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It's a shame we can't play the Raith game midweek and keep the Queen of the South game on the 11th.

Would be better for the club keeping the QotS game for the Saturday and playing the Raith game on the previous Wednesday.

Any reason we couldn't play our cup game on 7th or 8th? Kirkcaldy to Dumbarton for a midweek game isn't a big ask.

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4 minutes ago, BallochSonsFan said:

It's a shame we can't play the Raith game midweek and keep the Queen of the South game on the 11th.

Would be better for the club keeping the QotS game for the Saturday and playing the Raith game on the previous Wednesday.

Any reason we couldn't play our cup game on 7th or 8th? Kirkcaldy to Dumbarton for a midweek game isn't a big ask.

Big ask for us to play Dumbarton on the Saturday and TNS on the Sunday.

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Big ask for us to play Dumbarton on the Saturday and TNS on the Sunday.


I never even checked to see if QotS were still in the cup.

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We all making it along to this meeting about the stadium move on Thursday?  It's important that as many fans get along as possible, I would expect Brabco to have a bit more behind their plan at this stage and we need to be there to scrutinise it (in a polite manner, of course). I also imagine we'll have the opportunity to clear up just exactly who is still involved with Brabco and indeed who is actually running the project now that Ian Wilson has carried out a disappearing act.

If it's a poor turnout and there is very little resistance or questioning they will no doubt take that as the fans supporting the move, which could be vital for Brabco when pushing the council for planning permission. 

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We all making it along to this meeting about the stadium move on Thursday?  It's important that as many fans get along as possible, I would expect Brabco to have a bit more behind their plan at this stage and we need to be there to scrutinise it (in a polite manner, of course). I also imagine we'll have the opportunity to clear up just exactly who is still involved with Brabco and indeed who is actually running the project now that Ian Wilson has carried out a disappearing act.
If it's a poor turnout and there is very little resistance or questioning they will no doubt take that as the fans supporting the move, which could be vital for Brabco when pushing the council for planning permission. 

I agree Moonster, a good turnout would be helpful. The next year looks like being absolutely critical; it's not just the new stadium proposal, we should be very concerned about the governance and financing of DFC and I think that has to come out in the discussion.
Anyone mentioning Gary Fleming will be hacked to death on the spot.

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Yep, hoping we get a really good turnout tomorrow night!  

Quite a bit has moved forward -- including Ian Wilson moving out of the picture, some much more positive meetings with Chris Stainton (who is now taking the lead for Brabco), a change of Club chairman, greater determination of the issues DFC faces both staying and moving, moves toward the kind of business / commercial planning we've been suggesting for some time, and steps towards transitioning the trust itself to a membership based CIC (which would put us in a better position for an increased stakeholding in future).  However, there are obviously still big questions that need to be resolved, and the coming months are going to be vital in this regard. I'm sure we can give these things a good airing tomorrow. It's important to do this with and for fans, and that's why we set up the meeting.

(Apologies that I've been AWOL from PnB since early summer - mainly because of the amount of time spent liaising over stadium and club issues, and also the work I've been doing for the Scottish Football Supporters Association, both on top of my day job and other commitments.)

Cheers,

Simon 

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It really is incredibly important that fans take the opportunity to ask questions of Brabco. What ever decision is ultimately made, the club will be entering into a period of major changes. We need the support to be driving those changes and ensuring that we can hold both our owners and the club to account. If fans don't get involved and help set the agenda then we risk stumbling towards what ever the future holds for Dumbarton FC.

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Very interesting meeting tonight I thought

New guy from brabco much more open than Iain Wilson

Business plan for new ground depends on them selling rest of new site for housing...they reckon though that west dunbartonshire council will refuse application, but seem confident it will be approved on appeal

Whole case seems much better now I thought...costings more advanced and scheme actually seems viable

I thought the fans tone was also changing and seems more positive towards the proposals

General consensus also seems to be we need to spend around £250k to fix the current ground with the wall below the castle being a major problem. Didn't appear to be a plan where this money would come from

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No guarantee they would appeal, as its expected to cost tens of thousands of pounds to do so. I couldn't believe historic Scotland, are holding us to ransom over a wall surrounding the castle , probably 50 feet from our main door. Ridiculous. Roddy especially came across very well, chris too, but I didn't like his anonymity of his fellow investors. That concerned me

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Hmm, I'm sceptical.

