Following a statement from the floor that “we have a benefactor but unfortunately he will be the death of our club”, a further question was asked regarding the recent media coverage surrounding the training developments within the rugby club and whether or not this would be something which the football club could also utilise.
We do have an issue with being able to train locally. Currently our training base is in Egerton but we are always looking for somewhere a but more local.
We are able to train at the Kings School over the summer months – they really do have excellent facilities, but of course when term time starts again then we have to re-locate back to Egerton.
We have seen the plans put forward by the rugby club, and yes we would be interested if that option comes available but at this stage then it is nothing more than that.
Last season’s successes were then recapped by a supporter – citing the televised FA Cup match with Oxford, the sale of three players and the FA Trophy run as particular highlights. It was suggested that the club should have made quite a considerable profit from these, and the question was asked whether any of this surplus would be used to boost Sir John’s transfer budget for the forthcoming season.
Well you are quite right in that we did have exceptional income last season. However with the sale of players it should be remembered that it is not unusual for these payments to be staged.
The Trophy money kind of “washes it’s face” in a way because of the additional costs associated with it
In terms of John’s budgets, then this was increased last season and we are putting money in to the team. There was about six, seven or eight players come in after Christmas last year and our successes allowed us to do that.
The other was that the money was spent was in the retirement of debts owed by the club. It has been a great challenge to clear the historical debt and we have done so piece by piece.
The Owner decided that certain short term loans should be repaid for example, and so that was what we did.
John Clarke then took the mic, and raised an issue relating to the last game of the season with Sutton United. Mr Clarke was aggrieved that the match was made free entry for all supporters – stating that he had never got in to a match free in his life.
Yes, this is a valid point. At the time, we had sold 3,300 tickets for Wembley – that was against an average home gate of around 1500. Suddenly people has started to really get behind their local team, yet we did fear that due to the fact that neither side were involved in a situation which could have seen them promoted or relegated, then we could have been looking at a sub 1000 gate.
So, we just said why don’t we come up with an innovative idea which would at least attract the additional 1800 of so Wembley ticket holders to come down to the Moss?
This also of course would see more people spending within the club – at the bar and on merchandise for example.
So we thought that this was a really interesting way to capture these people and entice them to stay with us for longer.
You know there is a lot of really positive stuff going on here at the moment – at which point, I would like to introduce Martine Irvine who has been brought in to encourage kids to interact with the club. We already offer the “Kids for a Quid” package which is really important to us as well.
Also, I would like to welcome Elli Denton to the club in her new role as Events Manager. The McIlroy Suite is a fantastic facility, and really good value for money so we really do encourage the town to use it.
Following recent claims made largely on social media, a question was then asked which focused on the payment of player bonuses from last season. Mark was asked to clarify why former players seem to have still not been paid their contractual enhancements for getting the team to Wembley in May.
This is really frustrating, because nobody wants to have issues like this whether it be with their employer or former employer.
The truth is that we are still waiting to be paid from the FA. This was expected by 30th June, yet currently they have acknowledged that payment will be with us in mid July – so it really is outside our control.
This also links in with the earlier question around 44 week contracts in terms of the club’s cash flow challenges during the summer months.
The mic was then passed to another supporter from the floor who asked Mark whether or not our benefactor could not have paid these bonuses in lieu of payment from the FA which would have meant that people were paid on time and saved the club receiving adverse publicity in the process.
This question was met with a short period of applause from the floor.
Well this is a statement rather than a question really, but I can’t really disagree with the sentiment of it.
It is very frustrating when the governing body can’t pay us within 30 days – especially when our pay structure was based around that.
We really have been let down.
Linking in to the role of our Owner, a supporter then asked if Mr AlKadhi is still interested in selling the club and asserted that John is doing a great job, but ultimately the club is not able to progress because of the role which the Owner plays.
Well I think that we can all agree that John is doing an amazing job and we continue to punch above our weight every season.
In terms of the Owner, I will repeat what he has previously said which is that he wants the club to go to someone credible and should that person come forward then he would talk to them.
There was speculation for years regarding whether or not there was a profit to be made from the the sale of the ground, but Amar really is not interested in this and until a credible new owner is found then he wishes to remain custodian.
The third, (and thankfully, final part) of our Fans Forum write-up will be published later on this morning.