Statement from the club

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Re: Statement from the club

Post by LB on Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:39 pm

After I read the statement I felt a bit like I did after listening to the East Thurrock commentary!

I am sure that nobody is really surprised, despite the opinions that have been expressed by many people on here, that the management would get a 'vote of confidence' - it seems now that however bad things get they are safe, and I am not sure what message that sends out.

Somebody described the '3 year plan' as a ticking clock - I think a ticking time bomb is a better comparison. Like many people at the time I was doubtful as to how the club was going to come up with the money (£650000?) at the end of the period. It seems to me that the whole plan was based around the then chairman's obsession with selling Twerton Park and moving elsewhere - I am not sure that that was a likely option at the time and it certainly appears to be off the agenda now.

The idea of getting outside investment is all well and good, but where is it going to come from this time as it hasn't been forthcoming in the past? It will be interesting to see what happens to the discussions with Beau Nash's contacts if they are actually taking place.

As for selling the club, again where are the prospective purchasers coming from? If they are out there, my concern, as somebody else has expressed, is that they would come in and sell the ground to get their money back and that would be the end of the club.

As a long time supporter, personally I would rather have a financially stable (if that is ever possible) Bath City playing in the lower reaches of the Southern League than no Bath City at all - I wonder if the gates would actually be much lower than they are now.

I think this debate has a long way to run, but I don't think the message from the board is one that can fill too many people with hope for the future.

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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Eddie Hitler on Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:44 pm

The word on the commentary forum is that investors have made offers but the board have always resisted a majority share-holder.
With creditors seemingly requiring thier loans repaid, maybe the statement is a indication from the board that they no longer have any choice.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Beau Nash on Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:44 pm

Eddie Hitler wrote:...With creditors seemingly requiring thier loans repaid, maybe the statement is a indication from the board that they no longer have any choice.

That is my guess.  The cash flow may be so dire that the bank overdraft has reached its limit so with no more loans / funding and creditor repayments due then it is crunch time.

I am not going to start speculating on who may or may not be interested in "taking over" but I will try to speak with them asap.  One of them is not Andrew Brownsword, although he is local and certainly has enough wealth c.£250 million.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by BenE on Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:07 am

To be honest I have been expecting something like this since Paul Williams opened the meeting in the summer with the announcement that the board had set a budget £2000 a week too low to be competitive in this division.

It was said in a way which appeared to blame the supporters ie you get what you deserve. If you don't want to put your hand in your pocket then the whole thing will fold.

I was depressed then before a ball had been kicked for the new season. I was fearful that the board was drifting rather than looking forward with dynamism.

I decided to make the most of it while it lasts.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by comrade powell on Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:33 am

A former prolific poster on here was fond of saying that the first rule of business was never to spend what you haven't got. I'd say another is not to p*ss off your loyal customers.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Timbo_b-o-a on Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:47 am

comrade powell wrote:A former prolific poster on here was fond of saying that the first rule of business was never to spend what you haven't got. I'd say another is not to p*ss off your loyal customers.

Agreed. "We made an appeal for financial support to meet a projected shortfall for this season, whilst trying to maintain the Club at its current level, and with a few exceptions this appears to have been ignored."

That is an extremely dim-witted statement on so many levels.
A. There were a 'few exceptions' so people did contribute - a real act of generosity given the state of everything.
B. A lot of people can barely afford the £12+ every other week let alone give more.
C. They don't seem to grasp that people aren't inclined to throw in funds to prolong the status quo which is not sustainable. With Wimbledon, Exeter etc the contributions from fans and businesses are much greater because there's a collective ownership. There's never going to be a clamour for people to throw money into a sinking ship.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Beau Nash on Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:20 am

I miss the Bear as whilst I didn't agree with everything he said, his reasoning was usually sound.

Spot on Timbo.  

Sometimes I do think the board have a kamikaze approach to pr and it doesn't surprise me that the situation has degenerated.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by BenE on Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:10 pm

I call it the British Rail approach to business.

Instead of trying to increase your customer base you keep hammering your existing customers ever harder. The more you charge - the less customers you get - the more you have to charge etc etc.

But actually when you think about it the statement is just more of the same. It says nothing new at all.

They are always at liberty to sell the club or bring in new investors, so no change there.

They are leaving the management team in place, so no change there.

They are always losing money, so no change there.

It is a long winded way of saying carry on as before whilst having a little dig at the remaining fans.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by SteveS on Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:03 pm

Problem is that carrying on as before is not an option. There is a considerable sum of money repayable to the last chairperson in 6 months time and the Board have no idea how to meet this obligation, apart from trying to sell the club that is.

