That is referenced pretty early on…
Pretty sure it was 1994 that Bonser’s pension quietly bought the freehold for a sum not unadjacent to a quarter of a million pounds.
In 2005 when he flicked it into Suffolk Life it was valued at £500,000 by the way.
Well from the club’s own website (official history!!)
In 1995, the opportunity arose to acquire the Freehold of the Bescot Site from Severn Trent. At the time, the Club explored every avenue available to be able to purchase the Site itself but this would also have meant initially purchasing the Lease followed by the Freehold and once again the Club was not in a position to pursue the transaction and came up against a brick-wall in attempts to finance the deal.
Once again, the only way to ensure that the Freehold did not go to an outside investor or developer at this time was for the SSAS to purchase it. This was done with the aim, at some point in the future, of reuniting the Club with a Freehold that the Shareholders had agreed to sell back in 1988.
This remains one of the Club’s key objectives to-date and work has been ongoing to achieve this ever since. Despite many setbacks and dead ends the Club is committed to exhausting every avenue possible in the hope of making this a reality.
I stand corrected. Its early here and I’m on mobile with no access to archives! In both our opinions the options weren’t fully explored. It was certainly more convenient for uncle Jeff to grab the title instead of any other entity.
Nah, on second thoughts send it to Gamble again and p—s him off😂
Send it to who you like. Don’t let them call the shots.
Rob, you may have this covered, but as a sign of willingness from the fans to engage and help, would it be worth suggesting the following (or something along these lines):
- The Club convenes an open meeting with supporters with all the items of your letter on the agenda - whilst this may have the potential to become a bun fight and the Club Senior Management wouldn’t willingly want to open themselves up to 2 hours of verbal abuse, you could explain that the Club has an opportunity to improve club-fan interaction by doing this with a view to Step 2:
- The Club agrees to create a series of mini working groups - involving relevant club staff and fans who have an interest in (and perhaps some expertise in) various issues outlined. A starting point could be 6 groups and the club invites a small group of supporters onto each (4-6 would be a manageable number per group, I think) to discuss and develop an improvement action plan for each of the following areas:
- Ticketing / pricing / promotions
- Facilities within the ground
- Food and refreshments (kiosk offer)
- Club shop - merchandise (quality and range)
- Links to the community
- Growing the fanbase.
There are other issues too but if the Club is serious about A) working more closely with its fan base and B) seeking to improve things off the pitch, then we are giving them a methodology to do that and an open door for them to tap into volunteer help.
This may be going down a total cul de sac but it would be interesting to see what reaction it gets. PT made an excellent point about how much - by way of ideas - we have thrown into the mix already and this this level of “customer feedback” would be treated as gold dust by other businesses.
It might be p***ing in the wind but worth considering adding into the letter for them to see we want them to engage in pragmatic ways.
If you think it’s a garbage idea, that’s fine!
A good idea in theory I think, but they’ve had so many opportunities to do this in the past and, as per the response, we are told to go through our ‘representatives’.
The ideas we generate and the market research we actually do for the club is going to be mentioned to them.
Having re-read the response to the letter too, it’s clear the only way of engaging is at the fans forum too, but we all know how that usually goes down…
If i was you Rob i’d try and send it to everyone who holds a position of importance at the club , and maybe the sponsers so they know exactly whats’s going on
I think it is clear from the response that they need help. I must admit that when I posted the Albion pricing structure and compared it to ours, I honestly thought that the club would have reviewed Albion’s and all other local team’s structures. My frustration was that I couldn’t understand why we made it so hard in comparison. The response to your letter on this suggests that the club actually don’t review the competition’s match day pricing structure at all. It feels like ours has been built inside a WFC vacuum where we keep believing that free kids season tickets, friend for fiver, Category A/B games and all the other tired stuff will come good. It won’t. They don’t understand the local market or the demographs within it. And the worrying thing is that they don’t seem to want to.
Blues did another offer yesterday for the visit of Boro. A big game. Substantially cheaper yesterday to rock up for Blues vs Boro than Walsall vs Scunthorpe. Also cheaper in many instances (especially youngsters) to go and watch Albion versus Norwich than Walsall versus Scunthorpe. Local, better (on any measure) alternatives at cheaper prices. If football fans weren’t so daft it would be a business with absolutely no future. The response to your letter is worrying because I just don’t think the club realise what is going on. And having kids days or friends for a fiver for the least attractive or cold Tuesday nights when there’s footy on the telly doesn’t cut it. Trying to grow our support based upon the worst games, atmospheres and conditions is daft. We should have done the kids thing for Sunderland. Far more likely to hook a few in a noisey atmosphere than Burton when the atmosphere was going to be flat as a pancake. But no we actually put the prices up and deter for the games when kids are more likely to get the bug.
It’s so annoying because this is the easy stuff. The common sense stuff. There are loads of difficult things about running a football club and I don’t envy the board much of what they do. But this bit should be easy.
Spot on. Why we have to point out the club’s failings tells us everything about the club, and it’s failings.
There’s the rogue apostrophe again…
The thing is, if it’s not about results on the pitch, why was there no talk of protests on here in September?
The protests aren’t specifically about results on the pitch. You only have to read the letter to see there a huge raft of issues that supporters are concerned about. Results obviously have an impact, but there’s no doubt the the shambolic nature of the Bristol Rovers fixture from an operational point of view was the tipping point for many.
All we can do moving forward is to ensure that results don’t form a major part of our rhetoric and focus on the main issue - Bonser.
I don’t understand why this question keeps being asked at all. In any protest inside or outside of football there is usually anger in the background, then it takes a certain event for it to come to a head and for protests begin. Basically when everyone says “enough is enough” and in this case it was Boxing Day.
Exactly my thoughts too…the lack of awareness of the world as it is today is truly mind boggling. I have posted before that we need new thinking and new approaches but even when I posted those comments I did not understand the true nature of the problems, The letter shows they go very deep and only a change at the top will bring about the required responses.
Are these the same toilets punters use for sporting dinners, weddings and corporate do’s?