Jump to content

stuwell

The Well Society

Recommended Posts

Lasley is in the Scotsman today urging fans to sign up. I fear there is major financial trouble ahead.

 

Whilst I remain unconvinced the Well Society will work (I am a member though) the number of fans signed up is staggeringly low.

 

They've been doing promo this week, see the launch of the video etc so it's not really surprising that you're seeing some features running. I'd tie that more to a recruitment drive rather than correlating it with any impending financial trouble. Rather, to me, it means that the press folk working at the club/society are doing their job.

 

Whilst obviously the loss posted is concerning, given the fact that as others have said it's the first year of a 5 year plan what I'd be interested to know is whether the business plan projected a loss for the first year and how much more this figure is vs their projection. Given the fact that we've seen investment in scouting (have we ever actually replaced the head of recruitment) and also sports science along with other staff taken on in various off the field capacities it would stand to reason that these initial start up spends would have seen a potential loss in the first year being likely before you even factor in any reduction in prize money/broadcasting. (This and the point directly below should probably be questions for the Financial situation thread though)

 

Quick question, was the 2010/11 season the last time we actually posted a profit (£541,633)?

 

You're right on the point about the number of sign ups, particularly in relation to the number of season ticket holders which I suppose is one of the baselines it should be judged against. However in order for it the to work I'd say the Society really needs to not only get ST holders fully on board but genuinely engage with non-ST holder and actually convince the fanbase that it will work and more to the point, how it will work.

 

Simply pointing to Hearts and saying 'look at them' or reducing it to '£1 a week is all it will cost' isn't enough. The 2nd example actually rankles me a bit as rightly or wrongly it's been the overarching message that I've taken from their campaign, see the bit in the video where Mr McCafferty takes his £1 out his pocket for example. Intentional or not the tone the Society are presenting there, to me, doesn't strike the right note. It comes across as 'it's only £1, you won't miss it" the justification or rationale isn't that "we're competent and presenting a viable and credible option" but rather "you're a Motherwell supporter, it's only £1 so sign up" there's a presumption and sense of obligation there and for me that's an issue. You're still asking people to, to be blunt, donate their money (£60, £120, £240 etc pa) on top of what they already spend on ST or PATG so whether it's £1 a week or £10,000 a week it's still incumbent on them to convince the people they're asking that fan ownership is actually the right option. Fan ownership could, in the wrong hands, be as big a disaster for the club as some mental South American and to presume otherwise is quite misguided on the Society's part.

 

In a way they seem to be making the mistake of assuming that everyone within the fanbase feels the same way as they do about the viability of fan ownership and are now wondering why people aren't signing up based on the message they've been putting across. That's one of the big problems when you surround yourself with like minded people I guess, it all becomes a bit of an echo chamber. For what it's worth and full disclosure I'm not a ST holder, I've been PATG pretty much since my Dad took me to my first game at Fir Park in 1986 and I'm not a WS member though I've almost signed up 3 or 4 times.

 

Not to make the rest of the post about "me" but what would it take for me to sign up? I'm not the sort of person who is particularly interested in 'booster club politics' or AGMs, I've got no desire to meet the manager or have lunch with the players or get a branded bottle of wine as an incentive for handing over a lump sum or setting up a direct debit. In short I don't care about incentives or benefits of being a WS member, what I do care about is that the people running the club are the right people for the job whether they're fans or not. What would make me sign up (happily I might add) is having a convincing and credible message coming from the society and a sense that there is genuine leadership there and that they know what they're doing and how they plan to achieve it. Not simply that I should sign up because fan ownership is a brilliant idea and I'm a Motherwell supporter. We've seen so many mixed messages come from the Society to date even down to the revisions on the payment plans and many of the issues highlighted in this thread that the first thing they should be doing now is making sure that the message they're putting forward is coherent and credible.

 

Personally I think that the role of the society should be, rather than outright ownership, a sort of checks and balances system. A body within the club running parallel to the owner (whoever that may be) but that's just me.

