Raj Singh

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bga
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by bga » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:45 pm

roadrunner wrote:
roadrunner wrote:Just seen Raj, McLaren,Hodgy coming out of hotel with two others in Yarm and they weren't talking cricket.
All true and don't think David,s and Steve,s wives are ready for a care home yet.
If true then Hodgy and McClaren certainly are ready for one of Raj's homes!

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mikkyx
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by mikkyx » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:30 pm

Finally managed to get my thoughts on this whole thing down. You can read them here if you wish: https://mikkyx.co.uk/blog/post/sustaina ... or-success
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by wizardofos » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:52 am

Mikkyx, in his essay advocating continued fan (majority) ownership uses the following key phrase in his summing up:

"....but it is more important to me that we survive"

Fan ownership doesn't necessarily make that outcome more likely, as he explains further up the piece:

"The alternative was that we remain fan owned. Budgets are cut as we attempt to live within our means, quality drops on the pitch, interest drops off it, budgets are cut in response to the falling revenues, and the cycle continues."

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by mikkyx » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:21 am

The alternative was Martin's belief, and not one I necessarily agree with. We still have one of the larger fan bases at this level, never mind the ones below it, which with sufficient budgetary control could leave us with a playing budget that wouldn't be top 5 but wouldn't be threatening to our league status, either. Plenty of clubs sustain themselves without moving up or down the leagues too often.

I admit that if we were to get stuck at this level it would be something of a reality check after the last five years, but I would sooner this, than get into the same old trouble throwing money we don't have at a return to the Football League.
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by DarloDave40 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:38 am

I may be shot down here but if it is Raj let's hope he has learnt from his previous tenure plus it sounds like there is also another investor to take the pain/strain. We have done bloody marvellous the last five years but every year we are in the red to the tune of £100k. So for me it's time to look at outside investment with a strong Supporters Group member on the board and controls in any new articles to protect the club.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by wizardofos » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:41 am

Mikkyx: I appreciate that you were quoting Martin there, but he has a point.
We've got a difficult decision to make as supporters. I'm generally in favour of external investment to a) secure our future (moot point I realise) and b) allow us to progress to a level which would currently be impossible for us to reach (ie: where we came from).
I'm also very concerned about the supply of suitable, willing volunteers to lead us forward.
The details of the proposed investment should allow us to form a better opinion, once they are known.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by MikeinBlack2 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:12 am

Saw on facebook that there is another 'Singh' something to do with an Indian airline and maybe Teeside airport, maybe it's him and not Raj who we are suggesting here?
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don'tbuythesun
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by don'tbuythesun » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:20 am

Excellent summary Mikky. I know it's not the same thing but Salford's owners appear to have a 50/50 split between Peter Lim and the class of 92. Perhaps this would be possible for us?

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Allan Quatermain
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Allan Quatermain » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:21 am

don'tbuythesun wrote:Excellent summary Mikky. I know it's not the same thing but Salford's owners appear to have a 50/50 split between Peter Lim and the class of 92. Perhaps this would be possible for us?
Didn't MG confirm at the recent forum that anything less than 51% is not workable? Could be wrong but don't think so.
Alun's promise to the fans: “I’ll make sure I’ll bring players in that are value for money and I want players that want to play for Darlington Football Club, want to progress and move up the league and show the fans that passion.”

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by mikkyx » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:28 am

Allan Quatermain wrote:
don'tbuythesun wrote:Excellent summary Mikky. I know it's not the same thing but Salford's owners appear to have a 50/50 split between Peter Lim and the class of 92. Perhaps this would be possible for us?
Didn't MG confirm at the recent forum that anything less than 51% is not workable? Could be wrong but don't think so.
Therein lies the problem, if so (180+ tweets on the night and I can't remember either!) - I know we haven't done a perfect job of fan ownership but I wouldn't be willing to give that up so that we can go chasing Football League status on one person's chequebook.
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don'tbuythesun
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by don'tbuythesun » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:52 am

Fair enough but it still comes back to what would they actually own apart from dugouts and two stands?

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Allan Quatermain » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:53 am

mikkyx wrote:
Allan Quatermain wrote:
don'tbuythesun wrote:Excellent summary Mikky. I know it's not the same thing but Salford's owners appear to have a 50/50 split between Peter Lim and the class of 92. Perhaps this would be possible for us?
Didn't MG confirm at the recent forum that anything less than 51% is not workable? Could be wrong but don't think so.
Therein lies the problem, if so (180+ tweets on the night and I can't remember either!) - I know we haven't done a perfect job of fan ownership but I wouldn't be willing to give that up so that we can go chasing Football League status on one person's chequebook.
My gut reaction is the same as yours.

