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The Falkirk FC Thread


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56 minutes ago, Dawson Park Boy said:

Indeed and back in around 2015, I think, they wrote off (forgave) a few hundred thousand of their loans.

Not much publicised but there was a Note deep in the Accounts confirming what they had done.
That should never be forgotten.

There are those who, I believe, were in the MSG who did (and still) have the clubs interests at heart. Pretty clear that SA is one of them.  Without them I don't think we would have a club or certainly not one we would recognise today.

There were others who didn't give a toss as long as they were in the Boardroom. Thank goodness they are now long gone ! 

The biggest mistake the MSG ever made was to appoint a series of "custodians" who they thought would take the club forwards. Unfortunately they continuously backed the wrong people who either lacked what it takes to run a football club, wanted to be Billy Big Baws or just wanted to line their own CV's.

Hopefully these days are behind us !

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I havn't really been following all of this too much tbh, so the answers might be on here already (so sorry for asking the same questions if they are already posted). But is this scheme up and running? I think I read the target is 5000 folk is that right? How many have signed up so far?

 

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4 minutes ago, Fifes Elite Force said:

Which part of the post you replied to did you take as "laughing at the club". 

To be clear, my response was only a selection of an ongoing conversation between other posters. And I only included part of one single post I was responding to because the aim of my post was to clarify where the facts had gone wrong in terms of FSS needing 5000 members to cover a £400k deficit which is not true. I have to say maybe my post came across as harsh and that is likely because I can't help but get riled up when other clubs come to criticise finances when they themselves have had similar situations but also have facts wrong. So if that is the case will hold my hands up to that.   

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1 minute ago, Jimmy1876 said:

To be clear, my response was only a selection of an ongoing conversation between other posters. And I only included part of one single post I was responding to because the aim of my post was to clarify where the facts had gone wrong in terms of FSS needing 5000 members to cover a £400k deficit which is not true. I have to say maybe my post came across as harsh and that is likely because I can't help but get riled up when other clubs come to criticise finances when they themselves have had similar situations but also have facts wrong. So if that is the case will hold my hands up to that.   

Fair enough, no big deal.. We can get defensive about our clubs sometimes.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Fifes Elite Force said:

I havn't really been following all of this too much tbh, so the answers might be on here already (so sorry for asking the same questions if they are already posted). But is this scheme up and running? I think I read the target is 5000 folk is that right? How many have signed up so far?

 

So basically there is an aim to raise £400k to cover an operating loss, this loss has usually been covered by various other means in the past, soft loans, share holders, investment, player sales. However, this new board is trying to make a push for fan ownership and so the goal is to have two fans organisations raise 250k each (to give a £100k flexibility). One of those fan organisations is the Falkirk Supporters Society (FSS). The money must be raised by end of the season, but the board needs to guarantee that and so we need the total figure to be "pledged" or signed up to by the end of October otherwise the shares designated to FSS will have to be sold elsewhere to guarantee the £400k operating loss is covered. Currently FSS had 500 members (before the recent call to sign up) donating on average £12. To cover the £250k designated to FSS we would need between 2500 to 3000 members at an average of £12 per month. There appears to have been an uptake since the call for sign ups both in new members but also in current members increasing their monthly subscription but as of yet not clear exactly how much. Hope that explains it and makes up for my earlier frustration.  

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4 hours ago, PedroMoutinho said:

It was quite apparent to me from the podcast that the intention is to seek soft loans from Martin Ritchie and Sandy Alexander. 

Alexander was described as a “fantastic fan of the club” which is quite the turnaround from the current bod.

 

The board have a duty to the company and all shareholders. As already explained. 
 

As significant shareholders it’s right and proper MR and SA are involved. If there is any personal issues at large here (either way) I’m sure for the good of the club, they would be set aside. 
 

in reality, this isn’t a turnaround, it looks more like business being conducted in a professional and diligent manner. 

Edited by Brockvillenomore
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31 minutes ago, Jimmy1876 said:

In fact I totally agree with you and have been quite open about my concern as well as trying to decipher the finances to get myself a bit more clarity. I absolutely welcome anyone being interested and trying to find out more and in that same post went on to explain the finances/goals/how it works when there is operating losses. What I meant by "don't comment when you don't understand" is when someone is laughing at the club, when they have the facts wrong. Don't think that is unreasonable tbh. 

