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About BerwickMad

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    100 Scottish Caps
  • Birthday 17/09/1983

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    Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
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    Berwick Rangers

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  1. “recent weeks....very deliberate attempt to discredit me” Or maybe, there’s been an open forum, a private behind closed doors meeting with fans, Harvey amazingly kept his job until one game to go, we haven’t scored in 8 games, and we’re 4-0 down in a relegation playoff. Rather than a deliberate attempt to discredit anyone, maybe people are judging what’s in front of them. I’m not really wanting to stick the boot in as everyone’s hurting, but reacting to an internet troll on a football forum a day before the second leg hardly seems wise.
  2. I believe the raffle type thing has been successful at other clubs, though I stand to be corrected. The problem at Berwick was probably more to do with the execution of the idea and the lack of follow up from the club or director then responsible for it, than the idea in itself. Though I think the comparisons in many areas with local teams is a bit silly, in attracting and retaining sponsors over the past few years, Berwick Rangers could certainly learn a thing or two. Or just listen to people like Dale and Dom tbf rather than a scattergun approach and a begging bowl. And that Stenny chairman statement is brilliant. Man Utd and Newcastle could learn a lesson on how to engage from it, never mind Berwick.
  3. I don’t really get why it would bother you if someone investing money was enjoying the boardroom. Surely there are these kind of people at clubs the length and breadth of the country. Some better run than others. It sounds almost like a political/class thing, against people with money going to the ‘gentleman dinner’, enjoying their money type thing. I’m pretty sure you’ll also get these kind of people who just want to enjoy their money and help the local team, charity or whatever, who’ll also get young people with ideas involved also. They could deliver a strategy, or get someone else to, to get people involved and listen to ideas. I don’t necessarily think a ‘sugar daddy’ is going to be deaf to people who know better than them in different areas, which is what we have anyway at the moment. Not many people will want to help fund an unsuccessful bottomless pit for the sake of a boardroom piss up. And at the same time, the vast majority of fans will just want to see a successful team on the park rather than worry if the person helping to fund it upstairs is slurping back the pints or not. We are going to need all the help we can get competing against well funded teams like Kelty and East Kilbride, especially when the parachute payments go if we can’t make an immediate return. I really don’t think an investor, or a group of people investing would put off the younger people I know who have come and go in helping the club getting involved again. I think your post if I’m honest sums up one of the issues and shows why some have looked to reject the likes of Monty and Neil Templeman in the past. I mean what’s more important, the team on the park (whether funded a golf club clique, masons, the church or a gentleman’s club or whatever) or trying to create a club in an ideal community project/social enterprise type thing. Christ, I’d take a good team with the later, but let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face if we know of people willing to invest, just because they might want to enjoy the boardroom. On Dom, I get your point and yes can see why he was sacked, however he still knows his stuff when it comes to marketing etc. I’m sure he conveyed his ideas to the club and to the new chairman. In fact I know he did. Its more that none of that is taken on board, whether he’s still there or not.
  4. I’m assuming this obsession with Rowan and masons is some more boardroom leaking and protecting this dated Bell ‘vision’ we’re all supposed to buy into. All the more reason imo that we need some totally new people in control of this club. Although Ducket Lodger says a lot of shite, he’s certainly got a point on the supporter ownership which has failed. Whether it would fail everywhere, probably not, but at Berwick with the characters involved, political manoeuvring, and everyone seemingly knowing everything because of it, it certainly hasn’t worked. I’ve said enough about the gradual decline on here, going back years, so it’s pointless adding much more than to say we had a chance of sorting ourselves out and coming back from it at any point until now. Not everything was terrible. The reason we can’t now is the Harvey appointment (which I initially backed), and more importantly the refusal to get rid long past it had obviously failed. A decision that someone or some people should be held accountable for. So yes, for me actively seek some new people to take over and have the SC and Trust having a say in some things, but not THE say. If that’s offering up shares so be it. Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking a new stadium and going round the town with the begging bowl to local businesses putting the guilt trip on with ‘400 commercial directors’ is some kind of ‘vision’. Dom had a point when he talked about how ridiculous that was compared to building targeted relationships with companies who WANT to be involved with us. His article wasn’t great, but a lot of the stuff he put on here in that essay length post was pretty good. When the chairman elect won’t listen to someone like him who knows what they’re talking about in that field, and seems to think that he ‘knows football’ culminating in the Harvey debacle, you have to think about starting again with someone totally new at the top.
  5. Amazing the some are still getting involved in the ‘internal battles’ two days before our biggest game, and the leaks from the boardroom seemingly continue to flow like the Tweed. Tomorrow will be very difficult and we’ve had a few horror days against Highland teams in the past. A little more promising that we kept the ball out the net for most of the match last week, and with another couple training sessions hopefully this side of things improves further. We have some pace to hit teams on the counter, but it’s difficult to know how successful that would be without much knowledge of Cove.