As fans, when it comes down to it and when we're into the tough times, we all have a real desire to keep the club alive and will dig deep to do that, as proven on multiple occasions.

That's not the case with recent external investors. With no deep-rooted love of the football club, (like we have), they have been in it for what they can take out of it. In recent bad times those investors have simply picked up everything that's still worth anything, cut their losses and left the problem for the next in line to pick up the pieces.

I've read a number of arguments about the pros and cons of external ownership v fan ownership and most points are valid. However, there can be no guarantees with any scenario and when we have the details of any offer, there will need to be people with a sharper mind than mine who will need to decide which option offers the best long term future (at any level of football) for Darlington Football Club.

But.

If Raj is in, despite any alleged good intentions, I'm out. I do not trust that man in any way shape or form and as a result of his lies and broken promises this football club was nearer to closure than at any other time. His actions are unforgivable in my book.
Alun's promise to the fans: “I’ll make sure I’ll bring players in that are value for money and I want players that want to play for Darlington Football Club, want to progress and move up the league and show the fans that passion.”

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by banktopp » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:09 am

Is not part of the annual overspend down to the club acquiescing to Gray's requests for extra funds for the playing budget.
We have a clear choice to make either follow Martin Gray's external investor led vision, which despite his hopes still would not guarantee football league status, or keep a fan owned club, be prepared for Gray walking, with a new manager who can remain within budget.
He has threatened us with walking if he doesn't get his way, but given us five wonderful seasons and without him we could not have done it. If his ambition has outgrown our fledgling fan owned club there will be no shortage of offers for his services.
And in 5 years time which of the two options will still be sustainable. An investor who may well find that costs and playing budgets are way beyond his expectations resulting in a sale of the club or another administration. Now that would be a joke. Alternatively we could still be in the same division, still own our club and still having bucket collections and fund raising initiatives.
As football supporters we are all gullible to the promises of owners, investors,and managers it's their way of gaining control. As for suggesting Raj Singh could be the investor is no one capable of a memory span more than 5 years. This man did more damage to our club than anyone else in 134 years.
If we make the wrong decision there will be no way back this time.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by wizardofos » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:16 am

Allan Quatermain wrote:
mikkyx wrote:
Allan Quatermain wrote:
don'tbuythesun wrote:Excellent summary Mikky. I know it's not the same thing but Salford's owners appear to have a 50/50 split between Peter Lim and the class of 92. Perhaps this would be possible for us?
Didn't MG confirm at the recent forum that anything less than 51% is not workable? Could be wrong but don't think so.
Therein lies the problem, if so (180+ tweets on the night and I can't remember either!) - I know we haven't done a perfect job of fan ownership but I wouldn't be willing to give that up so that we can go chasing Football League status on one person's chequebook.
My gut reaction is the same as yours.

As fans, when it comes down to it and when we're into the tough times, we all have a real desire to keep the club alive and will dig deep to do that, as proven on multiple occasions.

That's not the case with recent external investors. With no deep-rooted love of the football club, (like we have), they have been in it for what they can take out of it. In recent bad times those investors have simply picked up everything that's still worth anything, cut their losses and left the problem for the next in line to pick up the pieces.

I've read a number of arguments about the pros and cons of external ownership v fan ownership and most points are valid. However, there can be no guarantees with any scenario and when we have the details of any offer, there will need to be people with a sharper mind than mine who will need to decide which option offers the best long term future (at any level of football) for Darlington Football Club.

But.

If Raj is in, despite any alleged good intentions, I'm out. I do not trust that man in any way shape or form and as a result of his lies and broken promises this football club was nearer to closure than at any other time. His actions are unforgivable in my book.
Raj - In principle, agreed.
But I would listen just in case I was biting my nose off to spite my face.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Magical Quakers » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:38 am

It all boils down to intentions of any external investor. Something that may or may not become apparent when we find out who it is.

The only acceptable reason, from my view at least, is that this is a completely altruistic investment that is purely about getting Darlington back to where we belong (4th Division).

If there are potential other reasons for investment, say the redevelopment of other areas of the BM plot, then I think we should pass. They need to be interested only in DFC for me, anything else and we risk becoming cannon fodder again when things don't go their way.

