Tagg's Trust AGM speech - 3 option

grecian-near-hell

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Not an exciting picture you've painted LH but one that is understandable. Myself I believe that we need to grow our supporter and trust base, this will come from success on the pitch at all levels and genders. The more Exeter City is seen in the community the more interest it will attract. Although the half a million overspend seems a lot in reality it equates to just over a 1000 on the gate for a season, of course the backlash of this is deliver uninspiring football and lose the fans. Back in the day the chiefs were playing in front of crowds of 1000 and now look at them, different sport but same geographical region and a reason for their growth is continued success.

With regards to the trust the £2 per month fee is ludicrous and needs to be reviewed with just over 3000 trust members this brings in just over 6000 a month or 72000 a year, an increase to minimum of £5 would then bring in mnimum 180000 a year (100000 off our overspend or approx 250 people through the gates each match) and if the fee went up to £10 per month then you are looking nearer 360,000 a year. Obviously the trust would need to look into ways to promote the increase with discounts and perhaps different levels of trustee but it is another way the trust as owners could help supplement the overspend so that the standard of football delivered doesn't get affected by over stringent financial controls.

We are also forgetting that we are a selling club and over recent years a successful selling club, how much was down to the previous regime we don't know, as of yet we haven't had any inquiries (Stockley was a stitch up and Storey we are led to believe has sell ons) for any of our products yet but time will tell and how will they be marketed (Grimes?)

We can be more than an average league two club but it isn't going to happen over night, we need to spend our cash wisely and deliver an entertaining product, one that the club and supporters are proud of and can be sustained. We can never afford to rest on our laurels
 

IndoMike

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Let's put it this way. Imagine that we have a 12k seater. What happens if we get relegated to the Conference? Can you imagine what the atmosphere would be like if the attendances averaged 2.5k ?
Of course, the Big Bank would have to go.
And no more St James Park. It'll be the
" Shining Bright Greater Exeter Light Arena".
Who will want to travel out to the stadium on a cold, rainy night in November?
Progress must happen, but it has to be the right kind of progress
 

Ian Russon

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Let's put it this way. Imagine that we have a 12k seater. What happens if we get relegated to the Conference? Can you imagine what the atmosphere would be like if the attendances averaged 2.5k ?
Of course, the Big Bank would have to go.
And no more St James Park. It'll be the
" Shining Bright Greater Exeter Light Arena".
Who will want to travel out to the stadium on a cold, rainy night in November?
Progress must happen, but it has to be the right kind of progress
I remember Oxford one cold january a fair few years back we took about 500 people. there was no atmosphere as the stadium was so big. We lost, went home bitter and cold with no good memories or the want to return.

SJP does not seem so bad after all
 

Boyo

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Let's put it this way. Imagine that we have a 12k seater. What happens if we get relegated to the Conference? Can you imagine what the atmosphere would be like if the attendances averaged 2.5k ?
Of course, the Big Bank would have to go.
And no more St James Park. It'll be the
" Shining Bright Greater Exeter Light Arena".
Who will want to travel out to the stadium on a cold, rainy night in November?
Progress must happen, but it has to be the right kind of progress
SJP is pretty depressing with 2.5k people.
A new stadium isn’t about capacity or attendances, it’s about generating non football income that can be used to maximise on pitch performance.
 

rightwing

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Article in tonght's Evening Standard about the cost of building Wimbledon's new ground overrunning and how it may threaten fan control and ownership of the club: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fans-fear-for-future-of-afc-wimbledon-as-club-face-11m-shortfall-to-build-new-stadium-a4296711.html. A cautionary story about our cousins at a fellow fan owned club.
It's interesting to note in this article that the Wimbledon Trust has raised £20M towards this project. Our Trust has raised £2m? over a far greater timespan. I don't know how Wimbledon have achieved this but our Trust should certainly be asking questions of them to see if we could do the same.
 

Legohead

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I think we need to try and understand what people view as an acceptable Club to be. For many I think the key criteria would relate to league position. Most would recognise that there is a strong correlation between playing budget and league position (there's always a few exceptions). I'm guessing here, but I estimate our current (inflated) playing budget would be ranked somewhere between 5-10 in L2 (Bottom 5 in L1). Our baseline budget (assuming we have no surplus cash from player sales etc) would probably be closer to 15-20 in L2.

