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Widnes problems

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4 hours ago, Dave T said:

That is a risk, but you'd like to think that would be too controversial.

Widnes was the last RL team to switch from being a members club with an elected committee, to a limited company. There's a long history of local councillors being on the committee running the club. Halton council offered to the RFL to take a stake in the Vikings the last time the club's board of directors suddenly discovered that all the money had disappeared overnight. I doubt there's many local councils quite so supportive of RL. No chance the council will do anything to the stadium. Apart from anything else, it's about the only nice looking modern building in the town...

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2 minutes ago, Moove said:

 All they've actually managed to pull off is a game at Hull KR.

And Newcastle and London.

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1 minute ago, JonM said:

And Newcastle and London.

Neither of which were anything to do with the original post I was being quoted on and the point which was being made.

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23 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

I think they did and I’m certain that it was back to two points when they did. 

Thanks Oliver.

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4 hours ago, Moove said:

I wasn't arguing with anyone in the post you've quoted. I simply commented that Toronto came out saying they were going to be taking games around some fashionable areas of Europe as part of their approach to selling the game (including Copenhagen). All they've actually managed to pull off is a game at Hull KR.

A very fair point. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no attempt to host a game in Copenhagen. It is actually a shame, as festivals and events attract huge crowds and there is no top class sport. But, it is not so much that it has failed as not been attempted. 


"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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£15,000 had been reportedly raised so far and the Widnes Twitter page is very much on a fundraising push. Players seem to be manning the phones.

I'm concerned about this. We've seen it before. £500,000 was raised in 2012 to "save Bradford". Former players sold medals in the process.

Yet no-one knows where that money went. I worry that the same may happen here.

I worry that the commitment of fans, who pour hundreds, maybe thousands into following their team anyway per year , is being taken advantage of.

And for what? To cover financial mismanagement of others, who emerge unscathed. Many of these individuals still remain in the game. Some even get better jobs. Some even become leaders in the sport.

I hope I'm wrong. I really do. But I've seen it before. Widnes fans were told 10 months ago by James Rule that they were debt free. Now they're staring into the abyss and are being asked to dig into their pockets.

And the average rugby league fan doesn't have deep pockets. Yet the love of their club and the sport means they do it anyway.

Nobody knows where this money is going. Widnes certainly aren't telling the fans.

The fans get nothing in return either. No influence. No assurance or way of holding any new board to account. Money given in good faith to people who have no right to it.

It's disgraceful and emotionally manipulative. This is why we need supporters associations to organise themselves again. To exert influence, to hold secretive shysters to account.

The Widnes fans now have the chance to reset, coordinate and privately fundraise rather than pour it unconditionally into a failing business. I hope they take it.

Edited by Chris22
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23 minutes ago, Chris22 said:

£15,000 had been reportedly raised so far and the Widnes Twitter page is very much on a fundraising push. Players seem to be manning the phones.

I'm concerned about this. We've seen it before. £500,000 was raised in 2012 to "save Bradford". Former players sold medals in the process.

Yet no-one knows where that money went. I worry that the same may happen here.

I worry that the commitment of fans, who pour hundreds, maybe thousands into following their team anyway per year , is being taken advantage of.

And for what? To cover financial mismanagement of others, who emerge unscathed. Many of these individuals still remain in the game. Some even get better jobs. Some even become leaders in the sport.

I hope I'm wrong. I really do. But I've seen it before. Widnes fans were told 10 months ago by James Rule that they were debt free. Now they're staring into the abyss and are being asked to dig into their pockets.

And the average rugby league fan doesn't have deep pockets. Yet the love of their club and the sport means they do it anyway.

Nobody knows where this money is going. Widnes certainly aren't telling the fans.

The fans get nothing in return either. No influence. No assurance or way of holding any new board to account. Money given in good faith to people who have no right to it.

It's disgraceful and emotionally manipulative. This is why we need supporters associations to organise themselves again. To exert influence, to hold secretive shysters to account.