Let's assume they do just want to invest in DFC, because they want to. What still concerns me is that this will cost a lot of money.

Attendances aren't going to rocket massively, unless Darlo fans are more fickle than I imagine, yes they may go up but a few hundred but that equates to nothing in the grand scheme of the bills we are facing.

Yes 500 extra @ £10 would add £110k to the budget, but we already know we are £80k short based on our current squad.

So, our Knight in shining armour arrives brandishing his cheque book and makes good on his (or her) promises and spends £1m on getting us up the leagues and upgrading the ground. What happens to that debt?

Even with the best of intentions what happens if our mystery investor is knocked down by a bus? What happens to that debt?

When the time comes and we are sitting nicely in Div 4, with a break even budget, and they decide to call time, what happens to the club ownership then?

Oh the joys of being a Darlo fan.....

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by m62exile » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:36 am

I'm in the open minded camp. My preference would be to stat fan owned but then again off the pitch I'm not entirely convinced we're doing such a great job of that in certain areas.

The one consideration i'd add is that I do believe we could really use a stronger "football network" - even the current board admitted they're not "football people" - and also it seems clear that we're not anywhere near maximising our commercial revenue. That's not a criticism, more an admission that we've not got the resource to achieve that.

If there's any support in these areas as part of any investment then I think we're not in a position to be too dismissive.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by lo36789 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:55 am

m62exile wrote:The one consideration i'd add is that I do believe we could really use a stronger "football network" - even the current board admitted they're not "football people" - and also it seems clear that we're not anywhere near maximising our commercial revenue. That's not a criticism, more an admission that we've not got the resource to achieve that.
I don't think this is a bad point to be honest. Most clubs I have visited have quite a lot of diversity across their volunteer base (tbh a lot of it though is built up through years of the club being at their current level).

For instance the commercial activities at Fylde are paid staff (so the restaurant/bar/security etc.) but backroom staff eg. kitman, match day secretary remain volunteer based.

The volunteers I speak to say they have been there for 20 years. Quite often they are ex players / managers / match officials that have found helping out the local club as a means to stay in the game.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by murtonquaker » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:10 am

MikeinBlack2 wrote:Saw on facebook that there is another 'Singh' something to do with an Indian airline and maybe Teeside airport, maybe it's him and not Raj who we are suggesting here?
My local shopkeeper is called Mr Singh, wonder if it is him, then again a lot of Indians have Singh in there name

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Darlo_Pete » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:10 am

We have to have faith in Martin Gray, after what he has done over the last 5 years. Do you think he would propose anything that would undermine what he has achieved for the club? If Gray has identified investors that can help us move forward up to the next level, then we have to listen to what is being proposed and if necessary take a leap of faith, however uncomfortable some of fans may feel.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by lo36789 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:16 am

Darlo_Pete wrote:Do you think he would propose anything that would undermine what he has achieved for the club?
I think if it propels him forward for 3 years and secured him a full time managers job higher in the FL - should we go into admin again years later I doubt he'd lose sleep over it.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Darlo_Pete » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:27 am

lo36789 wrote:
Darlo_Pete wrote:Do you think he would propose anything that would undermine what he has achieved for the club?
I think if it propels him forward for 3 years and secured him a full time managers job higher in the FL - should we go into admin again years later I doubt he'd lose sleep over it.
Well you're entitled to that opinion, but I think his love for our club, would mean that, that is not the case.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Feethams 1966 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:33 am

Darlo_Pete wrote:We have to have faith in Martin Gray, after what he has done over the last 5 years. Do you think he would propose anything that would undermine what he has achieved for the club? If Gray has identified investors that can help us move forward up to the next level, then we have to listen to what is being proposed and if necessary take a leap of faith, however uncomfortable some of fans may feel.
Succinct & spot on.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by al_quaker » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:39 am

Gray is incredibly ambitious - it's part of what has made him a successful manager. I also have no doubt that he cares for the club. However, these potential investors are here because of MG. Lets say we get bankrolled back to the football league, and then Gray gets a job offer he can't refuse. If Gray goes do the sugar daddies go? If so, he would then be faced with a choice between what's best for MG, or what's best for DFC.

It's this type of scenario that means I won't trust MG blindly. I would want to see detailed plans, commitments, and potential exit strategies to be in favour of changing ownership model

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Spyman » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:03 am

Remember as well, MG wasn't involved with the club during Raj Singh's reign.

