Notes from the fans' forum

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loan_star
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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by loan_star » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:59 am

Beano wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:50 am
I don’t get a lot of the purpose of the ground grading criteria - most of the seats and cover are superfluous to most clubs at each respective level.

What is the point?


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Its like when they relegate clubs because their changing rooms are a few inches smaller than the minimum requirement. Stupid rules made by people who don't have to find the money to make such changes. As long as the ground is safe and holds a crowd suitable to the level the club is at then thats all that should be needed.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by Ghost_Of_1883 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:00 pm

Beano wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:50 am
I don’t get a lot of the purpose of the ground grading criteria - most of the seats and cover are superfluous to most clubs at each respective level.

What is the point?

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I dunno what the point is, but in our case we could actually do with more seats and more terracing anyway - regardless of which boxes we need to tick at each respective level.

The views are terrible for anyone who isn't at least 6ft 2, if the crowd approaches 2,000. More terracing and seating (especially terracing for home fans) would certainly help.

I know it's all a moot point if we're playing in front of 1,200 but we do have the latent fan base to play in front of 2-3,000 if there is a big match or if we're doing really well.
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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by don'tbuythesun » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:50 pm

I think the daft part is having to have seats in place before you "might" go up. You can spend a fortune and never go up or spend it, go up and come straight down. A years grace would appear to the more sensible approach. I suppose if we can decent crowds in and perhaps a cup run we'd have some spare cash to put more in. That open end's crying out for terracing and that could be divided depending on away followings.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by H1987 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:04 am

Yep, pretty much. Although it's not the full amount you need in. We had ourselves to blame for that playoff situation really. Blackwell was completely inadequate with only 250 seats. That stand doubling in size really made a huge difference. I suspect it would've been cheaper if it was done all at the same time as well. We should've moved later in the year and fundraised to cover building it in one go. We wanted to be in for that Boxing Day game too desperately.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by Beano » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:09 am

don'tbuythesun wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:50 pm
I think the daft part is having to have seats in place before you "might" go up. You can spend a fortune and never go up or spend it, go up and come straight down. A years grace would appear to the more sensible approach. I suppose if we can decent crowds in and perhaps a cup run we'd have some spare cash to put more in. That open end's crying out for terracing and that could be divided depending on away followings.
For me, that would be the pragmatic solution, although I'd argue 1 year is too short

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by lo36789 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:33 am

H1987 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:04 am
Yep, pretty much. Although it's not the full amount you need in. We had ourselves to blame for that playoff situation really. Blackwell was completely inadequate with only 250 seats. That stand doubling in size really made a huge difference. I suspect it would've been cheaper if it was done all at the same time as well. We should've moved later in the year and fundraised to cover building it in one go. We wanted to be in for that Boxing Day game too desperately.
I thought the requirement hadn't been understood to be honest and there were some sums that every game away from Darlington at HP where we had absolutely no revenue outside of gate receipts was costing us.

Remember we had to be out of HP by March that season or face relegation.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by H1987 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:35 pm

Yes, we needed to be in by March, but i dare say the fans would have found the extra money to get it built in such a scenario, and it would have been cheaper in the long run. It'd have created a much better impression as well. Folks moan about BM, but it's miles better than it was when it opened.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by WesleyanQuaker » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:40 am

I think we are now at the stage in the clubs development where we need some long term planning. The board of directors will have a risk register and where we play our home games will be high on the agenda.
As set out in DJ’s speech options need to be formed around staying at Blackwell or going to the arena, either of these will provide the land bank needed and for the club to develop we need primacy of tenure or outright ownership of land. Both sites have land available for DFC to build our own stadium, and the road and transport infrastructure is already in place. The Arena land has the best opportunities to develop this underused asset for the benefit of not only the sporting clubs but the town and provide economic activity for the wider community.
Blackwell serves its purpose and got us back to Darlo, so it has now given us a platform to move into our next phase, but I would not spend another penny on the place as all we are doing is investing in stranded assets which we don’t control.
I would look to secure a site (at BM or arena) of our own and draw up plans for One large grandstand incorporating clubhouse, changing rooms, required number of seat for NL & floodlights. We need to look at the best orientation to make to most use of existing assets like access roads, car parking,training pitches to get a bit of long term value back from our rushed investments since becoming fan owned.
We the fans have raised a hell of a lot of funds and we have come a long way on the pitch it’s now time to focus off the pitch if we are to get the firm foundations to grow our future and become sustainable at a higher level.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by Vodka_Vic » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:15 am

Agree, but how would we fund it?

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by WesleyanQuaker » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:44 am

Funding would be part of the long term planning. First secure a site - hopefully for free as part of some community sporting village, or regeneration of the arena. Then make sure the land has no major obstacles like water/gas mains or flooding. Cost up plans to build the full stadium and look to phase the investment to match targets, we need a baseline to move into so for the main grandstand build efficiently by doing all the foundations and heavy lifting to get the shell up, make it safe but we could just install the minimum seating and hospitality which could be improved as funds become available. I’m thinking a main stand like Fleetwoods but only put half the seats in for now and concrete finish inside, quite austere but gets the foundations in.
Since we became fan owned we must have raised over 1.5 million , to fund a ground of our own it’s going to be at least twice that so we are going to need a mixture of fan investors, grants and a long term mortgage to fund the initial investment, after that I would hope we start the generate additional income streams to continue developing stadium and infrastructure.
I would also look to reused some of our assets at Blackwell like the seated stand.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:07 am

A good post w’quaker.

It’s a grand plan but it is possible. DFC have always been the bridesmaids and never the bride regarding our stadium.