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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Eddie Hitler on Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:42 pm

SteveS wrote:Problem is that carrying on as before is not an option. There is a considerable sum of money repayable to the last chairperson in 6 months time and the Board have no idea how to meet this obligation, apart from trying to sell the club that is.
There is an even bigger debt due to be paid to the chairman before the last, and that is long overdue - it must be over a year ago since it was brought it to the public's attention that his mortgage company want their money back.
While there is some obvious consternation resulting from the statement, I can't help thinking that people would have gone ballistic if the last chairperson had made this announcement. While many doubted her motives, she seemed to have more imagine than this statement suggests.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by BenE on Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:25 pm

comrade powell wrote: it would be worth flagging up the statement from the 4 major shareholders made in June of last year...

The Club is not in the dire financial straits of most clubs which adopt this model as a last resort

Maybe the situation is better than the latest statement suggests after all. The only thing that appears to have changed since then is the date.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Roman Mike on Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:58 pm

I am a relatively new City supporter of 4 years standing who is primarily interested in watching good local football with my son. Dealing with people and (work) politics all week I am disinclined to get involved with the same as part of my 'hobby'. I clearly don't have the (emotional) history or knowledge of some 'diehard' City fans but nevertheless I consider myself a particular type of legitimate fan (customer?) as I turn up for 95% of home games, 3/4 away games a season and buy merchandise etc. So educate me please on the statements below:

1. The club has £650K of current debt.
2. The club is losing about £70K per season on avg.
3. There are also 3/4 individuals who have made loans of about £150K each which are due to be repaid in the next 2 years. Not sure if this is in addition to 1. or included.
4. The club owns the ground which is worth £1M? (I just made that up so feel free to correct it)
5. The current board have no plan to pay off the debt or decrease the losses
6. The only 'strategy' that the board have is the same as it was 3 years ago - i.e. Hope that an investor turns up who will not want to have any control over the club.

How did I do?
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by comrade powell on Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:23 pm

Mike, I can't recall the figures re 1 and 2 at the AGM held last December.
3 - I believe it's 2 who have made loans of that size, others smaller amounts
4 - don't know
5 and 6 - I think you're spot on!
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:44 pm

The other thing, Mike, is that 2 of those debtors want their £400,000 back in the New Year and, by that, I mean, early in the New Year.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Roman Mike on Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:55 pm

Marc Monitor wrote:The other thing, Mike, is that 2 of those debtors want their £400,000 back in the New Year and, by that, I mean, early in the New Year.

Thx Marc
Is that 2 x £400K?
Is that in addition to the £650K debt in my No. 1 (or part of it?)
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:01 pm

No, £400, 000 in total. I have heard that the total debit is a million so that is possibly on top but, to be fair, I wouldn't take that as gospel.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Eddie Hitler on Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:05 pm

The debt was closer to £850k I think.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Beau Nash on Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:18 am

The City Facebook page has posted this link - http://www.footballconference.co.uk/news/details.php?news_id=13760 - are they hinting at something. Question
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by comrade powell on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:07 am

How are your talks with those billionaires progressing?
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by kermit on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:41 am

comrade powell wrote:How are your talks with those billionaires progressing?
He's not approached me yet Wink
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by stillmanjunior on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:52 am

This Somerset Premier Cup run will keep the club in business for years to come.
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by BenE on Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:50 pm

I thought the whole point about making Geoff Todd's loan the preferential liability was so that the loan could be extended.

I presume it is an interest only mortgage secured against Geoff's home. The club pays that interest and I thought this would enable the bank to extend that mortgage beyond the existing time limit.

Otherwise what was the point?
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Re: Statement from the club

Post by yuffie on Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:58 am

Roman Mike wrote:6.  The only 'strategy' that the board have is the same as it was 3 years ago - i.e. Hope that an investor turns up who will not want to have any control over the club

There did appear to be a fairly far developed strategy a year or so ago but whether this was abandoned when the previous Chair departed or has still been progressing behind the scenes I don't know. I would hope the latter but fear that it's the former.

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Re: Statement from the club

Post by Colin Voutt on Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:15 am

yuffie wrote:
Roman Mike wrote:6.  The only 'strategy' that the board have is the same as it was 3 years ago - i.e. Hope that an investor turns up who will not want to have any control over the club

There did appear to be a fairly far developed strategy a year or so ago but whether this was abandoned when the previous Chair departed or has still been progressing behind the scenes I don't know. I would hope the latter but fear that it's the former.

Most people have been lead to believe there was only one plan - sell TP. Not an over-developed plan.

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Re: Statement from the club

Post by yuffie on Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:53 am

I not sure the point you're trying to make. Regardless of what 'most people' may have been led to believe there were clearly developments going on which were aimed at dealing with the club's long term problems. I agree that selling TP appeared to be the basis of the plan but that doesn't mean it was not a realistic strategy.

Whether it would have reached a point where the full details were made public and then voted on appears to now be just speculation give the boardroom changes.

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