The Widnes fans now have the chance to reset, coordinate and privately fundraise rather than pour it unconditionally into a failing business. I hope they take it.

The fans should demand a place on the board in return for the money raised, that way it didn’t go missing like it did at Bradford.

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7 hours ago, Chris22 said:

£15,000 had been reportedly raised so far and the Widnes Twitter page is very much on a fundraising push. Players seem to be manning the phones.

I'm concerned about this. We've seen it before. £500,000 was raised in 2012 to "save Bradford". Former players sold medals in the process.

Yet no-one knows where that money went. I worry that the same may happen here.

I worry that the commitment of fans, who pour hundreds, maybe thousands into following their team anyway per year , is being taken advantage of.

And for what? To cover financial mismanagement of others, who emerge unscathed. Many of these individuals still remain in the game. Some even get better jobs. Some even become leaders in the sport.

I hope I'm wrong. I really do. But I've seen it before. Widnes fans were told 10 months ago by James Rule that they were debt free. Now they're staring into the abyss and are being asked to dig into their pockets.

And the average rugby league fan doesn't have deep pockets. Yet the love of their club and the sport means they do it anyway.

Nobody knows where this money is going. Widnes certainly aren't telling the fans.

The fans get nothing in return either. No influence. No assurance or way of holding any new board to account. Money given in good faith to people who have no right to it.

It's disgraceful and emotionally manipulative. This is why we need supporters associations to organise themselves again. To exert influence, to hold secretive shysters to account.

The Widnes fans now have the chance to reset, coordinate and privately fundraise rather than pour it unconditionally into a failing business. I hope they take it.

VIQI, an independent fundraising organisation that has supported Widnes Vikings for almost 20 years has stepped forward to help coordinate fundraising efforts to save the club. Supporters can donate and sign up to become members of the association at www.viqi.co.uk

As an independent organisation with its own bank account, all money donated is securely ringfenced by VIQI and will not be put at risk by the club’s current administration challenges. Money donated will be used to help take the club out of administration, if possible, or to support the continuation of professional rugby league in our town.

Supporters can continue to donate through the crowd funder which had been set up by supporter Bethany Pennington. With every day counting, supporters are encouraged to donate as soon as possible and to give as generously as possible.

Vikings Supporters are encouraged to sign up become a VIQI Members. This can help provide sustainable and reliable income to support Widnes Vikings. This will help VIQI to demonstrate to potential investors that Widnes Vikings can become a sustainable club, which has the full backing of its supporters.  

If VIQI can generate 1000-1500 members, contributing £15 per month, they will collectively generate between £180,000 to £270,000 per year for the club. This would help attract further investment and see Widnes Vikings’ supporters likely become the primary investors in their team.

Throughout Widnes Vikings’ Championship and Super League history, VIQI members have collectively raised almost £200,000 for the club, helping to sign almost 40 first team players and invest in the club’s youth system. From our first signing, Martin Crompton, through to the likes of Corey Thompson, VIQI have consistently supported the progress of Widnes Vikings and assisted the club at times of need.

Jason Shaw, Founder of VIQI, says: “At this time of financial uncertainty for the club, we would like to step forward to help lead and protect the fundraising efforts to save Widnes Vikings. Whilst all of us are hurting by the current crisis, the only thing that matters now is action. A united effort from our supporters and backers of the club can help save our historic team.

We encourage supporters and members of the rugby league community to donate to the crowd funder as generously as possible. We also hope that our supporters will sign up to become VIQI members to demonstrate to potential investors that the club has the support of its community and ongoing revenue. Securing a thousand or more members by Wednesday 27th February at £15 a month is essential in demonstrating the local passion for the club and its sustainability.

Supporters are encouraged to share the www.viqi.co.uk website as far and wide as possible.

As an independent organisation, with a long heritage of supporting Widnes Vikings in times of need, we hope that we can be a trusted partner for supporters. With our own bank account, we will safeguard the money raised and ensure that it is used appropriately to assist the long-term future of this club.

Our immediate priority is to help generate enough funds to make a meaningful contribution to ensure that Widnes Vikings can overcome the threat of liquidation.

