So. What happens next?

Main subforum for all things Southport FC
Port on the Kent
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:20 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Port on the Kent »

I am surprised this has come out of the blue for some people, it was clear that the reintroduction of fans from October was one of the 'low hanging fruits' that would scythed down if restrictions increased. I would also note that most of the populace and many contributors to this forum have criticised the Government for not doing enough, whether it's through a lack of action or contradictory measures. This thread seems typical of the wider country at the moment; the majority are behind strict measures and tougher regulations to crack down on Covid... right up until the point where it affects their passions; then there are suddenly a multitude of reasons why it's the wrong idea. It's comparable to people supporting tax rises in theory, until they realise they don't just affect everybody else. I would describe it as a new form of Covid NIMBYism, everybody wants more action until it affects their sports club, quiz night, rambling association or Camra meeting and then suddenly there are reasons X, Y and Z to not do so.

That aside, the main question is what happens now. I do not foresee the season starting on time, as even if there is some work around such as streaming, I can't see the logistics of that being worked out by then. It is not just a camera and an internet connection, there will be endless regulations with which we must comply with, as I imagine the league would set up a framework for all clubs. This will no doubt involve new software or processes, which mean it is a greater undertaking than just pointing a camera at the pitch. I wouldn't dismiss streaming out of hand though, I think some people's estimates for how many would watch are low. Take the Hereford game, they average around 2,000 supporters and as it's streamed that's not affected by being away. We average around 1,000. Take into account several people in the same household will watch the same stream, even still... my estimate would be around 1,250 - 1,750 paying viewers. How many watched an old replay of the Notts County game again? You would get many more times over for a live league fixture.

Unfortunately, there is a black cloud hanging over this suggestion. Tetsting. Or the lack of it. The reason the season was curtailed in March was because clubs could not afford to pay for private tests of every player and staff member before every game. This is not currently required as even EFL clubs have not had testing that frequently. However if conditions continue to deteriorate, this will be the next stage of the lockdown process in football. The lack of matchday testing below the Premier League is already contentious; there is an article on the Beeb about West Ham complaining they had to play EFL side Hull City and expose their players to opposition who have not been tested as regularly. Ultimately, if matchday testing becomes a requirement again, then it's game, set, match to Covid - let's accept this and not be caught by surprise again.

Good luck to all involved at the club and thanks for your efforts so far.
User avatar
Ralphy Rylance
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:48 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Ralphy Rylance »

Port on the Kent wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:29 pm How many watched an old replay of the Notts County game again? You would get many more times over for a live league fixture.
I don't think viewing numbers were publicised but it raised "over" £3000 on a donation basis.
I'd like to think every viewer donated but some may not have done. Some may have donated very small amounts.
£3000 is equivalent to 222 people through the gate at terrace prices.

They were also guaranteed a classic match and a home win from one of the highlights of the clubs non-League history.

I don't share your optimism that many times more would pay full whack for a live NLN match, particularly when we presumably wouldn't charge members or season ticket holders to watch as they've already paid for their full season.
Paulisi
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:40 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Paulisi »

The problem you also have with streaming is abuse and shared streaming.
It quite easy for people to pass on passcodes and log in for free....
Also in a household there may be several supporters watching one stream
The revenues are not as high as people think...
Liamisdoingagreatjob
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:55 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Liamisdoingagreatjob »

The other thing about streaming is that often more than one fan in a household will watch the same streaming, but clearly the club can only charge one amount. Many of our fans do come with family and usually pay say for 2 people but with streaming will only pay for one.it can only ever be a partial answer.

I stand to be corrected but I think it was Sunderland that tried to say to season ticket holders at the so called ‘end’ of last season that in order to secure their seat for this season they had to renew and that if the games didn’t get played they’d be given streaming free but no refunds. As I understand it many fans highlighted they go in 3 or 4 as a family and that only one streaming (‘worth’ around a tenner) was needed and wasn’t great compensation for 4 x £25 or so a match tickets!....many quite rightly told the club where to go and didn’t renew. Clearly our club is a bit more about community and surviving at the moment but for any family of 2 upwards compensation with streaming isn’t a great substitute when they may have spent £4-500 on season tickets....ultimately many are having to be financially careful and that’s a lot of money...

Streaming really isn’t a big answer to me. Personally I go to the match for the atmosphere, banter and social side as much as the football itself (it is afterall NLN) I don’t think I’d bother to pay a tenner to watch sfc on tv every game, but am happy to pay nearly double to be there at the match. Indeed if we can’t see matches live and do get something like streaming instead of season ticket attendance I’m not sure I’d even bother to watch some of the games...the club can keep my money but it’s not the same experience.... The problem happens if this goes on longer as for season 21/2 it’d be really challenging to Risk the same again and people get out of or change habits of attending.