If we are happy with that then we carry on as we are. We may enjoy the odd promotion and inevitable fall back to L2 and we'll have some hairy moments after a dry income spell. Relegation to the Conference would be a disaster and it would be really difficult to bounce back. Of course, each time a FGR or Salford get promoted, then we drop one place in the playing budget rankings.

If we want more than that, then ultimately we need to generate additional profit from somewhere. Match day income will largely correlate with on field performance and hence is vulnerable to decline following poor form and therefore is an unstable revenue stream to rely on.

Jesus I just reread what I wrote and I sound like Taggy! Anyway, I just want to know more about the options, as for me I think we can do better.
This is the crux of the matter I think Boyo. The issue with football fans is the same as we've seen with Brexit voters and everything in between. We all have different opinions and expectations and not everybody can be appeased.

My opinion of a football fan is one who decides to follow a particular club and then does so whatever the fortunes of that club as football is an unpredictable sport and there are ups as well as downs. So a fan who supported Bradford City for example when they were in the Premier League should still be attending games in L2 and should do so if they dropped to National League North or whatever. The level of football the club they support are playing at should have zero bearing on whether they attend or not and if every fan had this viewpoint then attendances wouldn't fluctuate so wildly in relation to a clubs fortunes on the pitch and clubs would have a more steady and similar income. Also clubs owners / boards wouldn't feel the pressure to spend money they haven't got which benefits fan owned clubs a lot more I would say as they can spend within budget knowing that the same amount of fans roughly will still be turning up through the gates.

Fans who stay away because the team are losing also reduce the amount of money available to the football club and the football club then will struggle to find the funds required to add better players and to start winning games again so it's a catch22. That's not to say fans can't have a say and voice their concerns and displeasure and with a model like ours we can do that.

With a model like most other clubs then the spending is really down to the ego of the owners or due to the owners wanting to cut costs and the fans have absolutely no say in either circumstance but IMO they must still continue to attend if they are to be a fan of the football club whilst trying to sort this issue out through protests etc. For example Blackpool fans upset with the Oystons stayed away and then returned when they'd left. Whilst at the same time completely understanding why they would do this and having empathy for them, nevertheless I find this unacceptable and they aren't fans in my eyes.

It does seem to be a rigid and judgemental rule I fully appreciate if it's difficult for some to see where i'm coming from but generally speaking this is what the epitome of a football fans should be and I don't have a lot of understanding or tolerance for others who claim to be fans and then don't adhere to the above. Although I am open to listening to reasons and trying to understand for sure.

In my opinion if a fan has absolutely have had enough of a crappy owner or a culture at their club of lack of engagement and ignorance and after years of trying to get things changed and keep being ignored and getting nowhere, like at Chesterfield for example and doesn't want to give them any more of their hard earned then i fully understand. Believe me, I totally get it and would admire their stance if they wanted to take a stand and cut all ties with the club until the owner leaves. I haven't an issue with this.

What I have an issue with is when the owner leaves and the fan decides to return. This isn't acceptable. IMO they should either make a decision to cut ties once and for all never to return regardless or continue to attend through the hell until the owner leaves.

If a fan has had enough of losing and rubbish football then i also can understand. It's not nice being sh*t and watching sh*t week in week out and giving up your time and money to experience it. If a fan decides they've had enough then that's absolutely fine. What they shouldn't do then is return when the team start winning and playing better. This is the absolute apotheosis of a fickle football fan and i don't understand these types of fans at all and never will. If they continued through thick and thin then the club would be able to ride out prolonged periods of poor form perhaps even lasting years because they know that a similar number of fans will always keep coming through the turnstiles regardless.

Obviously this is a lot more important for lower league clubs than Prem clubs.

I also don't understand why some fans of lower league football expect their teams to play like Man City. If i was watching Man City and paying £60 to watch Man City and Man City players were earning hundreds of thousands a week then i would EXPECT them to play like Man City EVERY WEEK and entertain EVERY WEEK without fail because that is a reasonable expectation given the quality of player, the price of the ticket and the earnings the players get which suggest they are really good at football.

Supporting Exeter i expect us to play with a positive mindset and try and attack teams as i feel teams at ANY level can be managed to be able to do this more frequently than they do. It may not be like Man City or it may not lead to wins but it's better than being defensive. However i have to take into account that we are league 2 and we are playing other sides of similar ability and they might not let us play that way every week. We also might have attackers that are significantly lesser in ability than the likes of Raheem Sterling and this has to be taken into account.

