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Posts from the ‘Stockport County’ Category

Tamworth Donations

On 5th March 2016, County head off to play Tamworth away.  I read this article from one of my students at UCFB, and immediately had affinity.  Not least in that it’s a Stockport County match; but as the undertones of the message below echo what we as County fans stand for “the scarf my father wore!”; and with my own family members having faced the ubiquitous dreaded ‘C’.

At this game there will be charitable fundraisers.  They are not affiliated to Tamworth or supporters but are simply pursuing a dream.  Please do dig deep and give them a warm welcome to show, as I know, our fans are the best!

Organiser, Daniel Getliff, comments:

“I will be running in the 2016 London marathon for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, I will be doing this in memory of my Grandad. I’ve played football for nearly 16 years now at various levels, I study it at university, I coach it to young kids all over the world. All because of this man, he started it all off. He used to take me to games as a kid and pretty much introduced me to the sport but sadly never actually got the chance to see me play. This, with your help, is my way of saying thank you to him while at the same time raising money for an amazing charity in the hope of one day beating cancer so that others can have more amazing experiences with the influential people in their lives. 

Just 1% of adults who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will survive 10 years after their diagnosis. Unfortunately for my grandad by the time he was diagnosed it was too late. This horrifying statistic needs to change!! And with the donations I receive hopefully one day, soon, it will!!” 

If you are not going to the match – donations can be made here: https://www.justgiving.com/Daniel-Getliff/

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NYC

Neil Young’s County: it was reassuring to hear the Manager at Stockport County emphasise that the Club, for once, had not been over-spending. He mentioned that his recruiting had a two year shelf life and the final budget would be comparable to last season’s. Some positive news from NYC – and that’s where it ended. We then lost 3-0 to our neighbours at Stalybridge Celtic losing two players including the goalkeeper to an over exuberant referee’s decisions in the process.

Monies and football finance will not lose prominence in editorial columns. Apparently ludicrous salaries and fee have ensnared City’s latest signing from Wolfsburg. Stories of precarious financial positions abound lower down the football pyramid. Latest focus has been on the league one down from EPL.

Apparently, Championship clubs have amassed more than £1.1Bn of debt with Bolton Wanderers heading that posse. Research, found the total debt was almost double the Division’s total cumulative turnover!

Bolton Wanderers has £182.1M, Queens Park Rangers £179.6M, Ipswich Town £82.4M, Cardiff City £81.1M and Hull City £64.8M. Only Preston North End appears to balance the books – though some write off of creditors appears to have happened in latest accounts.

Parachute payments, total £60M over a four-year period. However, from 2016-17, payments will be made over three years instead of four, while clubs who are relegated after just a single year in the Premier League will only quality for two years’ of payments.

Sustainable, I think not. Who will be the next ‘bubble’ to burst as the dream of the EPL is a mirage in the eyes of Owners.

Away Days

We had first refusal on being away kit sponsor for this Season at County.  However, hard I tried I couldn’t justify the investment.  Regretfully, I turned down the chance by communicating:

“To avoid any wasting of each other’s time, and rather than just attending a meeting, here is my cold, light of day reflection on the proposition.  Any decision for my company(ies) to invest would be based on ‘heart’ (out of County loyalty!) and not ‘head’ rationale.  If you already have an offer at £10K or £9K just take it!  Playing in the League County finds itself in, and with this offer an away shirt, I cannot justify the £10K price tag.  Media coverage and exposure to the football World is less than in higher leagues.  Given any return on investment from shirt sponsorship would be from the catchment of County, an away shirt is not viable or commercially sensible.  We would only ask to be considered as a ‘last option’ for the Club and if we were to offer anything would only consider (red = not needed; green = expectations; yellow = alternatives – from the list of features the proposed deal would offer).”  We then made an offer more commensurate with our expectations.

With a higher bid the Club reaffirmed to no surprise: “As you probably know, the shirt sponsorship is like the Crown Jewels to any football club, and as such the second shirt is a tiara.  It would be impossible for me to accept your offer, although appreciate that it is good to have a back up if needed.”

Up and Down the Pyramid

So County have remained in its League – well that’s some saving grace of stability. I am not one of those fans that claims always to be ‘in the know’ but after several years of loss making we are believed to be getting closer to that holy grail of ‘break even’. The stark reality now and witnessed by my Company for sometime is that the elusive ‘White Knight’ is a prerequisite to sustainability in lower league football with a few exceptions.

Alan Lord had moved upstairs to be DOF. The grapevine suggests interested incumbents might include those from TNS, Halifax and Bermuda (the latter of ‘Feed The Goat fame’. Of course, someone with a track record of promotion at least to Conference Premier would be best fit. Even with re-ignition of school-based and community initiatives, better football and bigger crowds are a necessity. I fear for the long term patience of the phenomenally loyal Stockport County fan-base if improvements and guarantees aren’t forthcoming.

David Thomas, from Western Morning News has reported on the difficulties that Torquay United face as a result of losing league status. Tranmere Rovers will face some home truths now after a similar fate. Hyde United will move to supporter-owned. Just me picking a few examples, there are many more with uncertain futures.

Torquay United lost more than £500,000 after dropping out of the Football League in 2013-2014. The ‘Gulls’ latest balance sheet, shows that the Gulls had a deficit of £542,724 for the year ended June 30th 2014. That‘s double the previous year’s offset by an injection of £570,000 from transfer sales.

At the other end of the pyramid, promotion to the EPL will be worth £120M to both Watford and Bournemouth, according to leading football finance experts.

The novel penned by Author, Charles Dickens, for my interested level of football, as a fan, comes to mind “BLEAK HOUSE”.