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Pubey

Guest
Chairman's Blog

As promised the Club’s media department has sifted through all the emails received to date and amalgamated these into the most frequently asked questions including some unusual ones. I am told that some of the emails have been paraphrased but I am sure they include the gist.

I plan to answer about ten questions per week (depending on their detail and complexity of answer) for the next two or three weeks and hope to get through the majority, if not all, of the subjects raised. The questions and my responses are as follows:

What, apart from infinite funds, makes an ideal football club director?
Mick Bailey


Firstly I do not think unlimited funds are a good basis for running a sustainable football club. Whilst this might, in the short and medium term, buy success a Club ultimately has to be profitable the majority of the time. Inevitably there will be peaks and troughs as the nature of the business is less controllable than many other types of companies.

Even Chelsea’s objective is to operate profitably (I think their stated period is within five to seven years) which is sensible. In the event Roman Abramovich was no longer involved and the apparent “infinite funds” were withdrawn that would prove a recipe for disaster and a fall from grace as financial commitments made by the predecessor could not necessarily be maintained.

In my view it is better to build stability and a business model that can be maintained with year on year growth – not easy but that is our objective.

As regards “ordinary” football club directors, the key issue for me is to have the football club’s interests at heart and to be passionate about the Club’s success. I think football club directors have got to bring something to the party in terms of business acumen, specialist knowledge and skill or have the connections to enhance the interests of the club.

Having experienced the problems in getting to and from Colchester United’s new stadium can you confirm what travel plans the club has in place to avoid such problems?
Lloyd Muse


The finer details of the Club’s travel plans are not set in stone but at the time of the planning application we confirmed that in addition to the 1,000 car parking spaces on site we would introduce such initiatives such as:

v Car sharing

v Shuttle busses

v Public transport subsidy

v Residents parking restrictions

It has to be remembered that Colchester’s stadium is currently particularly badly served by residential streets although it is my understanding that it was originally intended for an access directly via a new junction on the A12. I suspect this will be available in the fullness of time.

From Southend United’s perspective, the new stadium is on the edge of the conurbation and in that regard is well served by networks including not only Prittlewell train station but also the anticipated new station at the airport which is in even closer walking distance.

We are never going to eradicate a degree of congestion but when the details are put in place it is the intention to make the match day experience enjoyable in every detail including getting to and from the stadium, I regard this as a fundamental issue and our planning will take full account of supporters’ expectations.

Once you have delivered the new stadium and cemented our place in the Championship will you hand over to someone else or carry on building the club?
Martin Leonard


I would like to carry on building the Club.

Where do you anticipate the additional fans required to increase the average gate to well over 10,000 to come from at the new stadium?
Trevor Higgs


Firstly success breeds success and a stadium with increased revenue streams outside gate receipts will help facilitate that success. Southend is, by any standards, a huge conurbation and within a 35 minute drive time we have 750,000 people.

I have never felt that Southend United has fulfilled its potential and all the foundations we have been putting in place over the last five years is preparing your Club for long term, sustainable growth. This includes our work in the community and roll out programmes within the schools of surrounding boroughs which total 95 in our immediate catchment area. Our children are the Club’s future.

If the Club has first class facilities including access and egress, is at one with its supporters and plays good football there is more than enough potential within our geography to grow its supporter base in the new stadium.

What is the current level of debt that the club (including the club's directly related companies, SEL and RHL) is servicing?
Matthew Walker


The Club is servicing no debt. The Club does not operate an overdraft and has not been paying rent or any interest to its parent company. I have written off a significant sum of money year on year and therefore the implication is not relevant.

a) Will the outsourcing of the club shop remain in place for next season?

b) Will the current kits change for 09/10 and will they still be made by Nike?

c) Are Insure&Go likely to renew as main shirt sponsors or are we actively searching for a replacement?

d) What is the rational behind how the design of kit is chosen?

e) Bearing in mind the above, why can the supporters not be given options of say 3 choices for the kit and the most popular vote is then chosen?

f) Why do we have to wait until mid August (at the earliest) to be able to buy the new design of shirts?

g) Following on from our special Remembrance Day Poppy shirts and Oldham’s example of playing in neon pink as a one-off to assist a local hospital charity, would SUFC consider more charitable efforts?
Richard Reade




a) Yes

b) Yes

c) Yes. Insure & Go will continue to be the Club’s main sponsor for the foreseeable future.