What you did was basically say it's fine that there is a £400k shortfall in income covering expenses if the fans and / or wealthy shareholders are buying more shares to cover the cash shortfall with share purchases, soft loans, etc. Which is relatively true but a very short term solution and has ramifications for your balance sheet health. You also claimed this is "pretty normal running for football clubs" which it isn't and for those go that route, normally ends badly. You also said wealthy owners can simply "write a cheque" by which you presumably meant donate money since you categorised that differently to "soft loans". Owners donating money to keep a club solvent is incredibly unusual, it's almost always "soft loans". Soft loans unless set up very carefully leave you enormously exposed to the whims of people changing their minds, especially if circumstances change for them or on death when family members, Executors of Wills get involved. It's not a road to go down lightly.

If Falkirk consciously budgeted for a £400k shortfall this year knowing that they could cover it with funding from fans or major shareholders then that's fine but the fact they felt the need to go public with an rallying call last week isn't a great indication that the finance in the background is secure and what happens next season, or the one after, especially if promotion isn't secured? Presumably many of the players contracts and fixed costs are not going to disappear in May. Is there a bottomless pit of background wealthy investors to underwrite this in some manner? As well supported as Falkirk are, expecting 3,000 extra people to contribute £20 per month on top of their ticket entries and everything else, some of whom are presumably kids who don't have their own income, during a time of national recession looks an incredibly optimistic business plan. Fair play if it works. Such plans are usually meant for getting yourself out of unforeseen troubles whilst you cut cloth. They are not normally willfully created by running a budget nowhere near breakeven. I think Hearts went down a similar route but they had Ann Budge picking up the shortfall and ensuring things were covered, and are clearly a far bigger club with a far bigger fan base.

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48 minutes ago, Grant228 said:

Point proven. 

What point? 
You are a Dunfermline fan. Your club has a long history of overpaying - to a far larger extent than Falkirk ever had. Our operating budget is no different than it probably has been for year however we now have no academy to prop it up. 
You on the other hand run up debts north of £12m from memory and paid zero in the pound to creditors 

Edited by Back Post Misses
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1 minute ago, Jimmy1876 said:

To be clear, my response was only a selection of an ongoing conversation between other posters. And I only included part of one single post I was responding to because the aim of my post was to clarify where the facts had gone wrong in terms of FSS needing 5000 members to cover a £400k deficit which is not true. I have to say maybe my post came across as harsh and that is likely because I can't help but get riled up when other clubs come to criticise finances when they themselves have had similar situations but also have facts wrong. So if that is the case will hold my hands up to that.   

I was using the 5000 as illustrative of the scale of funding needed, ie that's the number of new members you'd need this month at the minimum fee of £10 to raise bang on £400K between now and May through the FSS route. Obviously options are there to raise money by other more realistic means and if those come to fruition you don't actually need £400K through FSS, while some new members will also contribute more than the £10 a month, but it's illustrative of the scale of the amount needing raised. Even a hugely impressive 1250 new members at a tenner this month would only plug a quarter of the gap.

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16 minutes ago, Brockvillenomore said:

The board have a duty to the company and all shareholders. As already explained. 
 

As significant shareholders it’s right and proper MR and SA are involved. If there is any personal issues at large here (either way) I’m sure for the good of the club, they would be set aside. 
 

in reality, this isn’t a turnaround, it looks more like business being conducted in a professional and diligent manner. 

Come on- many of the current bod and patrons made no secret of the desire to get rid of the MSG (which was shared by most of the fan base).

We are now in a position where the bod are having to go begging the same individuals for cash to keep the doors open. Surely even the most ardent bod supporter would accept that’s for from what was planned.

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15 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

What you did was basically say it's fine that there is a £400k shortfall in income covering expenses if the fans and / or wealthy shareholders are buying more shares to cover the cash shortfall with share purchases, soft loans, etc. Which is relatively true but a very short term solution and has ramifications for your balance sheet health. You also claimed this is "pretty normal running for football clubs" which it isn't and for those go that route, normally ends badly. You also said wealthy owners can simply "write a cheque" by which you presumably meant donate money since you categorised that differently to "soft loans". Owners donating money to keep a club solvent is incredibly unusual, it's almost always "soft loans". Soft loans unless set up very carefully leave you enormously exposed to the whims of people changing their minds, especially if circumstances change for them or on death when family members, Executors of Wills get involved. It's not a road to go down lightly.

