Interview with Johnston on Official Website

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H1987
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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by H1987 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:36 pm

Beyond increased corporate hospitality capacity, what are these revenue streams? It is still owned by DMP.... and even talking about hospitality alone... how many are we realistically going to sell? There's a limit to interest in these leagues.

The ground holds 3,300 (I agree 3,000 is more sensible, 2,500 is unfair, i was at the York game this year which was around that, it was fine). The whole point would be to take that up to 4,000. That's enough for now and the Conference National. Look at the crowds when we were last there in the Arena. Not only was the discussion all about how some fans just didn't have the appetite for non league football, it was also all about how people didn't like going to a big empty bowl. Now i see multiple fans suggesting we should go back there... to play non league football in a big empty bowl. Madness. We're not being realistic at all.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by don'tbuythesun » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:53 pm

I wonder what the experience has been like for Queens Park fans up in Scotland whose 800 or so rattle around Hampden Park with its 52,000 capacity. Mind you they own it, something I wasn't aware of. They seem to have made it work for a number of years.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by Quakers83 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:53 am

H1987 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:36 pm
Beyond increased corporate hospitality capacity, what are these revenue streams? It is still owned by DMP.... and even talking about hospitality alone... how many are we realistically going to sell? There's a limit to interest in these leagues.

The ground holds 3,300 (I agree 3,000 is more sensible, 2,500 is unfair, i was at the York game this year which was around that, it was fine). The whole point would be to take that up to 4,000. That's enough for now and the Conference National. Look at the crowds when we were last there in the Arena. Not only was the discussion all about how some fans just didn't have the appetite for non league football, it was also all about how people didn't like going to a big empty bowl. Now i see multiple fans suggesting we should go back there... to play non league football in a big empty bowl. Madness. We're not being realistic at all.
What are these revenue streams? Well I’m sure if this comes to fruition then you will find out through a business plan?

Also, 2,500 is not unfair at all when the game is segregated. You, along with hundreds of others, may have been ‘fine’ with the view, but for those who are 2/3 rows back, stuck behind the dugouts, or restricted via floodlights - that’s not ideal. (Also, the attendance against York this season was actually only 2,023, so well short of 2,500).

Albeit a few changes since the opening game against Halifax, but we had a fair few people simply walk out the ground around H/T because of the view that day. Even the Walsall game, a little over 3,000, we literally crammed the away fans in a corner of the ground, the tin-shed was over-crowded, 2/3 rows of hard standing in the remainder of the ground with the seated stand full and another hundred or so stood on a grass bank which technically shouldn’t be allowed.

Sometimes compromise is needed for the sake of the long term future of the club.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by lo36789 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:23 am

don'tbuythesun wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:53 pm
I wonder what the experience has been like for Queens Park fans up in Scotland whose 800 or so rattle around Hampden Park with its 52,000 capacity. Mind you they own it, something I wasn't aware of. They seem to have made it work for a number of years.
Not any more they sold it this year gone to the Scottish FA.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by lo36789 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:30 am

We obviously all need to see the plans for SV - but I can't see where £6million is going to be found to build a ground on "a plot of land" nor why the SV company who will own the site will allow another company to make money on their land.

The likelihood is that the area will be operated by the SV. There will be licenses to play / leases but they are not going to just hand over the keys.

There are a load of issues to resolve but I suspect that the two options will be;

DRFC - where there are issues with expansion and issues with matchday experience
Arena - where there are issues with the surface which restricts progression and issues with matchday experience

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by divas » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:33 am

Don’t think we’ll need £6m initially, I reckon a third of that will build something that will be acceptable for National league with the scope to upgrade fairly easily from a logistics point of view for FL. Of course still plenty of issues raising that sum but it’s got to be a 5-10 year project. More grants will become available and £200k per year sounds more achievable than £2m.

We have to start thinking long term - the biggest problem with BM (apart from not being allowed to do much there) is that in 12 years time (I think you need a minimum agreement of 5 years for the league but don’t quote me know that) there is nothing stopping DRFC turning round and refusing an extension on us playing at BM. If we haven’t got a long term plan in place by then we’ll be snookered. Given our relationship with DRFC I can quite easily see them not wanting us there once we’ve facilitated the repayment of their debts.