 

I don't really understand how we can have gone from the utter shit show we received before to all of a sudden something that works and is viable.

 

Were any further details given about 'the wall' and what powers Historic Scotland actually have to force us into building or paying for something? What are all the repairs that are required at the current ground and were these figures broken down?

 

I've also heard we will now apparently own the new stadium as long as we don't receive the a large tax bill? Why has this all of a sudden changed from the peppercorn rent patter?

 

I didn't make the meeting so all of the above may have been answered. I'm still hugely sceptical and don't trust these c***s one single bit, regardless of what they say.

 

 

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I can probably answer a few of your questions BBPF.

How did we get from the very sketchy information delivered by Ian Wilson to what we've now had delivered by Roddy the planning guy and Chris Stainton? A big part of that is the trust board pushing Brabco for evidence. We've had several meetings with Brabco and we've consistently pushed for a proper business model, proper costings and for that to be made available to us for scrutiny. There has been a significant change in attitude from Brabco, as well as a change in personnel, and what they're doing now is what they should have been doing for the past 18 months to 2 years. We can criticise that it's taken them so long to get to this stage but we have to acknowledge the positive change that's happened. For whatever reason (and we may personally think of a few of them), Brabco have really stepped up the way they're approaching the development and thats lead to the trust board being in a better position to scrutinise and for fans to get more detailed information at events like last night.

Doesnt mean we shouldn't question their figures or simply accept what their report tells us. The trust board are doing so in a robust fashion. What it does mean is that we're now getting the full story, access to the information we need to scrutinise and ask those questions and that's a massive step forward. Its always been Brabco's case to make in favour of moving and the big change is that they're now trying to make that case in a dilligent and professional way. They've engaged some decent professional people to produce their work and we have to accept that they're now putting in a lot of very good effort into buiding their case. You can never remove risk completely from something like this - Brabco hold all of the risk until the deal is done whilst the club assume all of the risk if Brabco make their profit, hand us the keys and tell us to get on with running things. What you can do is proper, dilligent business modeling, proper costing and put together enough evidence that you minimise those risks and try to tip the balance in favour of success.

Current ground? There are 4 general areas that need to be addressed. The rock wall, the floodlights, the dip in the pitch and general repairs to the stand. They've engaged an engingeering firm to give them a professional opinion on costs. With something like the wall around the rock, it's potentially a health and safety issue. Its not so much the powers that Visit Scotland have to force the club to repair it - it's a health and safety issue. We've got a safety certificate for the site but clearly any deterioration in the wall would be a consideration in the future. The floodlights aren't Championship spec. We've been given dispensation to continue without upgrading them due to the club's intention to move. If we stay put then that dispensation ends and we will need to upgrade them. The dip in the pitch at the away end needs to be addressed. The actua structure of the stand needs to be repaired and maintained. The engineers have provided a range of figures based on best and worst case scenarios. There's culpability here for Brabco and the DFC board and Stainton did admit that perhaps they didnt hold the club board to account as strongly as they should have. Ultimately if we do stay at the current ground then we need to find the money to do those repairs/upgrades. It's no longer a case of simply staying put as we don't need to move. We need to accept that there are significant challenges in staying. And if planning permission is refused then we're staying: if we don't get planning permission then we'll be forced to deal with the work needed at the current site.

Stadium ownership? Simply put it's a bit of a minefield. Brabco think that theres a chance that it could land the club with a tax bill. The club could defer it for a number of years but eventually it would need to find the money to pay HMRC. The trust is doing it's own investigation into that. Tax law is a hugely complex area, as our neighbours up the road will testify to, and if there's a risk that the club will be hit with a significant bill then we need to know about it. I've got my own views on the significance of stadium ownership but right now the important thing is that we get robust legal and tax advice.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, BallochSonsFan said:

I can probably answer a few of your questions BBPF.

[....]

Ultimately if we do stay at the current ground then we need to find the money to do those repairs/upgrades. It's no longer a case of simply staying put as we don't need to move. We need to accept that there are significant challenges in staying. And if planning permission is refused then we're staying: if we don't get planning permission then we'll be forced to deal with the work needed at the current site.

