Tagg's Trust AGM speech - 3 option

Legohead

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Anyone wanting to invest in a club will probably over look us anyway, We have very little to offer, No land, No ownership of a stadium, Nothing much but if we did attract interest the Trust would i hope be open to the membership, Show details and after they've gone over it with a fine tooth comb put it to the membership for recomendation, Whether that is to say yay or nay, To say you wouldn't support the club because of a change of model/ownership, I could never say that, ECFC is my club whoever runs it
The fact is that no businessman is ever going to be able to make money from owning ECFC. Therefore anyone who comes in promising this that and t'other is probably someone with ulterior motives. Unless we get lucky and it's a very, very rich fan or philanthropist who has the club and fans as a number one priority.

In all cases I would ask for a huge lump sum to be deposited into a separate account by any new owner prior to taking over which he / she couldn't access until they have left the club. Then if they leave the club in a financial stricken state the money can then be used to get the club back on an even keel. As an added bonus, implementing such a scheme would scare off most fly by night shysters anyway as they either wouldn't be prepared to do that or wouldn't have the cash in the first place to do that.

Yes I concede that I may have been a bit over dramatic stating that I would have to consider my position as a fan of the club if we got taken over but my number one hate in football is rogue owners and it shouldn't be happening these days. If the current board ever put us in the position where we sell out to someone who subsequently seeks to destroy all the years of hard work and commitment given by many then I couldn't forgive them and I think my passion for football and the integrity in football would probably disappear once and for all.
 
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DB9

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The fact is that no businessman is ever going to be able to make money from owning ECFC. Therefore anyone who comes in promising this that and t'other is probably someone with ulterior motives. Unless we get lucky and it's a very, very rich fan or philanthropist who has the club and fans as a number one priority.

In all cases I would ask for a huge lump sum to be deposited into a separate account by any new owner prior to taking over which he / she couldn't access until they have left the club. Then if they leave the club in a financial stricken state the money can then be used to get the club back on an even keel. As an added bonus, implementing such a scheme would scare off most fly by night shysters anyway as they either wouldn't be prepared to do that or wouldn't have the cash in the first place to do that.

Yes I concede that I may have been a bit over dramatic stating that I would have to consider my position as a fan of the club if we got taken over but my number one hate in football is rogue owners and it shouldn't be happening these days. If the current board ever put us in the position where we sell out to someone who subsequently seeks to destroy all the years of hard work and commitment given by many then I couldn't forgive them.
If anyone came in what ulterior motive would they have in your view? Your second paragraph would put people off that's for sure as you're telling them how they use their money. Ok let's turn this on it's head, What if as a club we are on our knees? Our Acadamy has dried up, We're lower end of L2 with crowds down and the pot is empty money wise and we keep having to go to the PFA for loans and then someone came in, What would you do? Please note I'm not advocating that we sell up, This is just a what if scenario
 

Legohead

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If anyone came in what ulterior motive would they have in your view? Your second paragraph would put people off that's for sure as you're telling them how they use their money. Ok let's turn this on it's head, What if as a club we are on our knees? Our Acadamy has dried up, We're lower end of L2 with crowds down and the pot is empty money wise and we keep having to go to the PFA for loans and then someone came in, What would you do? Please note I'm not advocating that we sell up, This is just a what if scenario
If we run ourselves properly and according to budget then we shouldn't be on our knees at any point. If crowds dwindle because we are in poor form and money is tight then we accept that and function accordingly. If that means less playing budget and dropping into the National League then so be it. That would be our level at that time and everything would still be in our hands so to speak. I have always maintained that I would rather support a Trust run Exeter City that has no money and that is in National League mediocrity than an Exeter City owned by one bloke who has all the power and who is chucking money at an unrealistic push for more and more and risking the future of the football club or at the other end of the spectrum like at Barnsley. An owner who doesn't want to invest and wants to do things on the cheap to the detriment of the club.

As humans we always seem to want more don't we and are never satisfied with what we have until it all goes tits up and we beg for what we had before to come back. Football fans are no different.
 

DB9

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If we run ourselves properly and according to budget then we shouldn't be on our knees at any point. If crowds dwindle because we are in poor form and money is tight then we accept that and function accordingly. If that means less playing budget and dropping into the National League then so be it. That would be our level at that time and everything would still be in our hands so to speak. I have always maintained that I would rather support a Trust run Exeter City that has no money and that is in National League mediocrity than an Exeter City owned by one bloke who has all the power and who is chucking money at an unrealistic push for more and more and risking the future of the football club or at the other end of the spectrum like at Barnsley. An owner who doesn't want to invest and wants to do things on the cheap to the detriment of the club.

As humans we always seem to want more don't we and are never satisfied with what we have until it all goes tits up and we beg for what we had before to come back. Football fans are no different.
Its very noble what you say and like me you love the club, We're not the ones to convince, If we god forbid drop into the NL then that throws up so many problems, No TV money, No money for the Academy etc, I personally don't think it would be as easy as you say to function accordingly
 

Legohead

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Its very noble what you say and like me you love the club, We're not the ones to convince, If we god forbid drop into the NL then that throws up so many problems, No TV money, No money for the Academy etc, I personally don't think it would be as easy as you say to function accordingly
I never said it would be easy DB9 and as you say, dropping into the NL hits us financially but we adjust to whatever level we are and whatever money we have coming in. That might see us in regional football but I personally accept that so long as we don't relinquish the power at the club.