d) The Nike shirt comes from the European Nike Team range. This is a fairly limited range of designs and colours but generally Steve Tilson and I chose the shirts reflecting what we think the team and supporters would like to wear. It would not be as attractive to design our own shirts at the moment but as the Club grows and expands its supporter base this may be something we will look at. However at present the Nike brand is popular and we believe the garment, as with all the Club’s merchandise, to be a considerable improvement on previous years. I hope fans can remember the grotty little shop and its contents that used to exist!

e) We have run a campaign like that previously (2005/2006 away kit) but what is popular with one fan will not be popular with another and in that respect it is impossible to keep everyone happy. We do our best and it seems the yellow shirts have gone down well this year.

f) You do not, that is an historic position. We have traditionally launched the new kit on Meet the Blues Day, at around the end of July, and plan the order, manufacture and delivery accordingly. It might surprise supporters to know that we have to chose the next year’s shirts by December 1st to meet Nike’s delivery dates. This year we plan to play the last game of the season in the new shirt.

g) Southend United’s charitable work is immense. We support innumerable charities and have dedicated staff who coordinate that work.

During the bad run which sufficed either side of Christmas , was Steve Tilson’s position ever considered?
Matthew Marsh


A football manager’s position is probably considered by some fans week in week out. A football manager’s job is, of course, results driven but it must reflect a wider set of circumstances than just a poor run of results. In Steve Tilson’s case there has never been a knee jerk reaction (either in the previous years or around last Christmas) and people forget that we went for 17 games in the Championship without winning and my reaction was to extend and improve Steve’s contract.

Whilst the manager ultimately carries the can I believe this should be a team effort from top to bottom. That is not to say that should a poor run of results continue or bad judgements made time and again I would not review the position.

When will details of a debenture scheme for the new stadium be released?
Steve Joslin


We exchanged contracts with Stadium Capital Financing Group (a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley) some months ago and are currently in the throes of analysing the details. The first step in that direction is discussions with focus groups to understand supporters’ requirements so that we can dovetail those with various packages with appropriate pricing and commitments. We will start to roll out that programme over the summer and hone the details in the coming months. Our initial thoughts are that there will be a very limited number of these debentures available

As a Season Card holder I would like to know are we going to keep our players this season or wait till we have renewed and then get release most of the team like last year?
Alan Collin


Firstly, it is always the intention of the Manager to improve the squad year on year. Of course this is not always possible if players that we want to keep decide they want to leave the Club for whatever reason such as Mark Gower or Nicky Bailey at the end of last season.

I think most supporters appreciate the opportunity of being able to spread payment for their season card particularly at present and the Club has tried to help its supporters by increasing the period for payment even further this year. Inevitably that period for payment must start early so there is a commitment – from both the Club and supporter – by the time the season kicks off.

The decision to keep players is entirely the Manager’s, unless for reasons beyond his control or against his better judgement they should leave as referred to earlier in the case of Gower and Bailey.

The other issue that you should bear in mind is that players’ contracts run until 30th June and therefore their decisions, often influenced by their agents, are not made until the 11th hour with a view to trying to leverage the best deal out of either the existing club or via negotiations elsewhere. I am afraid this business is not an exact science but we certainly do not think about the sale of season ticket cards when choosing the squad.

I hope, as always, this Q&A is informative and I look forward to providing answers to the further questions put before me next week.

Up the Blues!
 

Pubey

Guest
good to see a few Zoners get their questions answered. Could a mod add the missing apostrophe in the title of the thread. Thanks!
 

sufc_tom

Striker
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
1,912
Location
Southend
b) Will the current kits change for 09/10 and will they still be made by Nike?

b) Yes

Of course they would be changed, I can't think of two seasons where we kept the same shirt recently.

And I feel sorry for that first guy being called Mick Bailey to similar to Nick Bailey.
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,490
Sorry but what a load of bull****. I really can't agree with a lot of that. Especially his "what is popular withone fan is not with the other" on the kit vote idea, come on Ron, you are better than that. Can someone post the email for questions for his next blog please?

