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Tom Coates

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  1. Attendance was 993, which is 3% up on last year and actually the biggest crowd we've had against Swinton since 2005. I understand we sold out of the discounted tickets, although I think the club only made a small number available. I hope it's repeated.
  2. Prices are here and tickets are available to order on Sunday:
  3. Steady on! Pensioners pay less to sit down than a standard "Adult" does to stand up. The club has disabled viewing points at both ends of the ground, including an elevated spot in the North Stand accessible by lift, and carers are admitted free of charge.
  4. Did you appreciate the efforts of the players on Friday night? #SquadGoals from Dewsbury Rams enables fans to contribute to All Together 2018 through occasional online payments. Donors to #SquadGoals during the Super 8s will be entered into a prize draw to win a 2019 replica shirt. https://www.gofundme.com/squadgoals-2
  5. Highlights and full match video from Friday's win away at Sheffield Eagles are available to purchase now. https://dewsburyrams.co.uk/2018/09/02/video-sheffield-eagles-20-dewsbury-rams-30/
  6. Here's the incident in question:
  7. I wasn't at the game, but I've seen the video. Faz was walking away, but only after dropping an elbow on Iggy's head. The 'kick' was a low swipe that barely made contact with Faz's ankles. Iggy shouldn't have lashed out, and it deserved a yellow card, but the original offence was far worse. You can see the highlights here for a quid: https://dewsburyrams.co.uk/2018/08/20/batley-bulldogs-42-dewsbury-rams-22-highlights-and-full-match-video/ Skip to 3:38, slow the footage down and let me know what you think!
  8. Would just like to apologise for any confusion caused by today's minute's silence. You may have noticed that we read out a passage as follows, ahead of the teams entering the field, for a supporter that recently passed away: The media team was informed by the club that there would be no minute's silence beyond the above message being read out. The directive from the RFL is that minute's silences will only be granted for club officials, or game-wide observations. The players came out of the tunnel and lined up for a minute's silence to the total surprise of all four of us in the control room. Our PA announcer asked supporters to be upstanding for a minute's silence, but didn't specify a name. It is likely that the minute's silence was held in memory of Tony, but, in the position we were in, we couldn't make that assumption. I am trying to get to the bottom of how this happened. It may be that there was a miscommunication to the match officials from the RFL. Everybody we spoke to at the club was under the impression that no minute's silence had been granted. Hope this clears up any confusion.
  9. Appreciate that not everybody can make it, but surely the point of the forum is for those in attendance to gain an exclusive insight? Would people make the effort to attend forums if they knew a full account of the discussion would be posted online in the days after?
  10. Thanks for your donation, Nick. #SquadGoals is back open for business! All the info here: https://dewsburyrams.co.uk/2018/05/21/squadgoals-returns-for-round-two/
  11. I shall sign off too and this will be my last post. I have enjoyed the debate and conversation, even if some of the questions you've asked about the website have felt like homework! My point throughout, really, is that things like commercial directors, websites, marketing and five-a-side bookings are of course important, but they aren't responsible for our own recent under-performance on the pitch, and that when you break things down, we're not performing badly in those off-field areas, certainly when compared to the likes of Batley and Barrow, who at the moment are out-performing us on the pitch. Can we improve even further in those areas? Sure! We disagree about recruitment, but I believe the squad was well-placed to continue its momentum following the end of 2017. We won 7 of our last 10 regular Championship matches and 4 out of 7 in the Shield, including wins over Toulouse and 40 and 50-point wins over Rochdale. In my opinion, rising standards in the Championship (v Toulouse) and our players' lack of form (v Rochdale) have contributed to our recent struggles. See you at Barrow away if you're going up!