Unless we can negotiate with DRFC an agreement to significantly extend and improve the current deal as well as agree a development for the plan for the site to allow us to build a FL level ground then it isn’t viable going forwards and an alternative has to be found whether we like it or not.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by JE93 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:17 am

divas wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:33 am
Don’t think we’ll need £6m initially, I reckon a third of that will build something that will be acceptable for National league with the scope to upgrade fairly easily from a logistics point of view for FL. Of course still plenty of issues raising that sum but it’s got to be a 5-10 year project. More grants will become available and £200k per year sounds more achievable than £2m.

We have to start thinking long term - the biggest problem with BM (apart from not being allowed to do much there) is that in 12 years time (I think you need a minimum agreement of 5 years for the league but don’t quote me know that) there is nothing stopping DRFC turning round and refusing an extension on us playing at BM. If we haven’t got a long term plan in place by then we’ll be snookered. Given our relationship with DRFC I can quite easily see them not wanting us there once we’ve facilitated the repayment of their debts.

Unless we can negotiate with DRFC an agreement to significantly extend and improve the current deal as well as agree a development for the plan for the site to allow us to build a FL level ground then it isn’t viable going forwards and an alternative has to be found whether we like it or not.
Think those figures are rather optimistic. Could easily look at a million in ground works alone, a half decent pitch can come to 300, 400k. Theres 1.5 million to fund before you have even have anything to show for it.

FC Uniteds Broadhurst Meadow cost 6.5million. For 4,500 ground capacity. In reality it has a big 2,500 terrace at one end. 700 seats and some decent corporate and bar facilities. The rest is covered flat standing. Its Category B, needs more seating and additional capacity to bring it up to category A. Nice ground but far more than the 2million plus additional amounts to get us up to FL standard if we ever needed to. https://www.footballgroundguide.com/fc- ... -park-like

AFC Wimbledons new ground for an 11,000 seater ground (granted far too big for our needs) but it is currently running 8 or 9 million over budget.

Stevenage are currently building a new all seat north stand behind one goal. Bout 1,400 capacity with some bar facilities. Rumoured to cost around 1million but also rumouredly over budget because of issues with access to an electrical junction box under the stand.

I dont think we'd build a new ground for ourselves in the next 10 to 15 years at the SV site cause the costs associated are just so high. As such for me any move to the arena would be just that, a move to the arena and accepting all the issues that come with that ground.

Blackwell with a good relationship with the RC and without that pipe would mean you could actually build a half decent ground at BM unfortunately we have neither of those things.

Who'd want to be our CEO right? Both hugely flawed grounds and I dont expect either to be the answer to the Feethams question any time soon.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by super_les_mcjannet » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:25 am

I think that probably sums it up JE93

I await more details but I can't see us staying at the Rugby Club and then I can't see us building a new ground either.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by LoidLucan » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:34 am

I agree with the above. I don't think anyone leaning towards the Arena option should realistically expect us to one day build from scratch a Football League (or even National League) standard ground. It would never happen unless some rich benefactor with more money than sense somehow was in charge. The fact is we would be playing at the 25,500-seater Arena on a synthetic surface and that would be the future.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by super_les_mcjannet » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:36 am

LoidLucan wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:34 am
I agree with the above. I don't think anyone leaning towards the Arena option should realistically expect us to one day build from scratch a Football League (or even National League) standard ground. It would never happen unless some rich benefactor with more money than sense somehow was in charge. The fact is we would be playing at the 25,500-seater Arena on a synthetic surface and that would be the future.
I think the synthetic surface may not be 100% cert anymore.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by LoidLucan » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:43 am

I also don't realistically expect us to be troubling the Football League in the foreseeable future, not when you consider the huge bankrolling that many teams in our current league and the one above enjoy. It would take an extraordinary effort to overcome that massive advantage that many other clubs have over us. It allows them to invest heavily in the playing side and infrastructure at the same time.

A recent flavour of the Arena experience .... https://www.mowdenpark.com/news/highlig ... 97594.html

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by robsraiders » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:33 pm

LoidLucan wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:43 am
I also don't realistically expect us to be troubling the Football League in the foreseeable future, not when you consider the huge bankrolling that many teams in our current league and the one above enjoy. It would take an extraordinary effort to overcome that massive advantage that many other clubs have over us. It allows them to invest heavily in the playing side and infrastructure at the same time.

