Fans Forum 9th August 2018

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Mike the Dagger
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Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by Mike the Dagger » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:21 pm

This is in the order that things were discussed, therefore a bit all over the place and put together fairly quickly. If anyone disagrees with the essence of any of it, feel free to put your own view. I have a recording so can check exactly waht was said if anyone feels the need.

Overall it was a decent turn out, but significantly less than the last one in May. It was much less antagonistic in mood, possibly due to the lack of some of the "usual suspects"... The meeting started at 7:30pm and ran just over an hour and a half. Overall impression is that we have done very well to employ Peter Taylor. He was very impressive!

Present - Peter Taylor, Paul Gwinn, Steve Thompson (and Terry Harris). Apologies from Dave Bennett, who had family commitments.

- Why did you take the job? -> Peter Taylor

Peter was "at home". Had been offered scouting roles, particularly by Wolves, but prefers the day to day involvement in football and particularly coaching.

Knew Dagenham job was available and came and spoke to the board. Knew it was going to be a difficult job, probably hoped to be at a higher level but having spoken to the club thought that it was a great challenge to build a young team on a tight budget. Has good contacts and the opportunity to call in some favours will help.

Very pleased when he got the call to take the job. Very up for the challenge it represents.

- Are we still talking to potential investors? -> Steve Thompson

Since Jan/Feb 2018 have spoken to 9 or 10 people or groups, a couple have gone a long way but not happened, particularly one guy based in Spain. Still talking to 2 serious options and very hopeful one will get across the line.

Having to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince. Until the deal is signed nothing is definite.

- Team doing very well, getting the ball in dangerous areas. We are obviously short of a striker are you looking to sign one? -> Peter Taylor

Timing of Cheek leaving bad for both us and Ebbsfleet. Peter spoke to Cheek and he wanted to go. Likes Cheek, he's a good lad, but no point in trying to keep a player that wants to go, so get what we can for him and buy wisely.

We have a couple of trialists in at the moment and one on particular is a decent prospect to be the answer.

That means he is looking at the right player, rather than the first available player. If that means we don't make a signing for four weeks, but end up with the right player, so be it, Looking for a centre forward that is good with his back to goal, recognises that wasn't Cheek either, but feels we need someone that can link up play and bring the others in to play.

Feels the team should have 4 points from the 2 games to date not none, but we have been punished for mistakes made. It is important that the teams heads don't go down, and looking to win on Saturday. Support from the crowd is massively important in this.

Can you explain the transfer process? -> Panel

No transfer window in the National League. The Football League can't even loan players between each other. Advantage to National League teams as we can take players they want to loan for experience.

Have signed Alex McQueem. Right back/wing back/holding midfielder, very good player, ex Spurs academy, very good footballer.

If we don't get investment are we looking at every penny through the season? -> Steve Thompson

Funds are going to be tight. Very grateful for volunteers helping out, looking at every penny, tightening our belt as appropriate, and looking at budgets continually. Haven't raised as much money as would be hoped yet through donations and season tickets were down a little, but the gate held up on Tuesday which is encouraging and therefore match day takings could be up if that continues.

Will we be able to keep players signed on short term contracts and push forward next season possibly? -> Peter Taylor

Very encouraged by the quality of the squad that has been built, which is better than he expected. Players are enthusiastic about the opportunity playing first team National League football on a regular basis gives them to gain experience and on the whole are not that bothered by the money on offer.

Hopeful that we have some players that prove themselves this year and if we can get some investment in we can offer them a better contract that means that they will want to stay and continue to grow as footballers. Peter made the point that whereas last year at one point we had a squad of around 32 players at one point, this season it is going to be 18 or 19. That means they are all going to get a chance to show what they can do, the more you are involved, the more you will improve.

As an "old fart" he gets very frustrated that young players are not getting games at other clubs, this is an opportunity to get first team football in a competitive league, not U23 football or reserve football. If they end up having 30 to 40 games in the first team they will definitely improve.

Steve Thompson made the point that a lot of players are very keen for the opportunity to work under Peter Taylor and this is one of the reasons that he was the best choice for the job. He has been a breath of fresh air since he arrived. Players love working with him, and the team we are building will be a credit to him and Terry.

