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1  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Safe Standing on: February 11, 2019, 17:10:26 pm
Personally I'm happy that the club are still exploring this. As a season ticket holder in the North myself, it will be interesting to hear what kind of feedback the club get back.
2  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 11, 2019, 17:01:15 pm
I have no reason to doubt you. I have treated all similarities in your responses as purely coincidental. I am incredibly comfortable with the fact that you and your father have not discussed this at all.  Grin Grin

Please note: My tongue is firmly in cheek.. Ooooer.  Cool
What point are you trying to prove here? That I'm related to one of the board members of the Trust? You haven't unearthed anything that most people didn't know anyway.

In essence though, your argument seems to be that due to my family connections, I might be privy to more information and that I'm therefore misleading people about what ownership models the Trust is looking into.

This is despite the fact that the Trust says in its public statement that it's looking into different models, including community ownership and also a fan partnership with private investors.

It's actually impossible to mislead anyone when the Trust has literally said it's looking into all of the different options.

It's a pathetic argument when you think about it really.
3  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 11, 2019, 15:34:13 pm
It was the "honest" bit that tickled me..
I'm incredibly comfortable with what I've said thanks.  Smiley
4  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 10, 2019, 20:34:38 pm
I suppose you could always ask your dad.
You can as well. At the public meeting.
5  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 10, 2019, 14:16:53 pm
Are you telling the truth there. Youíre telling me that you and others are being totally transparent at this point?

If you want any credibility, you have to play by the same rules as the rest of us. Iíve been up front from the start. Do you honestly believe the Trust at this point are discussing a fan owned model?
My honest answer is that I don't know which of the models they are discussing at the moment. I haven't asked, I'm not involved with the project and I'm not on the Trust board any more. I'm going to let them crack on with it and find out more at the public meeting.
6  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS: Lincoln City (a) 09/02/2019 on: February 10, 2019, 12:19:16 pm
No-one played badly, they all tried hard, but there wasn't an obvious stand out performer either.

I'm going to give it to JJOT, who yesterday I thought looked like he was getting back some of his old form, and gave us a physical presence in the middle of the park that we'd been lacking for a while.

Thought McWilliams and Bridge ran him close before they were taken off.
7  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Lincoln away on: February 10, 2019, 12:02:36 pm
Would I have taken a point before the game? Absolutely.

I have to agree with many other posters though that I'm disappointed we didn't go for it more. Lincoln didn't look any threat at all until we sat back and gave them the initiative. I felt like the subs played a big part in that. McWilliams and in particular Bridge, were looking quite creative. When we took them off we had nothing, and I think that led to the final 15 minutes where we were clinging on a bit. I didn't think they were the best calls from Keith.

We also got away with the handball at the end, which would have made sitting back a really daft decision. Perhaps though, just perhaps, if the Lincoln crowd, players and staff didn't appeal for literally every decision then the referee might take a bit more notice when something like that happens.

I can't fault the players yesterday, they worked very hard. At the end of the season it will probably still be a good point, even if it could have been more with a bit of bravery from the manager.
8  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 10, 2019, 11:36:17 am
I think it's worth repeating that this is the very beginning of this process. People are quite rightly asking where the money would be coming from, but frankly they aren't going to get an answer at the moment. As yet we don't even know which model the Trust might look at exploring in more detail. It could be fans only, it could be fans + private investors, there may not even be a viable outcome at all.
9  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 07, 2019, 21:02:50 pm
Understood, so to repeat my original point, the thing concerning me is that some of the individuals on here end up in a position of significant influence in the decision making process. I have visions of the board room being like scenes from the Mad Hatters tea party. Get me a piece of chalk someone?
I understood 'decision making process' to mean the running of the club itself, as you mentioned the boardroom. Hence my response.
10  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 07, 2019, 20:51:07 pm
To continue the row, who are the ďtheyĒ who bring in the professionals?
I don't know. We don't know what the model is yet or whether it would get to that stage.

It if was majority fan owned I assume the Trust board would bring someone in, most likely with the aid of Supporters Direct who would have plenty of contacts within that field.

If there's a hybrid model of fan ownership and a private individual or consortium, those individuals or groups would probably want some say on who runs the show.
11  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: February 07, 2019, 20:18:07 pm
Donít kid yourself, itís not the only thing. Along with a couple of other points the thing concerning me is that some of the individuals on here end up in a position of significant influence in the decision making process. I have visions of the board room being like scenes from the Mad Hatters tea party.
To clarify again.

