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LOYALION

Tonight's Meeting

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I'll try and briefly sum up but apologies if I need correcting as my memory is hopeless and I didn't write anything down.

Basically as I see it, we owe the tax man 17k ish and owe others in the region of 100k. We have no actual players signed on although contracts have been offered with a Jan 14 start date. Warrington are still interested in the same arrangements as last season. LSV is too expensive (and we still owe them money) There will be NO assistance from the RFL. Moor Lane is a no go (Salford FC don't want us) and Sale have stitched Barton up so nobody else can play there. Negotiations have been made with regard to a return to Sedgley.

HOWEVER

Marwan Koukash has a strong will to take over The Lions and has made an offer which is based on 1rather large condition. .....he gets to build a new stadium for us on Ambrose Barlow fields which must include retail/leisure/restaurant outlets. No stadium = no deal! The success or failure rests with the council!

HOWEVER

The Trust is working along the lines of the possibility that they may need to prepare a case for a supporter run club. Fund raising is desperately needed for us to do this (I say 'us' as I joined this evening) and not to just turn it over to the Kidds.

Further meetings to take place with various parties over the next week or so. Sorry if I've missed or misconstrued anything!

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So what are the Kidds doing now? Have they walked away or are they still involved? What about the other directors?

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John Kidd has basically stepped back and left Paul to deal with it all. No mention of the other board members at all. The top table did say that another party was interested but in Paul Kidd's view it would have meant that we would have had to move out of the area!

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It doesn't actually state it on the Trust standing order mandate but, just to confirm, membership is available at £2 per month but obviously the more you're able to contribute the more you can assist in the fight to save the Lions.

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John Kidd has basically stepped back and left Paul to deal with it all. No mention of the other board members at all. The top table did say that another party was interested but in Paul Kidd's view it would have meant that we would have had to move out of the area!

 

Given that the Manchester Rangers people have denied having any negotiations with Swinton Lions, the other obvious one would be someone associated with Darwen FC as nearly happened around 5 years ago.

 

Its Dr Koukash or the Trust in the driving seat for 2014.

 

I would love to say that the St Ambrose Barlow site should be developed on a community-led basis, but the practical problem with that is you need a committed and above all else proactive Local Authority to make that approach feasible. 

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Thanks for the summary of the meeting...........no surprise that the RFL will not help............did anyone ask how long the RFL have given the club to sort out the situation before suspending fixtures etc

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I think the most disappointing thing is the attitude of Salford City Council, and the impression that anything rugby league is tarred with the brush of Salford City Reds. There is a huge amount of bridge building to be done to give the council confidence in this sport again, even if much of their reluctance is derived from their own mismanagement.

 

Perhaps one way forward with the council would be to pursue any grants or project-based funding that they have available, rather than direct investment. At least that way the investment is accountable and target driven. Given that the Trust has successful experience of managing significant grants - such as the recent Lions' Tales heritage project - is a not-for-profit organisation, and has up-to-date accounts it is well placed to do this. Perhaps it could get the ball rolling and start to build the "war chest" that is going to be needed one way or the other.

 

It was good to see a lot of familiar faces last night, and it was good that there seemed to be a "blitz spirit" about it all.

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The most disappointing for me is the lack of information from the club still. We have all lived in an era of secrecy and mystery when it's come to the Kidds and even though it seems we are in dire straights and the fans could ultimately be the saviours of the club we are still only being fed what snippets they will release!

I think the council have made it clear that there will not be a penny spent on us!

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Well LOYALION it just proves you can't please all of the people all of the time.

At the meeting on Monday the trust gave a complete and frank assessment of the situation known to the best of their knowledge. Yes there was some sensitive information that couldn't be mentioned since it related to parties who at this moment in time are not connected to the club. I am sorry if this gave you the impression you was being fed snippets.

 

I have to clear a possible confusion up regarding the council.......at our meeting with them it was stated that cash wouldn't be given to any sporting body at this current moment in time but they did state that they could help in other ways, so please don't completely think the council are the bad boys in this.

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Honestly and truthfully I can't see Ambrose Barlow as a good site

Id hate a stadium in my back yard.