A recent flavour of the Arena experience .... https://www.mowdenpark.com/news/highlig ... 97594.html
Just had a look at video and looks like about 500 max at game, how are they surviving on that when they have a squad of 30 + players ? The hospitality boxes will help but even so they must be losing money hand over fist, would you really want to watch footy there ?

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by Darlopartisan » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:47 pm

robsraiders wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:33 pm
LoidLucan wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:43 am
I also don't realistically expect us to be troubling the Football League in the foreseeable future, not when you consider the huge bankrolling that many teams in our current league and the one above enjoy. It would take an extraordinary effort to overcome that massive advantage that many other clubs have over us. It allows them to invest heavily in the playing side and infrastructure at the same time.

A recent flavour of the Arena experience .... https://www.mowdenpark.com/news/highlig ... 97594.html
Just had a look at video and looks like about 500 max at game, how are they surviving on that when they have a squad of 30 + players ? The hospitality boxes will help but even so they must be losing money hand over fist, would you really want to watch footy there ?
Hull are rubbish at this rugby lark😀

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by H1987 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:31 pm

Quakers83 wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:53 am
H1987 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:36 pm
Beyond increased corporate hospitality capacity, what are these revenue streams? It is still owned by DMP.... and even talking about hospitality alone... how many are we realistically going to sell? There's a limit to interest in these leagues.

The ground holds 3,300 (I agree 3,000 is more sensible, 2,500 is unfair, i was at the York game this year which was around that, it was fine). The whole point would be to take that up to 4,000. That's enough for now and the Conference National. Look at the crowds when we were last there in the Arena. Not only was the discussion all about how some fans just didn't have the appetite for non league football, it was also all about how people didn't like going to a big empty bowl. Now i see multiple fans suggesting we should go back there... to play non league football in a big empty bowl. Madness. We're not being realistic at all.
What are these revenue streams? Well I’m sure if this comes to fruition then you will find out through a business plan?

Also, 2,500 is not unfair at all when the game is segregated. You, along with hundreds of others, may have been ‘fine’ with the view, but for those who are 2/3 rows back, stuck behind the dugouts, or restricted via floodlights - that’s not ideal. (Also, the attendance against York this season was actually only 2,023, so well short of 2,500).

Albeit a few changes since the opening game against Halifax, but we had a fair few people simply walk out the ground around H/T because of the view that day. Even the Walsall game, a little over 3,000, we literally crammed the away fans in a corner of the ground, the tin-shed was over-crowded, 2/3 rows of hard standing in the remainder of the ground with the seated stand full and another hundred or so stood on a grass bank which technically shouldn’t be allowed.

Sometimes compromise is needed for the sake of the long term future of the club.
Fair enough, I thought York was about 2,400. It really does also illustrate our recent limitations in attendances though.

Walsall was pushing it, but miles better than the opening game. Not sure about the point regarding away fans, there was a handful of them, if there was more, the segregation would have moved. Also, the open end barely had any home fans down there.

As pointed out earlier in the thread, our average attendance last time in the league above when we finished 7th was still just under 2,000. The highest league gate was 3,000. An improved Blackwell can easily achieve this, and tick the necessary boxes so we can stay in the division above. The bumper crowds are really a once in a blue moon thing. The truth is that even at national level, there will be loads of room for 98% of the games.

Honestly, we add some extra seats to the corner (an extra 150?) and a terrace the capacity of the tinshed (ok it can only go 2/3 of the pitch, so instead you make it 12-13 rows deep rather than 8 to achieve this - whoever responsible can do the sums) and you'll hit 4,000 easily (something that was clearly lacking in the original design process). You can also do it in stages as it doesn't need to be done immediately even if we are promoted. Once you get a sizeable terrace behind the other goal it eases the burden on other areas.

We won't grow crowds by playing in that cavernous bowl. Did none of you ever take a mate before? No one thought it was good.

That video of the rugby is laughable. The faded pink really does complete the look.
Last edited by H1987 on Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by dfc4me » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:31 pm

divas wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:33 am
Don’t think we’ll need £6m initially, I reckon a third of that will build something that will be acceptable for National league with the scope to upgrade fairly easily from a logistics point of view for FL. Of course still plenty of issues raising that sum but it’s got to be a 5-10 year project. More grants will become available and £200k per year sounds more achievable than £2m.