Let’s hope some compensation scheme or ideally some attendance does happen...it’s our national game, heritage and a key social asset.
David999
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:32 am

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by David999 »

Liam Watson , interviewed on radio Merseyside sport last evening at just after 6 pm , said he feared if the league season did not start as planed that he feared it wouldn’t start at all , if we do start , he was optimistic for our chances , praised the financial support from sfc followers and added that the National League meet today to decide on a plan . Interview on bbc sounds app .
David_1276
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:07 am

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by David_1276 »

James has posted a new interview on YouTube, which sounds less than optimistic in my opinion. He believes the club could be over 60k in debt, which doesn't sound all too positive to me, fans will have to be at their best in terms of understanding I think, and hopefully we don't get too many fans requesting refunds, or we'll be in a sorry state. Heard somewhere we were looking for a sale in the next few years, but it may have to be more immanent if we cannot afford the 60k+.
puskas
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:38 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by puskas »

David_1276 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:18 am James has posted a new interview on YouTube, which sounds less than optimistic in my opinion. He believes the club could be over 60k in debt, which doesn't sound all too positive to me, fans will have to be at their best in terms of understanding I think, and hopefully we don't get too many fans requesting refunds, or we'll be in a sorry state. Heard somewhere we were looking for a sale in the next few years, but it may have to be more immanent if we cannot afford the 60k+.

Arguably one of the most negative posts I have seen for a long time. . You have taken absolute worst case scenario's. . . It is a request (not even an appeal really) for supporters to continue their support. . He praises them for the support that has been given and praises them for the good work that they do around the club. . That doesn't appear very negative to me. . The streaming idea is a good one and I can't see many asking for their season ticket money back or stopping their membership, their will be some no doubt, but not many. . .

Streaming is important because it keeps everyone interested and stops them from drifting away. '

These interview's that James is doing as I said earlier are excellent and fill me with positivity. We are in good hands.
User avatar
Ralphy Rylance
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:48 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Ralphy Rylance »

David_1276 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:18 am James has posted a new interview on YouTube, which sounds less than optimistic in my opinion. He believes the club could be over 60k in debt, which doesn't sound all too positive to me, fans will have to be at their best in terms of understanding I think, and hopefully we don't get too many fans requesting refunds, or we'll be in a sorry state. Heard somewhere we were looking for a sale in the next few years, but it may have to be more immanent if we cannot afford the 60k+.
Uncertain and worrying times but, without wanting to sound flippant or make light of things, I wouldn't have thought £60k was the sort of sum that would threaten the club's existence.
1000 fans, £1 a week, paid off in little over a year.

I've bought a programme subscription today. Every little helps.
David_1276
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:07 am

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by David_1276 »

puskas wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:22 am
David_1276 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:18 am James has posted a new interview on YouTube, which sounds less than optimistic in my opinion. He believes the club could be over 60k in debt, which doesn't sound all too positive to me, fans will have to be at their best in terms of understanding I think, and hopefully we don't get too many fans requesting refunds, or we'll be in a sorry state. Heard somewhere we were looking for a sale in the next few years, but it may have to be more immanent if we cannot afford the 60k+.

Arguably one of the most negative posts I have seen for a long time. . You have taken absolute worst case scenario's. . . It is a request (not even an appeal really) for supporters to continue their support.

I didn't mean it like that. The £60,000 is a sum we'll most likely have to deal with either way, which isn't necessarily enormous potential bannana skin, but will be at least a set back. For our fans, I believe that only, say, 20 percent will pursue a refund, a figure that will drop most likely if there is a streaming service to be offered, which I think would be a fantastic idea, however, that still leaves us at a sizeable deficit no matter what. The interview is sobering as I'm sure you'll agree, we are in a position of turmoil and money is not guaranteed by any means, which is why, as he says, the club is requesting continued support by the fans, again a sentiment I agree with. We aren't financially indestructible, and at this level we need all the help we can get, but I can't see how that can be a cause for optimism. The nod to the quality of our volunteers was a welcome one, they deserve all the recognition they get and are the fabric of this club, as they have been for so long, but the issue we face is a financial one.

Don't get me wrong, both the fans and club have handled themselves excellently, which is a testament to the relationship between us. As we know, however, we are far from the richest club in the league, and whilst teams like York City could easily deal with a seemingly insignificant amount of money, but even in James' interview he said that a deficit double £60k, £120k, could be a serious threat to our club's integrity, and even the future of Southport Football Club as a business. Such a debt, on top of the day-to-day running costs of the club when we run such a tight ship, is more significant than you may think.

The scenario I have considered is fairly conservative, and is far from worst case if you listen to the interview, if we can't start this year it's near enough best case. In terms of selling the club, it's an idea that has been banded around recently, but if we can't afford the sum, whatever it may be, a sale may have to be reached sooner rather than later.