[...]

Stadium ownership? Simply put it's a bit of a minefield. Brabco think that theres a chance that it could land the club with a tax bill. The club could defer it for a number of years but eventually it would need to find the money to pay HMRC. The trust is doing it's own investigation into that. Tax law is a hugely complex area, as our neighbours up the road will testify to, and if there's a risk that the club will be hit with a significant bill then we need to know about it. I've got my own views on the significance of stadium ownership but right now the important thing is that we get robust legal and tax advice.

 

 

This (and the rest of your post) is all spot on, BSF.  There are going to be big changes moving forward, whichever way things go on the new stadium. And the tax and legal issues need to be handled clearly and rigorously. We're on the case.

Thanks vm to everyone who came last night - sixty of us on a miserably wet midweek evening! Please do keep the questions and comments coming.

There will be more on the trust site shortly, and we're fixing another Trust board meeting this month to pursue all the key issues. Absolutely everything has to be measured against what will deliver the most sustainable future for the club. We as supporters should not and will not simply be passengers in this vehicle, we need to be involved in making sure it steers in the right direction. By the end of the year we will have clarity on which way things are heading re. the stadium - and then we are going to have to get stuck in to make it work. 

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8 hours ago, optimistic said:

Roddy especially came across very well, chris too, but I didn't like his anonymity of his fellow investors. That concerned me

You'll note that I made it quite clear that the position of the trust is, and will remain, that owners of football clubs should be publicly known - and pressed the question of who takes decisions for Brabco. We have had much more transparency from Chris, and everything that he's said to us in recent weeks (and indeed months) has checked out. What was not mentioned last night is that the 'offshore vehicle' that Brabco has used is in the process of being wound up. That was also something we pushed hard for, and to which we've had a positive response.  The overall situation is not entirely as we would want, but the direction of travel has been far better of late, and we will continue to make sure that our interests and those of the club (which are ultimately the same) are pressed solidly. 

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The main thing I picked up on last night was that the entire thing is pretty much dependent on getting 500k per section of land. As a couple of P&Bers picked up on at the time this seems to only give a potential return (excluding the current site) of £14m to fund a 13.5m development. 500k divided by 4 Brabcoers (iirc) isn't a massive profit for such a long term venture.

Roddy also mentioned that, that figure is probably at the top end of the market, and that with Brexit etc housebuilders will look to squeeze that down. If they end up buying it at, say, 300, where does that leave us? The new stadium plans have always looked mighty impressive, but surely they would have to be cut down to make up for this?

That's before we get to the fact that he doesn't think WDC would approve plans to build houses on the site at the moment seemingly. Which makes the whole situation a bit messy.

Overall I thought it was far, far better than last time. Stainton seemed really nervous, but he came across as a bit more transparent (and a bit more understanding to our position) than Wilson, which was a plus.

I'm a wee bit more comfortable than I was this time last year about the whole thing, but it's still a massive risk and until I feel like the club is 100% safe I can't see me writing to the Council in support...as was mentioned last night.

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This was easily the most candid public meeting which has been held, and Chris Stainton's different tone from the previous one of Ian Wilson and Calum Hosie was welcome.

There are many challenges across the spectrum, that much is clear.  I do honestly feel however, that there will likely never be a better time should the new development proceed for DFC to become  a genuine community club.  Having said that, there are still considerable hurdles to be overcome, and viewed dispassionately the whole proposal still looks akin to getting eight results up on a fixed odds coupon.

In their heart of hearts Brabco must now regret their original involvement, but credit them for attempting to do the right thing.  From private soundings I  get the feeling that the Trust is no longer viewed as 'the enemy', and indeed Brabco is now much more aware of what exactly has been happening down Castle Road.

I still find it extraordinary that investors would ever have adopted such a laissez faire approach to things, but I'm pretty sure the scales have now fallen from their eyes regarding the at times opaque decision-making at the club.  I expect that as the Planning Application proceeds that Chris Stainton will now have much more of an interest in club matters, although his geography and other business commitments may limit the extent of it. 

The days of a Captain Mainwaring running DFC need to cease, and pronto. 

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Regardless of whether we move or remain at Castle Road, that last line is bang on the money OK3.

We need to be run on a far tighter, more professional basis.

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