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Coronavirus and the Scottish Championship

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Someone better get on the phone to Queens and tell them they're about to go under, cause I don't think they know about it.

It's amazing to see people still believing anything Keith Jackson writes

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7 minutes ago, Mr X said:

Someone better get on the phone to Queens and tell them they're about to go under, cause I don't think they know about it.

It's amazing to see people still believing anything Keith Jackson writes

He’s basically read Morton’s statement on Hopkin leaving and spun a story based on that,  he doesn’t have any inside information.

Edited by parsforlife

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13 hours ago, virginton said:

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scottish-government-warned-critical-championship-23178871

I have absolutely zero sympathy for club executives - and above all those at GMFC - who are getting the begging bowl out for public money. The idea of starting a season BCD was complete and utter lunacy from the beginning -  yet they lolloped along anyway, blithely assuming that they could get fans back in by winter (for a respiratory virus that, erm, spreads more effectively from people being indoors all the time), fob off their customers with tinpot streams and try to guilt-trip everyone into paying up anyway. The business model has been a disaster waiting to happen from the start and it is no surprise to see where we are right now.

Typical Daily Record article. Lot of speculation and unnamed sources with no facts other than Morton who already publicly admitted they have problems. 3 or 4 clubs "desperately scrambling around"? Broadly hinted to  be the ones overpaying to get promotion. Inverness an obvious possibility for another, they had issues last year already. Otherwise? Dundee maybe? Surely not Hearts or Dunfermline. Ayr said they'd be fine for a year or so I think and were handing out 2 year contracts. Raith? Probably not bracketed as chasing promotion to the premier.

Far from convinced the Championship share of £10m which is being shared not only among 30 SPFL clubs but also the womens game and presumably Juniors and senior non league sides too is going to be some sort of panacea either. What's that going to be per club? I assume it will likely be based on some sort of average attendance stat. For most of the clubs being hinted at that probably won't cover a month's payroll. Still think the lower Leagues came back far too soon. They would have been better advised to sit still till January.

Edited by Skyline Drifter

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4 hours ago, Ludo*1 said:

How many instances of fan ownership have been a success? Are Motherwell fully fan owned? If so, they're the only one I can think of at the moment.

When we were fan owned, egos got in the way and we were worse run than pretty much any other point in living memory and that's some bloody going at a club like Dundee.

Fan ownership doesn't work and never will work in a proper business environment. It will work for community clubs at a lower league level, probably not even League 1 but League 2 / Lowland. Once bigger money, bigger gates, bigger wages, etc hit the table it doesn't. Clubs like Motherwell and Hearts, even Dunfermline until recently, claim to be "fan owned" but they aren't really. They are a sort of hybrid model where the fans are bankrolling to a major extent but business-people are still running things and propping things up in the background. Even then the likes of Dunfermline and Dundee have moved away from it.

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36 minutes ago, RossBFaeDundee said:

You'd have to imagine QoS would be one of the teams, and ICT's struggles in the last year or so brings them to my mind as well. It's a Keith Jackson article, so hopefully there are some elements of hyperbole in there, don't want any clubs having it this bad.

Imagine all you like. It's not us who made a pile of staff redundant in the summer and announced grim warnings of the situation if the insurance case was lost. I'd look closer to home.

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21 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

Typical Daily Record article. Lot of speculation and unnamed sources with no facts other than Morton who already publicly admitted they have problems. 3 or 4 clubs "desperately scrambling around"? Broadly hinted to  be the ones overpaying to get promotion. Inverness an obvious possibility for another, they had issues last year already. Otherwise? Dundee maybe? Surely not Hearts or Dunfermline. Ayr said they'd be fine for a year or so I think and were handing out 2 year contracts. Raith? Probably not bracketed as chasing promotion to the premier.

I can think of one unnamed source in the Highlands who was very keen to flap his trap to Keith Jackson in the summer, so have little reason to suspect that they made that part up at least.

There's clearly an element of exaggeration because the clubs and Jackson want funds released as soon as possible. That's not too different to local publicans writing in to the paper complaining about their lack of immediate government support, except for the massive brass neck that these clubs chose to restart operations and build new squads under these circumstances and are still trying to guilt-trip £16 (Morton) for a live stream.