If we were moments away from going bust then would I accept an investor to save us?

Personally no. Because my passion for the model we have currently is as equal as the passion i have for the football club so if one goes, they both do in my eyes. I realise this may be difficult to understand for most but it's where i'm at.
 
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DB9

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I never said it would be easy DB9 and as you say, dropping into the NL hits us financially but we adjust to whatever level we are and whatever money we have coming in. That might see us in regional football but I personally accept that so long as we don't relinquish the power at the club.

If we were moments away from going bust then would I accept an investor to save us?

Personally no. Because my passion for the model we have currently is as equal as the passion i have for the football club so if one goes, they both do in my eyes. I realise this may be difficult to understand for most but it's where i'm at.
No, I mean easy to "Function Accordingly" not you saying it would be.
 

Legohead

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An alternative perhaps and an idea I would be prepared to consider is one where we keep the fans trust and continue to raise money and put it away so that we have enough money to be able to pick up the pieces should an investor buy us then leave us in a mess. In addition this would require some sort of legal document stating that the investor who has bought the club must sell back to us in the event of them not being in a position to fund / run it anymore.

The we save the club, raise it from the dead and start all over again. 😕
 

GJW

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I'm unsure how moving out of the city centre would improve things in terms of fan base. Surely being in the centre of town is part of the draw of our club?
It obviously would provide additional income through other ventures, but then we would have a nice modern stadium with all the extras and be laughing stock with the thousands of empty seats.

Does anyone have figures on how Coventry's relocation to the Ricoh went attendance wise? Whenever I have visited the Ricoh it has been more than half empty.
In the last 5 seasons that Coventry played in the Premier League at Highfield Road they averaged about 20,000. They dropped to the Championship and lost 5,000 fans overnight. They averaged about 15,000 in the last 4 seasons at HR. Then came the Ricoh. The next 3 seasons saw crowds back around 20,000 on average. My view is if they had stayed in the Premier league in the new stadium they would have averaged 25-30k. The stadium did and would have had a positive impact, although tears were shed for the move out of HR and the memories there. Unfortunately, around 2009 things started to go wrong for Coventry, that no new stadium could help. Haven’t got time to discuss all the details but 2 key issues; performances and the stadium ownership controversy. The latter issue still ongoing. Performances are the number 1 factor that fills or empties stadiums. As I said, if still in the top tier it would be close to full every week. Drop down from tier 1 to tier 4 and you will get lower crowds. So, dropping down to 15,000 in the Championship and then just over 10,000 in L1 was inevitable. A stint in Sixfields (av. 2,382) in 2014 and now St Andrews (av. 5,923) a sign of the ongoing problems of not agreeing deals with current Ricoh owners. Last season saw an improvement to 12,362 and if we were at the Ricoh this season we would be looking at nearer 15,000 with the start they have made.
In summary; Stadiums do not have a soul and cannot be soulless, only people can effect this. SJP in the mid 90s on a cold Tuesday night, losing 3-0 in front of 2,500 .... That is soulless. SJP full on a Saturday winning 4-0 against Plymouth is soul. Coventry in the Ricoh on a Tuesday night playing Crewe in tier 4 with less than 5,000 is soulless. Coventry playing in tier 1 or 2 in front of 25,000 when it is banging is real soul.
Never say never to a new stadium if the goal, however long it takes, is to play tier 2 or even tier 1 football. The door is not locked to those levels. It’s not realistic now but in 10 years or 20? Who knows? Fans have to have a dream even if it is unlikely, but it is never impossible.
Back to Mr Tagg’s options, I would take option 1 right now and take it to the limit until the limit required us to take the next step. For me the next step would be 3. I wouldn’t be happy with option 2.
 

rightwing

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With regard to option 3, there are now no sites available for this purpose within the City boundaries. The Drivers Jonas Report initially identified about 12 sites suitable for a stadium but that was produced 12 years ago. Most of those sites have now been used for other purposes but the incorporation of wider activities would need a much bigger site anyway. Exeter City Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment would similarly suggest that there are no suitable sites available.

So, where would we go? The obvious answer is into East Devon as a great number of our fans come from the Exmouth/Sidmouth/ Honiton/Ottery /Cranbrook areas. For me the two most suitable areas in East Devon would be either Cranbrook or at the Cat and Fiddle.

I think that Cranbrook will eventually be absorbed into Exeter by a boundary change similar to the way that Plympton and Plymstock were added to Plymouth in the late 1960’s. Whether this would be done on an ad hoc basis or as a result of more general Boundary Commission changes remains to be seen. If this happened then the granting of planning permission would be much more of a formality by Exeter City Council than under East Devon District Council.

