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Matchday - Alloa v Inverness CT LC

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Thinking about it, was this performance any worse than the 0-0 at Stirling earlier this year? We were equally inept at breaking down the opposition that day, but also allowed them several scoring opportunities compared to just one or two v Alloa.

The result itself wasn't as bad but we could very easily have lost to a team a league below Alloa.

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25 minutes ago, Yngwie said:

Thinking about it, was this performance any worse than the 0-0 at Stirling earlier this year? We were equally inept at breaking down the opposition that day, but also allowed them several scoring opportunities compared to just one or two v Alloa.

The result itself wasn't as bad but we could very easily have lost to a team a league below Alloa.

I was saying that after about 20 mins :lol: it was very similar and only a couple of miles up the road.

We played just as badly but the margins are fine. Alloa played one decent ball into the box and we screwed it up. We didn't deal with it.

Mind you I don't think Stirling got any closer than a couple of efforts from far out, but there's always the risk of a deflection.

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Elgin 1 isn't on a wind up, just trying to make some humour towards a potentially disappointing season. Financially, there are always new models that can be tried and I don't buy this notion that there is no money, yes less, but not zero. One option is for example is the reclaimed land that lies towards the Moray Firth edge. When I went to Millburn a while ago now, sewage issues were hampering building rights. ICT own a large share in this I believe as any future housing estates have to be of a limited distance from the stadium and they are afforded royalties by highland council. Despite not generating funds immediately, selling might create funds in the long term. With house prices in Inverness being  X 1.35 that of Elgin, could be a handsome pot of footballing gold.

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15 hours ago, Kind of Blue said:

Not quite right, Baltacha was also sacked.

Technically he left by mutual consent, as did Hughes, but you could easily argue the semantics of either situation. 

 

14 hours ago, Charles Bannerman said:

I think the Ballistic link I was thinking about was actually the 5-1 defeats that season by Morton and Airdrie. I also don't think you can exclude games because of allegedly extenuating circumstances like breakaway goals or end of season. Bad is bad and same division encounters aren't exempt either.

If players consciously failed to acknowledge fans who had travelled to a central belt modweek game, and had not ben hostile towards them at full time, then I would be concerned at that.

I remember the Airdrie game ... flew back from Toronto that morning a mere 10 days after the atrocities of 9/11 so everyone was on edge on the plane and airport, was whisked to the ground by ITN who picked me up at the airport, fell asleep in the stands in the second half as we went down without a fight (0-5 at HT, 0-6 at FT) and then got the supporters bus back up the road ... a thoroughly horrible night. Worse for me was the night at Ayr the next year in the cup QF where Tokely got sent off and Paterson made him stand outside. We lost 5-1 and Ayr had a further two goals chalked off. The stewards were absolute nazis that night and it was a miserable trip back up the road. The game after the 'ballistic' game was only a 0-2 defeat at St Mirren but it probably felt worse than it actually was given the euphoria of the previous game. 

 

13 hours ago, Harry Chibber said:
  1. Dont think this is our worst result ever. Bad? absolutely, but worst? no.  only a handful of others I can think come close 
  2. There's a couple of references to the club being unable to afford sports specialists or refusing to put money into the team. I have a simple question. Where is the money coming from ? As a club we make a six figure loss every single season unless we have a cup run or windfall of some description. This is not bad management of our finances, it is simple math based on our incomings and outgoings and low crowds. There are certain levels and standards we have to meet to play in the top league and the club have also been careful when it comes to other things that we might like (eg a streaming audio/video service) where costs may take away from the playing budget. The board run a very tight financial ship. I just made the point we don't have any specialists but I would say there are ways of being creative with this. Fans can be used as tools to produce statistics etc. just look at what you and Caley D have done with websites etc.  I worked for Falkirk for a bit doing a bit of scouting in the central belt and wasn't even that bothered about the money was just looked after with corporate days and sports equipment. Offer work experience posts etc. etc. 
  3. It constantly winds me up that people only see one side of the story ... be that the so-called happy clappers, or indeed the doom and gloom merchants. There's a fine line between top and bottom six every season and although it is true to say we were in the bottom six last year we were not really in any danger of relegation. Also, when we lose players every year sometimes its because we just cant keep them either because they want more money than our finances can afford, because they themselves (or their agents) want to move, or yes, in some cases because the manager deems them surplus to requirements. its not always one-sided. I want us to do well and was optimistic after watching us destroy Arbroath but we were rotten against Alloa.  We looked as though we really lacked quality and work ethic. As for losing players, it is inevitable at times but the board should be proactive to make sure it is not a massive turnover every year by offering contracts earlier to players we think might demand a fee or are worth the investment for more than just 2 years.  
  4.  John Hughes wasnt sacked. He engineered his own way out after his working relationship with the chairman broke down. Not sure anyone but the chairman and JH and maybe a few others know the exact ins and outs of this but Craig Brewster remains the only manager we have sacked.  John Hughes was trying to use the media to get investment from the board to progress the club.  The way he went about it was wrong but I agree with his intentions... if you are not moving forward your are moving backwards.  It's the board's job to secure investment and they need to work harder to do it. Sounds ungrateful but it's the harsh reality  

