Question Newport County

Poll ended at October 14th, 2021, 12:17 pm You may select 1 option

should put out the best possible team;
Total votes: 22 (47%)
begin to put resources into the development of the club.?
Total votes: 22 (47%)
Or no opinion
Total votes: 3 (6%)
Total votes: 47

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

241
I haven't contributed to this debate for a while and it's possibly a good idea to rejoin it.

Lets start with Somerton Park. County bought that when times were good and as it was 40 years ago I cannot recall whether the price paid was a good price or not. It is entirely possible that County paid top dollar for it. But as I said times were good. Why did it become a financial weight around their shoulders? Well having got promoted to Division Three and with a good chance of getting promoted to Division Two, the BOD (allegedly) told the Manager that they couldn't afford another promotion so soon after the last. So any promotion hopes were bombed and any player that wanted to progress in the game left for somewhere with ambition. Hence relegation, a team with less ability to replace those players that left and less income through the turnstiles. The history of the Football League shows that clubs relegated often can't stop the decline for several years. So Division Three to Division Four and then Conference was an easy fall to make. Swansea did similar around that time - Division One to Division Four in three seasons, County took longer to fall.

County also had the misfortune to put all their eggs in one basket. Jerry Sherman was County's big white hope. He'd clear the debts, buy the ground, refurbish it and get a decent Manager and players in. Yeah right.

My concern is that current County are doing similar. I don't think the current BOD would bomb a promotion because they felt the club could afford it, because other revenue streams that weren't available 35-odd years ago would increase with promotion. I do worry that the BOD are putting all their eggs in one basket with regards to RP. We lease the ground, at whatever rate the landlord demands infinitum. This is a nonsense.

County have to think bigger than renting a fairly dilapidated stadium at a rate possibly above it's value. They have to think bigger than renting pitches on which to train. They need a bigger plan than they appear to have at the moment. And they need their bigger plan to be affordable not only during the "good times" but also when the club are struggling (as they may during the duration of the bigger plan). I agree with Stan (much as it pains me to admit it) that the current "status quo" probably isn't sustainable. County could be one major hike in rental payments from having to leave RP and seeking a short-term home elsewhere. And the EFL would only allow a short-term arrangement with a fellow League side. Anyone know of any nearby non-league grounds that are able to pass the requirements for League football, because that could be County's only long-term plan should rental of RP become extortionate.

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

243
Stan A. Einstein wrote: November 10th, 2021, 9:40 pm Good post in my view.

As I recall County bought Somerton Park for £125,000 and sold it back four years later for the same price. When the stadium was bought the council insisted that County could only sell it to the council. Which when you think about it means Newport County never really owned Somerton Park in the 1980's.


From the paperwork I have seen, Newport County paid a lot more than that and sold it back to the council for less than they paid for it. Also, they took into account the rent Newport County owed them.

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

246
Torquay Exile wrote: November 10th, 2021, 9:54 pm
Stan A. Einstein wrote: November 10th, 2021, 9:40 pm Good post in my view.

As I recall County bought Somerton Park for £125,000 and sold it back four years later for the same price. When the stadium was bought the council insisted that County could only sell it to the council. Which when you think about it means Newport County never really owned Somerton Park in the 1980's.


From the paperwork I have seen, Newport County paid a lot more than that and sold it back to the council for less than they paid for it. Also, they took into account the rent Newport County owed them.
Memories from 40 years ago fade. My recall is that the figure was £125,000 and that the price for both transactions was the same. Even if I recollections are correct I have never seen any paperwork and am happy to defer to those who have. My memories come before the days of the internet. However back then, my source, the South Wales Argus, was a broadsheet which proudly proclaimed that it was printed and published in Monmouthshire, and was then a far more substantial publication.

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

247
Copied from BBC Sport
Published in 2010, about wiping out our historic debt from playing in exile.
The last few paragraphs are particularly relevant to this particular debate.


Newport County are back in the black and Amber

Newport County seal promotion

By Peter Shuttleworth

Newport County's ground may be in the shadow of the Celtic Manor, but Newport County's team will not be in the shadow of the 2010 Ryder Cup.

When Tiger Woods and co arrive at the Newport home of the 2010 golfing showpiece, the famous old club will be back in non-league's big-time and heading for Football League redemption.

County, a club that once graced the European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final, have spent 21 years in the footballing wilderness since the original club was wound-up with debts of £330,000.