What do you think of the standard of refereeing based on the first two games? -> Peter Taylor

Peter thought the one on Saturday at Boreham Wood did well, and was right to send Goodliffe off. They had told the players about the advice being given to referees regarding those sort of challenges and particularly at the start of the season that referees would be really hot on them. It was a red, fair enough.

The referee on Tuesday, very upset at the lack of consistency on the throwing the ball away. You can't not give a yellow card for a yellow card offense because the player already has a yellow card. He booked another player for a less obvious offence late on and that is inconsistency.

Peter made the point that the support had been great at both games so far and with a young side it is massively important that the support remains positive and doesn't start to get on the players backs if things don't go well and players make mistakes.

Glenn Tamplin has been tweeting and saying in interviews about D&R and how he has the info to bring us down, can we do anything about this? -> Paul Gwinn

This is Tamplin being Tamplin, he does say and do some odd things. It is unpleasant, unnecessary and untrue. We could chase it but better to ignore it as doing so would probably be expensive and take forever to see to a satisfactory outcome.

Lot of players on loan until January, have we got plans if they do well and move on? -> Peter Taylor

Peter is happy with the relationship with the loaning clubs, who recognise the benefit of players playing proper football and gaining experience. If we want to keep players longer we will try to do so, also we have the option to replace if not. Made the point that he is very much in control of who stays and who comes in.

On players, Peter made the point that he is very pleased with Liam Gordon, who is becoming a vocal character in the team and gaining in confidence and experience.

Players are talking much more on the pitch which is encouraging, and the appointment of Benn Nunn as captain is a great decision -> Peter Taylor

This is being encouraged at training and is something that shows that they feel involved and confident. Benn Nunn is a frustration, had a reoccurrence of tendonitis that effected last season. Is training but is not quite right yet, hopefully not far away. Ben is a very good player and we need him back.

Peter made the point that he has known Terry Harris for a very long time, played together in 84/85 at Chelmsford, then he was his assistant at Dartford. He is a major part of the team that they are building. Also Jim Stannard, who has taken a pay cut but is still committed to the club. Also the fitness coach and John Gowans are excellent and committed. Very pleased with his off field team.

How does the lack of experience effect the team? -> Peter Taylor

Would like some more experience, but recognises that that seniority costs. We are recruiting good young ones who are happy to lead and talk instead. We need a squad of a certain depth and at one point had 6 defenders, 3 of whom were injured, therefore had to build and recruit. If experienced players mean you can't afford to do that you have to go with youth.

Question on donations -> Steve Thompson

We are short of the target for donations, looking at raising money in different ways. Sportsman’s dinner, other events like the quiz nights etc. Lots of work being done behind the scenes, mostly being done by volunteers free of charge.

Sponsorship: West & Coe have renewed, very grateful. A13 Steel and Blackmore are in longer term deals. Coventry University are new sleeve sponsor, with boards going up in the ground shortly. All help gratefully received.

Undisclosed Transfers, and Morgan Ferrier situation at Boreham Wood. As all of our transfers seem to be undisclosed, should the club let supporters know what is coming in, particularly as we are also asking for donations? -> Steve Thompson

Steve explained that undisclosed fees are a norm at our level of football, knows it is frustrating but it’s a fact of life. The initial bid for Michael Cheek for instance was made under the strict condition that it was confidential. As it was we managed to negotiate it up to three times the initial offer, however it is still confidential.

With Ferrier, it was Boreham Wood that disclosed the fee was £18k with an additional £5k for them making the play off final, but this was also made confidential by them originally. We do have a sell on and are waiting to hear what the deal between Boreham Wood and Walsall was.

Follow up, the figure of what has been donated has not been updated. It has, was updated last week.

Supporters Club accounts includes a £2500 donation to West Ham, what is that about? -> Steve Thompson

Ask the Supporters Club, we don't run their accounts. They did cover expenses on the night, stewarding etc. club very grateful. West Ham did not charge us anything at all, but there are expenses involved in putting on a match like that.

We haven't seen what was made out of the West Ham game? -> Steve Thompson

Accounts are at the auditors at present but the night raised a profit to the club of about £50k. Very grateful to West Ham for their help. The money helped us survive the season.

Barnet moving to a digital programme, not a physical programme, would we consider that? -> Steve Thompson

Discussed at a National League game in the summer. Barnet have decided to go digital, believes Boreham Wood produce a printed programme and also mail it out afterwards. Not something we are considering at the moment as we do make a small profit on the programmes over the year. Steve believes it would affect advertising revenue.