However we already have an established presence at the Cat and Fiddle and I have long admired the land on the opposite side of the road as being suitable for a stadium with extensive car parking. For administrative purposes, combining that with the training facility really makes sense to me. Every successful business needs to expand and the fact that we already have a major presence there would certainly help with planning permission. Nearby Crealy Theme and Resort Park is similarly forever expanding. Then why not us?

How would a move be financed? If the Trust stopped playing parochial politics and got to grips with the bigger issues it would realise that St. James Park is a very valuable resource. To my mind the Trust’s inactivity in not buying the St. James Centre is almost tantamount to negligence. The acquisition of this site is critical to the enhanced value of the whole SJP site. Otherwise the site is split in half because OTR not only own the building but also Red Square and the route from Stadium Way. Pulling the whole site together enhances the value!!!!! The Club already owns the Fountains Centre and the car park .Taggy has long said that OTR would be amenable to sell the St. James Centre. They even reduced the valuation of the building in their accounts a couple of years ago. I’m suggesting that it could be bought for circa £600,000. Finance that purchase by stopping the annual £100,000 contribution to the Club, it doesn’t need it at the moment! The “We own our football Club” slogan might then actually have some meaning! And what about the lease of St. James Park? Whilst the Trust fiddles perhaps it doesn’t realise that it only has less than two years to run! This is the opportune time to buy the ground back from the Council. Surely there is someone at the Trust or Club with the nous to negotiate a reasonable deal that a host of similar clubs to ours have done?

Then, if a student developer is prepared to pay £3m to £4m to buy the tiny parcel of land behind the Big Bank, the proceeds of which financed the rebuilding of the Old Grandstand, then how much would the whole site be worth? We are certainly talking multi millions, enough to finance the building of a whole new stadium! Additionally, depending on the configuration of, and ownership of the proposed extended development we could expect contributions from a developer or even East Devon District Council if they wanted to provide some of the activities.
 

IndoMike

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An alternative perhaps and an idea I would be prepared to consider is one where we keep the fans trust and continue to raise money and put it away so that we have enough money to be able to pick up the pieces should an investor buy us then leave us in a mess. In addition this would require some sort of legal document stating that the investor who has bought the club must sell back to us in the event of them not being in a position to fund / run it anymore.

The we save the club, raise it from the dead and start all over again. 😕
Who would p
With regard to option 3, there are now no sites available for this purpose within the City boundaries. The Drivers Jonas Report initially identified about 12 sites suitable for a stadium but that was produced 12 years ago. Most of those sites have now been used for other purposes but the incorporation of wider activities would need a much bigger site anyway. Exeter City Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment would similarly suggest that there are no suitable sites available.

So, where would we go? The obvious answer is into East Devon as a great number of our fans come from the Exmouth/Sidmouth/ Honiton/Ottery /Cranbrook areas. For me the two most suitable areas in East Devon would be either Cranbrook or at the Cat and Fiddle.

I think that Cranbrook will eventually be absorbed into Exeter by a boundary change similar to the way that Plympton and Plymstock were added to Plymouth in the late 1960’s. Whether this would be done on an ad hoc basis or as a result of more general Boundary Commission changes remains to be seen. If this happened then the granting of planning permission would be much more of a formality by Exeter City Council than under East Devon District Council.

However we already have an established presence at the Cat and Fiddle and I have long admired the land on the opposite side of the road as being suitable for a stadium with extensive car parking. For administrative purposes, combining that with the training facility really makes sense to me. Every successful business needs to expand and the fact that we already have a major presence there would certainly help with planning permission. Nearby Crealy Theme and Resort Park is similarly forever expanding. Then why not us?

How would a move be financed? If the Trust stopped playing parochial politics and got to grips with the bigger issues it would realise that St. James Park is a very valuable resource. To my mind the Trust’s inactivity in not buying the St. James Centre is almost tantamount to negligence. The acquisition of this site is critical to the enhanced value of the whole SJP site. Otherwise the site is split in half because OTR not only own the building but also Red Square and the route from Stadium Way. Pulling the whole site together enhances the value!!!!! The Club already owns the Fountains Centre and the car park .Taggy has long said that OTR would be amenable to sell the St. James Centre. They even reduced the valuation of the building in their accounts a couple of years ago. I’m suggesting that it could be bought for circa £600,000. Finance that purchase by stopping the annual £100,000 contribution to the Club, it doesn’t need it at the moment! The “We own our football Club” slogan might then actually have some meaning! And what about the lease of St. James Park? Whilst the Trust fiddles perhaps it doesn’t realise that it only has less than two years to run! This is the opportune time to buy the ground back from the Council. Surely there is someone at the Trust or Club with the nous to negotiate a reasonable deal that a host of similar clubs to ours have done?

Then, if a student developer is prepared to pay £3m to £4m to buy the tiny parcel of land behind the Big Bank, the proceeds of which financed the rebuilding of the Old Grandstand, then how much would the whole site be worth? We are certainly talking multi millions, enough to finance the building of a whole new stadium! Additionally, depending on the configuration of, and ownership of the proposed extended development we could expect contributions from a developer or even East Devon District Council if they wanted to provide some of the activities.
Where does the money to buy the ground come from?
 
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