Sorry what? What exactly can't you agree with? A lot of what's been said makes perfect sense. By taking the kit vote out of the hands of the fans they're saving themselves a lot of complaints of "I cant believe my vote didn't win, this is a disgrace".
 

chapperzUK

Guest
I know that sometimes it is hard to develop an answer and he is working hard to put the effort in to write a blog, which is a fantastic idea but he should have put more than "Yes" for a lot of his answers. Especially his "what is popular with one fan is not with the other" on the kit vote idea, come on Ron, you are better than that. Can someone post the email for questions for his next blog please?

Disagree. What is the point in writing a paragraph when a simple "yes" will answer the question completely. He didn't need to explain anything!

The second bit is crap because it is true. Look at the "away kit" thread and you can tell that alot of people like the new 3rd kit and also people do not like it. It is a simple Stakeholder Confliction case but between the same stakeholder.
 

manor15

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
8,491
Have emailed him and said:
I was very impressed by this idea and have read every installment of the blog. A lot of emphasis has been placed on the youth teams and how good the youth is at our club. I agreed with this but when youth is so important why have hot prospects like Fredrik Ljungstrom not been offered new contracts?
Should be an interesting answer, whether he will talk about wages, debt, quality of the players, etc.
 
Last edited:

chapperzUK

Guest
I was very impressed by this idea and have read every installement of the blog. A lot of emphasis has been placed on the youth teams and how good the youth is at our club. I agreed with this but when youth is so important why have hot prospects like Fredrik Ljungstrom not been offered new contracts?

Obviously he will just say that they were not progressing as well as they thought they would and they thought they wouldn't be good enough to break into a league one team. Can't wait for an answer (if he gives one!)
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,490
Have emailed him and said:

Should be an interesting answer, whether he will talk about wages, debt, quality of the players, etc.

What an absolutely ridiculous question...

How exactly are these players "hot prospects"? Because you've heard their names mentioned a few times and Ricky Duncan has said they have potential?

How many times in the past have you heard someone being labelled "The next Thierry Henry" or "He'll play for England one day"... I remember when Danny Cadamateri was being banded about as the future of the England International team.

By your sweeping generalisation that we shouldn't be releasing these youngsters, I take it that you attend training sessions with the youngsters and have been to every U18 game this season with your notepad and pen, Because this is the only conceivable reason you'd judge yourself, rather stupidly, to be in a better position to judge these players than Duncan and his coaching staff. Ultimately, they make the decisions, and if they deem these players not good enough to make the grade, then i'll trust their judgement... After all, they have only built the Centre of Excellence up from nothing to producing a high calibre of young talent in a matter of years and on a limited budget.
 

THE SEVENTIES NORTH BANK

Life President⭐
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
12,831
Location
SHOEBURY


From Southend United’s perspective, the new stadium is on the edge of the conurbation and in that regard is well served by networks including not only Prittlewell train station but also the anticipated new station at the airport which is in even closer walking distance.



That's a hell of a walk from the airport and can't possibly be closer than Prittlewell train station as suggested.
 

Firestorm

Pedant
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
15,247
Location
Immersed in the accounts
The only real probing question, Matts was dealt with rather dismissively imho
and therefore the implication is not relevant
could almost be seen as rude

So we may have debt , but I am not going to say how much , to whom etc , but we are not servicing it (ie paying back any interest or any of the capital)
 

A Century United

Firewalking for HD
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
10,004
The only real probing question, Matts was dealt with rather dismissively imho could almost be seen as rude

So we may have debt , but I am not going to say how much , to whom etc , but we are not servicing it (ie paying back any interest or any of the capital)

RM is in the middle of what I imagine to be difficult negotiations to raise capital (even though he already has Morgan Stanley on board) and I'm not suprised he is being a trifle coy about our current debt levels.
 

Desert Shrimper

The Oil Baron
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Messages
2,152
Location
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
remind us what it was...

"Have you ever seen a grown man naked?"

040713_Kareem_Airplane.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
19,752
Location
G69
Fairly happy with answers to my questions, although agree maybe he could have expanded upon "yes" in certain places.

Good to know the new shirts SHOULD be worn v Cheltenham on last day of season.

I think the charity shirt question wasn't taken as it should have been, I wasn't doubting the charitable work SUFC currently do, I was just suggesting maybe a special one-off shirt like Oldham might prove to be a bit of a fund-raiser!
 
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