  6. I went and sat with the Edinburgh fans, not that you could tell considering they barely moved or made a sound. Many more interested in the Liverpool game than what was in front of them. A bit depressing for a playoff game. Thought Clyde were the far better team throughout and beyond a few long punts Edinburgh didn’t do much, though they were unlucky to hit the bar. It was interesting to see a competitive game at this level.
  7. Cringeworthy statement and probably an insight into why he made so many enemies in such a short period of time.
  8. Finally. As a double appointment for 3 games I’m quite happy with that. Still a task to survive, but surely this gives us a better chance and it would have been more of a risk doing nothing.
  9. There isn’t a position on that at the moment. The last meeting was nearly a month ago so it could be raised in the next one. The way it works is that anyone on the committee can raise an issue in the meeting. It might be their view or one that’s come from other fans. There will be a discussion, then if there’s general agreement there’ll be a discussion on what to about it. If, for example, the committee decide they want to stress an opinion to the board of the club, then that will be taken by the representative to the board who can then provide feedback to the committee. We could decide to be stronger, release a public statement, or whatever. We could decide to ask the Trust if they agree too and do something together.
  10. You’re entitled to your opinion, but unsurprisingly I’m going to disagree. I am/was totally supportive of the supporter ownership model until a few years ago. I’m a member of both the SC and the Trust, and support the general aims of both. I never went along with the few on each side who seemed to see it as a competition. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but both have done good things over the years, usually when working together. From forcing the clubs hand over Crease, to stopping that nonsense in the summer. The talk of a refusal to relinquish power at the top is nonsense in my eyes, especially when pointed at the SC. What I will say though, is that there has been a reluctance to ‘relinquish power’ to what could be described as John Bells vision of a football club. A vision that he’s entitled to have but that certainly don’t believe the majority of supporters want to see. I’m not criticising John for that vision btw. He’s held it for nearly two decades and hasn’t moved from it one inch. However for as long as I’ve been involved in the SC, I know that the aim hasn’t been to consolidate power at the top. If anything we’ve been desperate to see people come into the club with ideas and investment. I think you could ask people who’ve invested, people like Monty or Neil Templeman, a multi-millionaire who was put off at the first sign of resistance. He didn’t need it. In the post chairman vote meltdown there was even an attempt to throw Monty off the board, while at the same time just attempting to get anyone on there to replace him. Jonny Fairbairn’s dad? Seriously? With the SC theres been attempts to bring people in, TRFC, the seniors, younger fans, to help influence the club. I don’t get the sense that there’s been much ‘compromise’ or a search for new ideas in the John approach. More, ‘come on board to back me up’. And btw, I’m not denying the faults of the SC of which there are many (including publicising what we do) and is why I believe new blood is needed more than ever. I know John too and nothing I say is personal against him. He has many skills that would make him a great chairman. He’s approachable, he speaks well and he’s done a lot in the community. I actually slightly favoured him for the chairman role when it came up and said so at the SC meeting. That despite what I’d seen in the past as a member of the trust board. But the reaction after was dreadful. The arrogance that a picture on a piece of paper and a PowerPoint presentation was enough to blow everyone away. The stadium plan was never feasible and the £12k for a feasibility study couldn’t even be reached. It got people’s hopes up in the town, unrealistically. Have a look at the site. It doesn’t take a feasibility study to realise it would cost millions to get it ready before a brick would even go down. My opinion is that the aim was probably more wrapped up in taking some SC influence away as leaseholders of the stadium. My hope for Lenny was that at least he’d be able to listen and wouldn’t block ideas and potential investment. The post chairman vote meltdown continued. Board leaks (by we all know who) on players, what people were saying in meetings, the Robbie Horn debacle when Coughlin was manager, desperate attempts to replace directors, met with an attempt from the other side to look for new people themselves. The ‘keep this to yourself’ in a room full of fans. No, unprofessional I’m afraid. So much energy used up when the club should have been moving forward together. It wasn’t allowed to, which is why at the end of Coughlins full season I said I wanted totally new people to take the club forward and had come to the conclusion that they’d all failed. Totally sick of the supporter ownership model which put too much power in the hands of people with little financial risk. Now I want investment and change. I’m desperate for it. Not the magic beans I was wrongly accused of in the ‘keep it in the dressing room talk’, a realisation from everyone that we need it. To make the club as attractive as possible for potential investors. Not the ‘we only want investment for facilities’ line the forum, suggesting the way forward is now settled under John, the strategy ideas by Mathison swept under the carpet. I’ve suggested that the SC and Trust should offer up as enough shares to give someone, or a group a controlling interest to invest and take the club forward. However to claim that the idiots last summer were ‘proven correct’ is bizarre. To this day, nearly a year on they’ve said nothing. They made absolutely no attempt to say what they were doing or what their aim was. They seemed to be deliberately agitating, from the stair lift to Tweedmouth Rangers. Little more than one line statements causing upset without consultation. The slashing of the wage bill in an attempt to break even immediately despite the club having money in the bank and the excuses for it. See at the bottom for a sample of the nonsense that Watkins spouts, from today. The action last summer wasn’t just an attempt to keep power, it was vital to stop an absolute disaster at the time and unsurprising supported by both supporters groups. It’s no wonder everyone came together against it. It was something that looked far worse than anything that had gone on before. I’d be delighted if someone like Graham Bell who I’ve known for years and don’t dislike to actually came out and explained what the aim was. They’ve said nothing and make no mistake, the fact that Robbie only had his budget put back up to a normal level in August contributed massively to our terrible start to the season. Though I am going to say, this has little to do with the current scenario. The gradual drift, the infighting, the egos, the energy that’s been zapped out of the club, all less important than our current inaction on the manager. He was dealt a shit card, we get that. The fans understand that. Very few were calling for his head in the first few months. But it’s been clear for a long time that he’s had to go. I’ve talked about a gradual drift and incremental failure in the past rather than huge errors, but I’d class the lack of action now as a huge error. It shouldn’t have been too difficult to stay up this season, but we’ve utterly bottled it and failed. This, imo is the worst decision/non-decision I’ve seen since supporting the club.