Archive - The story of the old County

But the Exiles have risen from the ashes of the old Ironsides, a club that won the Welsh Cup and Fourth Division double nine years before going bust in February 1989, and are returning to the league where their former selves were last seen.

And the current County are to be in the black too.

It is ironic that as the black and ambers return, Cardiff - who have a High Court 56-day stay of execution to pay their £1.9m tax bill - are staring down a financial barrel similar to one that once killed the County.

But their South Wales neighbours can tell the Bluebirds from bitter experience that the road to recovery is painfully prolonged and filled with frustration if the worst does happen.

Exiled to play their Federated Homes League Premier Division fixtures 80 miles away in the deepest Cotswolds, County's first big victory was in the High Court.

The club defeated the Football Association of Wales - who wanted Newport in the League of Wales - to remain in the English pyramid and play permanently in Newport.

Then the club have spent 15 years at their current plateau but this season's clinical County team are different - they have fired 78 goals, conceded just 17 and have romped 27 points clear at the top of the Blue Square South.

They sealed promotion on an emotional night at Spytty Park - being the first team this season to do so in the English pyramid - achieving it with seven games to spare thanks to a 2-0 win over Havant and Waterlooville in front of 4,221 fans on Monday.


Archive - Carl Zeiss Jena 2-2 Newport County

The club managed by former Premier League cult hero Dean Holdsworth has lost just once in the league this season.

So it is little wonder that Holdsworth has been touted for Football League jobs - most notably at Championship strugglers Peterborough United - but the former Crazy Gang chief is the beneficiary of a solid backroom and boardroom structure at Spytty Park.

"We showed the fans a business model at the start of the season that has worked to increase gate income," said County's general manager Tim Harris, who also had a five-and-a-half year spell as County manager.

"In the past there were unrealistic expectations because the club's structure was not quite right and we were gambling on winning cup games to bring in revenue.

"Now there is a structure where such prize-money is a bonus as everything is managed correctly."

Local recruitment entrepreneur Matt Southall and chairman Chris Blight keep a close control on the County purse-strings.

"Our biggest overhead is players' wages," said Blight.

"And we have a financial infrastructure that guarantees the payment of the wages and that is three-quarters of the battle as gate receipts rise and fall with the success of the team.

"What happens at many clubs, including ourselves in the past, that at the start of the season you set off on a journey knowing what your players overheads are but if gate receipts don't balance you're in trouble.

"We have constructed an income payment pattern throughout the season so the players pay structure is supported from start to finish so the variables are diminished considerably. So we are very confident that that players will always be paid.


Archive - Newport County's golden era

"It takes a little common sense and discipline. And if a club owns a ground, the banks feel safe lending that money as they have a freehold asset which could be sold in an emergency."

And it is County's stability off the pitch, that has provided the foundation for success on it.

"This has been a long time in coming," said Harris, who provides the link between board and boss Holdsworth.

"But now we are ready to roll - and everybody is aware is of our potential."

Harris was an apprentice at the old County in the late 1970s and early 1980s when 10,000 would cram into the old Somerton Park to watch the Amber Army's golden era.

Their 1980 Welsh Cup triumph, promotion to division three and a European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final against German side Carl Zeiss Jena - losing on aggregate over two legs - attracted full houses.

So that gives Harris hope that if County build it, Newport's sleeping supporters will reawaken and come back - especially as 3,084 turned out to watch Friday's 1-0 win over Bishop's Stortford and 4,221 for Monday's promotion party.

And high-profile home FA Cup games with Blackpool and Swansea City attracted stadium-bursting attendances in recent times at their current Spytty Park home with crowds of 3,721 and 4,616 respectively.

Harris adds: "So when we we're welcoming famous old teams such as Luton, Oxford, York and a mouth-watering Welsh derby with Wrexham, the locals will I'm sure respond as they have done this season as our average gate is almost 1,600."

But most teams in the division below the Football League are predominately full-time and County's full-time progression will be gradual.


"A fair percentage of the players we have are capable of withstanding the league above," said Chris Blight.

"And ultimately the aim is to gradually become full-time but we don't want to change everything all at once.

"Next season we'll be somewhere in between with some part-time and some full-time players depending on their personal circumstances as some have careers and some don't have jobs at all.

"We would be in danger of ripping the heart out of the squad by insisting everyone goes full-time when they cannot.

"But becoming full-time will become a necessity as we won't be able to live the top teams in the long-term without being a completely full-time club - and that includes the management team.