Now that we are fan owned and no longer at the whim of any potentially dodgy geezers it would be great to have a proper home we could call our own.
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by Ghost_Of_1883 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:45 am

WesleyanQuaker wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:44 am
Since we became fan owned we must have raised over 1.5 million , to fund a ground of our own it’s going to be at least twice that
I think that is being optimistic, I'd double that figure again. You're probably talking 2 or 3 million just for a semi decent grandstand with facilities, which has c1500-2000 capacity. Even for the most basic of basic 5000 capacity grounds you'll be lucky to complete one for less than £5 or 6 million. I think that's roughly what FCUM paid to build theirs.
I would also look to reused some of our assets at Blackwell like the seated stand.
I think the stand cost about 300 grand to build in total (and they still fucked it up because the canopy doesn't cover all of the seats), so moving it and re-erecting it would depend on cost. I wouldn't be surprised if there was hardly any saving to be had, compared to just building a new second stand - although if there is a decent saving to be made it would be a no brainer to move the stand and possibly the tin shed.

If we could move the stands for a lesser cost than building new...

Obviously the 1,000 capacity tin shed would go at 1 end.

The 588 capacity seated stand would be down one side, and we could obviously site it straddling the half way line which would make it look so much better than it does at BM. That's a bonus in itself, aesthetically. Now that stand could be doubled by adding two more modules at a later date, but perhaps a better and cheaper way of finishing that side would be to put 8 step terrace either side of that stand (8 step terracing is apparently quite a bit cheaper than larger terracing because there is no need for crush barriers)

So if it was eventually an extended seated stand, it would have a capacity of 1,176. If it was the stand + terracing, I'm guessing the capacity of that side would be roughly 1,500.

So if the grandstand was 1,500 capacity then, and the other side was a mixture of seats + terrace (c1500 capacity), then we might just scrape 5,000 capacity in the long run if we put another 1,000 capacity terrace at the other end. To be on the safe side the grandstand would preferably hold nearer 2,000.

I'd say we'd need to take a mortgage out (if we can even get one) on a large proportion of the build cost. It's one thing getting 100-200 grand out of fans per close season for the BTB or to part fund a stand, but several million is a different ball game altogether.
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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by Ghost_Of_1883 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:06 am

theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:07 am
A good post w’quaker.

It’s a grand plan but it is possible. DFC have always been the bridesmaids and never the bride regarding our stadium.

Now that we are fan owned and no longer at the whim of any potentially dodgy geezers it would be great to have a proper home we could call our own.
And if, that's a big *IF*, we do after a number of years succeed in building our very own ground (which we'll probably have a substantial debt on) - at that point, we must absolutely ensure that the club can never ever be taken over by a sole owner or group - it must always be owned by the fans.

We can never at that point, have the discussion where we vote on changing the model of ownership, because we've had our heads turned by someone promising to come in and splash the cash on the team.

The reason why is because look what happened with the Arena. Houghton came in and with the stroke of a pen separated the stadium from the football club, they became 2 different companies. That's how easily the club loses it's asset. Imagine a few years of blood sweat and tears, and several million raised, just to have it separated from the club? This cannot happen.

Not sure of the exact details but when GH separated the club and ground IIRC money was borrowed to fund the club using the ground as security and when it couldn't be paid back then it became the property of Scott and Sizer, as they were the lenders. The football club was put into administration and then we had no ground either.

Having said that I could be wrong on the details, I suppose even if the club and stadium remained within one company, if the stadium was used to borrow money which then couldn't be paid back, the result would be the same?
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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by al_quaker » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:55 am

Is this not where the 'asset lock' of the supporters group comes in?

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by Beano » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:23 am

The majority ground ownership would need be held by DFCSG, not DFC, to prevent exactly what you’ve described happening.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by WesleyanQuaker » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:27 am

To keep costs down we must make best use of existing infrastructure and orientate the new stadium in such a way we can lay service ducts from and to existing utility connections, example take water, gas, electricity and sewerage by extending a service duct from buildings at BM or Arena (separate meters). Same with car parks and roads, doing this offers major savings on green field sites, so it is only really the cost to build the grandstand and floodlights we need to fund in the early stages. Look to reuse the seated stand, fencing, dug outs, signage (everything that offers a saving over new).
Fans and community groups could be used to do the none safety critical work, an example is get a contractor to put the fence posts in and fans nail on the boards & rails, same with changing rooms builder puts up partition walls and fans paint maybe even do the tiles - this offers something different to continually putting cash into buckets, we could get people to pledge their time rather than only money to the club, it increases the mixture of activities available to reduce costs and deliver a £3million investment for 1-2 million.

Mortgage will be difficult to find at a reasonable interest rate as we don’t own anything of value, there are funding streams that are securitised on revenue generated from ticket sales, large investment houses now also value ESG environment - social - governance which also places value to investing in things that improve communities and peoples lives.they don’t even have to make profits on the ESG element just have it as part of a wider portfolio of investments.

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Re: Notes from the fans' forum

Post by super_les_mcjannet » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:04 pm

Whilst I don't have any real issues with the idea, in fact I promote the idea of us looking long term for stadia, however the idea we can reduce costs by 1m by getting fans to complete jobs just won't happen. Health and safety, timing of jobs, complications, you just need professionals, the things fans can support with will be limited cost savings.

Moving things from the Rugby Club may not be so easy either, do we have to leave the Rugby Ground at least as we found it? So if we remove the fencing do we have to replace that fence with something like it was, I just can't see the Rugby Club allowing us to dismantle the ground and leave it a mess. As mentioned it will probably cost as much to take down, tidy up, move to new place, put back up than it would to order new stand and put in place.

Long term decision needs to be made and not rushed.

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