Ultimately, we hope that VIQI can work to help establish an active Supporters Trust, with the aim of taking an ownership stake in the club. With representatives from across our supporter-base working together, we hope that this will create a more sustainable and transparent club, that we all have a stake in. Given the need to generate funding immediately, this plan will naturally be developed at a later stage.”

 

 

the money rasied by VIQI is not given directly to the club, so is secure if we do go into liquidation. 

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1 hour ago, WidnesSamatty said:

the money rasied by VIQI is not given directly to the club, so is secure if we do go into liquidation. 

This may be covered, and apologies if it is ... hopefully the club does avoid liquidation but if it doesn't, is there are a plan for the funds then? Does it support a phoenix club and/or go towards grassroots rugby in the area?


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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I genuinely wish the club all the best, but I don't like the official club Twitter campaigning for these 'independent' funds.

It has stopped me donating to be honest.

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Instead of this fundraising which is for the right reasons, simply  buy season tickets or is that too simple. 

Edited by ELBOWSEYE
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21 hours ago, Angelic Cynic said:

   Parky,        You are the one who has argued against clubs being dependent on a sole,rich benefactor.Your first paragraph above suggests it is difficult.Then you hope for a wealthy backer to the M62 giant club,the former Cup winners and World Club Champions,Widnes.

I can post my thoughts clearly enough without them being altered thank you. My point has always been consistent that if you find a wealthy backer in New York and he ships 30 players from here – let’s say all the Widnes squad, over there, it does not expand the game only the number of miles travelled. It will kill Widnes as a club and an RL town, and it will be one more nail in the TV deal and the game. People over here (albeit not 30 dreamers on this website) want the reality of Saints.v.Leeds not New York.v.Boston?.

Instead of sniping at me at every turn, why not set out your vision for the future and the growth of the game and explain to me how it will work?. Tell me where the players will come from to go play 200 miles away let alone 3,000, because if Widnes go there won’t be much Rugby League played there after their club has been stripped of it’s players and replaced by a New York?. The kids in New York won’t be playing RL either.

Once you’ve got half of the English clubs thrown out tell me which way the TV audience will go?. Then tell me whether SKY will even bother if their traditional English audience is fed a diet of a phoney baloney league full of clubs who pushed their own clubs out of Superleague and off the Telly?.

As I have always said the TV deal is not enough to support a 12 club SL. It needs rich backers as well, and those like Moran, Pearson, Lenegan Davey etc  are immensely valuable to our game s their investment supports the development of quality players and the obtaining of a Paying TV deal . Dreamers like Kooks in Liverpool and Wilby in New York are a waste of time. If a £££££Trillionaire came along and said “I want to open a Superleague club in Honolulu” would you back that?. If you would explain to me the reality side of that idea some on here would lap up, explain the actual hard yards of developing players and finding TV deals in Hawai, rather than leaching off our game?

I've waited two and a half years for the actual details of the world league idea, and everyone backs right off when I ask them directly, so it's now your chance to make the actual real life business case  which as Lenegan said has to include the development of more pro-players and the obtaining of bigger TV deals. Please don't go get a pin and plunge it in a map and say - if we don't try that place we will die...

Edited by The Parksider
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40 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

This may be covered, and apologies if it is ... hopefully the club does avoid liquidation but if it doesn't, is there are a plan for the funds then? Does it support a phoenix club and/or go towards grassroots rugby in the area?

Money donated will be used to help take the club out of administration, if possible, or to support the continuation of professional rugby league in our town.

 

I think this may answer that. I just hope we have a pro team in the town to watch. With somebody genuine in charge. 

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28 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I genuinely wish the club all the best, but I don't like the official club Twitter campaigning for these 'independent' funds.

It has stopped me donating to be honest.

Think it’s a case of all remaining employees trying to sort this mess out.

Board of Directors / Owners very conspicuous by their absence at the minute.

Obviously James Rule can’t do anything while in Witness protection. 