1. My personal nightmares are listed above and I think others have touched on a few that also come close - losing by a bucketload to County one year at home would also be high up my list but I wasnt at that match so only quoted a couple where I was there. 

2. There are a lot of folk around the club still doing stuff voluntarily. We are lucky we do have a fanbase that will do this and a club who - for the most part - will let them become involved (some clubs are not so open about this). Richie Foran in the Q&A also left an open message to folk to say any ideas were always welcome. 

3. I agree about the contract lengths. Offering two years was always a big frustration of mine but I kind of understood why it was being done in the early days as we werent sure of staying in the SPL each year. Nowadays I think its a safer bet and am happier to see that we are starting to offer longer contracts. Certain players however wont (or would not) sign longer contracts as they wanted to keep options open ..... 

4. The board do work incredibly hard to try and bring in money, as do all the others involved in trying to sell our sponsorship or tie up other corporate tie-ins. Could they do better? possibly ... but lets face it Scottish football, outside of a few teams is not exactly an easy sell ! As for JH using the media, he did indeed and there are parallels with his tenure at previous clubs as predicted by a few visiting fans when he was first appointed.  

 

 

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16 hours ago, Harry Chibber said:

Charles your opinion is so biased it is beyond belief.. if the board had been proactive with longer contracts rather than reactive then we would have received the greater investment from the sale of players like Shinnie, Christie, Watkins, Mckay, Ross.. and so on.  Instead they negotiated minimum contracts and tried to negotiate extensions when there was already interest elsewhere and we couldn't compete .. running a business isn't the same as running a household.  You have to speculate to accumulate and by deciding what risks are worth taking and by using the judgement of their coaches to identify which players could produce a fee in the future and then back them.  We have lost money by them being so financially prudent.  

In fact the only time we decided to offer a reasonable length contract to a player when for some ridiculous reason they offered a 32 year old Foran a 4 year playing contract, which he was injured for the majority of ... and then they promote him to manager and again offer another 4 year contract for his first job as manager.  It is complete madness.... who would have predicted a 33 year old player might be more susceptible to injury... maybe they thought he was going to demand a high transfer fee!?   

That is not the point though.. the club have actually somehow managed to bring in additional finance over the last 4 years due to cup runs, and high league finishes, the sale of Christie and Mckay (although for less that we could have received for both) .... all the contracts for higher earning players in the Scottish cup winning team when they left and were never replaced .... NONE OF THIS MONEY HAS BEEN REINVESTED! If that money has only balanced the books then they are doing a pi55 poor job of running the club because we were operating at our peak and will be lucky to see those days again. 

No one expects us to be offering thousands of pounds for players but we have shown absolutely no progression since winning the Scottish Cup, the players we have signed since then have not been of the same or better standard. Would any of them get in that first team? We are going backwards and Foran will have to work miracles in his first job to see us safe from relegation ... how can that be what the fans should expect given where we were only 2 years ago?

 

You are so right Harry. Watch out tho, the "Defenders" will be after you in force!

