HEREFORD ISSUE A REPLY FROM THE CHAIRMAN

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HEREFORD ISSUE A REPLY FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Post  drummer boy on Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:15 am

FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Published on February 27, 2015 by Dave   ·   No Comments
FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Due to the recent press speculation this Chairman’s report for today’s match against Slough is lengthier than normal.

Sallie and I got involved in Redditch United four years ago because we wanted to make a difference to a local community (put something back in) as well as share our enjoyment of football played at a competitive level.  Redditch United was in one heck of a mess with poor local perception, totally alienated and ridiculed in the community and it had been in the hands of a series of owners, many of whom had raped and pillaged the club, building up large debts which we subsequently had to clear. We were told the debts were £20,000 but when we took over they turned out to be over £120,000.

Sallie and I quickly realised the magic of the community and the characters of the people within it, we were made to feel very welcome and through some special support from a number of key people were fairly easily able in the last four years to redress the community perception and build a debt free club we can all be proud of.  Redditch United is able to boast 30 boys, girls and disabled football teams as well as working with important community stakeholders such as cruise.co.uk, the College and the YMCA.  We try to be a caring organisation running the club for the benefit of the community alike.  We are proud to have been recently awarded the highest FA Community Award which recognises the quality of our junior section and the way the Club develops our youngsters and individuals.

If you read no further you would say what is the problem?

The problem is sustainability and including initial cash injections into the club, as well as continued support for the week to week cash requirements of the club, we have had to put in just under £1500 per week, every week, for the four years we have been involved in the Club.  Add to that the fact our facilities are run down, with a playing field at the back of us for our junior section which is full of pot holes and where there is a ten foot drop from the top to the bottom. Something needs to be done.

I am an entrepreneur, I have listed three businesses on the stock market, built many private businesses and have done this from being a Saturday lad at Halfords.  I have been awarded the Financial Times Entrepreneur of the year as well as the European Community Top Job Creator in the late 90’s.  I don’t say this to brag, but simply to demonstrate I am not the type of character who is going to sit around, accept mediocrity and not be able to expand the football club.  I will try to make sure that nothing will stand in our way.  To that end, Redditch United has three main objectives.

To develop the football team to at least conference level standard.  After all Redditch United has a 100,000 catchment area and should be at that standard.

Have facilities to support 72 girls, boys and disabled teams that we know is the requirement for the Redditch area.  Redditch’s football and sporting assets are at the very best poor, and we cannot support this known requirement of 72 teams with one main pitch and a dangerous Terry’s Playing Field.

To continue to embrace and be integrated into the local community that we serve.  We already participate in programmes such as campaigns against domestic violence,  Dads who cannot relate to their children, as well as the numerous charity events but there is much more we can do to help tackle the areas issues such as obesity and drug abuse, through the empowerment of sport.

This all takes money and the very first thing I want to say is that in all our actions over the last four years, we have never asked the Council or anyone else for hand-outs.  We know we have to stand or fall on our own abilities, but we cannot fund the above three objectives unless we get a structural change in our facilities and the corresponding increased income that is earned from them.

I have found the last four years extremely frustrating, there seems to be apathy where some in the Redditch community seem prepared and relaxed to accept services being stripped from it such as the Alex Hospital or NEW College being merged and managed from Worcester.  It is about time the community as a whole got behind something and made it successful and something we can all be proud of.  We believe Redditch United could be that special community asset everyone can relate to and be proud of.

To that end, we have tried a number of things over the last four years to achieve the three stated objectives above.

In November 2013 following some very hard work with the Council Executive Officers and their support, a proposal was presented to the Council controlling elected members which would have seen £1.5-2.0m generated for the Council coffers.  This involved the selling of our existing ground and the building of a new stadium with a separate 3G pitch and 5 grass pitches in Washford.  Grants from the FA and the sale of our existing ground would have given the surplus I have stated.  The November 2013 committee meeting was a high profile meeting, where we presented a petition of 2,200 signatures supporting the proposal and the proposed move carried great media support on Central TV and local and national newspapers.  The proposal was self-help and would have resulted in the Council having a much improved asset, the provision of much needed housing in Redditch as well as the Club having the facilities it needs to get to the Conference league and maybe above.  These benefits are in addition to the £1.5-£2.0m cash to the council. Unfortunately it led to a rejection and as far as I am concerned I do not seek to revisit that now even though it is a cost effective solution to everybody’s current problems.  It is ‘self-help’ in action.

Since this meeting in November 2013, we have worked with the Executive and the FA in good faith and have worked up a proposal to replace our main pitch with a 3G pitch.  This would be a less than desirable solution but nevertheless a solution on which we could achieve our three stated objectives.  It requires a £750,000 capital injection programme.

Similar proposals have been implemented at other councils such as Bedworth where, Bedworth United replaced their main grass pitch with a 3G playing surface on a Council-owned stadium.