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On 2/21/2019 at 10:57 PM, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Most of the clubs outside the chosen few walk a financial tightrope every season. My lot were doing OK last pre season until a major sponsor went bust just before the season started. It took us all season to get things back on an even keel.

But importantly you did get back on an even keel.

I can only conclude that some clubs are way overspending, not just a little.

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10 minutes ago, Spidey said:

Think it’s a case of all remaining employees trying to sort this mess out.

Board of Directors / Owners very conspicuous by their absence at the minute.

Obviously James Rule can’t do anything while in Witness protection. 

Yeah I suppose so, it just makes me wonder are the administrators running that stuff. 

I think this should be truly independent, but I accept its probably just normal employees doing their best. I just dont think employees are independent.

Edited by Dave T
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This fundraising effort has nothing to do with Widnes Sport Ltd, the Company Steve O'Connor started after we went into Administration in 2007.

This is all being done by genuine fans of the Club, which includes Players and backroom staff. They obviously have no job if the worst happens, so they all worked 12.1/2 hours at the Club yesterday, for free!

Ex-Viking Big Wille Isa also went down and helped on the phones yesterday.

Edited by Bomb Jack
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Widnes - Cheshire's Original Glamour Club.

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Been out of ciruclation so not seen the full story.

Another sad day though when a traditional (or any) club goes to the wall and hope that worse is not to come.

Just cannot understand why this has happened 3 weeks into the season ?  Surely the club directors had trading and cash flow forecasts and attempted to cut their cloth accordingly so they could survive the season  at Championship level even if this meant offloading/releasing some of the bigger names/contracts. What has changed ?

Fans should be very careful though about raising cash and pumping it into the administration to allow the club to limp on. That cash will simply go on wages and administrators fees and could be better used in buying the assets out of administration for a new company or a voluntary arrangement and taking control. Timing is rubbish though as you cant just go for a brand new company clear of debt mid season. 

MIght be better long term if the current club folds and does not fulfill any more fixtures. The fans and any new investors can then start a new debt free and properly funded company and have the time to prepare and relaunch next season and attempt to work their way back like Bradford did.   

Maybe the Doc will revive his interest and be better received. My worry there would be that if he comes in would expect it under the "LIverpool" banner and not Widnes.

Anyway good luck to teh club and all the true fans. At the moment most clubs are just one poor season away from where you are

 

 

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2 hours ago, The Parksider said:

I can post my thoughts clearly enough without them being altered thank you. My point has always been consistent that if you find a wealthy backer in New York and he ships 30 players from here – let’s say all the Widnes squad, over there, it does not expand the game only the number of miles travelled. It will kill Widnes as a club and an RL town, and it will be one more nail in the TV deal and the game. People over here (albeit not 30 dreamers on this website) want the reality of Saints.v.Leeds not New York.v.Boston?.

Instead of sniping at me at every turn, why not set out your vision for the future and the growth of the game and explain to me how it will work?. Tell me where the players will come from to go play 200 miles away let alone 3,000, because if Widnes go there won’t be much Rugby League played there after their club has been stripped of it’s players and replaced by a New York?. The kids in New York won’t be playing RL either.

Once you’ve got half of the English clubs thrown out tell me which way the TV audience will go?. Then tell me whether SKY will even bother if their traditional English audience is fed a diet of a phoney baloney league full of clubs who pushed their own clubs out of Superleague and off the Telly?.

As I have always said the TV deal is not enough to support a 12 club SL. It needs rich backers as well, and those like Moran, Pearson, Lenegan Davey etc  are immensely valuable to our game s their investment supports the development of quality players and the obtaining of a Paying TV deal . Dreamers like Kooks in Liverpool and Wilby in New York are a waste of time. If a £££££Trillionaire came along and said “I want to open a Superleague club in Honolulu” would you back that?. If you would explain to me the reality side of that idea some on here would lap up, explain the actual hard yards of developing players and finding TV deals in Hawai, rather than leaching off our game?