  12. The 'mud slinging' comment was in reference to you arguing the technical differences between an online booking form and an online enquiry form. I'm sorry, but I can't think of any other reason why you'd pursue such a pedantic argument, other than just to criticise the club. In practice, the differences between the two are trivial and I've already pointed out why we've got the latter, not the former. Of course, the club is responsible for "squad improvement". I use 'the club' in inverted commas because you seem to be isolating the non-playing side of operations and pinning the blame on them for under-performance. The squad has been improved. The 2017 squad finished the year on a high and was added to during the close season with just one departure (the others that left the club were released). What's more, we started the season well, winning three matches and running London very close in our only defeat. "Player performance" and "team performance" has got worse since them, and 'the club' has supported the playing department to try to address the recent struggles, with the addition of several new faces, as listed in my previous post. Which quality players are available "at the right price"? You're talking in hypotheticals without offering any actual material solutions. 'The club' funded the signature of about the only available Championship-quality half-back last year and he helped to turn our season around. I am not saying that we'll "all be happier when we join a lesser league", I'm alluding to the fact that there is likely a restructure looming that will address some of the imbalance in resource we're currently seeing. The emergence of two distinct groups within the Championship and within League One couldn't be clearer. This is the main reason clubs like ours haven't been able to progress in the medium term, while the lack of form is the reason we've not progressed in the short term. On current evidence, yes they will be. Why do you think that is? Darren Crake is the managing director of two separate companies, and balances those not insignificant commitments with a commercial role at York. He is nowhere near full-time and the arrangement is light-years away from the "full-time commercial team" you're advocating earlier in this thread. Worth bearing in mind, too, that a commercial director, by definition, has little to do with marketing matches. Commercial directors generate commercial income by selling boxes, sponsorship and advertising. But if we're now placing the commercial side of the Rams under scrutiny, I can quote you a passage from the match day programme for the Swinton game: Of our seven executive boxes four have now been sold for the season and with one box reserved for match and club sponsors there are only a couple still available. With match day bookings already in place throughout the season these two are available on a match by match basis but some of the popular games have already gone. Our player sponsorship has once again proved to be immensely popular and is now completely sold out. ...and that was published at the end of February. As I keep emphasising, over and over, I'm not saying that everything is rosy. There's a lot 'the club' can do better and there are lots of people - volunteers and paid staff - working hard to make improvements. But I think it's unfair that a lot of the accusations currently being thrown at the club, in direct response to our struggles on the pitch, are based on assumptions and suppositions. And all I'm trying to is point out the facts and respond to your comments and questions using relevant examples.
  13. Again, I cannot comment on how money is being spent as I am not the one spending the money. I'm simply a fan who helps out, and who is eager to defend his club when barbs are thrown its way on a public forum. In terms of "not seeing quality additions", I'd argue that Gareth Moore, Michael Knowles and Shannon Wakeman fit into that category from the last 12 months. I believe terms were agreed with Wakeman until the end of the season until Rick Stone's departure from Huddersfield muddied the waters. Before that, the club has signed names like Lucas Walshaw, Shane Grady, Anthony Thackeray, Paul Sykes, Matt Groat, Jason Crookes, Karl Pryce, Wayne Godwin, Ewan Dowes, Matt Wildie, Luke Adamson and Toby Adamson. For most clubs outside the Championship's top four, these would be classed as 'marquee' signings, having either recently played at the very top level or having been highly sought after when we signed them. I know you are talking more specifically about this season, but there's a growing, wider perception that 'the club' isn't showing ambition. I'd say the names above are evidence that it is and has been. I think the bigger issue during the last 12 months has been that players simply haven't been available. I believe that one of the current issues is the lack of available quality, and not necessarily a lack of funds being in place. A lot of fans are in agreement that we "need more size" in the pack, but who's out there? We might need another option in the halves, but who's out there? During the last three months, the bigger issue has been that the players haven't been playing as well as they can. Again, this isn't down to 'the club'. Jamel Goodall, Cameron Scott, Lewis Heckford, Danny Ansell, Matty English, Jared Simpson (plus Wakeman already mentioned) have all been brought in during the last few months to bolster the squad, alongside a couple of lads on dual-reg from Wakefield. The club also made six new permanent signings during the close season, after finishing 2017 in very good form and seemingly equipped to kick on this year. Our only major departure was Toby Adamson. Pointing the blame at 'the club' for the squad not improving isn't fair. You say that Batley "obviously offered superior terms". This is pure guesswork on your part and I highly doubt that it's