Away fans on the home terrace, why was that? -> Steve Thompson

National League regulations are that we have to offer terrace if we have it for home support, or offer seating at the same cost if not.

What we don't want to do is reconfigure the ground week on week. Suggestion is that we give away fans Bury Road, but this won't work due to gates, people just won't walk round to the Bury Road gates to get in to the North Stand (Sieve), and also those that stand there on a regular basis will be upset.

If we were starting from scratch the ground would not be configured as it is, but it has evolved and options are limited as a result, but it is what it is.

We have engaged with an "agent" to promote the club to potential investors. How much have we spent on this? -> Steve Thompson

Nothing. They will make commission if they introduce someone that buys. We did spend about £2500 on promotional materials last year.

Why are we in the financial position we are? Why was there not a contract to stop Hopkin pulling out? -> Steve Thompson

The agreement was that Hopkin paid £1m for his majority shareholding. He fulfilled this commitment, However he then committed to further investment to fund, in particular, playing staff. This is not unusual at our level where teams are bankrolled by the owner.

You don't expect someone that has invested £1m to then pull out as he did, but he did. That left us in the financial hole we are in, as commitments he had made to the budget going forward were then unfunded.

Why will anybody be interested in investing in the club when we are bottom half of the league? -> Steve Thompson

They are investing in potential. We have been a FL club for 9 seasons, we have a designated ground. Look at what Billericay are having to spend on the ground to bring it up to standard even for the National League. We have none of those issues, enough seating, CCTV, turnstiles, floodlighting, and changing facilities etc. That is a massive opportunity.

Sell on clauses? -> Steve Thompson

We have sell on clauses in all our contracts, range between 15% and 20%, but it is on the profit, not the total fee. We also put in the same clause on any sell on that the buying club get. That worked very well when Peterborough got income from Dwight Gayle moving on from Palace to Newcastle.

We have "sold" our sell on options on Christian Doidge and Jodi Jones last season to fund the club to survive. This was a disappointing decision to have to make, but had the club gone under those options would have been worthless anyway.

Plastic pitches. Will they ever be accepted in the Football League? -> Steve Thompson/Peter Taylor

It is all about money. League One/Two clubs won't accept it until the Championship accept it as it limits the options for promotion. Same thing for the Championship, they won't unless the Premier League does, and there is no appetite from the Premier League, who can afford to keep perfect grass pitches.

Peter stated that players in general don't like them and make every excuse not to play on them. They are very good quality now, and lots of clubs have been training on them this summer as a result of the grass pitches being so hard. There is value to them, but players are just negative about them. In Holland they just get on with it, 4G is used at all levels, but over here it just isn't seen as acceptable.

If Sutton for instance get promoted we were told they would have to rip up the 4G pitch, is that the case? -> Steve Thompson

There is a National League rule that clubs sign up to when putting in a 4G that they will take it out if they get promoted. If they do get end up in a promotion position and don't abide by this not only will they not be able to enter the FL but they will be demoted to the National League North/South as a result and won't be allowed back to the National League until they replace the pitch with grass.

Are West Ham using our ground this season? -> Steve Thompson

It is a three season agreement with West Ham and it is the U23 Premier League fixtures that are played at our ground, not the Academy fixtures.

Will Luke Pennell be fit soon, and if he is will he get in to the team? -> Peter Taylor

Peter stated that Luke is a very good centre half, but has fitness issues. He has not been able to play 30 to 40 games any season so far in his career and that is a worry. Luke may be fit enough for the bench on Saturday, but Peter has to be careful as centre half cover is short with Goodliffe suspended for the next two games.

What is Glyn Hopkin's status in the club now? -> Steve Thompson

He resigned as a director in January, but is still a major shareholder. He funded wages in April 2018, and Steve still talks to him on a fairly regular basis, but he is not involved in any way in how the football club is run now.

He is likely to be willing to give up his shareholding should the club find a new investor. The details of how that would work cannot be stated until the situation arises where we have someone willing to invest.

If the whole squad was fit, do you know your best XI? -> Peter Taylor

Probably not to be honest. We know what shape we want to play at the moment but need to be flexible. We have three outstanding quick forwards at the moment so are going with 4-3-3 to make best use of that, but can see that down the line it might make sense to go with three centre halves and wing backs in a 5-3-2.