Another important thing to remember is that the current Trust board would not be running the show. They would bring in professionals to run the football club. No supporters owned club is run by the people who used to run the car boot sales or make the coffees on matchdays.

Add 'argue on the forum' to that list Grin
12  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: TRANMERE on: February 06, 2019, 08:11:38 am
Undoubtedly a fantastic result last night for which, quite rightly, the team and manager are getting some credit.

However, I don't want this to be yet another flash in the pan. I just really want them to follow it up with another good performance (if not result) at Lincoln, because one win or good performance every now and then still doesn't cut the mustard. We've only really put together any decent form during new manager bounces in recent history, and that really needs to change this time. For that reason I'm still not comfortable that we're out of a relegation battle, but there's certainly a lot more breathing space.

It was also good to see Sammy finally given a go in a central role. For me he's been utterly wasted out on the wing for getting on for two years.

His two most decent spells have come in central roles for us, as a striker under Wilder, and as an attacking midfielder behind the strikers under Rob Page. He's been shunted out on the wing for too long just because he's one of the few players we have with pace, even though he quite clearly doesn't have the attributes for the role. From now on he should be considered for those two roles only.
13  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Euro lottery winner on: February 06, 2019, 08:00:50 am
Inspired by this thread I had a rare go on the Euromillions last night - and I won!

Do you think KT will accept £3.10?
It's £2.10 more than Drilling and Zen Master are offering, so you have a good chance as things stand! Grin
14  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Disappearing Punters? on: February 02, 2019, 18:16:56 pm
all the supporters can offer now is some real positivity towards the players because love them  or hate them there are all thats here in what is now a very real relegation battle.
the persistant negative atmosphere is almost certainly not helping.


Last year our players got applauded off the pitch by a sizeable section of the supporters after being relegated!

I couldn't disagree with you more. Despite almost 18 months of consistent rubbish, it still hasn't really turned that ugly at Sixfields. Instead, it's just dead quiet, nobody can be arsed. After the fourth went in today there was a quiet mass exodus, myself included. I didn't bellow at them, I just resigned myself to yet another home whooping and silently went on my way.

At other stadiums I've been to the players out there would have been roasted alive after conceding that pathetic fourth goal today.
15  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Supporters Advisory Panel - Thursday 21st Feb 7.30pm on: January 29, 2019, 20:35:02 pm
I'm not trying to be awkward but for me, the "community ownership" meeting is the wrong thing for the Trust to be doing right now. They need to get their own house in order before they look at the possibilities of taking over someone elses.

Will there be people from Portsmouth or Wycombe there who will be able to explain every angle of it? By that I mean will the negatives of doing it be discussed as well as the positives? Or will the Trust just be using the meeting as a way of pushing it's own agenda which seems to be getting rid of our current owners?
Wazza, the November AGM had representatives from Supporters Direct and the former Wycombe chairman who oversaw the transition to fan ownership. They were brutally honest about the challenges that fan ownership presents, and gave both pros and cons. I outlined most of these on the Fan Ownership thread.

I would hope, and can see no reason why, the public meeting that will be called won't follow the same route. In any case, it would be open to Trust members to give the idea, and the Trust board and any guests, a good grilling.
16  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Supporters Advisory Panel - Thursday 21st Feb 7.30pm on: January 29, 2019, 20:19:06 pm
They haven't even asked if this is what their members want them to pursue.

Getting your house in order involves significantly increasing your membership and re-engaging with your existing members.  Ask what they want....maybe it is Community ownership.  Who has decided this is what the Trust should be putting their time, money and energy behind?
With all due respect that simply isn't true. All Trust members were sent letters informing them of the AGM in November, and that the topic of discussion was fan ownership.

The feeling following the AGM, which discussed both the positives and the pitfalls of various different models, was that this was something that the Trust should explore and it has started looking at it.
17  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: January 29, 2019, 17:49:10 pm
Cheesy
We can all play lawyer if we want Grin
18  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: January 29, 2019, 17:46:27 pm
Have you got any evidence that our owners are looking to make money from NTFC and are not placing the club's needs first?
Barton's post doesn't refer to either Kelvin Thomas or David Bower does it? To me it appears that he's posing a hypothetical question to a fellow poster.

