Are we approaching a Crossroads

ECFC89

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I think off the pitch and as a club as a whole, we are stronger than we’ve ever been. Yes we have big financial limitations but We are doing it the right way and building from the bottom up, investing in the academy and the training ground. I refuse to believe we can’t make it to the championship when the likes of Yeovil, burton, Luton, Wycombe etc have been there recently. Yes we could come straight back down but I think our academy is now at a level where we will always have a chance to progress as we have that to fall back on these days.
No idea how old you are lad, but Luton used to be regularly top flight. Still agree with the main point mind.
 

STURTZ

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Clubs punching above their weight and spending more than their model can cover will all eventually fall back to their true level, look at Yeovil now!

Our model is reliant on youth providing the necessary extra money that allows us, as a club with an average sub 5k attendance to boost our financial status in the ladder. Our natural position is league 2 historically and in terms of what we should expect. Stability in league 1 is the most we can hope for until we either get bigger crowds or sell more youth products. A decent cup run wouldn't go amiss!
 

Grecian Max

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Always wanted more of a shift away from overall supporter control to something a bit more hybrid - I think it’s required at the higher levels.

The Trust have done amazing things and continue to - but there is a very clear ceiling to it all and it’s there & can’t be ignored. I would like to see plans laid out for the next steps behind relying on 6k a week. I think we’re a saleable asset and under no pressure so would be the perfect point in our history to begin an active hunt for the right partner to go forward. IMO.

You’ll get people say there’s no private investors out there who would do a good job but I don’t believe that to be true. The same will jump on the word “invest” and say “well they’d want their money back” which is also a very simplistic argument as these people come in all forms.

For what it’s worth I think we will stay up but this is a huge opportunity over next 5+ years to build momentum and take a genuine step forward in a league that absolutely we should be sustainable at.
 

Grecian Max

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Clubs punching above their weight and spending more than their model can cover will all eventually fall back to their true level, look at Yeovil now!

Our model is reliant on youth providing the necessary extra money that allows us, as a club with an average sub 5k attendance to boost our financial status in the ladder. Our natural position is league 2 historically and in terms of what we should expect. Stability in league 1 is the most we can hope for until we either get bigger crowds or sell more youth products. A decent cup run wouldn't go amiss!
Didn’t we average over 5k last season or close to?

You only have to look at Chiefs or annoyingly Argyle to see what a bit of sustained period in a higher level can do for gates. Argyle went from real lows of 5k in the 90s right up to 16k + in the early 00s and have retained that higher levels of base support ever since (getting 8/9/10k in league 2)

The selling club model you mentioned isn’t sustainable in my opinion, it should be a nice to have, an extra - not the complete definition of our success or failure. To set it up in that way isn’t diversifying our income enough.
 

John William

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The trouble with Crossroads is that you sell your soul to the devil.

Cross Road Blues - Wikipedia

More on topic, I'm a natural pessimist and fear that, if it's true that our playing budget is the same as it was last year, we will go straight back down.

We will have 50% more money from the TV and Solidarity payments and presumably higher attendances, so I don't understand why the manager has not been given an increase in the playing budget. Any Club or Trust insider care to enlighten me?
 

Super Ronnie Jepson

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Now that all the excitement of promotion is dying down, and the doubters have been proved wrong in that we do want to progress in the EFL reality is starting to kick in.

Firstly the reality of being a supporter owned club in League one (division 3 old money) in 2022. Whilst you expect the big boys to outgun us for players, however we are seeing the "minnows" with purportedly wealthy backers to attract "star names" or quality players who we may or may not have been interested in, despite record season ticket sales and the attraction of playing in a higher division and again the opportunity to live in God's own County. I know this has always been the case but this season it is more apparent with the likes of Crawley signing Telford, and when we were in the fourth division we could get by with what we had and functioned as a team. However up a league we will need more quality in the squad, and I am sure that there are a number of players whose agents are overpricing their talents (similar to the current housing market) and their demands will reduce as the season encroaches. But it is a problem

Secondly, the initial talk is retaining and consolidating our position in League one, I feel that our current squad with a couple of additions should hold their own in the division, however over time what is the future? We have relied on a mix of seasoned pros, mixed with perceived average signings and academy players to form a cohesive successful squad, which again has worked well over the years, the future will be different. Will we be getting the number of academy products through the system, with the increase in quality in the division, as we are finding will we be able to attract the seasoned pros that can also help support our system. How imperative to our survival is project 6000 (or whatever it's called), do we need this many supporters for every game to balance the books.