Following meetings with the FA and executive officers from Redditch Council it was discovered a combination of FA funding, private funding, other grants and funding from myself the £750,000 capital requirement could be found without a call on the Council. As we stand today we are at an impasse where we can agree an acceptable length of lease with the council, but unfortunately the District Valuer is insisting that the Club pays five times its current rent, which would have a corresponding knock on effect with an increase in our corporate rates bill as well.  There is no way I am going to agree with this.  Redditch United needs the same arrangement as Bedworth United have with their council.  No better, no worse.

As I said above I am a man of action, I do not seek to be involved in any property development or any other actions surrounding Redditch United at its ground and my motives are pure, I just want to be involved in a football club where the three objectives of community, junior and elite football can be achieved.

I make no comment on the latest knockbacks and understand the pressures on the public purse, but I have to do something.  I am determined to try to protect youth football in Redditch and I would dearly love to achieve all of the objectives with Redditch United, but at the moment I have to conclude there is not the local support from community stakeholders to achieve these objectives.  Therefore I have had and have got no choice but to explore other options to achieve my stated aims.

Hereford United could have been an opportunity and I am working on a number of others, I have nothing to report at this moment in time, but please understand as soon as I have, you will all be the first to know.  I am determined to make sure whatever solution is arrived at; it is completed with dignity and out of the public domain as far as possible.  It will take as much time as is necessary.  As Redditch United approaches its 125th year of existence it is important that we conduct ourselves with due respect to the past.

I am sorry this is a lengthy Chairman’s report, and I hope you understand the pressures that are on the Club, its motivations and future directions.

And so turning to today’s game, Liam and his squad have done very well in the last few games and hopefully we can build on it with Slough today.  Slough play good football and we were fortunate to the extreme when we played them earlier this season, they will be a must sterner test today.  I would like to take the opportunity to welcome the supporters, directors and players from Slough and hope the right result is achieved for us at full-time.



Come On You Reds

Chris


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Re: HEREFORD ISSUE A REPLY FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Post  Mrs Moor on Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:13 pm

So the Duck Dynasty got involved in order to make a difference to the community, well four years on what difference have they made.

The duck claims the club boasts 30 Boys, Girls and Disabled teams, perhaps he should explain what the Duck Dynasty actually does for these teams. Do they pay for the kits, do they finance any of those 30 teams personally or are those teams just a financial cash cow for grants and free PR.

The head Duck claims the facilities are run down, but why bother improving something when your only real interest is to flog it off. If the Ducks really cared about the club they would have done something about it, just look at Bromsgrove they don’t have a Millionaire but they have done more than Redditch over the same period of time.

Yes the Duck has won awards but he forgot to mention the investigation, perhaps a Saturday Lad at Halford’s would have made a slightly better fist of running Redditch United than he has, after all Bromsgrove have secured nearly two hundred thousand pound in grants for ground improvements etc, what’s he been doing during the same period of time, my god anyone would think he wanted the place to remain a run down slum . Perish the thought.

Of course he wants to move to Hereford it’s a development opportunity waiting to happen, why not move to Bromsgrove or Solihull, because there is no pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow at those clubs silly.

Duck you are a clown, how dare you complain about the council asking for a fair rent. You pay next to nothing now and have the cheek to complain when you are asked by the council to pay a fair rent. Why mention Bedworth why not mention Bromsgrove who pay an absolute fortune but seem to be doing fine. Remember the council held no secrets at the Public Meeting, you however did I wonder why that was.

You are not a man of action you are a chancer who’s plans have been scuppered by a council that can see you for what you are.

Give the club back to the fans and go and try to fleece someone else. Had you sorted from day one mate. Why not make a post and try to defend your pathetic record against say a tiny club down the road, how come they can do it and you can’t. Oh that’s right they genuinely have football at heart and not lining their pockets with a redevelopment.

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Re: HEREFORD ISSUE A REPLY FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Post  RockDJ on Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:49 am

A little harsh Mrs Moors!

When Chris & Sallie took over the club it was haemorrhaging money, it was being read its last rites and was minutes away from having it’s life support switched off. Chris has since injected 6 figure sums to get the football club back on its feet, but we are still far from being able to run.

Mrs Moor wrote:The duck claims the club boasts 30 Boys, Girls and Disabled teams, perhaps he should explain what the Duck Dynasty actually does for these teams. Do they pay for the kits, do they finance any of those 30 teams personally or are those teams just a financial cash cow for grants and free PR.

Yes, we do have or are fast approaching 30 Junior teams, but this is far from being a cash cow. In the past the Junior did contribute a small amount, which was only fair considering they used the club facilities, heating, electric etc. It is only with the hard work of Julian and his dedicated team that we can now boast a new club charter and a thriving Junior section. Yes they contribute, but no one has Julian’s arm behind his back forcing him to hand over cash, they do this because they can and to help the club get back to full health.