He left after Houghton put us in administration. He may well have only followed what went on from afar and may not be fully versed on the ill-feeling between the fans and Singh.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by loan_star » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:37 am

Spyman wrote:Remember as well, MG wasn't involved with the club during Raj Singh's reign.

He left after Houghton put us in administration. He may well have only followed what went on from afar and may not be fully versed on the ill-feeling between the fans and Singh.

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I doubt that! If he isnt then hes led a very sheltered life during the last few years.
Darlo_Pete wrote:We have to have faith in Martin Gray, after what he has done over the last 5 years. Do you think he would propose anything that would undermine what he has achieved for the club? If Gray has identified investors that can help us move forward up to the next level, then we have to listen to what is being proposed and if necessary take a leap of faith, however uncomfortable some of fans may feel.
This is how it is for me at the moment. See what the man has to say and what the long term strategy is before passing judgement.
Every one does things in life they regret that hurts other people. Maybe Singh is been deeply regretful for what he did and wants to prove that he isn't the person we think he is.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by dfc4me » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 pm

What I am not sure about is are we talking about 2 separate investors who we may have to choose between at some point or is it a partnership of some kind? Anyone know which it is?

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Robbie Painter » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:08 pm

Spyman wrote:Remember as well, MG wasn't involved with the club during Raj Singh's reign.

He left after Houghton put us in administration. He may well have only followed what went on from afar and may not be fully versed on the ill-feeling between the fans and Singh.

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Its often forgotten that Raj Singh was a director, shareholder (10%) & had a loan secured on the assets of the club (£625k) when it was placed into administration in early 2009. Martin Gray was assistant manager at the time.

We've had many terrible owners, directors & shareholders over the years. Raj Singh is the only one that I'm aware of to have been involved in 2 administrations.
loan_star wrote: Every one does things in life they regret that hurts other people. Maybe Singh is been deeply regretful for what he did and wants to prove that he isn't the person we think he is.
If Raj Singh is "deeply regretful" as loan_star speculates the first question I'd be asking him is what he did with the approximate £136k he received in 2 dividend payouts from the liquidation of the assets of Darlington Football Club 2009 Ltd (the company he placed into admin in 2012). The second dividend was paid in 2014 I believe.

That 136k would have covered virtually all the money owed to the unsecured trade creditors from the 2012 administration.

Surely a regretful man would have settled up with the local businesses, contractors, doctors & a charity that were owed money? After all he's had nearly 5 years now to act on those regrets.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by biccynana » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:05 pm

mikkyx wrote:Finally managed to get my thoughts on this whole thing down. You can read them here if you wish: https://mikkyx.co.uk/blog/post/sustaina ... or-success
That really is an excellent piece. It very succinctly nails the dilemma we fans of DFC face - the natural desire to see the team play at the highest possible level and certainly back in the FL, against the fear of investors pulling the plug and the wish to be self sufficient, sustainable and debt-free. Is it better to have a funded team going all out for League 2 or 1 at the risk of being left high and dry when the investors get bored in 5, 10, 15 years, or to be happy with a team muddling along at Conf Nth/Evo Prem level, beholden to nobody except its own fans.

I commend both the writing and the conclusion.

Nice work, mikkyx.

(Just noticed your surname - same as my mam's maiden name. Clever folk, those Prices :D )
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Re: Raj Singh

Post by Mr_Tibbs » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:10 pm

dfc4me wrote:What I am not sure about is are we talking about 2 separate investors who we may have to choose between at some point or is it a partnership of some kind? Anyone know which it is?
We all need to sit tight and make stuff up to amuse ourselves until a statement comes out. I think we'll be talking weeks rather than days before all the details come out and we have any decisions to make.

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Re: Raj Singh

Post by HarryCharltonsCat » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:19 pm

Feethams 1966 wrote:
Darlo_Pete wrote:We have to have faith in Martin Gray, after what he has done over the last 5 years. Do you think he would propose anything that would undermine what he has achieved for the club? If Gray has identified investors that can help us move forward up to the next level, then we have to listen to what is being proposed and if necessary take a leap of faith, however uncomfortable some of fans may feel.
Succinct & spot on.
What he has done is manage a football team to three promotions, whilst the fans have chucked in the money to fund his requirements. I'm not aware he has anymore experience of running a football club than the existing board. Still don't know why he couldn't have advised the board he could help look for investors rather than doing it behind their back. More "me" than "we" in his speech. Significant he stood in front of the board rather than alongside the Board to make it? Fully prepared to listen to what the plan is, but not blindly following an obviously personally ambitious football manager.

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