"However, there is an evitable cost to being full-time and if we are to increase our overheads we must sure the income is coming in to satisfy that as we keep a pretty tight purse."

Should County continue their momentum in the Blue Square Conference and the Football League dream would come into sharp focus - as would the need to improve their current home as the league demands certain criteria.

The Football League's admission policy is a 4,000-capacity ground with 1,000 covered seats before an upgrade to hold 5,000 and 2,000 covered seats before the end of the first season in the league.

Newport Stadium
Newport Stadium has been County's home since it opened in 1994
The 4,300-capacity Spytty Park is a council-owned communal-use athletics track-turned-football ground that would require temporary seating for the club to fulfil the league's request.

"I don't think in a month of Sundays we will have our own-purpose-built ground in the next year or two," said estate agent Blight.

"It would be nice. But my understanding is that a new ground costs £1m per thousand of capacity so a modest 8,000 all-seater stadium and its infrastructure would be about £8m.

"We certainly don't have the means to build a stadium ourselves so the likelihood is we'll stay at Spytty Park and Newport council have been extremely helpful with our growing pains."

County's board have vowed not to be "foolish and throw money away" as they chase the Football League dream, as their "prudence is the reason for their success."

Newport County learned the hard way, the shame is that the whole football family did not learn from their painful lesson

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

248
wattsville_boy wrote: November 10th, 2021, 8:11 pm I haven't contributed to this debate for a while and it's possibly a good idea to rejoin it.

Lets start with Somerton Park. County bought that when times were good and as it was 40 years ago I cannot recall whether the price paid was a good price or not. It is entirely possible that County paid top dollar for it. But as I said times were good. Why did it become a financial weight around their shoulders? Well having got promoted to Division Three and with a good chance of getting promoted to Division Two, the BOD (allegedly) told the Manager that they couldn't afford another promotion so soon after the last. So any promotion hopes were bombed and any player that wanted to progress in the game left for somewhere with ambition. Hence relegation, a team with less ability to replace those players that left and less income through the turnstiles. The history of the Football League shows that clubs relegated often can't stop the decline for several years. So Division Three to Division Four and then Conference was an easy fall to make. Swansea did similar around that time - Division One to Division Four in three seasons, County took longer to fall.

County also had the misfortune to put all their eggs in one basket. Jerry Sherman was County's big white hope. He'd clear the debts, buy the ground, refurbish it and get a decent Manager and players in. Yeah right.

My concern is that current County are doing similar. I don't think the current BOD would bomb a promotion because they felt the club could afford it, because other revenue streams that weren't available 35-odd years ago would increase with promotion. I do worry that the BOD are putting all their eggs in one basket with regards to RP. We lease the ground, at whatever rate the landlord demands infinitum. This is a nonsense.

County have to think bigger than renting a fairly dilapidated stadium at a rate possibly above it's value. They have to think bigger than renting pitches on which to train. They need a bigger plan than they appear to have at the moment. And they need their bigger plan to be affordable not only during the "good times" but also when the club are struggling (as they may during the duration of the bigger plan). I agree with Stan (much as it pains me to admit it) that the current "status quo" probably isn't sustainable. County could be one major hike in rental payments from having to leave RP and seeking a short-term home elsewhere. And the EFL would only allow a short-term arrangement with a fellow League side. Anyone know of any nearby non-league grounds that are able to pass the requirements for League football, because that could be County's only long-term plan should rental of RP become extortionate.

I would say that IF the problem as you see it, is a greedy landlord, then that problem needs to be dealt with at the contract stage.

I understand from one of the original supporters meetings, that when County moved to RP they were offered the food and beer outlet's to run. This was rejected by County, as it made financial sense to pay the alternative, which was less rent.

When a landlord makes investments, it is done against income. So if you have a long term investment, you need to show the bank that you have a long term income from your tenants.

The Dragons are not paying any rental at present, but will if they separate from the WRU. The other regions are unhappy about this, as they think it is unfair that the Dragon's are not paying the rental or maintenance or investment costs. Now the other regions all received millions for these costs in the settlement. So it gives an idea of the costs involved.

When/if the Dragons separate from the WRU they will need to pick up their share of the costs. They are however unlikely to agree to a payment that is excessive, and we will be keen to keep a link to their payment in the agreement.
So in effect the tripartite agreement ensures that Rodney Parade doesn't fail financially like it did recently, but also is not so expensive that it's tenants fail. It is in no party's interest for that to happen. So the strength is in the union, as David Buttress called it, we go back to the days when the stadium was owned by the multi sports and athletic clubs.