If Falkirk consciously budgeted for a £400k shortfall this year knowing that they could cover it with funding from fans or major shareholders then that's fine but the fact they felt the need to go public with an rallying call last week isn't a great indication that the finance in the background is secure and what happens next season, or the one after, especially if promotion isn't secured? Presumably many of the players contracts and fixed costs are not going to disappear in May. Is there a bottomless pit of background wealthy investors to underwrite this in some manner? As well supported as Falkirk are, expecting 3,000 extra people to contribute £20 per month on top of their ticket entries and everything else, some of whom are presumably kids who don't have their own income, during a time of national recession looks an incredibly optimistic business plan. Fair play if it works. Such plans are usually meant for getting yourself out of unforeseen troubles whilst you cut cloth. They are not normally willfully created by running a budget nowhere near breakeven. I think Hearts went down a similar route but they had Ann Budge picking up the shortfall and ensuring things were covered, and are clearly a far bigger club with a far bigger fan base.

Nope did not say it was fine, and again I am very concerned about the finances. What I did say was that it is common and not just at Falkirk because it has been covered through a variety of different means in the past. I agree it is a short term solution and that is why I am glad that the current board are pushing for fan ownership, because memberships are a much more stable financial than soft loans as you have said. But once again, it is not unusual at all and so I don't really get the criticism of that. 

The idea that just because they went public means they are in trouble is just not true, our past boards (as have yours in fact) have been readily criticsed and ridiculed about not being open or clear about the finances and the club operations. This board came in saying very clearly they want to be as open as possible (something many clubs want from their boards) and then get criticised for being open? If anything everything I have said, and am aware of is because the board members went on a public unofficial podcast to explain the situation and I am glad I know about it. 

As for raising the members, it is massively difficult and unlikely to get the full amount covered, as you say. The whole point of giving the October deadline is so that the board then have time to go and find investment elsewhere. But I am at least grateful for the chance of developing fan ownership. 

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22 minutes ago, Dunning1874 said:

I was using the 5000 as illustrative of the scale of funding needed, ie that's the number of new members you'd need this month at the minimum fee of £10 to raise bang on £400K between now and May through the FSS route. Obviously options are there to raise money by other more realistic means and if those come to fruition you don't actually need £400K through FSS, while some new members will also contribute more than the £10 a month, but it's illustrative of the scale of the amount needing raised. Even a hugely impressive 1250 new members at a tenner this month would only plug a quarter of the gap.

I mean not sure I get the point of that though and that is exactly where my frustration comes in because you state it as fact which just confuses the actual reality. It just isn't what has been asked and largely overscales what is actually required. But yes the gap is massive, and that is why the options were laid out by the board in a podcast so that it was clear what was going to be happening with the club. There is no real reason to make up numbers to dramaticise the already pretty stressful situation in the first place. 

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19 minutes ago, PedroMoutinho said:

Come on- many of the current bod and patrons made no secret of the desire to get rid of the MSG (which was shared by most of the fan base).

We are now in a position where the bod are having to go begging the same individuals for cash to keep the doors open. Surely even the most ardent bod supporter would accept that’s for from what was planned.

How do you know this?

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2 hours ago, Springfield said:

We’d still be sitting with a one off - centre piece main stand, if it wasn’t for SA/MR, from what I can gather.
Regardless of how you pitch or see these guys, one leg stool, patrons, investors, wealthy fans, and the not so nice names I won’t print. These guys have helped the club significantly and probably more than we will ever be told. 

Which is why all the 'superfan' flak SA took/takes is embarrassing

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21 minutes ago, PedroMoutinho said:

Come on- many of the current bod and patrons made no secret of the desire to get rid of the MSG (which was shared by most of the fan base).

We are now in a position where the bod are having to go begging the same individuals for cash to keep the doors open. Surely even the most ardent bod supporter would accept that’s for from what was planned.

Let’s see what the shortfall is. I expect it to be no where near the full amount. The Falkirk fans will rally round and support fan ownership. 
It’s not lost on me the biggest hole in the investment plan is somewhere between £200k and £250k not being invested by the Rawlins.  

FWIW I can separate emotion & grievance from the facts and what’s important. It seems most of us here can. Thankfully. 
 

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1 hour ago, Back Post Misses said:

What point? 
You are a Dunfermline fan. Your club has a long history of overpaying - to a far larger extent than Falkirk ever had. Our operating budget is no different than it probably has been for year however we now have no academy to prop it up. 
You on the other hand run up debts north of £12m from memory and paid zero in the pound to creditors 

Point proven x 2.

