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Kmcalpin

2021 AGM

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AGM was online last night.  It took me a bit to login so not sure what I missed at the start but basically all the board,  secretary, (accountants possibly) and Graham Alexander were all present. 

As ever an informative hour or so the contents of which I'll try to sum up.

The main thing as ever was finance.  Several questions were submitted by shareholders beforehand and Jim McMahon lead straight into it and referred back to it several times.  Key things were that the the current situation is currently manageable in the medium term. There is an insurance claim in and the club have applied to take advantage of the Government's 20 year interest free loan of up to £1.6m (they reckoned 11 of the 12 clubs had) so with these things to be confirmed, they couldn't be certain of how things would look this time next year, but are sure that as long as we aren't relegated and even without fans in the ground there would be cash in the bank come the end of next season regardless.

The question of the robustness of the club should the worst happen and we are relegated was discussed and whilst nobody wants this they clearly have to plan for such eventualities and the phrase used was the club would "get through it".  The view is the club is in a significantly stronger position to deal with it now than it would have been 5 or 6 years ago.  The club haven't taken/accepted any monies from the Well Society this year or last in an effort to allow the WS to build up towards the previously stated £1.5m fund that would play a significant part in helping the club through any traumatic event such as relegation. In addition contracts are structured in such a fashion that costs can be taken of the business quickly.

No regrets from the board about the Season Ticket offer of committing to the 19 games as it was the correct thing to do.  They envisage more details about what will happen next season in around a month to six weeks.

Staying at Fir Park is not off the table.  Happy they have been able to undertake some significant modernisation and upgrading of parts of Fir Park e.g. replacement of Hunter stand seats, paintwork.  Will work on contactless entry and perhaps in time and re-design of the entry points to the Hunter stand.

Some brief chat about contracts stemming from a question on Declan Gallagher.  View from one board member was that in general terms specifics of contracts that appear in the media should largely be taken with a pinch of salt.  They did however say they have made offers to Declan but he is currently keeping his options open.  On a wider point they acknowledged that it is difficult to tie down players to extended contracts with agents advising players to let them run down to consider options.  The flip side to this is that get it wrong and you may find players locked into deals that are unsuitable for both (e.g. Casper Sloth).

On training facilities there appears a change in thinking in that seeking to enhance what they have at Dalziel Park is likely to be more cost effective and beneficial than a new development.  Plans are ongoing with a sub-group of board members and reps from Dalziel to achieve this aim at some point in the future.  Could potentially see the club be an anchor tenant and based there day to day but there is an acknowledgement that what is there at Dalziel is the envy of others already and would benefit all if that could be built upon.

Graham Alexander "took the floor" once the board had answered the submitted questions and spoke well, and at some length, about him taking the job, his first weeks in charge and his hopes for the future.  He spoke of his and his families excitement to re-locating Scotland to be fully committed to the job.  He had a gut feeling when applying for the job and when talking to the board that this was a challenge he wanted to take on.  He spoke of the warm welcome given to him by all within the club and the good people he had found.  He mentioned his disappointment as not having been able to interact with fans but expressed gratitude for the welcome from supporters who had sent warm wishes, letters etc.  He is keen to meet fans when the time comes.

He said he found a squad of players naturally somewhat dejected on the back of previous results and offered credit to all players and staff for a great attitude and how they have turned that around.  A lot of work has been done but still much work to do and nobody can relax.  He complemented many behind the scenes for the support in helping him implement changes and made the observation that small improvements that on their own might not seem much combined had helped things improve.

He stated he had a positive outlook and preferred to focus on the positives of what he had in a team rather than concentrate on the negatives.  He feels he has a way of working that brings clarity to the players about the plan they have to follow, based on his experiences as a player.