true. Their 2016 squad that achieved the top four was hardly brimming with star names. Even Chris Ulugia was only there on loan. In your first post, you quite churlishly asked if the club "had heard of an online booking system". I've pointed out to you that the club has heard of it and does have its own online booking system. It isn't a facility that technically allows you to complete the full booking entirely online, but for the club to implement an in-house e-commerce system that handles payments would be quite costly, deduct a commission and would categorically not be worth the cost. The system we have works well. It sends a direct notification to the lad who books out our pitches, who then follows up by email or a phone call to complete the booking. For comparison, here's how Soccer City Huddersfield (a well-established and busy facility) collects payments. It does seem like you're now at the stage where you're just trying to find mud to sling at the club. You started this line of questioning by suggesting that "if the truth is known the hit count on the website will be shockingly lower than most people expect". You've since discovered that the site actually attracts in excess of 24,000 hits a month and has been visited by 51,000 different people since November. If you want to go deeper still, then that's fine... Saying that the 51,000 visitors are being allowed to "slip through our fingers" is without any substance at all. We have a box in the sidebar called 'Back the Rams', which includes nine quick links to ways that fans can support the club, from buying merchandise, to booking hospitality, to betting with us, to joining the Local Lotto. They also see a big banner at the top of the page advising of the next home game, with a link to get info like pricing, parking etc. A countdown timer in the sidebar lets people know when our next fixture is. Of course, many visitors will be opposition fans. Be pretty difficult to "monetise" them. Here are the most visited pages in 2018: Here's where they've been coming from in 2018: Analysing how long people spend on our site is pointless, because, as you can see from above, people visit the website for totally different reasons. Some come on to read a news story and might spend a minute, away visitors might spend a little longer gathering info, reading the club history etc. The average time would tell us nothing because the range is too wide. We can't automatically collect the data of everybody who visits our website. That would be illegal. There is a box on the site that allows people to enter their name and email address to receive our latest news. York don't have a commercial director. I think there are possibly three teams outside Super League with a full-time commercial director. York do have a media manager employed on reduced hours, and Dewsbury Rams has made that exact same investment. Our club's media manager is supported by three 'media team' volunteers and a growing number of other individuals giving their time up to spread the word. Like these guys. Our media manager was in conversation with York's media manager and chairman in the lead-up to our match against Toronto and a lot of similar techniques were employed. Paid averts appeared in League Express and The Press and the game was plugged as part of Sky Sports' RL coverage on the Thursday and Friday before the game. We put on three offers that engaged with Super League season ticket holders, Championship season ticket holders, Rams season ticket holders (bring a friend for free) and Canadian passport holders. The game was also heavily promoted on the club's website and social media, and Toronto's, for weeks leading up to the game. I've previously suggested reasons why our crowd was lower than York's for this game, but you've chosen not to accept these. You started this debate in the wake of our tonking at London, and continued it after the defeat to Rochdale, and are fairly clearly attributing our poor results on the field to the way the club is run off the field. I know we're all hurting and I agree that there are areas where the club can improve, but I don't think some of the accusations you are throwing at it are fair and pinning the blame on 'the club' for the team performing badly is wide of the mark, in my opinion. As mentioned, we finished 2017 in great form, added six new signings during the close season, with only one significant departure. I've already spoken about rising standards in the Championship, the increase in full-time teams, player wages going up, and it's going to make life more difficult for clubs like ours. For a wider context, what chance do Batley have of making the top four this year, despite reaching it in 2016? I do think we will eventually see another re-shuffle and that the top half of League 1 will join the bottom half of the Championship, with the full-time and big spenders from our division forming a ten-team Super League 2 under a ten-team Super League 1. That's not to say that the current format has been a disaster - I don't think it has. It's provided a platform for clubs like Featherstone and Toulouse to grow, it's given Batley their day in the sun, it's brought back promotion and relegation and delivered some stunning drama at the end of the season. One of the other downsides of it, which has really become noticeable this year, is the chasm it's created in League 1 as that division's leading clubs set their stall out for promotion. It's transformed from being an 'incubator' league to a true 'performance' league. There's a similar chasm in the Championship, albeit without the blow-out score-lines. Clubs are finding their natural place as part of the bigger picture and I'm fairly sure the next re-structure will reflect that, and we can all cheer up a little bit. Of course, a win at Barrow this Sunday would help in the meantime.
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