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17 hours ago, Harry Chibber said:

Charles your opinion is so biased it is beyond belief.. if the board had been proactive with longer contracts rather than reactive then we would have received the greater investment from the sale of players like Shinnie, Christie, Watkins, Mckay, Ross.. and so on.  Instead they negotiated minimum contracts and tried to negotiate extensions when there was already interest elsewhere and we couldn't compete .. running a business isn't the same as running a household.  

 

Harry, I see what you are trying to say, but what I have been responding to is your reference to "the club's refusal to put money into the team".

What I have been saying is that the money has simply not been there to do this. That is indisputable and you cannot "refuse" to put in money you don't have. You, meanwhile, are offering a possible reason for the lack of money relating to contract lengths which is a different issue. While what you say may or may not be the case, it doesn't describe a situation of "refusal" to put money into the team.

One important concern here is that we don't know in any detail what factors the board have had to take into account in the process of establishing financial and signing strategies. Even the club accounts aren't required to reveal very much at all and don't, for instance, give a separate figure for the global player wage bill. (On mention of "global"...  I see that reports today begin to lift the lid on the magnitude of Ross County's financial backing.) Returning to ICT, yes there is a need for more productive income streams and the one that I hear most frequently mentioned - amid concerns that the Kingsmills Suite is hugely under employed Saturday pre-match - is hospitality. Anyway... I digress.

One fairly recurring feature of football seems to be criticism of decisions taken on the basis of very limited knowledge of the real situation and certainly much less than those who made the decisions. In the case in point, financial strategies are being criticised despite virtually no knowledge of the prevailing conditions. Similarly managers' tactics, substitutions, team selections etc come equally under fire despite the critics having no knowledge whatsoever of a whole raft of behind the scenes factors. And then there's the absolute incompetence of any referee compared with any fan in the back row of the stand 80 yards away.

But to return to matters financial, I think it's unlikely that Inverness Caledonian Thistle would have done what it has since 1994 on very limited resources if it had been such a victim of financial mismanagement.

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20 hours ago, Harry Chibber said:

Charles your opinion is so biased it is beyond belief.. if the board had been proactive with longer contracts rather than reactive then we would have received the greater investment from the sale of players like Shinnie, Christie, Watkins, Mckay, Ross.. and so on.  Instead they negotiated minimum contracts and tried to negotiate extensions when there was already interest elsewhere and we couldn't compete .. running a business isn't the same as running a household.  You have to speculate to accumulate and by deciding what risks are worth taking and by using the judgement of their coaches to identify which players could produce a fee in the future and then back them.  We have lost money by them being so financially prudent.  

In fact the only time we decided to offer a reasonable length contract to a player when for some ridiculous reason they offered a 32 year old Foran a 4 year playing contract, which he was injured for the majority of ... and then they promote him to manager and again offer another 4 year contract for his first job as manager.  It is complete madness.... who would have predicted a 33 year old player might be more susceptible to injury... maybe they thought he was going to demand a high transfer fee!?   

That is not the point though.. the club have actually somehow managed to bring in additional finance over the last 4 years due to cup runs, and high league finishes, the sale of Christie and Mckay (although for less that we could have received for both) .... all the contracts for higher earning players in the Scottish cup winning team when they left and were never replaced .... NONE OF THIS MONEY HAS BEEN REINVESTED! If that money has only balanced the books then they are doing a pi55 poor job of running the club because we were operating at our peak and will be lucky to see those days again. 

No one expects us to be offering thousands of pounds for players but we have shown absolutely no progression since winning the Scottish Cup, the players we have signed since then have not been of the same or better standard. Would any of them get in that first team? We are going backwards and Foran will have to work miracles in his first job to see us safe from relegation ... how can that be what the fans should expect given where we were only 2 years ago?

 

As is yours to a large extent as well Harry. You may have a point on the contract situation but you cannot force players to sign contract extensions and do you have any proof that any of the players you mention would have signed these?. It is a simple fact of life that if we develop/sign good players, they will leave us at some point and you under estimate the power of agents and players in all this.

If we make a loss each season, which we usually do, how can any money be re-invested in the club?. I am not a huge fan of the board, as I think they need to be much more proactive and dynamic but their first duty is to balance the books of the club.

The only way for the club to progress is to rear more of it's own players (which then have to be sold to generate a profit), have more fans attend games or seriously raise prices for attendance. As the last two options don't seem to work or have support from the fans, what exactly would you suggest we do?.