 

I am a Dunfermline fan, who in the past were an absolute shambles financially, something that you do seem quite keen to point score over. 

Now, we can either accept that as a fan (and a young one at that) the burden and responsibility of that probably didn't come down to me, or any other fan really. 

However you do seem keen to point score so we'll go with the logic that you somehow find the fans culpable for this scenario, however if we go by this logic then we need to ask how, was it that the fans didn't ask enough questions when we were running up losses? Was it that we didn't try to hold anyone to account for the poor state of running of the club? Because if you want to point score over the financial management of your club, you might want to start doing those things yourself. 

 

Or not of course, and reply to anyone posting that the club they support had some prior financial mismanagement so they can't say anything, and prove my point for a third time. 

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11 minutes ago, Grant228 said:

Point proven x 2.

 

I am a Dunfermline fan, who in the past were an absolute shambles financially, something that you do seem quite keen to point score over. 

Now, we can either accept that as a fan (and a young one at that) the burden and responsibility of that probably didn't come down to me, or any other fan really. 

However you do seem keen to point score so we'll go with the logic that you somehow find the fans culpable for this scenario, however if we go by this logic then we need to ask how, was it that the fans didn't ask enough questions when we were running up losses? Was it that we didn't try to hold anyone to account for the poor state of running of the club? Because if you want to point score over the financial management of your club, you might want to start doing those things yourself. 

 

Or not of course, and reply to anyone posting that the club they support had some prior financial mismanagement so they can't say anything, and prove my point for a third time. 

If you are interested the best thing to do is watch the Falkirk Daft Podcast. The segment with the Directors is an hour long but explains everything wayyyy better than a snapshot on here.

Also, the rivalry is such between us the chances of sensible dialogue are slim. Fair play to you, coming back with well thought out responses. 
 

If you’re not here on a wind up then most of will happily engage. I dare say even @Back Post Misses 😂
 

 

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1 hour ago, Jimmy1876 said:

Nope did not say it was fine, and again I am very concerned about the finances. What I did say was that it is common and not just at Falkirk because it has been covered through a variety of different means in the past. I agree it is a short term solution and that is why I am glad that the current board are pushing for fan ownership, because memberships are a much more stable financial than soft loans as you have said. But once again, it is not unusual at all and so I don't really get the criticism of that. 

The idea that just because they went public means they are in trouble is just not true, our past boards (as have yours in fact) have been readily criticsed and ridiculed about not being open or clear about the finances and the club operations. This board came in saying very clearly they want to be as open as possible (something many clubs want from their boards) and then get criticised for being open? If anything everything I have said, and am aware of is because the board members went on a public unofficial podcast to explain the situation and I am glad I know about it. 

As for raising the members, it is massively difficult and unlikely to get the full amount covered, as you say. The whole point of giving the October deadline is so that the board then have time to go and find investment elsewhere. But I am at least grateful for the chance of developing fan ownership. 

Neither of the parts in bold are true though, certainly not with a successful outcome.

I think the operative point here is that it's very unusual, to make the commitments to the costs first then chase about a few months later looking for the means of financing it. It is entirely understandable though if it's simply the case that Martin Ritchie and Sandy Alexander had already agreed to underwrite it and they just are being evasive about it because to say so would reduce the incentive for other fans to contribute and increase the liability those two gentlemen would have to cover.

You would normally secure the investment before you authorise the spend. If they really have to go "find investment elsewhere" now to cover commitments they've already made without someone having underwritten it then that's a crazy business model.

Why are you "very concerned about the finances" if everything is common and not unusual and there are no suggestions they are in trouble?

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46 minutes ago, Brockvillenomore said:

Let’s see what the shortfall is. I expect it to be no where near the full amount. The Falkirk fans will rally round and support fan ownership. 
It’s not lost on me the biggest hole in the investment plan is somewhere between £200k and £250k not being invested by the Rawlins.  

FWIW I can separate emotion & grievance from the facts and what’s important. It seems most of us here can. Thankfully. 
 

This actually occurred to me as well, shares were ring fenced at 40p through the recent share issue specifically for the Rawlins to invest further as time went on taking a bigger chunk of the club to at least hold they’re 26% shareholding (they actually indicated they would most likely invest over and above this) They now seem to have backed away from taking that option up and seem happy for there current shareholding to be further diluted, what’s changed? There is a more than decent chance the club were relying on that investment.

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