  11. After barely sleeping on Friday night, I’ve never been so angry leaving a game. A gutless, cowardly, pathetic and most worrying, clueless performance directed by the worst manager I have ever seen at Berwick. Anyone with an ounce of football knowledge would have ditched him weeks ago and brought in someone who could set up a team that is difficult to beat. Demolition after demolition and were still seeing a simple ball from the back splitting our defence with ease leading to a penalty. What does it take to get the sack ffs.
  12. I’m not someone who’d consider themselves as trigger happy either, but I’d certainly take Coughlin even now. We’re getting absolutely nothing from the current manager and it seems like the players have downed tools. Even if it took a 5% chance to a 10% chance, I’d do it. If he succeeded, give him a bonus and build statue. If we still went down, I doubt anyone would be looking back saying ‘if only we’d kept Harvey’. I still fear that Harvey is being looked at as the man for next season though. Frightening.
  13. Apparently I was picked out as wishing for magic beans or something as equally patronising for wanting investment in the club. I wouldn’t mind, but I think I started saying it on here a couple of years ago after that shite season and have mentioned it directly to him in front of others twice in the last few months. I don’t think I ever gave the impression, here or face to face that it was easy to attract, but always that the club should be putting themselves in the best position possible to make them open for investment. I’d even talked about the sale of shares being an option to make it more attractive to someone. It’s not ‘magic beans’ when potential investors have been put off in the past. I think the answer at the forum was something like only looking for investment in facilities, a signal to me that he sees the ownership and him as chairman as settled and long term. The strategy (asking the fans what they want as a start) seems to be out of the window. Investment in the team would have, or could help things to snowball. Get people interested again. It’s amazing we have any fans left, never mind as many as 400-500 through the gates. More that some far more successful clubs than us. Anyway, ignoring all of that and I think I’ve said my piece enough about the reasons for the decline and the utter shambles of the directors who played a huge part in this with their failed coup last year. If you were to write a book on the decline of Berwick Rangers, you could probably dedicate a chapter or ten to this Harvey debacle. I have a little sympathy in the appointment as it was a poor time to be looking for a manager, though some experience might have been better. However surely the warning signs were there. From ditching our better players to ruining our reputation as a reliable club to send loan players to. He could have gone any time post Queens Park 7-1. At crucial points the opportunity was missed, probably complacently looking to next season rather than this. We now look done, with a manager so far out of his depth it’s unbelievable, who doesn’t seem to have any contacts in the senior game and who has burnt his bridges with Premier League clubs he should have been keeping sweet for loan players. The interviews after Annan and Queens Park were embarrassing and brought him to national attention as a bit of a clown. And we have a board who themselves have little football knowledge and contacts going on like nothing is happening, unless the new chairman has been the focus of an internet post of course and paranoia and bizarre spin ensues. I know being involved in a football club at this level is an unenviable task, and the easiest thing in the world is to point at faults and blame people. I have some sympathy. But if what we’re getting is pointing the finger back at fans and accusing people of troublemaking, as Dale says, over a failure to learn the lessons then I don’t know where we go.
  14. I know we can’t actually do anything about it, but at least a statement or something would be a signal to our fans that we aren’t just accepting our fate. We managed put out enough of them last summer. I agree with Dale. You get the impression there’s just an acceptance and next season will be a new start/new era/clean slate, whatever league we’re in. I can’t agree with it, and I don’t think the majority of the support agree with it. Success on the park is by far and away the most important thing for me. If league status is important, the time for action is now, because it’ll be extremely hard to ever get back here if we go down. I’ve little interest in seeing a downsized Berwick Rangers plodding along in the Lowland League in some Ainslie Park style ‘stadium’, whether that’s at the centre of the community or not.
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