Mrs Moor wrote:The head Duck claims the facilities are run down, but why bother improving something when your only real interest is to flog it off. If the Ducks really cared about the club they would have done something about it, just look at Bromsgrove they don’t have a Millionaire but they have done more than Redditch over the same period of time.
Of course he wants to move to Hereford it’s a development opportunity waiting to happen, why not move to Bromsgrove or Solihull, because there is no pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow at those clubs silly.
Duck you are a clown, how dare you complain about the council asking for a fair rent. You pay next to nothing now and have the cheek to complain when you are asked by the council to pay a fair rent. Why mention Bedworth why not mention Bromsgrove who pay an absolute fortune but seem to be doing fine. Remember the council held no secrets at the Public Meeting, you however did I wonder why that was.

Everyone knows that due to Council grading of Land it is extremely unlikely that anyone could build houses on the Valley, now or in the future and I would expect pretty much the same would apply to Hereford. Any Cllr lobbing to change the use would expect a public outcry and would be extremely worried about future votes. That said, the Council are very supportive of RUFC, more so than those down the road who we do not mention. With Chris looking to sink another multiple 6 figure sum into the club for a brand new 3G pitch and upgraded facilities, I think he is just looking for some assurances from the Council with rent & lease, these things take time.


Mrs Moor wrote:Give the club back to the fans and go and try to fleece someone else. Had you sorted from day one mate. Why not make a post and try to defend your pathetic record against say a tiny club down the road, how come they can do it and you can’t. Oh that’s right they genuinely have football at heart and not lining their pockets with a redevelopment.

At the moment we can barely stand, I do not see this being a viable proposition. We are still a little way from self sustainability. Without a 3G could the fans generate enough funds to keep it as a going concern? I very much doubt it. Apologies it is in 'bold' as I was writing I couldn't tell where my replies started.

COYR     Dave.  
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Re: HEREFORD ISSUE A REPLY FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Post  del boy on Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:20 am

A five times increase in rent for the ground sounds extortionate..... until you find out that the rent is only £2000 a year / £166 a month / £38 a week. That is pocket change and half the cost of a bedsit! It costs more than £38 for local amateur teams to rent a council pitch on a Sunday morning. It costs more than £38 to rent a council owned sports hall for a 45 minute training session.

To move to £10,000 a year in rent will obviously be a big increase on what the club is accustomed to paying. But to be quite honest, I think the councils valuation of £10k is fair, certainly a lot closer to fair than what we are currently paying. I get the clubs 'community argument' regarding the number of junior teams etc, but ultimately Redditch United is still a privately owned business. I'm far from convinced that we are entitled to any special favours. We are certainly not being ripped off and if rent is the only issue, RBC are not being unreasonable.

As for 'corporate rates', I assume Swan means local business rates. Now, I'm not an expert on this, I've only just had a quick read up. Rental at £2000 a year will have annual business rates of £960. At £10000, business rates will be £4800 a year. As I read it, the valuation is set at what the ground could be rented for on the open market, not on the amount that is actually being paid. If this is correct, would the business rates even go up?

The FA will not allow the club to relocate anywhere else. Even if they did, the council will not have a long que of potential replacements to rent the stadium. If the council have no intention to sell the ground for use as housing, then the council needs Redditch United as a tenant as much as Redditch United need the ground. So it looks like a stalemate. Please meet in the middle and get on with it!!!
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Re: HEREFORD ISSUE A REPLY FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Post  arsene on Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:21 am

Just for the record National Non Domestic Rates are set by Central Government not Local Authorities. They are based on a rateable value set by the (national) Valuation Office and the rateable values were last adjusted in 2010 and are not due for revaluation until 2017. Annual amounts are determined by a "multiplier" set by the government of the day.  So an increase in rent in 2015 would not affect the rates payable as such. That's not to say that the new government in May (of whatever hue!) won't increase the multiplier!! Lecture over!
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Re: HEREFORD ISSUE A REPLY FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Post  Mrs Moor on Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:32 am

arsene wrote:Just for the record National Non Domestic Rates are set by Central Government not Local Authorities. They are based on a rateable value set by the (national) Valuation Office and the rateable values were last adjusted in 2010 and are not due for revaluation until 2017. Annual amounts are determined by a "multiplier" set by the government of the day.  So an increase in rent in 2015 would not affect the rates payable as such. That's not to say that the new government in May (of whatever hue!) won't increase the multiplier!! Lecture over!

I am an entrepreneur, I have listed three businesses on the stock market, built many private businesses and have done this from being a Saturday lad at Halfords.  I have been awarded the Financial Times Entrepreneur of the year as well as the European Community Top Job Creator in the late 90’s.  I don’t say this to brag, but simply to demonstrate I am not the type of character who is going to sit around, accept mediocrity and not be able to expand the football club.

Perhaps the head Duck should get "arsene" in as an advisor, you know you're on a sticky wicket when you have to TELL everyone how wonderful you are.

Like I said before Hinckley, Sporting, Leamington, Rugby have all dropped down and started again. All with healthy crowds I may add. Time for the supporters to throw this chancer to the lions and reclaim their club before it's moved and they no longer have a club.

At £38.00 quid a week i'll pay the rent and Bob can pay the electric, the supporters can pay for the officials and we'll rent out the spare Saturday for extra income.

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