As for this being out worst result ever, don't think it is. Obviously a bad result but these things happen in cup matches and too many of our fans think we  have a divine right to win every game. Sure we were favourites but that is the beauty of cup football.

Ritchie needs to learn from his mistakes quickly but a win against County would go a long way to rectifying our poor start to the season.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Charles Bannerman said:

Harry, I see what you are trying to say, but what I have been responding to is your reference to "the club's refusal to put money into the team".

What I have been saying is that the money has simply not been there to do this. That is indisputable and you cannot "refuse" to put in money you don't have. You, meanwhile, are offering a possible reason for the lack of money relating to contract lengths which is a different issue. While what you say may or may not be the case, it doesn't describe a situation of "refusal" to put money into the team.

One important concern here is that we don't know in any detail what factors the board have had to take into account in the process of establishing financial and signing strategies. Even the club accounts aren't required to reveal very much at all and don't, for instance, give a separate figure for the global player wage bill. (On mention of "global"...  I see that reports today begin to lift the lid on the magnitude of Ross County's financial backing.) Returning to ICT, yes there is a need for more productive income streams and the one that I hear most frequently mentioned - amid concerns that the Kingsmills Suite is hugely under employed Saturday pre-match - is hospitality. Anyway... I digress.

One fairly recurring feature of football seems to be criticism of decisions taken on the basis of very limited knowledge of the real situation and certainly much less than those who made the decisions. In the case in point, financial strategies are being criticised despite virtually no knowledge of the prevailing conditions. Similarly managers' tactics, substitutions, team selections etc come equally under fire despite the critics having no knowledge whatsoever of a whole raft of behind the scenes factors. And then there's the absolute incompetence of any referee compared with any fan in the back row of the stand 80 yards away.

But to return to matters financial, I think it's unlikely that Inverness Caledonian Thistle would have done what it has since 1994 on very limited resources if it had been such a victim of financial mismanagement.

"I see what you are trying to say" you couldn't be more condescending Charles

You also decided not to bother quoting my second paragraph which answers the point you are trying to make.  There clearly was an increase in revenue when we received £150k for Mckay, close to £500k for Christie, the money for cup run and highest ever league finish and the contract money for players that have left the club.. where is this money? 
Has it been used to pay debts, was it withdrawn by majority shareholders, used for investment in a training ground or investment in the stadium? It has definitely not gone back into the team... and there seemed to be plenty of money available when the board decided to pay a severance package for Hughes.

You digress because you are failing to make any relevant sense.

"One fairly recurring feature of football seems to be criticism of decisions taken on the basis of very limited knowledge of the real situation and certainly much less than those who made the decisions"
Luckily we don't live in a world where you are dictator.  Imagine, football fans having and expressing an opinion!? Of course you don't know everything, that does not make the manager/club/official exempt to criticism.  I can only call it as I see it   
 

Edited by Harry Chibber
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7 hours ago, Scotty said:

Technically he left by mutual consent, as did Hughes, but you could easily argue the semantics of either situation. 

 

 

Scotty, trust me he was sacked.  

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53 minutes ago, Harry Chibber said:

"I see what you are trying to say" you couldn't be more condascending Charles

You also decided not to bother quoting my second paragraph which answers the point you are trying to make.  There clearly was an increase in revenue when we received £150k for Mckay, close to £500k for Christie, the money for cup run and highest ever league finish and the contract money for players that have left the club.. where is this money? 
Has it been used to pay debts, was it withdrawn by majority shareholders, used for investment in a training ground or investment in the stadium? It has definitely not gone back into the team... and there seemed to be plenty of money available when the board decided to pay a severance package for Hughes.

You digress because you are failing to make any relevant sense.

"One fairly recurring feature of football seems to be criticism of decisions taken on the basis of very limited knowledge of the real situation and certainly much less than those who made the decisions"
Luckily we don't live in a world where you are dictator.  Imagine, football fans having and expressing an opinion!? Of course you don't know everything, that does not make the manager/club/official exempt to criticism.  I can only call it as I see it   
 

Wait for it- what 's happened to the ofw money from the euro 's? I cant believe all this money pish is coming out the woodwork again! We operate at a loss. Windfall's plug the holes. How many times does it need to be said?

