The highlights from a fantastic night at the Florist for the third leg of the “Gannon & Fitzpatrick Roadshow”Around 35 County supporters were in attendance; Jim Gannon and John Fitzpatrick were at the top table asking the questions. The evening was presented by Graham Privett.
Jim & John…
On Policing Issues
- Chairman Lord Peter Snape is dealing with the policing issues over the last season personally, and will be reporting back to the club board at their next meeting (Saturday 12th May).
- Following a request from supporters present, John Fitzpatrick will organise for the club to ask fellow Conference clubs and League Two clubs the annual cost of their policing bills, and utilise the Freedom of Information Act.
- The club’s “footprint” is currently unknown, and efforts are being made to find this out.
On the Season Ticket Offer
- Target is unlikely to be met, in which case the cost of a season ticket will revert to last season’s prices. However, it was not a wasted exercise as it got people talking about the club and shows that the club is making an effort to engage with the supporters.
- Should the season ticket target not be met, it will have no impact on the playing budget for next season.
- Suggestions came from supporters proposing that the club approaches those that have pledged to buy a £120 ticket to pay slightly more. Other suggestions included a Super 10 ticket for £100, (£10 a match) and a “mascot raffle”.
- Promotional flyers were not delivered to every address in Stockport, despite the club having paid £11,000 to Royal Mail for such delivery.
- The club is supporting the YTYT/HTH initiative of encouraging people to buy a children’s season ticket with their own and donate it to Help the Hatters to distribute to schools in Stockport.
On the Club
- Spencer Fearn is working incredibly hard at the club, doing 10-12 hours, 2 days a week at County, despite running his own business.
- Spencer has sold the advertising on the Railway End for next season, for a figure in the region of £50 – 60,000.
- The club shop will be relocating back into the old shop once Sale leave. There will be a much wider range of merchandise on offer, a significant amount of which will be affordable for children with pocket money.
- A museum will also be set up in the new club shop, and supporters will have to walk through the shop to get out. The club is encouraging supporters to donate any memorabilia for this.
- A new kit deal has been struck, and there will be a new kit for next season.
- The club is in talks with Robinsons Brewery to get them back on board at Edgeley Park, and to create a new pub in the Irlam Suite in a similar style to The Hatters in Marple.
- A suggestion was made to seek free advertising in Mersweyway Shopping Centre in the windows of empty units.
- A new CEO with all the right qualities has been appointed, but he has not yet started work at County as he is finalising his exit from his current employment.
From Jim Gannon…
- County have now vacated Manor Farm and will be training at Cheadle Town next season – great to be back in the borough. County’s current ground staff, which are part of the contract with Sale Sharks, will be used at Cheadle.
- The training facility at Cheadle will need a revamp, and YTYT will be co – ordinating this.
- Gentleman’s Agreement in place which will mean only Cheadle Town and County training at the facility.
- Winter training at Woodley Sports and Stockport Academy will be considered; the club will also have use of the gym in Shaw Heath and will be based at Edgeley Park.
- Pre-season friendlies against West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City and Wigan Athletic will bring in around £40,000.
- Jim is under no obligation to sell players in the summer, so any sales will be a “bonus” for the playing budget.
- 4 or 5 players will be leaving the club because of the reduction in the playing budget, and difficult decisions will have to be had with these players.
- JG is predicting 4 or 5 players to leave, and 4 or 5 to come in over summer, although it could be as high as 8 either way depending on how negotiations go.
- Non-League contracts expire on 5th May, Football League contracts expire on 30th June – County have several players on the books with contracts running until 30th June despite dropping into the Conference.
- There are currently 11 players contracted to the club.
- 5 YT players have been offered 1 year contracts.
- Legally, players have 28 days to consider a contract, but the club rarely has to wait that long.
- Ideally, there will be 15/16 players in the squad with the right ability, quality and attitude to do well in the Conference next season.
- Going part-time is not an option; to progress and get back into the Football League, the club needs to remain full-time, and so will do so.
- JG is an advocate of players coming through the ranks of either non-league clubs or colleges such as Myerscough.
- UEFA attempting to bring in new rules for the 2014/15 season which will essentially abolish the loan system in England if it is passed, so the loan system needs to be maximised next season while it is still around.
- Assistant Manager will help with coaching, run the development team, have a good network in the game & have a non-league background, but will not be appointed until Willie McStay’s contract expires.
- A hydration system will be needed at Cheadle Town – any supporters who can help on this front, please come forward.
- Edgeley Park will be the main base from next season. It is part of the fabric of Edgeley, and JG has already noticed a big difference re admin staff & players being together.
- Sale Sharks have genuinely been very helpful and welcoming, want to help the club.
- Sale Sharks have committed to contracts at Salford so the move will not be short term.
From John Fitzpatrick
- Currently formulating a plan to revamp Edgeley Park and Cheadle Town, and anticipating that work will start in 3 weeks.
- Discussing the lease with Sale Sharks to establish what work can be undertaken at Edgeley Park.
- Hopeful that players will drop in and help out with the renovation of Edgeley Park and Cheadle Town.
- The YTYT Open Evening will be held on 17th May 2012, but a time and location are yet to be confirmed.
On Political Issues
- Recent article in Labour propaganda was taken out of context, JG was not endorsing any party, simply promoting and highlighting the community of Edgeley.
- Politics and sports DO mix, and to succeed, County must support the Council, who will in turn support the club. It is not about individuals or who is in power.
- The club has played a part in thanking people who have helped in recent months.
- The club has not been used as a political pawn, it’s about forging good, healthy relationships with a variety of different people and moving forward with these relationships.
- Politics & County have to mix, we can’t avoid this, and the bottom line is that in the long term County will need the Council onside. We have to accept that politicians are good at “information management”.
- On a personal level, not a political level, Dave Goddard has been a huge help to County and is an asset.
- JF stated that he has not compromised the club by demonstrating public support for the Liberal Democrats; it is a personal preference to support a local councillor. Neither County nor YTYT endorse the Liberal Democrats or any other political party.
Thank you to everyone who attended, and a huge thank you to the Florist for providing a venue at very short notice and sandwiches at “half time”.
The “Gannon & Fitzpatrick Roadshow” will return next season, and will hopefully include other club staff and players in the future.
Animo et Fide.