The initial aim is obviously to keep the club in the division then look to add quality to the squad.  He envisages working with a smaller squad than that currently.  He has aspirations to see us take on and compete with bigger clubs in the division, for his team to have the drive and ambition to compete consistently.  He is learning of the challenges that face a club like Motherwell but wants to see us change historical patterns and not to take a step back against anyone (the inference being the two recent Old Firm games). He wants to change the mentally of how we approach such games and create an environment where players all buy into that mindset.

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40 minutes ago, Andy_P said:

Graham Alexander "took the floor" once the board had answered the submitted questions and spoke well, and at some length, about him taking the job, his first weeks in charge and his hopes for the future.  He spoke of his and his families excitement to re-locating Scotland to be fully committed to the job.  He had a gut feeling when applying for the job and when talking to the board that this was a challenge he wanted to take on.  He spoke of the warm welcome given to him by all within the club and the good people he had found.  He mentioned his disappointment as not having been able to interact with fans but expressed gratitude for the welcome from supporters who had sent warm wishes, letters etc.  He is keen to meet fans when the time comes.

Who sent him a snood was the question I was left with after his bit!

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Alexander moving up here full time is a very positive development. 

McGhee was managing the club from Brighton which was eventually a disaster in both spells and I think being based away from their families probably played it's part in the decline of Robinson and McCall. 

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Overlooked it, thanks for the summary Andy, really insightful.

The one thing that has struck me about Alexander since starting other than his stoic ability to not feel the cold is how well and erudite he is. I feel his interviews are honest trying to avoid the usual cliches and he comes across as a really stable person at the wheel.

His knowledge of the lower English leagues will useful come the summer and I'm glad he recognises the squad is bloated but to be fair Stevie Wonder could tel you that. It feels like we had our golden era of youth development come through with Scott, Turnbull, Campbell and Hastie (don't put him in the same bracket but he earned us 400k for 10 games worth of above average performances). Combined they will earn us £5m plus sell ons. I don't see the same strength coming through but I don't see the youth side of things as much as Onthefringes or Postiejim do, maybe they can shed some light. I accept Turnbull like McFadden is a 1:15/20 year diamond.

Overall very encouraged and I hope the business in the summer is more astute than last years. In the meantime while we don't have the fear of relegation totally out of sight, top 6 is definitely possible. After the season we've had, to get to mid April and regardless of the next 5 games be safe would be a nice relief and much more than many predicted in deepest December.

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8 hours ago, Goggles & Flippers said:

 It feels like we had our golden era of youth development come through with Scott, Turnbull, Campbell and Hastie (don't put him in the same bracket but he earned us 400k for 10 games worth of above average performances). Combined they will earn us £5m plus sell ons. I don't see the same strength coming through but I don't see the youth side of things as much as Onthefringes or Postiejim do, maybe they can shed some light. I accept Turnbull like McFadden is a 1:15/20 year diamond.

 

The only vague mention of prospects or youth  that I can recall was a reference to the U15 team, I think it was, of which they had high hopes.  That this mention came following the discussion about the difficulties of retaining players given the lucrative offers available to them elsewhere perhaps also unwittingly tell the fears that lie there.

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With regards to the refurbishment of the John Hunter stand, they are replacing all seats which I understand but what is the point of replacing the Boyz end of the stand and with a few clubs installing safe standing/seats, I would have thought that would be better options as let’s face it they never would use the seats during a game!!

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10 hours ago, middleeastdave said:

With regards to the refurbishment of the John Hunter stand, they are replacing all seats which I understand but what is the point of replacing the Boyz end of the stand and with a few clubs installing safe standing/seats, I would have thought that would be better options as let’s face it they never would use the seats during a game!!

Installing safe standing seats would involve major building work,  new concrete footings and safety rails, along with the folding seats etc,  plus the Hunter stand roof Is quite low so I don't think they have sufficient space,  so all these issues and extra costs are probably not worth it for a hundred or so fans at any given game. 

It's much cheaper and quicker to rip out the old seats and just bolt down new ones in the same place. 

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