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59 minutes ago, ictfcsince94 said:

Wait for it- what 's happened to the ofw money from the euro 's? I cant believe all this money pish is coming out the woodwork again! We operate at a loss. Windfall's plug the holes. How many times does it need to be said?

Thank goodness for someone who, despite limited available information,  understands the fundamentals of ICT finances - that regular income streams fail to fund even basic operation and that the windfalls that HC refers to are required on a regular basis to balance the books. It's also a bit worrying that, with the social club sold to fill the last gap in windfall revenue, it's perhaps not clear how the next one is going to be covered.

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I tend to agree with the argument that the club is punching above it's weight financially, but that doesn't necessarily answer the question where the Christie, Mckay, Scottish Cup money has all gone. These were substantial windfalls, and undoubtedly some of it was used to plug the funding gap, but there must be something left over...? Unless the strategy is very much to save it for a 'rainy day fund', which I'd be OK with personally if it allows the club to remain competitive and not require the windfalls year on year. What I wouldn't be OK with would be had it been taken out of club in the form of shareholder dividends and such like, although there is no suggestion that this has happened.

 

Where I do worry about the future is that the brick and mortar assets have now all been sold. As such the club cannot incur debts year on year and must break even over a 3/5 year period to keep the bank manager happy. It's achievable when things are going well, but is it sustainable long term? How important are losses, like the Alloa one, when you consider the missed revenue opportunity of a quarter or semi final in a National Cup? That is 50% of our additional earning opportunities over for the season, and it's only August! How much are we relying on these windfalls? How large is the disparity between operational costs and budgeted income? There are now no fixed assets upon which borrowing can be secured, should it ever be required.

 

I don't intend this to be a criticism of those behind the scenes at the club, who are undoubtedly doing their very best, but there does appear to be a lack of a real professional who can energise the operation and start tapping into other revenue streams. I've floated a couple ideas (10 game season tickets & a fans players fund) which have been knocked down on here with the 'tried it 10 years ago, didn't work then' reason. That may well be so, and I'm certainly not suggesting that either of these ideas would be major money spinners, but everything in life has moved on from 10 years ago, why not try it again? Is there anyone inside the club who's job it is to offer ideas, contacts, initiatives etc.? Do we have a marketing/promotional department, at any level, with the remit to drive sales? One small example -  I bought tickets for a Scotland U21 game at St Mirren through their website years ago and almost every other week I have an email arrive promoting community/tickets/merchandise/etc. I have no interest in any of it but I am aware of it going on and it's always struck me how you hear nothing like this from ICT, so another opportunity for customer engagement is missed. Stick on the annual delay on replica kit (it's absolutely unforgivable to miss the school holiday market, every bloody time) and, to me, it starts to look a bit substandard... We do some things great, social media and audio video content being two that things spring to mind, so it's not all negative by any stretch. There is just a lot of room for improvement IMO.

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I remember being in the Highland League. Fear fecks sake - it was practically pre season - it was away from home - playing on a tight pitch and stadium - against arguably the form team of the Cup so far who had already knocked out the holders and stuffed an equally vibrant Putridheid - it was their Cup Final - we have several new players gelling - we have a new manager looking at a new style of play backed by many, many fans - Cups always produce shocks and this was NOT really a big one. Snuff said

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With TV pouring ever more money into the game UK wide, players are demanding and getting ever more and more money.  The effects filter down to our level where any extra we may receive through these channels is more than accounted for by the money players demand.  We cannot compete with teams from the lower reaches of the English league financially.  I would imagine, therefore, that significant sums of money have been used simply to extend contracts of existing players.  And whilst I would like to see longer contracts, players will only sign those if the salary makes it worth their while.  To offer players such contracts is a gamble the club cannot afford to take.  The blunt economic truth is that you need to spend more just to stand still.We will do very well if we can manage to retain our top flight status in the next 2 or 3 years and unrealistic expectations simply add to the pressures.