 

As an aside to this ramble, given the apparent obsession with Hearts structure it's worth having a look at this interview with Ann Budge (http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/aug/01/hearts-ann-budge-soul-challenges) and comparing it with the messages that have come out of Fir Park/WS, perhaps most pertinently she plans to stick around once she hands over ownership whereas in our case we've been repeatedly told that Mr Hutchison has "no interest in owning a football club". I'd suggest that putting out a message that says "we have an owner who doesn't want to be involved" isn't a good first impression and one that leads fairly naturally to confusion. That's not a dig at Mr Hutchison, he's put his money in and I actually don't have a problem with him reminding people that he's done so since it would be easy to be complacent about that. Being reminded that fan ownership would remove a fairly significant safety net isn't a bad thing, indeed it's exactly the reason that it's as important that the WS show they're capable of running a football club.

 

Anyway, sorry, this was only meant to be a couple of paragraphs replying to Milo's post. I got a bit carried away.

 

Edit: 1st sentence of 2nd para amended.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

They've been doing promo this week, see the launch of the video etc so it's not really surprising that you're seeing some features running. I'd tie that more to a recruitment drive rather than correlating it with any impending financial trouble. Rather, to me, it means that the press folk working at the club/society are doing their job.

 

Whilst obviously the loss posted is concerning given the fact that as others have said it's the first year of a 5 year plan. What I'd be interested to know is whether the business plan projected a loss for the first year and how much more this figure is vs their projection. Given the fact that we've seen investment in scouting (have we ever actually replaced the head of recruitment) and also sports science along with other staff taken on in various off the field capacities it would stand to reason that these initial start up spends would have seen a potential loss in the first year being likely before you even factor in any reduction in prize money/broadcasting. (This and the point directly below should probably be questions for the Financial situation thread though)

 

Quick question, was the 2010/11 season the last time we actually posted a profit (£541,633)?

 

You're right on the point about the number of sign ups, particularly in relation to the number of season ticket holders which I suppose is one of the baselines it should be judged against. However in order for it the to work I'd say the Society really needs to not only get ST holders fully on board but genuinely engage with non-ST holder and actually convince the fanbase that it will work and more to the point, how it will work.

 

Simply pointing to Hearts and saying 'look at them' or reducing it to '£1 a week is all it will cost' isn't enough. The 2nd example actually rankles me a bit as rightly or wrongly it's been the overarching message that I've taken from their campaign, see the bit in the video where Mr McCafferty takes his £1 out his pocket for example. Intentional or not the tone the Society are presenting there, to me, doesn't strike the right note. It comes across as 'it's only £1, you won't miss it" the justification or rationale isn't that "we're competent and presenting a viable and credible option" but rather "you're a Motherwell supporter, it's only £1 so sign up" there's a presumption and sense of obligation there and for me that's an issue. You're still asking people to, to be blunt, donate their money (£60, £120, £240 etc pa) on top of what they already spend on ST or PATG so whether it's £1 a week or £10,000 a week it's still incumbent on them to convince the people they're asking that fan ownership is actually the right option. Fan ownership could, in the wrong hands, be as big a disaster for the club as some mental South American and to presume otherwise is quite misguided on the Society's part.

 

In a way they seem to be making the mistake of assuming that everyone within the fanbase feels the same way as they do about the viability of fan ownership and are now wondering why people aren't signing up based on the message they've been putting across. That's one of the big problems when you surround yourself with like minded people I guess, it all becomes a bit of an echo chamber. For what it's worth and full disclosure I'm not a ST holder, I've been PATG pretty much since my Dad took me to my first game at Fir Park in 1986 and I'm not a WS member though I've almost signed up 3 or 4 times.

 

Not to make the rest of the post about "me" but what would it take for me to sign up? I'm not the sort of person who is particularly interested in 'booster club politics' or AGMs, I've got no desire to meet the manager or have lunch with the players or get a branded bottle of wine as an incentive for handing over a lump sum or setting up a direct debit. In short I don't care about incentives or benefits of being a WS member, what I do care about is that the people running the club are the right people for the job whether they're fans or not. What would make me sign up (happily I might add) is having a convincing and credible message coming from the society and a sense that there is genuine leadership there and that they know what they're doing and how they plan to achieve it. Not simply that I should sign up because fan ownership is a brilliant idea and I'm a Motherwell supporter. We've seen so many mixed messages come from the Society to date even down to the revisions on the payment plans and many of the issues highlighted in this thread that the first thing they should be doing now is making sure that the message they're putting forward is coherent and credible.