Someone suggested Moorside school too which I find even more unrealistic

I find it hard to believe that Agecroft is out due to its size and Ambrose is bigger?

I couldn't go on Monday. I appreciate all the effort that people put in. It really shows what is possible when backs are against the wall

Im sure I'm not alone in hoping for something concrete in the very near future.

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Well LOYALION it just proves you can't please all of the people all of the time.

At the meeting on Monday the trust gave a complete and frank assessment of the situation known to the best of their knowledge. Yes there was some sensitive information that couldn't be mentioned since it related to parties who at this moment in time are not connected to the club. I am sorry if this gave you the impression you was being fed snippets.

I have to clear a possible confusion up regarding the council.......at our meeting with them it was stated that cash wouldn't be given to any sporting body at this current moment in time but they did state that they could help in other ways, so please don't completely think the council are the bad boys in this.

No no no Marshy I didn't mean the trust I meant the current club board who

1, Did not attend in any guise (ok Paul sent his apologies but he's not the only club official) and

2, There were questions asked to you on Monday which you couldn't answer because you hadn't been given the info by the Kidds.

No criticism of the 3 chaps on the top table whatsoever!

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Honestly and truthfully I can't see Ambrose Barlow as a good site

Id hate a stadium in my back yard.

Someone suggested Moorside school too which I find even more unrealistic

I find it hard to believe that Agecroft is out due to its size and Ambrose is bigger?

I couldn't go on Monday. I appreciate all the effort that people put in. It really shows what is possible when backs are against the wall

Im sure I'm not alone in hoping for something concrete in the very near future.

I think the site has been chosen by Mr K Mark. It's the location he wants or there's no deal and he walks away. The location is key!

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The most disappointing for me is the lack of information from the club still. We have all lived in an era of secrecy and mystery when it's come to the Kidds and even though it seems we are in dire straights and the fans could ultimately be the saviours of the club we are still only being fed what snippets they will release!

I think the council have made it clear that there will not be a penny spent on us!

 

One of those moments in life wherein the silence speaks volumes.

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Your way forward is Sedgeley Park and supporters run club, surely the kidds have full responsibility for running up the debt and not the fans, ditch them for their disingenuous mess and try to negotiate a debt free restart even if it means a drop down with us as a consequence, I truly hope the Lions survive and love going to the park!

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There is no long term future for the club without a home venue in Swinton.As someone correctly pointed out at the meeting ,how many of those present will be alive in 20 or 30 years time? there are very few if any new fans joining the fold.Sedgley Park would be a great venue in the short term but if you check attendances in our last season at SP they were down to around 350.

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Honestly and truthfully I can't see Ambrose Barlow as a good site

Id hate a stadium in my back yard.

Someone suggested Moorside school too which I find even more unrealistic

I find it hard to believe that Agecroft is out due to its size and Ambrose is bigger?

I couldn't go on Monday. I appreciate all the effort that people put in. It really shows what is possible when backs are against the wall

Im sure I'm not alone in hoping for something concrete in the very near future.

. the location of the site couldn't be better,right in the town centre but I agree it will meet with opposition from local residents.

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Your way forward is Sedgeley Park and supporters run club, surely the kidds have full responsibility for running up the debt and not the fans, ditch them for their disingenuous mess and try to negotiate a debt free restart even if it means a drop down with us as a consequence, I truly hope the Lions survive and love going to the park!

 

You have a very good point in terms of the debt, in the circumstance that the Trust does take over the running of the club.  Would it be realistic for supporters to be inspired to go the extra mile, do things on a matchday to help reduce overheads and run fundraisers etc, if the end result is to pay off historic debts run up by the Kidds previously running the club in stealth mode?  Personally I think not.  If the focus was instead on securing a better future for the club, it would be a very different matter.

 

Plus, pragmatically speaking, given - the likely scale of the playing budget if the Trust took control, the ongoing uncertainty and present status of the squad, plus the possible number of relegation slots next season (the latter being dependent on the RFL finally specifying what it is going to do in terms of restructuring the leagues) - Ian Watson will have to be a miracle worker to avoid the drop happening anyway.