19  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Fan Ownership on: January 21, 2019, 23:53:19 pm
Apologies for the incoming essay, but here goes.

The reality is that no ownership model, either fan owned or privately owned, guarantees success or failure. For the rose tinted who think that everything would be hunky dory with a Trust run club, you donít know. For those who say we would be guaranteed to go down to the Conference, you donít know.

So hereís a bit more context around this whole issue.

At the NTFC Trust AGM last year, James Mathie from Supportersí Direct, and Don Woodward - the former Wycombe chairman who oversaw the transition to fan ownership at Adams Park - attended the meeting.

James Mathie quoted a Deloitte report that the average loss in League Two in 2015/16 was £500k before player trading. In League One that jumped up to £1.6m. He also mentioned a BDO report that focussed on how reliant clubs are on their owners to fund losses. The most recent stats show that a third of clubs in Leagues One and Two were totally reliant on their owners to make up for losses.
 
This, James Mathie said, leads to short termism. Although in a fan owned model you obviously donít get the level of short term cash injection you would with a private owner chasing success, thereís a long term strategy in place for incremental growth.

Wrexham fans took over their club eight years ago and since then they have grown the turnover each year without relying on player sales and posted a profit this year.

A community share is a popular method that was used by Portsmouth. They raised £2.5m from it, and this is a mechanism that the Trust here in Northampton could look at. Admittedly, the Trust at Pompey felt they had taken the club as far as they could and sold onto private owners. How it works out I guess weíll see, but theyíre doing well this year.

Don Woodward then spoke about his time at Wycombe. He said they had one owner who was supporting two sides (Wycombe and Wasps) at the same time. Don said that Wanderers were losing £1.5m - £2m per year.

The Trust at Wycombe stepped up from being a critical friend to running the club. It would have been easier had they prepared for such an eventuality years before, which is what NTFC Trust is currently doing. But they avoided relegation to the Conference, and have subsequently had a promotion to League One.

Don estimated that NTFC Trust would need to raise £1-2m over the next two years to run the club on a break even level. It sounds incredibly difficult, but if everyone gets behind a goal itís achievable he thinks.

Portsmouth had ten local business owners getting involved. Don is very confident that local businesses in Northampton will get on board if itís a community ownership model - he reckons they could contribute as much as £100k each.

Of course, there are examples too of when fan ownership hasnít gone so well. Notts County supporters for example sold the club to Munto Finance without any due diligence on their new owners, and things didnít go as planned there.

So we have some success stories, and we have some failures as well.

Another important thing to remember is that the current Trust board would not be running the show. They would bring in professionals to run the football club. No supporters owned club is run by the people who used to run the car boot sales or make the coffees on matchdays.

We would also be able to call on the help of Supporters Direct, which was formed by Brian Lomax and knows what to do in ensuring that Trusts can take on the running of a football club.

So my summary from all this information is that I guess in the end it comes down to what you would prefer. Do you prefer a privately run club with the potential for greater success but much higher risks, or the club that tries to make gradual changes, albeit still with some risk attached to it but with those risks being balanced against the best interests of the club rather than the best interests of a private owner?

I can understand why some people would choose the former, we all want to see the Cobblers challenging at the highest level. But the caveat to that is that more than 50 years of private ownership has secured NTFC the grand sum of two seasons in the second tier of the football league, and a solitary season in the first. Compare that to the three times weíve nearly gone out of business altogether. That too should be taken into consideration.

Also, is making the Championship a fair yardstick to measure a fan owned club against given the facts Iíve just mentioned and clubís history of bouncing between Leagues One and Two? How about measuring it against whether we could ever become a stable League One club that competes to go up to the second tier? Is that not an achievable goal which we could aspire to, and then hopefully build on if the club grows?

Meanwhile, Exeter, Newport County, AFC Wimbledon and Wycombe, all Trust run, are all currently above us in the Football League pyramid and with none of them staring at to the trapdoor to the Conference.

So yes, letís have a debate. There are pros and cons on both sides, and none of us actually know how it would work out.

So come along to that public meeting when itís held, absorb some actual facts and be open to the idea of hearing both sides of the argument.

UTC.
20  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: January Window - Rumours, Ins and Outs on: January 04, 2019, 15:26:58 pm
Don't forget Leon Barnet.
We're honouring his contract aren't we?
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