So no, it wasn't a 'negative' post, it was a realistic post dealing with the potential issues we may well face over the coming days, weeks and months, without making them seem insignificant, and it didn't take optimism from a video that, let's be honest, had it in less than an abundance. Clearly this is the biggest dilemma the collective football world has ever faced, and it should be treated as such.
TrickyDicky
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:10 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by TrickyDicky »

National League have said they’re actively engaged With Govt. and FA to secure finance to sustain clubs, without live attendances. Reading into it my thinking is they are staying non committal on starting whether or not financial support is in place. They will have to get a move on as the cup draw is tomorrow and the 44 tier 6 (north and south?) elite clubs won’t play In it If no support is in place, as it means they are then committed to pay players for the full season irrespective of any revenues coming in.
I think we will definitely know the outcome by early next week if the season will go ahead or not In the conference north, no idea if the actual Conference may go ahead on its own??then we will have a dysfunctional National League, it’s anybody’s guess.
Hoping for a positive outcome but it’s all very fraught. Let’s hope we don’t end up with sweet FA :shock:
Gloucester
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:43 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Gloucester »

Merthyr Town and Guernsey FC are officially mothballing for the season to prevent financial problems. How many more will join them a decisive decision must be made by the powers that be soon?
TrickyDicky
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:10 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by TrickyDicky »

Radio 4 -7am news ,” we understand the National league will start a week on Saturday fingers crossed “ - interesting and a strange way of presenting (factual) news!!
tonyhey
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:38 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by tonyhey »

If the NLN is mothballed as seems a possibility at the moment, I wonder how South Shields will feel about the prospect of winning their league again, and not being promoted.
Redrobe fan
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:51 am

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Redrobe fan »

Gloucester wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:54 am Merthyr Town and Guernsey FC are officially mothballing for the season to prevent financial problems. How many more will join them a decisive decision must be made by the powers that be soon?
If they mothball and the league goes ahead, where does that leave them? Do they just get relegated? Do they have to start again at the bottom of the pyramid?
Gloucester
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:43 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Gloucester »

Redrobe I don’t know is the answer ? What I have reported is simply from their press releases.
Sandgrounder SE
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:14 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Sandgrounder SE »

They retain their places at the same level. See this, for Guernsey (it’s the same for Merthyr):
https://www.itv.com/news/channel/2020-0 ... strictions
User avatar
OLD GOLD
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:45 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by OLD GOLD »

Sorry, but the way things are going I believe there will be a second lockdown and there won't be ANY football very soon
CFORD-SIX
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:01 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by CFORD-SIX »

This is a very difficult time for Southport FC and obviously the World in general with many people impacted in many different ways. To get football back as a sport we can watch in a community environment and enjoy the match day experience is something we all want and wish for. Many people are trying to point at various institutions and governments and point the finger of blame, we should all not forget the aggressor here is the virus, anything else that happens is simply people trying to combat and manage it. I feel sorry for James for all his hard work which for now will come to nothing, but I am sure when the turnstiles do open once again, the plans he has made will then be unfolded and used.

There are basically 3 issues as I see them:

1.0 Will the FA and the NLN management committee commit to a season of fixtures?
2.0 What will then be the onus on the teams impacted to comply and field teams and play fixtures?
3.0 How will the teams be able to cope on a financial basis.

The answer to 1.0 has to be a clear and decisive response which must be reached in short time. I cannot see how a fudged wait and see approach will do anyone any favours. It is a really difficult decision to make and the factors listed as 2.0 and 3.0 have to be considered. The reality as I see it that crowds in any form at our level are highly unlikely to materialise until March next year. This allows time for the current wave of the virus to abate and hopefully a vaccine to be available. The decision must be based on this rather stark assumption.

Point 2.0 is another very difficult question to tackle. However, for me the answer has to be that unless a solution appears which allows all teams in our league to play and there is a durable solution for the whole season then by default there seems little point in getting the season off the ground. Well done to SFC for mobilising a forum where all the teams in the league spoke with one voice to express a view.

Point 3 is the main point. What dismays me is that the monthly wage of 3 or 4 Premiership players which if donated to NLN would probably go a long way to solving the problem. The higher levels of teams with huge finances have to make some sacrifices here. I know I am probably in fantasy land here, but just imagine the positive impact and good news story there would be if the Premiership made some donations to the National League levels to prop the game up. Seems a great idea and very sensible - but I am realist and doubt that this will happen. Can teams therefore survive with donations, memberships and income from live streaming. I think we might under estimate the income live streaming would bring. I would happily pay £15 for every Southport game I watched (and I would plan to watch every game home and away). There a lot of Southport exiles who I am sure would do the same and, if memberships and seasons ticket holders got a number of games for free to reward loyalty, then this may go a long way to providing a viable solution. The problem is that the system needs to be there now and time is very precious at the moment. The other problem is that some other smaller clubs in our league are probably not as well set up or supported - so there is a high risk that it will not work for them.

Probably as many questions as answers in this post. Many of the same arguments have been well set out and debated in this thread and others. The main issue for me is that the FA and NLN have to take some decisions quickly and decisively, any wait and see approach which only kicks the can down the road without helping anyone will be disastrous.
kiaken
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by kiaken »

Good post C.FORD
Exiled Port Fan
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:50 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Exiled Port Fan »

National League meeting on Thursday to decide.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54 ... F815F31EAE
Post Reply