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I can't believe we're all still discussiing this. the facts are that, despite several windfalls over the past few years (cup runs/glory, player sales, good league position), ICT have only just broken even financially. The truth, therefore, is that the club requires windfalls/player sales to survive financially and to maintain its current level of footballing prosperity. My guess is that, in a poor year with no player sales, we could expect a deficit of ~£250k and I think others on this forum have suggested the same. That is clearly unsustainable: I think Kilmarnock will testify to that as they try to service a £750k debt this year on the back of falling crowds.

So, there's no mystery as to where the money has gone - it is subsidising the current playing squad and (in the case of last year) was used to bring in players to patch up an injury-ridden squad. Given our small home support, there must be a realisation that it will always be this way and a recognition that we have the financial clout of Stevenage in English league 2.

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Just out of interest, do we pay employees above the 'Living wage'? I have read recently about Scottish Nationalists trying to shame companies who don't / can't afford to pay the living wage.    Can we reduce outgoings further by having spending cuts? What kind of wages do we pay players? Are we really paying £30 for the Main stand on Saturday to fund wages of £40,000 per year and more?

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13 hours ago, Bridge_Ender said:

I tend to agree with the argument that the club is punching above it's weight financially, but that doesn't necessarily answer the question where the Christie, Mckay, Scottish Cup money has all gone. These were substantial windfalls, and undoubtedly some of it was used to plug the funding gap, but there must be something left over...? Unless the strategy is very much to save it for a 'rainy day fund', which I'd be OK with personally if it allows the club to remain competitive and not require the windfalls year on year. What I wouldn't be OK with would be had it been taken out of club in the form of shareholder dividends and such like, although there is no suggestion that this has happened.

 

a fans players fund

Good post Bridge Ender.

Something left over? That will become apparent when the accounts appear towards the end of the year. As I recollect, of that plethora of windfalls that came 1-2 years ago, some fell into financial year 14-15 and others into 15-16 which ended on May 31st and will be detailed before the AGM. On the other hand, given that windfalls are neither regular nor foreseeable, you could see some sense in a policy of keeping something back for a rainy day - especially if, as has been correctly remarked, there is now a distinct shortage of assets to sell off. Shareholder dividends? Correct! Not a chance!

A "fans' players fund"? What would that involve? I can only infer that it's a fund that fans contribute to in order to increase the player budget. If this is the case, then isn't there something of a paradox between tickets being criticised as too expensive on the one hand and fans voluntarily contributing their cash to this fund on the other. Why not just put ticket prices up? (Rhetorical question in case any of the usual suspects are tempted into yet another rant about the press not having to pay.) Also, is there not something just a bit ironic about the ordinary man in the street voluntarily contributing to a fund and hence taking a hit to their own living standards so that footballers can be paid sums which are - even at Inverness - well above what the vast majority of the population earns? Once again we return to this notion of footballers being paid well above what their ability and market forces would otherwise determine.

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1 hour ago, ed said:

Just out of interest, do we pay employees above the 'Living wage'? I have read recently about Scottish Nationalists trying to shame companies who don't / can't afford to pay the living wage.    Can we reduce outgoings further by having spending cuts? What kind of wages do we pay players? Are we really paying £30 for the Main stand on Saturday to fund wages of £40,000 per year and more?

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1 hour ago, ed said:

Are we really paying £30 for the Main stand on Saturday to fund wages of £40,000 per year and more?

Yes. As I said somewhere else, what you get for your £30 (or less in other ticket categories) actually costs around £44 to produce - mainly because of the nonsensical football wages market.

Unfortunately there seems to be an assumption in paid football that much of it should be very well remunerated. Why? On what basis? If the play you produce only creates revenue to pay you £450 a week, why should you expect  - and indeed get - £800? Many other sports do not have the finances to pay participants at all so don't. As a result many world class performers - who by any measurement are vastly superior performers to footballers, say, in the SPFL Premiership, actually lose money out of what they do. Footballers, on the other hand, often get paid well above even what the privileged economics of their game would otherwise dictate.