I've waited two and a half years for the actual details of the world league idea, and everyone backs right off when I ask them directly, so it's now your chance to make the actual real life business case  which as Lenegan said has to include the development of more pro-players and the obtaining of bigger TV deals. Please don't go get a pin and plunge it in a map and say - if we don't try that place we will die...

  Parky,

            I do not think I snipe at you at every turn and I apologise for giving that impression.

I haven't got half the English clubs thrown out.What has happened is that owners of the club,and those they appoint,manage to lose the clubs a considerable amount of money.None of these people ever face the courts.Even Vaughan,at Widnes,faced charges NOT directly related to matters relevant to Widnes but for matters 'around' while he was at the club.

 What do you think should happen to these recidivist heartland clubs and their financial suicides? 

 I don't think since the introduction of Sky that playing matters have improved too much - while it seems the Premier League in association football is now,apparently considered the best;even though this is where overseas players are involved.

 Since Sky came in I don't think there is any huge increase in attendances or young people playing or showing an interest in the sport.

 I don't know which way the television audience will go - but I guess it may be slightly more interested in a sport that has more appeal than six or so towns/cities running parallel to a cross country road in the north of England.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           More money goes out of the sport to administrators than goes to the grassroots.

  If there is a larger television deal it will simply all go to those clubs which are already the wealthiest.That doesn't enlarge the rugby league footprint or improve the numbers playing and attending games.

  As seen at Leigh,Salford and Widnes,the wealthy benefactors are unable to stay for any length of time,and coaches,players and supporters all suffer. There appears to be a lack of any wealthy replacements.

 The idea of an independent think tank,outside of Super League,and RFL people,but involving players and coaches,does seem a wise option as suggested by Paul McNally.  ( I suggest coaches - Paul McNally mentions certain players )                                                https://medium.com/@iampaulmcnally/the-state-of-it-part-2-rugby-league-almost-20-years-into-the-new-millennium-8b55b770abe7

  


     Born - didn't ask. Dying - didn't argue                                 

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3 hours ago, Bomb Jack said:

This fundraising effort has nothing to do with Widnes Sport Ltd, the Company Steve O'Connor started after we went into Administration in 2007.

This is all being done by genuine fans of the Club, which includes Players and backroom staff. They obviously have no job if the worst happens, so they all worked 12.1/2 hours at the Club yesterday, for free!

Ex-Viking Big Wille Isa also went down and helped on the phones yesterday.

I do get that, but by using the official club social media, that blurs the lines around independence. 

I have full sympathy with employees and fans who are the ones who get shafted by poor management.

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4 hours ago, The Future is League said:

But importantly you did get back on an even keel.

I can only conclude that some clubs are way overspending, not just a little.

Well I hope we have.

How many clubs can honestly say they haven't overspent in the recent past ? I'm not saying it's right but unfortunately a lot of these hard nosed businessmen lose the plot when it comes to rugby league.

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5 hours ago, ELBOWSEYE said:

Instead of this fundraising which is for the right reasons, simply  buy season tickets or is that too simple. 

The club has already had half a million quid or so in season ticket sales before the season started. There'll be a couple of thousand people who've paid £200 on a season ticket that will probably have got them admission to one game. One of the reasons so many people are pointing the finger at James "the club is debt-free" Rule is that clubs which go bust usually do so in the close season, not *after* they've already received a large proportion of their income for the year.  Buying a season ticket now would be utterly pointless - not going to benefit Widnes RL at all. Better to give that money to VIQI or any new club.

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28 minutes ago, JonM said:

 One of the reasons so many people are pointing the finger at James "the club is debt-free" Rule is that clubs which go bust usually do so in the close season, not *after* they've already received a large proportion of their income for the year.  Buying a season ticket now would be utterly pointless - not going to benefit Widnes RL at all. Better to give that money to VIQI or any new club.

This was similar to the last Bradford meltdown. Marc Green grabbed the season ticket money, most of it via 'early bird' deals - then put the club into Admin (later that turned into liquidation).

When Andrew Chalmers took over he felt obliged to honour those season tickets (and did so), but he had none of income - it had all disappeared with Green.

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