It's league 2 football. Sometimes it's amazing and sometimes it's absolutely soul destroying but for the majority of the time it's somewhere in between and that might bring wins, draws or losses and it's why I love it. It's the Forrest Gump box of chocolates scenario. The worst thing in the world would be supporting Man City and going to a game expecting not only a win but a hatful of goals and walking down the street in a Man City shirt or coat and people taking no notice because they think you aren't a real football fan.

If I am walking round a town for example and see someone wearing a Crewe Alex hat then I smile and would be interested enough to stop that person and have a quick chat because I would know that they were like me. Proud to have a unique identity. An identity that fans of top clubs simply don't have because there's millions of them all over the world and not a few thousand. Would you like to chat with a Man U fan over a pint or a Crewe fan?

It's this unique identity that fans of smaller clubs should be proud of win, lose or draw and whether your team play in a nice new ground like Colchesters or one falling to bits like York it doesn't matter if everyone sticks to the plan. Through thick and thin. Richer or poorer. The only exception being a fan who genuinely for their own reasons decide they have had enough in which case they don't go back. Ever. I have respect for those fans although i'm not sure there are many about.

It's tough for clubs because of the nature of sport. Despite best intentions and efforts a club might find themselves struggling and then half their fans bugger off. Not every club in the world can be successful. If desiring success as the primary motivator to support a club then go and support Man City because league 2 most certainly isn't for you would be my sincere advice.

Clubs cannot win whether they are well run or not because fans don't stick to the plan.

Anyway just my opinion and not law (thank goodness). :)
 
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IndoMike

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SJP is pretty depressing with 2.5k people.
A new stadium isn’t about capacity or attendances, it’s about generating non football income that can be used to maximise on pitch performance.
I disagree .We are a football club, not a multi-faceted entertainment business
There are already many places in and around Exeter which offer conference/ meeting facilities. SJP already offers that anyway.
Concerts? Can't imagine there'd be a queue of rock bands waiting to play at a new out of town stadium. Anything the new stadium could offer is covered already.
Who would manage the new stadium and all the presumed facilities.? A lot of staff would have to be hired and salaries paid.
In my opinion we should focus on getting into League One, establishing ourselves in that league, and in the meantime maximizing every avenue for adding to the club's income. If we can achieve that then at least we are in a stronger position to negotiate with the relevant authorities and attract better support and sponsorship for a new stadium if the fans really want that, bearing in mind also that our next step up would be the Championship. But as a League 2 side to jump to a new stadium imo is not realistic.
Anyway, in the end it will be the decision of the Trust and the fans.
 

Spoonz Red E

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It's interesting to note in this article that the Wimbledon Trust has raised £20M towards this project. Our Trust has raised £2m? over a far greater timespan. I don't know how Wimbledon have achieved this but our Trust should certainly be asking questions of them to see if we could do the same.
In short, funds raised were largely connected to the Kingsmeadow ground and a share issue.
  • AFC Wimbledon entered into a groundshare as tenants to Kingstonian whose ground it was.
  • Kingstonian went into admin and bankruptcy forcing the sale of the ground to a property developer who also took over Kingstonian.
  • AFC Wimbledon, to secure the future of the ground, raised £3m to buy the ground and offered a groundshare back to Kingstonian. The money was raised by selling a minority interest leaving Wimbledon supporters with a 77% shareholding of the Dons Trust.
  • AFC Wimbledon then sold the ground to Chelsea FC effectively making Kingstonian homeless.
 

rightwing

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In short, funds raised were largely connected to the Kingsmeadow ground and a share issue.
  • AFC Wimbledon entered into a groundshare as tenants to Kingstonian whose ground it was.
  • Kingstonian went into admin and bankruptcy forcing the sale of the ground to a property developer who also took over Kingstonian.
  • AFC Wimbledon, to secure the future of the ground, raised £3m to buy the ground and offered a groundshare back to Kingstonian. The money was raised by selling a minority interest leaving Wimbledon supporters with a 77% shareholding of the Dons Trust.
  • AFC Wimbledon then sold the ground to Chelsea FC effectively making Kingstonian homeless.
Thanks Mike
 
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