Edited by vikingTON

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1 hour ago, stu2910 said:


Think the continued financing is one of the major issues for fan ownership, depending on the level of the club. In Dundee’s case, despite the larger fan base than many rivals, there is unlikely to be the cash there to sustain unsuccessful promotion challenges or fights against relegation from the top flight. Unless of course there are significant cup runs and player sales.

It can work fine in the first few years where there is a surge of optimism and an acceptance that improvements will take time, but if in 2023/24 Morton find themselves vying with Forfar and Clyde to desperately try to stay in League 1, I would imagine the funding issue will become the focus again. It’s maybe not the most sustainable way to run a club, but we all have ideas of what our club should be and it’s not achieving that then the structure won’t last long.

In the end Dundee were approached by a buyer rather than seeking one out but it’s always a lottery how that will turn out. On the pitch has certainly been interesting in the past 7 years, even if in the end we’ve achieved the square root of diddly squat, at best. Off the pitch though we are probably as well run now as at any point in the past 50 years...admittedly though there isn’t much of a standard to beat.

I fail to see how having a fan ownership and investment model results in less funds for the football club than just asking fans to be customers and buy season tickets/merchandise and f**k off for the rest of the time. If you're milling around the seaside leagues entirely dependent on customer revenue through the gate then you're more fucked than with capital being invested.

There are not many white knights out there looking to prop football clubs up and fanbases should be very careful about what they wish for on that front. Morton are simply now in the final phase of a cycle that all owner-dominated clubs will go through to some extent, and the solution cannot be just 'get another businessman to take over' instead.

Edited by vikingTON

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2 minutes ago, virginton said:

I fail to see how having a fan ownership and investment model results in less funds for the football club than just asking fans to be customers and buy season tickets/merchandise and f**k off for the rest of the time. If you're milling around the seaside leagues entirely dependent on customer revenue through the gate then you're more fucked than with capital being invested.

There are not many white knights out there looking to prop football clubs up and fanbases should be very careful about what they wish for on that front. Morton are simply now in the final phase of a cycle that all owner-dominated clubs will go through to some extent, and the solution cannot be just 'get another businessman to take over' instead.

It can. You're perfectly entitled to prefer something else of course but the best you can hope for with fan ownership is the sort of hybrid model referred to with Dunfermline as the most obvious comparable club. It needs credible business people with time and finance to head it up. And as noted, even they've moved away from it.

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31 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

It can. You're perfectly entitled to prefer something else of course but the best you can hope for with fan ownership is the sort of hybrid model referred to with Dunfermline as the most obvious comparable club. It needs credible business people with time and finance to head it up. And as noted, even they've moved away from it.

1200 fans contributing ST, merchandise etc. as customers only v having the exact 1200 customers + 600 investing capital in the club. I fail to see how the latter makes a football club poorer as a result. 

Nobody is suggesting plucking some folk of the terraces to run the boardroom: there of course has to be a degree of expertise at executive level. Yet even within the current boardroom structure at GMFC there are credible outside voices and more of these  sit on the fans' group as well.

The comparison then - for Morton at least - is not between a well-run private model and an unstable and inexperienced fan-run operation. It is rather between shifting the ownership and controlling interest of the club from private to collective hands, while still having a professionally competent board (which wouldn't struggle to do better than the current zoo behind the scenes). That model should still welcome external private investment/oversight where it is merited, but it should not be beholden to the interests of a deceased businessman's extended family which is where we are right now.

Edited by vikingTON

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My point was that 2000 fans with £5k in the bank can’t finance the club in the same way as one guy with £20m, and that inevitably means that in most cases the team on the pitch will be weaker. If that wasn’t the case, most if not all clubs would already be fan owned.

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42 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

Imagine all you like. It's not us who made a pile of staff redundant in the summer and announced grim warnings of the situation if the insurance case was lost. I'd look closer to home.

And yet, the insurance case was won. So still looking at you.

ETA: I know you can be a humour vacuum at times Skyline so just to state, I don't think anyone should be being 'looked at' other than Morton at the moment due to the fact the article was written by Keith Jackson.

