Saint Saviour Responds..........
Steve Gibbons( Saint Saviour ) ,driving force behind the historic `Sea of Blue' march, has responded to yesterday`s article on this blog with this informative and thought provoking offering .....
Ian, thanks for your covering of this in All Things Stockport County.
I have taken sections of your text to give the fullest information I can so everyone knows where things stand. For those of us that bore easily of reading such lengthy posts... Please Don't - Not this time, please read, evaluate and hopefully form your own view and feel free to vent it, good or bad, but at the same time try and understand exactly why I feel we must undertake this route, no matter that some think it's wrong, some feel it's madness, fans covering the work if not the duty of alleged shareholding millionaires, as we the fans effectively set about raising capital in order that we provide our club with "just the potential to try and do better" than we have been budgeted to do over the coming season.
No matter what negatives come from this in terms of posts on here, verbals we will give to each other, no matter how well founded or grounded, it doesn't matter and it won't matter one iota if we have collectively provided a little bit more and somehow go on to make the little difference between 6th to 5th and hopefully higher still, as that is THE ONLY reason why we are doing this.
Ian writes "Consensus I think, is that a budget slightly down on last season, even accounting for some expensive departures"
Make no mistake, no matter what waffle came out from the club, Its a fact its down and by some margin, circa £40k minima. Losses of substance from the preceding season haven't helped when it came to setting this years allocation. So even though I have possibly only a little sympathy for Ste B & George H, they along with the Directors had to set a budget knowing they could manage the business through for the whole season, based on conservative and expected income's to actually ensure and not guess that we will break even as a worse case scenario. It's yet another reality check for our club and hopefully with this prudent guidance in place we will be financially stronger and stronger game by game.
"Thus the idea of setting up a fund to support the playing budget was born. In truth it`s not that original an idea, as Help the Hatters have been engaged in just this activity for a while now, evidence the ground breaking deal that brought Rhys Turner to the Club. Original or not the idea of another, perhaps supplementary fund took flight and County supporters have not been slow to commit."
Ian is so right, this fund getting underway now isn't new, and all that has gone before it raised by HTH is to be massively applauded and very much always remembered. Now though, times are different, the fund today is born in order that we can collectively somehow assist directly to make an actual real team difference and not perhaps just to a solo players life possibly starting out in football, this is what HTH did so many times and the vast majority of those lads will never forget what HTH did for them, nor should they. The fund underway today is potentially going to assist SCFC the team in a very direct way. Lordy will be very open I am sure when bringing his recruits in, by hopefully informing them of exactly what we are all doing in direct contribution terms to the playing budget, he will be laying it to these players that you are wanted by every SCFC fan to help take us back to a place we can all be prouder of.
Ian covers an important point here; "Originally the idea was mooted that the new fund should attempt to interest the Club in matching any new contribution by the fans fund."
The fund concept in truth was never set up with the matching in mind, but as pace and mood gathered over last weekend, it was a clear mandate from many County voices that the gesture to undertake this by our shareholders should be broached, and I can confirm over the past days it was, it was and some.
It was confirmed late on Wednesday that this option was not going to be open to us. The reason given - quite black and white; The shareholders have already agreed and committed amongst themselves to fund the business through this season, the value we all know is a minimum of a further £100k, and as such they should not be put under more pressure to place more cash into the business.
Now, in weeks and months previous, yours truly has been at the forefront of bemoaning they aren't doing enough, but I now know the £100k isn't simply a possible required contingency for a rainy day, it's an actual budgeted inflow of funds as a running necessity and as such I have to give way, as that value, on the back of the supported running costs over the past few months is another strong and massive gesture that they want to get things right.
That last element will seem harsh to many if not all County fans who have shown a willingness to support this fund. It hurts massively that on paper it looks like they are allowing us to step up, to help there own inadequate playing budget funds but then in my opinion we have to give some due consideration for the support they have and are continuing to place into the club. However, not forthcoming with the cash match route, a strong link to identify and reward our efforts of the fund was brokered and provision by the shareholders has been granted that over the coming days I have it on good authority that the Co Op and therefore the Co Opted fanbase of our Club will be in direct receipt of stock / shares for every two pound the fund raises. Final details have to be clearly worked on for this to come into fruition and soon. Personally, I hope the Co Op grab it with both hands as it's the entry we all want them to have and as it stands they won't have to utilise there own reserves directly to begin the process. A Fund - The fund no matter your view was needed to strengthen our potential for the season ahead, many County fans have already supported it, and on the back of whats happened already, it appears our Co Op is very soon to be a genuine shareholder of our football club and a shareholder that strong link is set to grow and grow..
I think that alone is worth supporting for £2 as the Co Op get a share each and every time..
This is merely my opinion - but the more we support the fund, the more shares the Co Op will gain, the more shares they gain, the stronger influence and understanding of the internals of our club they will gain and that cannot be a bad thing.
With regards to the people who have committed funds already, you have been brilliant and very patient. Once I speak again with the guys from HTH and others hopefully over the weekend I hope to have all the information needed in terms of deposit account locations / preferred timings etc.
If you got down this far, Thanks for reading.
Now go easy on me..