 

Personally I think that the role of the society should be, rather than outright ownership, a sort of checks and balances system. A body within the club running parallel to the owner (whoever that may be) but that's just me.

 

As an aside to this ramble, given the apparent obsession with Hearts structure it's worth having a look at this interview with Ann Budge (http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/aug/01/hearts-ann-budge-soul-challenges) and comparing it with the messages that have come out of Fir Park/WS, perhaps most pertinently she plans to stick around once she hands over ownership whereas in our case we've been repeatedly told that Mr Hutchison has "no interest in owning a football club". I'd suggest that putting out a message that says "we have an owner who doesn't want to be involved" isn't a good first impression and one that leads fairly naturally to confusion. That's not a dig at Mr Hutchison, he's put his money in and I actually don't have a problem with him reminding people that he's done so since it would be easy to be complacent about that. Being reminded that fan ownership would remove a fairly significant safety net isn't a bad thing, indeed it's exactly the reason that it's as important that the WS show they're capable of running a football club.

 

Anyway, sorry, this was only meant to be a couple of paragraphs replying to Milo's post. I got a bit carried away.

what an excellent summing up of how I also feel.

 

I too feel that fan ownership can also be as big a disaster as a crazy south american.

 

Just because we are well fans doesnt mean we can run a footy club, the massive loss even with the society has cemented this thought in my head.

 

What happens for example if we take ownership, the team get relegated, the fans lose interest and dont want to keep paying more and even 500 pull out, we are then up shit creek without even a boat.

 

I still maintain that we dont have a big enough fan base for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still maintain that we dont have a big enough fan base for this.

 

The real question is, what's the alternative?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The real question is, what's the alternative?

Try to find and persuade some wealthy individual / consortium to invest in the club, that seems to be the way for most clubs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what an excellent summing up of how I also feel.

 

I too feel that fan ownership can also be as big a disaster as a crazy south american.

 

Just because we are well fans doesnt mean we can run a footy club, the massive loss even with the society has cemented this thought in my head.

 

What happens for example if we take ownership, the team get relegated, the fans lose interest and dont want to keep paying more and even 500 pull out, we are then up shit creek without even a boat.

 

I still maintain that we dont have a big enough fan base for this.

 

The fans can't pull out their contributions and if we get relegated, we'll just need to do what every other club does and adjust the budget.

 

The point of the Society is not to bankroll the club. The club needs to be self-sufficient regardless of who owns or runs it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easy then.

 

Not easy but surely achievable. I don't see why we need to be different from the vast majority of clubs in the UK.

 

I accept that Scottish football isn't of great appeal but if we prove to be self-sustainable then there will be businessmen interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Not easy but surely achievable. I don't see why we need to be different from the vast majority of clubs in the UK.

 

I accept that Scottish football isn't of great appeal but if we prove to be self-sustainable then there will be businessmen interested.

 

Why would a businessman be interested in devoting a lot of their time to an enterprise that they will never make any money from?

 

Look at the ownership of other Scottish clubs and the lack of interest in taking over any of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try to find and persuade some wealthy individual / consortium to invest in the club, that seems to be the way for most clubs.

Last time we went that road we ended up in administration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The real question is, what's the alternative?

Thats it in a nutshell for me. If we accept that fan ownership is not the road to go down and that there is no wealthy white knight on the horizon and that Les Hutchinson does not want to own the club long term what do we do? Simply close the club down?

 

We have to be realistic here - the Society is not for everyone, it never has been and never will be. Nothing will change that fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

We have to be realistic here - the Society is not for everyone, it never has been and never will be. Nothing will change that fact.