 

Another sticky area if the home venue is to be Park Lane is the question of minimum standards.  Whilst the Trust was not party to whatever negotiations took place, the indications from John Kidd in 2011 were that the RFL would not allow Championship level rugby to be played at Park Lane without there being significant investment (a figure in the region of £60k was mentioned if I remember rightly).  That was part of the reasoning given to the fans for the move to the LSV.

 

However! There is simply no getting away from the bottom line that in order for Swinton Lions to get anywhere near its full potential ever again requires a new ground in the Swinton area.  Playing at Park Lane would provide a relatively low cost venue and in the short term could be the right move as a means of survival, but it can never be a receipe to grow Swinton Lions. It would be a case of the Lions surviving on a gradually eroding hardcore of support.  The fact Park Lane is outside the City Boundaries has major implications for aspects such as funding for community work and suchlike.

 

I would love to believe that bringing a new ground into being in M27 (especially as central as the suggested site at the former St Ambrose Barlow High School) could be achieveable through voluntary efforts, but in truth that is unlikely so long as the Council takes its existing stance of not being prepared to put any cash into the facilitation.  Consequently my feeling is that the Koukash interest has to be the way to go, provided a deal can be done that gives the right basis for subsequent progress to be actually delivered on.  My gut feeling is that Dr Koukash has pretty sound judgement of the conditions he needs as a starting point and those are the things presently being worked on.

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I am a Salford fan but have lived in Swinton pretty much all my life and played rugby in the area just as long. It was a crying shame for Swinton when they lost Station Road and i truly feel for you all in what you have had to endure the past 20 years.

 

As a town Swinton is slowly but surely going down hill and i say this as a resident and not from a sporting point. I think it will be met with a lot of resistance from the locals in that area but it would, for Swinton rugby be a great place to have the satdium and to have the team back in the area. It will no doubt having a big economic impact on the area as well, particular is the Dr. thows his money at Swinton nas he is doing so with Salford.

 

Good Luck to you all and i hope that the Dr. does get his way with Salford council and this gets the nod.

 

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Honestly and truthfully I can't see Ambrose Barlow as a good site

Id hate a stadium in my back yard.

Someone suggested Moorside school too which I find even more unrealistic

I find it hard to believe that Agecroft is out due to its size and Ambrose is bigger?

I couldn't go on Monday. I appreciate all the effort that people put in. It really shows what is possible when backs are against the wall

Im sure I'm not alone in hoping for something concrete in the very near future.

 

Some resisitance from some local residents is inevitable whichever location is chosen.  Its a balance and the key is to win the argument that the development will bring an overall net benefit.

 

The Agecroft site is owned by the Prison Service and leased to the Council, whereas the Ambrose Barlow site is 100% in Local Authority ownership.  Straight away that gives the Ambrose Barlow site an edge.

 

If the stadium design incorporates provision of facilities for community benefit 7-days-a-week, some of those benefits may have a positive impact for local residents and businesses alike.  The council itself would firmly fall into the category of a local business - I would imagine a stadium with the capability to host large scale meetings and conferences right on its doorstep would be highly useful to it.  The positive impact for community uses could only be enhanced by having a town centre location that is so easily accessible - something Barton has not delivered on as its too remote for the majority of the City's residents (especially from the perspective of the younger generations).

 

Plus on a matchday the Ambrose Barlow site has the benefit of bringing large numbers of people into the pre-existing commercial centre.

 

I suspect that the overall development of the Ambrose Barlow land will include that of the old school buildings.  Admittedly they are seperated from the playing fields, but nevertheless if something could be put on the footprint of the old buildings to raise revenue (most likely residential) it could be an important part of the overall scheme's viability - scope for that simply doesn't exist at Agecroft without there being additional land put into the equation.

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Phil H you need to get on board with the trust. Everyone is doing such a good job and you can offer so much.

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Phil H you need to get on board with the trust. Everyone is doing such a good job and you can offer so much.

yes I agree! Personal differences should be set aside,Phils input would be beneficial.

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