We have to start thinking long term - the biggest problem with BM (apart from not being allowed to do much there) is that in 12 years time (I think you need a minimum agreement of 5 years for the league but don’t quote me know that) there is nothing stopping DRFC turning round and refusing an extension on us playing at BM. If we haven’t got a long term plan in place by then we’ll be snookered. Given our relationship with DRFC I can quite easily see them not wanting us there once we’ve facilitated the repayment of their debts.

Unless we can negotiate with DRFC an agreement to significantly extend and improve the current deal as well as agree a development for the plan for the site to allow us to build a FL level ground then it isn’t viable going forwards and an alternative has to be found whether we like it or not.
Have to agree with divas. The only reason DRFC agreed to let us in was because they were about to go pop and our money would keep them going. Once their finances are sorted and they have some money in the bank they won’t want us any more, their attitude towards us makes that clear. I’m sure a while ago DJ said we were not spending any more money on BM until we had an improved agreement which I suspect isn’t forthcoming. The Arena could end up the only option.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:43 pm

LoidLucan wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:34 am
I agree with the above. I don't think anyone leaning towards the Arena option should realistically expect us to one day build from scratch a Football League (or even National League) standard ground. It would never happen unless some rich benefactor with more money than sense somehow was in charge. The fact is we would be playing at the 25,500-seater Arena on a synthetic surface and that would be the future.
Christ, this would be awful - and word would spread like wildfire.
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: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by divas » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:52 pm

But could be all we have one day if DRFC don’t want us any longer which is very likely.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by super_les_mcjannet » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:07 pm

divas wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:52 pm
But could be all we have one day if DRFC don’t want us any longer which is very likely.
This is the worry and speak and DRFC show little sign of wanting us to grow and blossom at "their ground".

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by H1987 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:14 pm

robsraiders wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:33 pm
LoidLucan wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:43 am
I also don't realistically expect us to be troubling the Football League in the foreseeable future, not when you consider the huge bankrolling that many teams in our current league and the one above enjoy. It would take an extraordinary effort to overcome that massive advantage that many other clubs have over us. It allows them to invest heavily in the playing side and infrastructure at the same time.

A recent flavour of the Arena experience .... https://www.mowdenpark.com/news/highlig ... 97594.html
Just had a look at video and looks like about 500 max at game, how are they surviving on that when they have a squad of 30 + players ? The hospitality boxes will help but even so they must be losing money hand over fist, would you really want to watch footy there ?
To be honest, apart from being empty behind the goals, that's my memory of the place when we played there (except the place looks even tattier and the seats look even more faded). Add another 500 fans or so scattered behind the goal, and then a handful of away fans scattered behind the other, and that's about what we had.

There's still plenty of footage of us playing there on youtube, and it was that bad. In fact, it was even worse in person because you end up looking out at the empty banks when you're there in person. At least the video faces the fans.

The evidence is there in our historic attendances at the place. Even the latter years of the football league, we barely broke 3,000. The only crowds that ever have really are big cup games (which largely come along every few years, rather than being an annual thing), pre season games against Boro / Sunderland / Newcastle where the away fans outnumbered home fans, and Hartlepool.

This photo sums it up really, doesn't it? This is 2008, so pre slump out of the football league. To hell with this ever again: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... na_002.jpg
Last edited by H1987 on Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by biccynana » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:16 pm

theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:43 pm
LoidLucan wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:34 am
I agree with the above. I don't think anyone leaning towards the Arena option should realistically expect us to one day build from scratch a Football League (or even National League) standard ground. It would never happen unless some rich benefactor with more money than sense somehow was in charge. The fact is we would be playing at the 25,500-seater Arena on a synthetic surface and that would be the future.
Christ, this would be awful - and word would spread like wildfire.
Word of what, OFC?

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by super_les_mcjannet » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:19 pm

I think most agree with you in terms of wanting to be there but we have to remember we need to hear any facts first before making our minds up 100%.

I don't like the place and a longer term solution needs to be an option.

Maybe the Council will guarantee a loan for us like they have Mowden Park.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by H1987 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:22 pm

I don't understand scaremongering about DRFC. We've got 17 years to run on the lease (which we will be legally required to keep paying for anyway). Stop being ridiculous. You're not even going to be dealing with the same people when you actually need to worry about this, which is in about 15 years time. You could talk about moving *then*. It's not a good argument to jump ship now.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by divas » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:02 pm

Yeah let’s leave it 15 years and then see where we are. Sure that’ll work out well.

