the current directors who, previous to this, didn't have experience either. For a start, the pool of talent available amongst the community ownership is much larger than the rather restricted field of supporters who were able to invest money into the club over the last decade.   Well, that was why I added the link earlier. So people could be reminded of my thoughts on this. But why, if those people are so committed to helping the club don't they apply to become a board member NOW and help the current board to solve the problems it needs to sort NOW? I also have to ask the question as to whether these people will still be around to help the club if/when the bid fails? I personally don't know the answer to that but maybe you could give me an insight as to their intentions?


I can't give you an insight into anyone else's intentions. However, there are many, I assume, reasons, why people won't join as a Board member now. Firstly, you have to have a lot of shares to do that. Having a lot of money and/or being a successful businessman away from football does not necessarily guarantee that you are a great football administrator and vice versa. The Board is presently a plutocracy unless you are a representative of or, I suppose, represented by the Supporters' Society. That leaves a lot of people who are very creative, talented, experienced and energetic who aren't able to join the Board.

Secondly, there will be a lot of people who won't want to join the Board as they are committed to the idea of community ownership. For instance, if I were to come into enough money to buy the club tomorrow, I would still be committed to a community buy-out and would insist on using that money to top the Bid pledges up to the amount needed and still only having the same amount of shares as anyone else.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:02 pm

BenE wrote:You do seem to be vehemently against the community club idea. I find that strange given the poor record of all the clubs that follow the standard way of running the business.

As you know, I am in accord with you mostly but I would disagree slightly with this. There are some clubs who are run on the standard model who are run very well and have a good record - West Brom spring to mind. There are also, of course, many successful community-run clubs. There are also well-run clubs somewhere in the middle - Swansea being the best example.

We have to concentrate on Bath City and it is the belief of many of us that, presently and in the future, community ownership is the only way forward for this club.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Beau Nash on Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:25 pm

From the above who said what to whom?  scratch  

In any event I feel it is all academic;  the Bid hasn't got anywhere near a minimum amount required to offer to convert the privately owned club into a community one.

I wouldn't expect the existing larger shareholders to give away their shares so the existing capital base of £500k has to be bought out in its entirety, excepting lets say 25% (including the Society); so with the loans and other creditors the Bid is a long way short of its minimum target of £750k which is not sufficient in the longer term without a large increase in turnover for which there is no hard evidence of how that can be achieved without more investment.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Luton Roman on Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:39 pm

Agree BN. Bid needs momentum and some big investors which we thought would be there at the outset.

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:58 pm

Well, as has been said, with a professional fund-raiser, who is giving his time and expertise free of charge, to shape the fundraising strategy and help make direct approaches, there is momentum. The Bid is on hold until the pledges received have been matched by wealthier individuals and grant-funding organisations then will be re-opened with a provisional date of February 1st. In the meantime, many of the Bid team and others are helping raise attendances, funding and with the 1000BC initiative and Supporters' Society (as well as, of course, those who volunteer at the club, help run the supporters' club and the Community Sports Foundation).

There are plenty of opportunities for those who are creative, talented, experienced and energetic, enthusiastic, hard-working or who just love their club and want to help it. It's harder than just criticising those very people but ultimately much more rewarding.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Luton Roman on Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:07 pm

Good. I will continue to buy, sponsor, etc from a distance and attend, but still think the big investors should have been set up, committed, at the start.

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:34 pm

It's not like the Bid team forgot to do that, LR.

The bid team had a short time to get everything up and running and a limited and inopportune time-frame and tried to go for individual pledges, high worth investors and businesses simultaneously. While the Bid team did brilliantly with individual investors - ask anyone involved with community ownership and they will tell you it was one of the best efforts they have seen - the experience, time and resources weren't there to engage the high worth investors and businesses well enough and the Bid team held their hands up to that and admitted their mistakes. A very rare event in football.

Another rare event is reflecting on and learning from your mistakes and shortcomings and, instead of carrying on regardless down the same path, looking to improve your operation and strategy - hence the professional fundraiser with the right credentials being called in to take the Bid forward for the next stage.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Luton Roman on Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:48 pm

Hmmm, it was the most obvious thing, get big investors on board. Others follow. Anyway onward and upward.

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by comrade powell on Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:07 am

For the record, HNWIs were approached at the start of the Bid and turned us down.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Peteboa on Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:44 am

I remain confused as to why the 'management' duo Howells and Britton appear to have been so quiet on the community ownership bid? Particularly given Brittons business acumen. Is anyone able to outline their stance/involvement with the bid if any at all?
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by comrade powell on Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:16 am

Again, just for the record, the Bid team had a positive meeting with both earlier in the year. As far as I know, that has been the only involvement.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Peteboa on Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:56 am

The fact he has remained tight lipped on an amazing effort by the fans to save the club yet was so quick to slate a trivial 'we're going to southern league' chant speaks volumes for the man. We need to have a positive,supporter-engaging manager in charge to support the bid. Howells does nothing to unite the club, and everything to distance himself from the fans and seemingly the players.
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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by Steve Whites Missus on Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:02 pm

and yet again has brought up the issues of wages, money etc. in the chronicle today

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Re: How much more can the supporters take?

Post by yuffie on Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:21 pm

Peteboa wrote:The fact he has remained tight lipped on an amazing effort by the fans to save the club yet was so quick to slate a trivial 'we're going to southern league' chant speaks volumes for the man. We need to have a positive,supporter-engaging manager in charge to support the bid. Howells does nothing to unite the club, and everything to distance himself from the fans and seemingly the players.


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