It's quite clear from going through all these posts that you don't like me, but i'll try my best to answer your questions anyway. I spent two hours before a board meeting, on the day this was first announced, researching any possible loophole we could explore to get the Albion points reversed. I presented all of these (Peterhead, Hearts, Dundee Utd to name a few) at the board meeting and said that as we expect the players to give 100% on the pitch, we should be giving 100% off the pitch. I asked that we at least put out a statement, as soon as possible, acknowledging that the club were aware of the situation and would be doing all they could do question it. I said that fans weren't happy with it and that we needed to be seen to be trying our hardest. I was shut down as "Edinburgh and Peterhead aren't questioning it" (A terrible point given they were ADVANTAGED by it) and because it was "Nothing to do with us". Furthermore, Mr Harvey said he "didn't want us to look desperate" and was probably offended by my reply that we kind of were desperate. Now i'm fully aware you were a director and will have contacts that may be telling you different things but my words on the subject were based on what i'd seen that day in that board meeting. You have since said that they wanted nothing to do with it - proving I was in fact correct.
I couldn't make the talk in but from what i've heard and seen both before it and after, this is way off the mark. Take the admission prices debate as an example. Looking at it from a general business perspective, not just football, how can anyone expect to charge the same price for a significantly poorer product and simultaneously increase customers? That's madness, as i have said. More to come on this.
This is a huge blow for the club, and to pre-answer a point coming up, the club taking NINE DAYS to announce this was part of my reasoning to suggest the social side is in the dark ages. Of course it's obvious that was done to try and make it look like they left and the end of the season and not with 3 games to go, as then people would want an explanation as to why they walked out. I don't know, but having worked with the man myself i'll guess it was JOHNNY HARVEY.
I know your opinions on my blog where I mentioned this but I was trying to highlight this is a wider issue than just me. Yourself, Dale, Kieran, Martin and others all did a lot of good work on that side of the club. I don't know the full details of the deal Dale worked to secure with Newcastle Airport but with it running out this summer I can't see it being replaced. The reality is, it should be getting built and improved upon. There was a real lack of willingness to listen, especially from John. This has now left the club in a position where no one internally has any idea about how to do these things.
This is something that annoys me. He knew what he was walking into so he can't use it as an excuse. The number of transfers shows that the board have backed him and he has made several wrong decisions. He has also made the claim that the players he wanted were not available. Why waste the money the board have offered then? It's already been well covered on here but the best performances i've seen this season were our 4-2 win at Elgin and our Scottish Cup game v East Fife. Both of those, particularly Fife in the cup, were games with Robbie's squad. There was enough there to see us over until next season where he could've used that money more effectively imo.
Again, everyone has already offered their opinion on this, but for me in theory it wasn't a bad idea. To do it straight after a 6-0 pumping and then publicly announce it however was a bad idea.
Just highlighting this, one of a few similar posts from different users in this thread, as I have been criticised for saying it.
Another point I have been criticised for saying.
Spot on - Paul Willis point blank refused to play for him again. Yet another example of him being hard to work with.
I'm actually going to defend half of this statement - Harvey sent Dabrowski back to Hibs as he felt it would be better to have two fully signed 'keepers at the club. You can't argue with that and he brought in a 'keeper he trusted. Dispite being a bit of a loud-mouthed dick (i'll point out the hypocrisy to save you all the hassle) I thought Allison was a good player. He had a presence at the back and was vocal - something we had lacked. Nothing could be done about him dislocating his knee and by that point I imagine loan options were extremely limited.
The second part though is spot on and a complete joke. The sub goalie is there as nothing more than cover and to put the goalie coach (who from a google search doesn't appear to have played since 14/15) ahead of the reserve 'keeper is a joke. I'd have walked if I had been overlooked like that, and I find it very disrespectful to the coaching staff at the reserves too as it shafted them.
Seems to have been well known before we appointed him.
A point i've already touched on but going back into it with more detail. John told me of his plans to maintain £12 admission if we end up in the Lowland. I questioned this as the strapline of the Lowland League is "affordable football" and admission is no more than £7 or maybe £8 elsewhere. I argued that a loss of away fans and more casual supporters would have a heavier financial dent than reducing prices, and admission decline can be seen by Shire's example.
I then suggested, off the top of my head, that we could do some form of loyalty season ticket for supporters who understood why we looked at keeping it at £12 to continue offering the same level of financial support. This way the general admission would be best suited to keep attendances as high as possible but we'd also have the potential to gain that little extra from the core, loyal fanbase. I'm sure I read Redcar say he'd be willing to pay £12 for a season - so that's the kind of point I was making.
For this to have all been ignored and then see the original plans widely criticised is massively frustrating. the club hasn't shared the admission prices online yet for fear of a backlash - kind of proving that they know it's wrong.
I've seen a lot of comments about my bitterness. Think what you want but any ill-feelings I have are from frustration at being denied the chance to help and improve the club in areas that I can. All anyone can do is their best and if people are willing to help they should be encouraged to. I had to fight, and I mean really fight, to introduce a lot of things that have been widely applauded (Robbie Horn even had to step in on occasion to tell JB to go with my ideas). I feel I could have done more to help this situation if i'd been trusted, but everyone who knows the club knows John Bell doesn't like me and now he's in charge he was looking for any old excuse to get rid.
The first one was to help make sure the picture was going to be framed correctly - we were using chairs for the first time to ensure the photos were more consistent and of a higher standard. The second one was for a laugh due to the reaction to the first one.