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Charles, more details about the Players Fund that Partick have recently launched can be found here: http://ptfc.co.uk/news/2015-2016/may_2016/partick_thistle_player_fund

 

Essentially it is as you infer above but where I think ICT are missing a trick is the demographic of our support. Historically a large number of Invernessians leave the area for education or work, often never to return permanently. To my mind this leaves a substantial number of childhood fans with an affinity to the club who would like to continue to support the club but for whom a season ticket or regular match attendance is impractical. I wouldn't aim such a scheme at those who currently attend games and buy tickets, they are already doing their bit, but at those who don't attend but still support. Back of envelope maths suggests something in the region of 10,000 such fans (Scottish Cup Final attendance versus average league attendance). If even 5% could be attracted to put £10 a month in on direct debit that's £5,000 a month/£60,000 a year. A not insignificant sum generated requiring little more than a direct debit form and some organisation.

 

Yes, player wages are obscene and completely out of step with the wider world but if we all want ICT to remain at the level we have been then that's the market we have to compete in. The market which football operates within is simply not going to change, so we have to adapt. 

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Would it not be better to get just 5% of the additional 12,000 fans to go to 5 category A matches and get their moneys worth or go to 1 to 2 hospitality games a season. To get something back for their contribution.

Or even get them to attend 1 extra game a season.

Even the 10 ticket season book seemed like a good idea but who actually bought any?

My plan would be.

Affiliation with the club.

Get them in the ground.

Increase frequency of visits to the stadium.

Tourists and one offs are a bonus but 1 season ticket book sale is worth more than 19 tourists turning up for a match for their one and only visit to Inverness.

The St book holder contributes year on year.

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1 hour ago, Bridge_Ender said:

Yes, player wages are obscene and completely out of step with the wider world but if we all want ICT to remain at the level we have been then that's the market we have to compete in. The market which football operates within is simply not going to change, so we have to adapt. 

This idea reminds me of this....

http://www.igf.org/

... and even that seems to be changing its title to retain any credibility at all.

The Society for the Relief of Indigent Gentlewomen of Scotland was basically set up to subsidise posh women of the upper classes who hadn't found a man to support them but who also considered it below their status to get a job. Believe it or not, people of lesser means actually paid money into this fund so that daughters of chinless wonders, many of whose ancestors had acquired their status by cheating, stabbing and fornicating their way into positions of wealth and influence, didn't have to get off their backsides and get a job. The notion is absolutely obscene! On yer bike darlin'!

However it is being replicated in uncanny fashion here where ordinary working people are being asked to fork out money - which could otherwise be used to buy books, sports centre memberships or a new bike for their kids - to subsidise the wages of footballers whose salary expectations vastly exceed their crowd pulling ability. And even when folk do have genuinely spare money, would that not be much better pointed in the direction of genuine charities helping people in need.

To be honest, it seems even more bizarre that the targeted group in the football context should be people who don't actually attend matches and who therefore stand to gain even less from their generosity. Let's be realistic. The 10,000 who attended the 2015 Cup Final over and above relatively regular ICT fans only had a passing interest in this club. Consequently they are looking for no more than their single day of glory so strike me as less likely than most to part with money for nothing in order to subsidise the wages of players who earn far more than they do themselves for a much shorter working week.

I know this sounds a bit Thatcherite, but it's maybe time that a bit of financial Darwinism descended on football.

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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3 hours ago, Bridge_Ender said:

 

Yes, player wages are obscene and completely out of step with the wider world but if we all want ICT to remain at the level we have been then that's the market we have to compete in. The market which football operates within is simply not going to change, so we have to adapt. 

I think the club has tried just about all it reasonably can to adapt to be able to compete at the top level in this very difficult market.  But there may well come a time when despite the best efforts of all concerned it is simply not possible to survive at the current level.  At some point we may have to face the bitter reality that spending to survive would risk bankrupting the club and the sensible adaptation is to accept that we can only survive at a lower level.  

Unless by some miracle the crowds increase by 50% or we get a rich benefactor, we will always be a club which is unable to hold onto players whose performances lead to offers of much more lucrative contracts elsewhere.  We will survive at this level only if we continue to unearth and develop players with ability who are under-performing elsewhere, and if we can produce quality players through the youth system.  That's a very tough ask because all clubs, rich and poor will also be doing the same.

 

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5 hours ago, Charles Bannerman said:

This idea reminds me of this....

http://www.igf.org/

... and even that seems to be changing its title to retain any credibility at all.