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

249
The person or persons who I have been in touch with sent me this a while ago. They believe that The Board of Directors could be or should be doing more. In the paperwork which I received. They mentioned that Directors should be trying to negotiate with local Businesses a lot more. (bus and taxi companies and so on in and around Newport, also with the rail companies) to give Newport County fans a discount for using their service. They would have to show their season ticket or match day ticket on the day of the games. I must point out. Just one of the ideas that the person I'm in touch with I'm allowed to share as it is not part of the NDA agreement I have signed with them.

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

252
Torquay Exile wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:24 pm The person or persons who I have been in touch with sent me this a while ago. They believe that The Board of Directors could be or should be doing more. In the paperwork which I received. They mentioned that Directors should be trying to negotiate with local Businesses a lot more. (bus and taxi companies and so on in and around Newport, also with the rail companies) to give Newport County fans a discount for using their service. They would have to show their season ticket or match day ticket on the day of the games. I must point out. Just one of the ideas that the person I'm in touch with I'm allowed to share as it is not part of the NDA agreement I have signed with them.
As requested earlier in this thread.....

Perhaps now is a good time to update us on the bid to buy the club, and how much expenditure was forcast on a new ground, daily maintenance, and future investment, as well the wages and day to day expenditure?

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

253
Bangitintrnet wrote: November 16th, 2021, 6:07 am
Torquay Exile wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:24 pm The person or persons who I have been in touch with sent me this a while ago. They believe that The Board of Directors could be or should be doing more. In the paperwork which I received. They mentioned that Directors should be trying to negotiate with local Businesses a lot more. (bus and taxi companies and so on in and around Newport, also with the rail companies) to give Newport County fans a discount for using their service. They would have to show their season ticket or match day ticket on the day of the games. I must point out. Just one of the ideas that the person I'm in touch with I'm allowed to share as it is not part of the NDA agreement I have signed with them.
As requested earlier in this thread.....

Perhaps now is a good time to update us on the bid to buy the club, and how much expenditure was forcast on a new ground, daily maintenance, and future investment, as well the wages and day to day expenditure?
Perhaps you could inform me/us where you got your information from that a bid was made to buy the club and when?

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

254
Torquay Exile wrote: October 29th, 2021, 2:38 pm
Bangitintrnet wrote: October 29th, 2021, 1:00 am Was it me that said County have had that amount in the bank?

What I have said is that County have an income of 2m, AND money in the bank.

I have no idea what expenditure County are committed to, however 1 year contracts appear to be more popular recently. What I will say, is if anyone were to offer to buy the club for less than 10% of it's income, I would believe that they were in it to make a killing. Personally, I would still be doubtful of intentions, if it were less than 100% of income.
County have an income of £1m from TV and £1m from tickets, plus money in the bank. So to get their hands on that, how much were the prospective purchasers willing to invest?
Going by what you said above in the quotation marks, that's how you came across. More than or equal to £2,200.000 in the bank.

So £1,000,000 from TV agreement is that every season or once a blue moon? The £1,000,000 in ticket sales. Are that in-season tickets or at the end of the season after 23 games?

I'm unable to tell you what figures that they would have invested in Newport County. I have had to sign an NDA to cover that part of the documents that I had received.

Re: Poll how should we move forward as a Club

255
OLDCROMWELLIAN wrote: November 16th, 2021, 8:40 am
Bangitintrnet wrote: November 16th, 2021, 6:07 am
Torquay Exile wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:24 pm The person or persons who I have been in touch with sent me this a while ago. They believe that The Board of Directors could be or should be doing more. In the paperwork which I received. They mentioned that Directors should be trying to negotiate with local Businesses a lot more. (bus and taxi companies and so on in and around Newport, also with the rail companies) to give Newport County fans a discount for using their service. They would have to show their season ticket or match day ticket on the day of the games. I must point out. Just one of the ideas that the person I'm in touch with I'm allowed to share as it is not part of the NDA agreement I have signed with them.
As requested earlier in this thread.....

Perhaps now is a good time to update us on the bid to buy the club, and how much expenditure was forcast on a new ground, daily maintenance, and future investment, as well the wages and day to day expenditure?
Perhaps you could inform me/us where you got your information from that a bid was made to buy the club and when?


I will not say who wanted to buy into the club. A question you should be asking the Board of Directors.

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