Dave, it might not be for everyone, but we need to achieve the numbers to make it work.

 

Right now there is no alternative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave, it might not be for everyone, but we need to achieve the numbers to make it work.

 

Right now there is no alternative.

I agree Ian but there are fans who were against it from the very outset and will not change their minds no matter what. I guess that in the middle there's a "grey" element who could be persuaded to join and those are the ones the Society is rightly targetting, but don't ask me to quantify them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave, it might not be for everyone, but we need to achieve the numbers to make it work.

 

Right now there is no alternative.

What numbers make it work though?

 

We could have every ST holder paying a tenner a month and we still would make a significant loss on current budget plans.

 

At present, I think we're churning £5-10k a month while budgeting for top 6, player sale and cup-run.

 

Viable option has to be presented to reignite fan interest.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Lobey, you can't spend money you don't have, we should be budgeting for worst case scenario every season and treating any extra income from cup run's/player sales etc. as a bonus to invest in the club. Then there would be little need for firefighting using Well Society money or loans from Les and the WS cash could be used for the purpose it was originally meant, as an emergency slush fund when cashflow is slow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well what have we done since 1886?

Welll, one thing, we have been in administration once - due to a wealthy businessman chasing the dream.

 

In an ideal world we would have wealthy majority shareholder. But realistically, Boyle tried to sell for years and couldn't to someone suitable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we budget for the worst case scenario, we'll get the worst case scenario.

I agree with this.

 

There needs to be a balance found with budget and targets,which are a stretch so we improve. But also not too much of a stretch and unreasonable in that we are in a heavy loss if we fail. Investing correctly and taking reasonable risks is what sets out the better clubs from the rest and lets them grow. We need to be better at all of that and hopefully Les's 5 year plan willl make that happen.

 

If we set a budget to target for 3rd bottom and out the cups at the first time of asking we are setting ourselves up to do exactly that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just joined the well society last night and in my opinion we have to budget to be a mid table team that can get a team together once in a while to challenge for europe for a year or 2 we have to hit the balance between selling club and a good team its do able but is going to rely on a lot of factors mostly within our own control

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there would be little need for firefighting using Well Society money or loans from Les

Financial losses aside, there will probably always be a need for short term cash injection around January. This is when cash flow is at its lowest and most clubs need some kind of buffer at this time of year. That doesn't mean to say they'll make a loss over the year though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we budget for the worst case scenario, we'll get the worst case scenario.

 

Not necessarily. That's the point where our scouts and manager earn their money by spotting and recruiting talent that we can pick up relatively inexpensively, can do a job for us over a few years, and who can be sold at a profit.

 

It's a snowball effect, where we budget for bottom six but if we perform beyond that in the league and/or cup we can use that extra money outwith the budget the following season.

 

A club of our size can't afford to shoot for the stars and fail, especially if we're relying on the fans money to pick us up afterwards.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Not necessarily. That's the point where our scouts and manager earn their money by spotting and recruiting talent that we can pick up relatively inexpensively, can do a job for us over a few years, and who can be sold at a profit.

 

It's a snowball effect, where we budget for bottom six but if we perform beyond that in the league and/or cup we can use that extra money outwith the budget the following season.

 

A club of our size can't afford to shoot for the stars and fail, especially if we're relying on the fans money to pick us up afterwards.

The risk, on the other hand with going worst case scenario, is that our budget is so tight we get outbid for decent players the scouts find, squad quality gets worse, don't finish higher than 9th regularly, never get that regular cub run and that snowballs itself into never attracting players and a continued malaise.

 

There needs to be a balance - like I said before. It can't be shooting for the stars and it can't be worst case scenario planning. We need to have something in the middle that if things go wrong then losses are not completely unmanageable and also things like making a loss when finishing 2nd...like what happened before...can never happen again!

 

Needs to be managed risk - it's the only way we will grow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also bottom 6 isn't "worst case scenario". I have no problem with budgeting for bottom 6 as we are in a very tight league.

Our budget must be competitive or we will be relegated, it's that simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Twitter @MotherwellFC

×