Edited by Ludo*1

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Just now, Ludo*1 said:

And yet, the insurance case was won. So still looking at you.

And was being appealed was it not and there were warnings that the funds would take some time to come through. I suggest you look elsewhere.

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Just now, Skyline Drifter said:

And was being appealed was it not and there were warnings that the funds would take some time to come through. I suggest you look elsewhere.

Supreme Court have given a deadline of January.

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47 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

Fan ownership doesn't work and never will work in a proper business environment.

It seems to be working OK for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

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Just now, Ludo*1 said:

Supreme Court have given a deadline of January.

Uh huh, so not before you have to meet the December payroll then?

Just now, Stag Nation said:

It seems to be working OK for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

That would be an absolutely fantastic point were we posting on a Spanish website and taking about Spanish clubs. As we're not though I'm afraid it completely misses the point.

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39 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

Fan ownership doesn't work and never will work in a proper business environment. It will work for community clubs at a lower league level, probably not even League 1 but League 2 / Lowland. Once bigger money, bigger gates, bigger wages, etc hit the table it doesn't. Clubs like Motherwell and Hearts, even Dunfermline until recently, claim to be "fan owned" but they aren't really. They are a sort of hybrid model where the fans are bankrolling to a major extent but business-people are still running things and propping things up in the background. Even then the likes of Dunfermline and Dundee have moved away from it.

Surely the distinction you're making here is between being fan owned and fan run.

In Motherwell's case although those involved with the day to day running of the club are indeed fans I don't think there's ever been any claim that we're fan run. Burrows was on a podcast recently acknowledging that a fan run model simply wouldn't work and as such the structure of governance at the club is set up to allow things to function fluidly.

That doesn't change the fact that the controlling party is the fans group. By definition we're a "fan owned" club.

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5 minutes ago, Ludo*1 said:

And yet, the insurance case was won. So still looking at you.

ETA: I know you can be a humour vacuum at times Skyline so just to state, I don't think anyone should be being 'looked at' other than Morton at the moment due to the fact the article was written by Keith Jackson.

 

1 minute ago, Skyline Drifter said:

Uh huh, so not before you have to meet the December payroll then?

 

To reiterate. 

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5 minutes ago, stu2910 said:

My point was that 2000 fans with £5k in the bank can’t finance the club in the same way as one guy with £20m, and that inevitably means that in most cases the team on the pitch will be weaker. If that wasn’t the case, most if not all clubs would already be fan owned.

Most clubs at this level cannot count on a £20 million owner and even if they do - what happens next? GMFC spent stupid money on a massively inefficient basis under Douglas Rae for fifteen years, while he wrote IOU cheques to his own company - and here we are now with the club being run into the ground by his extended family. Going back to the well of a private benefactor is neither feasible - there simply aren't enough of them out there to count on this - nor actually a wise choice.

Football clubs need to be sustainable from their own resources in the long run: if that requires capital investment from fan ownership, in addition to cost-cutting measures and limited external investment then so be it. 

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7 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

Surely the distinction you're making here is between being fan owned and fan run.

In Motherwell's case although those involved with the day to day running of the club are indeed fans I don't think there's ever been any claim that we're fan run. Burrows was on a podcast recently acknowledging that a fan run model simply wouldn't work and as such the structure of governance at the club is set up to allow things to function fluidly.

That doesn't change the fact that the controlling party is the fans group. By definition we're a "fan owned" club.

Yes, that's entirely fair, the original post should have been better phrased. Although Motherwell are often mislabelled as "fan run" in other places rather than from Motherwell themselves.

It's also true to say however that Motherwell have not (yet) faced any major cash flow headaches since they became "fan owned" have they? How would the club deal with that as a matter of interest?

6 minutes ago, Ludo*1 said:

 

To reiterate. 

Your extra two sentences weren't there when I replied. Of course it's Keith Jackson and the Daily Speculation. And VT is absolutely right when he says it's clearly grandstanding to speed things up rather than the case that several clubs are genuinely on the edge of bankruptcy.

Edited by Skyline Drifter

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