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Posts from the ‘Stockport County’ Category

Flabergasted

It has been muted before and no doubt will be again. Some believe it’s high jinks and a negotiating ploy to get more out of UEFA in advance of imminent meetings. Not this time, I feel, as the concensus of PR from the 6 so-called ‘BIG CLUBS’ cries a done deal. I’m just hearing that BVB Dortmund may have refused to join, yet good on them if so – though the German model of ownership has offered more security to stakeholders including the fans and been applauded previously. It is blatant ‘fat cats’ behaviour, the drivers behind this so called ‘European Super League’ (ESL) with overseas owners of United, Arsenal and Liverpool one tier beneath the former Real Madrid President in the new hierarchy. Will it go ahead? Of course if these ‘big ones’ want it enough. The objective is simply more revenue. A logical ‘target’ with shareholders seeking greater returns on investment. However, what has clearly been betrayed is the fans. No consultation, no advance warning, no solicitation of opinions. Owners can do what they want, but this is adverse to the heritage, tradition and DNA of the “beautiful game“. Reactionary tones suggest bans from Europa and Champions League for Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, City, United and Liverpool. Also, potential dismissing from future participation in the EPL. Then finally, potentially no players from these 6 teams featuring in the Euros or World Cups. I know my Son and I had fun selecting our new England best eleven this morning over breakfast without recourse to any of those six clubs. Will they get their own way? If they want to yes! Will the threats outside the ESL, prove toothless? Who knows? Only time will tell. Claimants to be ‘Football Finance’ experts are now mushrooming on every corner. So just take a peek at this huge wave of continuity, in opinion, against those North West or London owners and their clubs. You’ll detect from those posts that I have selected below, my take on this all. And yes, the silver lining might be cast on County or FC United amongst others.

Cheerio Jim

Simply posting a repeat of my social media Tweet last week after hearing the surprising news of our Manager’s departure. I said: “Don’t know all facts @StockportCounty but as we are a results based business this could prove to be a huge error. Currently, sitting nicely in table and @james16gannon‘s teams always get stronger in second half of season. Guessing there’s more to this story to come out.”

Thinking face

All I can relate to is the words of Pep Guardiola this Morning on Talk Sport: “There’s no such thing as a ‘Project’ in football. It’s about Winning, Losing or Drawing Games”. I rest my case. It is a big risk to change a winning formula, especially at this stage of the campaign – all in the name of ‘culture’. But to replace a performing fans’ favourite, in Jim Gannon, with any incumbent having limited experience in management in this challenging Non-League hierarchy, an even bigger risk. As a County fan, let’s just hope it works!

Dead and Bury-ed: I think not

Heart breaking that the hub of a community, Bury FC, can be tossed aside when owners rather than other stakeholders are alleged culprits and responsible for the downfall. Sad day for football. But they will return – better and stronger. #footballfinance

Not the same as my beloved Stockport County, whose fall from the EFL, was its being undermined by financial malaise. But the increasingly common insolvent nature of businesses and unviable commercial ventures illustrate the very reasons why more and more football league clubs are in intensive care.

Sound management practices and financial astuteness are not ubiquitious in professional football clubs. I would even say that there is an epidemic of financial frailties, not only in EFL, and mirrored in non-league, but in other sports from what I have seen recently including rugby league and some NGBs. Of course, there is no need to tar everyone with the same brush. There are some great operations at home in the UK and overseas. Tranmere Rovers’ Mark Palios talks some real sense on the need for EFL and financial practices to reform. Daniel Geey in his thorough book “Done Deal” highlights ailments in ownership and trading models. He also dissects ownership statuses of EPL clubs – and personally that may create another financial disaster as international stakeholders, whatever an enterprise, have a track record of retreat, in the face of adversity or economic downturn.

I hope Bolton Wanderers doesn’t go the same way. North West brands and household names up here!

My Company, assisted Bury FC 15 years earlier. I state hope for the future as the Club has limped from administration to administration whilst pro. A phoenix club whilst painful allows a rethink.

Financial plight is not a new phenomenon to the Shakers, who have had a shakey existence. Working with its supporters’ trust, Forever Bury, we delivered additional income from community initiatives like Dream TV (Sky TV) playing in Town, beer festivals, inter-faith projects, duck races etc (still can’t believe the Wife’s duck named Galatasaray came first across the line across the River Irwell in ‘footy ducks’!) This appointment for ACROBAT FCSM came on the back of our award winning consultancy and role in saving Oldham Athletic in 2004.

The future looks nervous in football – and change is required. At least our businesses are likely to remain in demand as clubs and NGBs seek supplementary or substitute revenue to remain sustainable.

Adrian Stores is CEO at ACROBAT FCSM and Ballon Sports Agency.

#strategicmarketing #commercialization #sponsorship #funding #partnering

Transfer Window

“If I say so myself, for a fledgling agency, the calibre of players exceeds our expectations. We have an abundance of goalkeepers, young and with international caps. I blame this on both Russ and myself who both have sons that have played in nets.

Today at a National League North fixture. The UK is our natural heartland through the levels of the football pyramid. Our overseas expertise and talent comes from Turkey, Romania and this year Bulgaria. We have access to seasoned professionals and young players from South America. A striker from Poland. And Russ has unearthed two New Zealand internationals which are available now.

All I would say is that I encourage any Clubs to make enquiries. It costs nothing but time to make an initial enquiry to Ballon.”