Fans Forum- A Report.

This was not quite the Fans Forum I, or I am guessing, most supporters in the Insider Suite expected!
Usually these affairs tend to have a soporific quality about them...anodyne questions followed by answers of similar ilk. This time was different......
The Forum started with Jon Keighran calling for a minutes silence in response to the news of the death of yet another County Legend- Ken Hodder. The silence was impeccably observed, by over 200 packed into Suite 1!
So far so good, and the questions commenced with a query about the income from Conference & Banqueting. This was confirmed as being twixt £75k and 85k p.a. The Club were discussing aspects including the cost of services like phone lines etc currently being met by the Club.
Asked about current goals, and the possible purchase of Edgeley Park, Steve Bellis said that the Club was working for stability and sustainability, but also had the eventual purchase of EP as a high priority. Negotiations with BK were ongoing, and amicable. He indicated also that the deferred rent was likely to be dealt with in any deal at the end of negotiations.
The likely asking price for E.P. was thought to be circa £2m. Any deal was likely to involve the Council, and involve repayment over maybe 6 to 8 years.

Top Table.
On the Club document `Moving Forward’, Richard Park indicated that this was intended as a consultation document. Supporters views would be encouraged and welcomed- pointing to the fact that the Supporters Cooperative would be able to have input at subsequent Club Board meetings.
Moving onto the loans situation Richard Park outlined a number of same which were historic but were being met by the current regime.
At this stage a question was asked as to `why shareholders would not write off their debts’. Mr Park`s response of ` we will when the inactive shareholders agree to do also’ preceded an unedifying exchange between questioner and the top table, which frankly did neither credit, and more, if slightly less intense angst seemed to be generated by the statement from the floor that ` sustainability was in doubt whilst the current debts continued to exist’.
Eventually the meeting moved on to driving revenue up and how this was to be achieved. S Bellis advised that the Club were targeting sponsorships ensuring these were properly targeted. The Club were working towards an income p.a of 1.5m from all business activities.

Steve Bellis watched by Richard Park.
Asked about why the Club had no Chairman, Richard Park answered that the current people running the Club were functioning well constituted as they currently were, and that a Chairman was not an absolute necessity at this juncture.
At this point Pete Towey, advised the meeting that the Supporters Cooperative were happy to have been given access to Club Board meetings, and confirmed that the Coop would be keeping a watching brief on Club matters ensuring, amongst other things, that the Club sticks to the plans outlined in ` Moving Forward’.

Alan Lord listens intently !
After a break, attention moved to the on field matters, with Alan Lord and Mark Lees in the firing line.
A good atmosphere prevailed throughout as the following answers came forth....
Danny Hurst.    He sees his future at E.P.
Danny Gregson.  Scans on injury reveal op needed, likely out for rest of season.
Insurance.   Looking at introducing a scheme, but may be costly!
The pitch.  Looking at doing some work this close season on the pitch.
New faces: There are likely to be SOME new faces next season.
Training Facilities: Current nomadic existence and available quality of same is inadequate, Club looking at a number of sites in the Borough offering full size grass pitches and possibility of floodlights. Training on EP is not an option due to damage and cost elements.
The view was expressed from the floor that Alan Lord needs a decent budget to enable him to do his job correctly, and the top table indicated that this would be so next season, and matters off the field would not be allowed to get in the way of this.
Jamie Milligan :  Alan Lord indicated that no bust up had occurred with this ex player , who he was still occasionally in contact with.   
In conclusion Alan pointed to the new plans for the Development Squad and the re-emergence of a Reserve Team, along with a properly structured scheme for orderly progression  from Academy to first team- a massive step forward!

Ian Brown


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