In the meantime we’ll plod along at NLN level as we can’t get the ground to the required standard for the next level without significant change and investment - investment that would mainly be lost if you couldn’t extend the license in future

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by QUAKERMAN2 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:16 pm

With having a licence rather than a tenancy agreement, what are the implications if we wish to move to the Arena before the expiration of this licence.Obviously a tenancy agreement is legally binding.
If we were to quit without penalties I would have no sympathy whatsoever towards DRFC

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by Beano » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:49 pm

Unless one of us wins the Euromillions, we are placed between a rock and a hard place.

Blackwell Meadows, for all its flaws, is a decent match day experience for our level and the current board of Directors have made the most of the hand played by their predecessors. However, to get it ready for the next level, will take a seven figure investment and a completely different relationship/structure of tenancy with the Rugby Club which they may not be interested in. In the meanwhile, we can’t capitalise on the growing commercial relationships the club has cultivated.

The Arena has many bitter memories for a number of fans due to its role in multiple administrations and our ultimate demise as football league club but could immediately cater for hugely increased commercial revenues and likely house all club operations at the stadium. However, we are not necessarily guaranteed any better terms than at Blackwell, and the notion of a plot of land to build our own stadium is complete pie in the sky. The match day atmosphere at the Arena was notoriously echo-chamber crap with no option to stand, and the infrastructure under the stands completely lacking due to George Reynolds running out of money during the build.

I’m oddly excited to hear the outcome of the SV proposals and, if we were to be given decent T&Cs, could accept a move to The Arena if DJ and company can demonstrate it would be better for the club in the long-term (but I’m not sure where our money would come from to make us major players).

I’d imagine many others may be harder to persuade given the history of the great white elephant.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by Vodka_Vic » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:08 pm

I'm interested to know about this plot of land. A number of people have said it's complete pie in the sky, but DJ is not a fantasist, and wouldn't consider it if it was a no-go.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:24 pm

biccynana wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:16 pm
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:43 pm
LoidLucan wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:34 am
I agree with the above. I don't think anyone leaning towards the Arena option should realistically expect us to one day build from scratch a Football League (or even National League) standard ground. It would never happen unless some rich benefactor with more money than sense somehow was in charge. The fact is we would be playing at the 25,500-seater Arena on a synthetic surface and that would be the future.
Christ, this would be awful - and word would spread like wildfire.
Word of what, OFC?
Well, in brief - the word of the awfulness. The bleak, mind numbing emptiness in the stands and the functional/dull football due to the artificial pitch*.

You know, good news travels slowly, bad news travels fast.


* my own personal opinion/others may disagree.
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"

Tamworth matchday programme 26 Nov 2011

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by super_les_mcjannet » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:33 pm

Vodka_Vic wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:08 pm
I'm interested to know about this plot of land. A number of people have said it's complete pie in the sky, but DJ is not a fantasist, and wouldn't consider it if it was a no-go.
The plot of land exists, it’s the finances to build on it that are the missing bit.

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Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by LoidLucan » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:33 pm

You have to remember that the Sporting Village is a collaboration between Mowden Park and the council and the land involved is owned by MP and the council. They are inviting other sports clubs to sign up to be based there.

There are no concrete plans to build a football stadium there when the whole idea is that an improved Arena will be the centrepiece. That's aside from the vast expense of developing another stadium on land there. The focus is on the Arena, increasing its use for sports, music and leisure, and developing a garage, hotel and retail units on land nearby. MP have their men's team, women's team and 25 grassroots teams there (probably why the pitch is so rough now) and I'm sure at one stage there were hopes to have Rugby League World Cup games/training there in 2021.

It should also be pointed out that the council itself has said that while the "proposal has real merit and holds out the possibility of enabling the arena to have a long term sustainable future" it also carries "significant risk".
Last edited by LoidLucan on Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mister e
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:08 pm
Team Supported: Darlington

Re: Interview with Johnston on Official Website

Post by Mister e » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:58 pm

If I remember correctly there are quite a few offices and rooms in the upstair corridors of the arena wouldn't it be great if we could move all the staff out of the town hall up there flatten the town hall and get the council to build us a community stadium on the site. After all wasn't it the council in tandem with Reynolds who were responsible for losing us our spiritual home at feethams in the first place ?

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