The Society for the Relief of Indigent Gentlewomen of Scotland was basically set up to subsidise posh women of the upper classes who hadn't found a man to support them but who also considered it below their status to get a job. Believe it or not, people of lesser means actually paid money into this fund so that daughters of chinless wonders, many of whose ancestors had acquired their status by cheating, stabbing and fornicating their way into positions of wealth and influence, didn't have to get off their backsides and get a job. The notion is absolutely obscene! On yer bike darlin'!

However it is being replicated in uncanny fashion here where ordinary working people are being asked to fork out money - which could otherwise be used to buy books, sports centre memberships or a new bike for their kids - to subsidise the wages of footballers whose salary expectations vastly exceed their crowd pulling ability. And even when folk do have genuinely spare money, would that not be much better pointed in the direction of genuine charities helping people in need.

To be honest, it seems even more bizarre that the targeted group in the football context should be people who don't actually attend matches and who therefore stand to gain even less from their generosity. Let's be realistic. The 10,000 who attended the 2015 Cup Final over and above relatively regular ICT fans only had a passing interest in this club. Consequently they are looking for no more than their single day of glory so strike me as less likely than most to part with money for nothing in order to subsidise the wages of players who earn far more than they do themselves for a much shorter working week.

I know this sounds a bit Thatcherite, but it's maybe time that a bit of financial Darwinism descended on football.

A completely unrelated and irrelevant example offered up to attack a different point to the one being made... What I was suggesting would be something akin to the socio membership that works so well for small clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and has been adapted by many English Premiership sides (albeit in a much watered down membership style format). You'll find no argument from me that football wages are obscene, but guess what? That isn't going to change until selling football on TV doesn't work for the media companies, and that isn't going to happen anytime soon. A player is worth what the market dictates he's worth, it's that simple, and no amount of bleating will change that. The bare facts are that if ICT want to continue to compete in the highest echelons of the Scottish leagues they require more finance and preferably in a self supporting way, i.e. not an insecure sugar daddy McGregor/Narden-esque arrangement. I look forward to a more relevant and constructive reply from yourself, including suggestions on how to address a funding shortfall. 

 

Developing youth to sell on is a long term, time intensive, high cost strategy which whilst highly commendable and certainly something we would all wish for is, IMO, not realistic to support the club. What was the first thing that happened after relegation last time? All the pro youth squad were released to cut costs, wasting years of finance, expertise, effort and time invested before it had time to bear fruit. I'd absolutely love to see another Christie come through, but the fact is he is the only youth player that I can think of that we've developed and sold in 20 years! In a perfect set up I'd truly love to see a strong community set up feeding into an elite youth program supported by qualified coaches and scouts developing players for the first team, but sadly this is Scottish football and it just ain't gonna happen. 

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10 hours ago, Bridge_Ender said:

Developing youth to sell on is a long term, time intensive, high cost strategy which whilst highly commendable and certainly something we would all wish for is, IMO, not realistic to support the club. What was the first thing that happened after relegation last time? All the pro youth squad were released to cut costs, wasting years of finance, expertise, effort and time invested before it had time to bear fruit. I'd absolutely love to see another Christie come through, but the fact is he is the only youth player that I can think of that we've developed and sold in 20 years! In a perfect set up I'd truly love to see a strong community set up feeding into an elite youth program supported by qualified coaches and scouts developing players for the first team, but sadly this is Scottish football and it just ain't gonna happen. 

Developing the youngsters has far more benefits than any transfer fees we might one day get for them.  Over the years several youngsters have been good enough to be valuable members of the first team squad.  Some, like Polworth, manage to become regular starters whilst others like Brown and Sutherland spend more time on the bench than on the pitch but are capable of doing a job if called upon.  Were they not in the squad there would be a need to bring in players for cover who would only be available on higher wages.

There are also the unquantifiable benefits of a youth development system in embedding the club in the wider community.  The involvement of the youngsters in the club brings the club closer to the friends and families of those youngsters.  It makes the community more likely to support the club.  The economics of a youth development system are very hard to quantify, but what I do know is this.  Stop the youth development system and you rip out the very heart and soul of the club.

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