Thirdly what are our ambitions now that we have left the fourth division behind us, do we want to progress to the second division, and all the extra cost that that would bring, or is it just a case of consolidating in league one until the time comes for us to return to the fourth division. If we stagnate in division three, then will supporter interest wane as this could be perceived as no ambition, therefore causing more pressure on the budget. How much longer have we got of the Ollie monies to support the club infrastructure, as Matt has said if we had all our academy products in the one team it would be one helluva team, but there would be no club so we will still need to sell

It is a fine balancing act and I would like to think that we could dip our toes in the waters of the championship just once in my life time but not at all costs, as with everything in this world money seems to be the major problem to progress so what are the ways forward?

Where will we be in 2027
I've said it before - the difference between now and 2015 when we sold Matt Grimes is the number of saleable assets we have. Back then, we only had Grimes who would command a big fee.

Now there are multiple players in that category, some are our Academy products (Hartridge, Diabate, Key, Cox, Lee, Pond etc) and others have been brought into the club (Nombe, Stubbs if he stays fit). Additionally, we also have academy graduates that may not make us big bucks but saved us a fortune signing players from elsewhere that could well turn out to be one-club players (Jay, Collins) though I still think other clubs will be watching them.
 

SaintJames

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Excellent thread. Firstly, we shouldnt ever go into a season anxious about what's coming but be positive and excited. I'm loving the thought of a league one campaign and as others have said we should comfortably hold our own. My guess anywhere from 12-16th. We are so far advanced of where we were even ten years ago let alone those halycon Div 3 days of Kellow and Rogers et al. We have no choice but to move in incremental baby steps and full credit must go to Taggy and the board in how they have done so whilst improving the pitch, the Academy, the stadium and the training ground while being competitive on the pitch. To me there are two things to becoming sustainable in L1 which has to be possible if the likes of Accrington can be! Firstly, we have to keep investing in the academy and hope Watkins number 2 comes along to provide us with the next tranche of cash to give us that additional boost. Secondly, I am also happy with the concept of exploring a hybrid Trust model. In the short term I dont want to relinquish ownership but am more than happy to cede say 40% of shares to other investors with the Trust retaining the majority shareholding. This can be done in one of two ways either a traditional sale of shares to one to four individuals with 10% share holding or a share issue in which Trust members can purchase a percentage of the shareholding but on the proviso that any re-sale is back to the Trust.
 

Memphis09

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Clubs punching above their weight and spending more than their model can cover will all eventually fall back to their true level, look at Yeovil now!

Our model is reliant on youth providing the necessary extra money that allows us, as a club with an average sub 5k attendance to boost our financial status in the ladder. Our natural position is league 2 historically and in terms of what we should expect. Stability in league 1 is the most we can hope for until we either get bigger crowds or sell more youth products. A decent cup run wouldn't go amiss!
Yes agree and Yeovil only went up on loans and then more loans the following season
Personally I think we have a good enough squad all be it on the small side but add three or four and we should be hopefully ok
 

STURTZ

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Yes agree and Yeovil only went up on loans and then more loans the following season
Personally I think we have a good enough squad all be it on the small side but add three or four and we should be hopefully ok
I think we will be o.k. as well, the momentum and will to win built up last season will carry us through I'm sure. All I've ever wanted was club development (ground and infrastructure) and an established league 1 team. Our ground is no longer an embarassment and we have a team that has enough youth on its side to ensure a solid future, not many clubs can say that. I'm happy with my club and don't want it selling out to private ownership in any way. Hard to say but I'd rather be relegated.
 
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