There are not many teams that don't have to be flexible and start off knowing exactly who fits where, and we have a completely new team to get to know so it is particularly hard. Peter made it clear that we will learn and that in the coming months the team will improve and he is hopeful that we will finish the season a much better unit that we are now. Having said that, he feels we have deserved more from the first two games and that is encouraging.

Defending corners. Do you have a philosophy? -> Peter Taylor

Peter has been very unpopular as the first priority is always to make sure that the opposition don't score from the corner so he doesn't leave players out as a rule. That being said, we have a lot of pace and will do the best to make the most of fast breaks when the opportunity occurs. We are flexible though and on occasion will change that when it is right to do so.

Will there be another West Ham fund raising game? -> Steve Thompson

Nothing planned, these things are very hard to organise and fit in to a busy fixture list. The U23s are committed to using the ground and they pay towards the upkeep of the pitch and a fee for the usage.

As an ex Spurs man, are you happy with West Ham being here? -> Peter Taylor

If they are paying us for the privilege, of course.

Peter took the opportunity to re-state that this is going to be a challenging season and that supporters should stay with the team and be positive. We are not the first team to suffer financial issues and in many cases these things can make you stronger if you can come through them.

Are we going to take the cups seriously this season? -> Terry Harris

The FA Cup is a major opportunity for players to have a very positive career experience as well as being an opportunity to get money in. It is vital to football clubs at our level in particular and we would never put out a weakened team in the FA Cup.

The FA Trophy is a chance for players to get to Wembley. Those are few and far between and again, Terry felt clubs he had been involved in always took the competition seriously. The Essex Senior Cup he viewed as an opportunity to have a look at a few players.

Are we going to go part time next season? - Steve Thompson

That is not the plan, we are hopeful that we will remain a professional club next season if it is at all possible.

Can we advertise the club better? -> Steve Thompson

We try to get the message out as many ways as possible. We have 30,000 twitter followers and are doing what we can to get the message out via social media. WE are picking up full season fixture posters tomorrow and also produce posters every three home games that get distributed to local pubs, clubs and shops. We have a full page ad in local papers. If anyone wants to help distribute the posters they are available in the club shop please come and grab them.

Looking for a few more kit sponsors, and also we have the Sportsman’s dinner with Peter Taylor at the end of September. Please support if you can.
Last edited by Mike the Dagger on Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NBDag
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by NBDag » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:02 pm

Thanks for this- promising to see that we still have an investor interested. Off to buy a euromillions ticket later so hopefully come tomorrow there will be 2! :blink:

Agree with Taylor that we need a striker who can play with his back to goal, not sure if I agree with a 5 man defence when arguably our strength is our attacking wide men. 5-2-3 maybe?


Amazing how productive these forums can appear to be if people go in with a constructive and calm attitude. Hopefully this is a new dawn of everyone finally pulling together.

Chigwellian
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by Chigwellian » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:13 pm

Thank you for the write up Mike...
Very much appreciated :thumbu:

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Dagger83
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by Dagger83 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:30 pm

Thanks Mike - much appreciated.
There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

EssexDagger!
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by EssexDagger! » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:54 pm

Well done Mike, thanks for taking your time out and doing that! Feeling rather positive after reading that! Roll on tomorrow .... C’mon you Daggers!!!!

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ARNU
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by ARNU » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:05 pm

Ditto
Even bus stops have a roof !!

DaggerJoel11
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by DaggerJoel11 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:30 pm

Here's another article on everything which was mentioned last night.
https://dagnificent.weebly.com/blog1/wh ... fans-forum
''Dagenham & Redbridge look a very different side to about ten or fifteen minutes ago when they were on the back foot, and here's Benson...BRILLIANT!''

Voice of reason
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by Voice of reason » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:05 am

Very interesting
Well done Mike
I wonder how much Coventry paid to buy out Jodi Jones sell on clause?
Leeds were still prepared to buy him even after he was injured
The asking price was apparently £2m
FGR have said they want £750k for Christian Doidge

durnzo
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Re: Fans Forum 9th August 2018

Post by durnzo » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:40 pm

Good work, finally a bit if positivity and people coming together for the club. Getting Taylor could prove to be an absolute masterpiece.

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