Second point - I wanted that range to be used as our primary training range and was told I couldn't as it was going to be introduced as a retro range. That was in February 2017 and you were sat beside me in the meeting. I had originally planned to have Eric model it, a player who wore the original kit it was replicating, but Football Nation fucked up as per usual. I then planned to have a current player model it, but FN still hadn't delivered the sample. Despite have 9 months to produce a sample, FN delivered it two hours before it went on sale. I had no choice but to model it or we'd have been releasing a product range with no images. Hope this helps x
Blimey, this is a big one. Here goes, hope this helps:
1. I was simply trying to highlight the fact that their arrival has made it harder for us to recruit from the Edinburgh area. I used Blair Henderson as an example as we would have had a better chance of getting him back if it wasn't for Edinburgh being in the same league. Robbie said at his talk-in that there was several players chose them over us. It is something that has affected us. I wasn't claiming Edinburgh were more ambitious than us, although clearly by the reaction it's obvious they are.
2. Has Craig heard of companies house? Decrease of amount in Cash at Bank and in hand over the last 3 years - 60%. Combined loss from May 2015 to May 2018 - £221,159. If all is well, why is the finances card played at every opportunity?
3. I've made my opinion based on what i've seen in the boardroom over the last 18 months or so that I was in there, combined with how i've watched the club fall. We are all entitled to our own opinions and that's mine.
4. I don't know who was or wasn't interviewed, so I can't pass comment on them. You clearly do, so feel free to enlighten us all? What i'm saying (and I couldn't say publicaly at the time as part of the club) is that Johnny's CV is the exact same as Robbie's and he had just failed. Take the team names off and they read almost identical. It would have been nice to see a more experienced head come in (Arbroath with Campbell, Clyde with Lennon, Cowden with Bollan) but of course your opinion on my words is guided by inside knowledge.
5. There are some players worth taking a risk on for a bad attitude in my opinion. Cedwyn had a brilliant goalscoring record and that carried over to us. Murrell is an example of a player with a terrible attitude that seemed to have given up and I wasn't sad to see him go.
6. I'm glad we agree it was a poor signing. I didn't mention where he came from as it's irrelevant. As others have pointed out, he's never scored a goal. He could've came from Real Madrid and it would've still been a blindingly obvious mistake.
7. We've not scored since I said that. over 5.5 games without a goal. Stats don't lie.
8. A bit of Arrogance would've been fine if accompanied by any decent results. It hasn't been though which makes it a lot worse.
I haven't mentioned it for fear of further bitterness accusations, but that interview should never have gone live. After Coff's famous interview, I sat in on every single one to ensure nothing like that was shared again, as no one else seemed to have a functioning filter. Worth noting here that Johnny made us all stand in Dennis' office for about half an hour every week, something Coff and Robbie never did. Yesterday's was equally bad. The number of views over the last few weeks shows just how big a laughing stock they have become and the plug needs pulled.
John Bell is in charge and has been since at least the start of the year.
I think it's terrible and a sign of the weakness at board level that after refusing to comment on the situation at the time we do so after the decision and the appeal has all been done and dusted. Rangers get a lot of stick in Scottish football but at least they know how to make decent statements - we should've taken a similar attitude.
Just highlighting this since you mauled me for saying it a month ago.
I think a lot of people would've been up for this if they hadn't already been forced out.
This whole post is spot on but i'm going to add comment on this one paragraph. I was told yesterday by a director that match updates weren't posted as they would only fuel the keyboard warriors. This emphasises my dinosaur and dark ages comments. It is appalling that frustrations of fans, many of whom have been season ticket holders since before I was born, are being viewed simply as keyboard warriors. Now I know full well that comments can be taken too far on social media (after all, i've been the one on the receiving end of them via the club accounts for the last few years) but social media is also a valuable tool in monitoring and understanding the feeling of your supporters. For the club to turn a blind eye to that is a massive mistake.
There's confirmation of the answer to the "who is in charge" questions.
At least we can agree on one thing.
Apologies for talking about myself again, I know you all don't like it, but I have been saying for years (directly to the board) that we need to be fully analysing our audiences, both online and offline, and specifically targeting the companies who are chasing similar audiences and asking them how we can work together. Graham Bell previously advertised the shirt sponsorship to companies as "be seen on our shirts from Elgin in the North to Annan in the South". What use is that to anyone? John Bell has now been sat firing from the hip sending emails to everyone and anyone asking for money. It doesn't take a lot of work to do this in my opinion and yet it would have a great impact on securing commercial deals, particularly smaller ones. This is an area where commercially the club could benefit from our digital presence and I really hope they realise this and bring someone in to do that.
This again was to avoid the loyal supporters having an opinion on winning one game in 23. Sorry I mean this was to avoid feeding trolls and keyboard warriors.
John Bell, as i've highlighted above. I also think a massive, massive issue though is the willingness of directors to openly discuss everything and anything to do with the club in public. Anything that has to come from the boardroom should be coming through the club's official channels in a timely and precise manner.
Johnny, since you're probably reading this, your new chairman is your leak and has been for several years.
Spot on again. This is where my dislike of the man comes from. I thought I could change it and was booted out. We're fucked.
I know we've shaken hands on this and moved on, but the very fact you went to him on the issue - going over my head instead of simply apologising - highlights the fact you are clearly good friends.
I'm fully aware i'm not a popular man right now but all i've done is say it as it is from what i've seen over the last few years. I'm massively frustrated, as we all are, and it's heartbreaking to now be helpless as we're plunged further than we've ever been into this shambles. I've decided to come back on here to try and offer a bit more on why i've said what I said as it has been questioned a lot. It's still my opinion that we need to roll the dice for the playoffs, but all optimism I had has been gone a while and simply being told to "#backtheblackandgold" isn't enough. Actions speak louder than words.