SJP have had a difficult relationship with HFC since coming to Kingsbury. Cyrus Cooper has engaged with us and shown us his vision which is in keeping with our ethos. He wants to have a united HFC which involves the youth section, the community projects and our community groups along with the first team.
We are working together on a business plan for the next five years that enables HFC to grow and be at SJP for generations to come. There are so many that support this including Dave Bedford, Grahan Ethchell , john Creith, John Hart, (youth chairman) amongst others.
The future is better than before and is exciting.
Let me know your thoughts!
Edited by StAlbansDon at 22:25:18 on 5th December 2022
Re: The Future
I'v read this post and do not see the point of it. As a long time fan of Hendon FC ,surely we all want the best for the club and have our own opinions(some right some wrong),In my opinion the club has been run brilliantly considering the trials and tribulations of being a football nomad up to 6 years ago until we came to SJP and the stress and tears that would have been caused in those dark days would have driven a sane man to supporting Wealdstone.
Re: The Future
Claremont Road 69 is there any chance you will reveal yourself and have a meeting with me and others?
Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer any concerns you have or give you our view on how the club has been run and it’s future.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Re: The Future
It’s clear you are a fully committed HFC fan and I commend you! But SJP have spent around £40k a year to support the club through its rent free arrangement. We have also set up a youth section, a community engagement that most non league clubs would envy. If you are a majority then we are willing to go and let you take the club forward.
Re: The Future
I like to think I've had good relationships with Simon & Rob over the years, so this isn't a post backing one or the other. I like both of them for what they do for grassroots clubs. Neither is it sent to provoke a direct response, other than understand the setup/model more. It's just my viewpoint when looking in at a club I support.
If this statement is in relation to the future, and Simon's departure as Chairman, like him or not, I feel it could be better worded to acknowledge the work and dedication Simon has put into the club since the club was taken over by the trust.
I want the club to thrive and will only do so by keeping a positive environment for all volunteers and supporters, with specific and independent football and commercial plans.
From a personal point of view from the outside, on the playing side and the links into SJPs commercial interests I don't like the look of it, but I'll be happy to be proved wrong. The community side of SJP continues to look superb.
Fundamentally, are Hendon and SJP looking to be one and the same? Without knowing how the trust and ownership model fully works, is it SJP that pulls the punches or the Trust membership, or both? In the past I haven't liked the HendonYouth twitter feed being a tool to attack the chair when not being happy with something he has said. As a club we should be better than that.
In the future if Cyrus or anyone that becomes chair doesn't agree or engage with SJPs ethos does that mean the club wouldn't be welcome to remain at SJP in future years? Did Simon not want a united HFC which involved the youth sections, and community projects/groups. From a Hendon FC point of view and anyone supporting them the first team will always be the no.1 priority, wherever they play. Hopefully it remains at SJP with a dedicated group of volunteers all doing what is right for the club.
As always, where I can I'm happy to assist the club if ever needed.
Re: The Future
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
The Neville family are part of the HFC fabric and I appreciate our friendship.
The statement is not about Simon or his contribution in keeping HFC in existence. He is one of a small number that has made a significant effort that allows HFC to play today and this should be applauded. Simon and I have different management styles and see future ownership models in completely separate ways. What you can’t argue is that we both want the best for the club.
The message is about endorsing Cyrus and the huge task ahead. Taking on the challenge of not just maintaining the existence but using SJP as a springboard in going forward. Since being at SJP the club has not fully utilised all the initiatives that SJP has started. Following extensive conversations it is both the aim of the Trust board and SJP to exploit all opportunities to make the club viable and sustainable.
SJP do not have a representative on the board at HFC and We don’t see a need. HFC wants its autonomy and SJP want theirs but it is in both best interests to work together.
It is our intention to have HFC at SJP for generations to come but the alternative ownership had serious issues with our ethos and we were not prepared to fund others than the HFC fans.
SJP started the youth section, the community projects and the engagement with local residents. Cyrus you ants this to be part of the HFC future and I welcome this. Our relationship with the council and local councillors along with residents is key to the future. HFC lost Claremont Rd and we can’t let this happen again.
Whilst I am a co owner of SJP and just a custodian of HFC and it so my duty to look after a great asset. It’s not about egos or individuals it’s about HFC. In time I will move on when the time is right but hopefully HFC will be playing at SJP long after.
I hope this helps with the future.
Re: The Future
This thread is an interesting read and as a recent Trust Board Member and a Director of HFC (2008) Ltd, I will weigh in with my thoughts.
For me the measure of a football club is the success of the first team. The first team is at the hub of the wheel, the other activities and operations are the spokes which add and contribute to the overall Club.
To achieve a good team, it is necessary to provide the manager with a competitive playing budget, in the case of Hendon this means bringing-in additional money.
But how is this to be achieved, whilst being sustainable and maintaining financial stability?
1. Commercial work. Every avenue has to be explored, advertising, sponsorship, sales, naming rights. Corporate and individual.
2. Ownership. The beneficial owners, the members of the Trust, have to step up to the plate. A substantial increase on the cost of a Trust membership is required including the possibility of different levels of membership, with additional benefits for those who are able to pay more. See other supporter owned clubs.
3. Investment. Outside investment is essential and the opportunity has to be made attractive to new Directors who are prepared to put their hand in their pocket. Unpalatable as it may be to some, this will almost certainly need the Trust to relinquish a reasonable part of their ownership to external shareholders. There are several models that could be adopted, the key thing is to enable the opportunity to bring-in new money.
4. Supporters. Every person who puts their money on the turnstile is important and should be valued. An increase in paying support needs be a major target including some cultural change, everyone needs to row in the same direction. Promote the club at every opportunity, pre-match, post-match, instigate a unique DNA and branding, a tribal togetherness that is on every street corner in Brent. Build a successful team playing winning football at the top of the division with a great matchday experience and they will come.
And invest every penny and every pound that is available into the team!
In all the discussions that I was involved with - and there were many over the period - no viable alternatives to the above were put forward. I expect the new business plan to change that position.
I want to see Hendon making a challenge for the National League South in the foreseeable future with the increased profile and benefits that would bring. I shall follow with interest.
Re: The Future
Here’s my response given I can’t do much else in this weather…it’s a bit long, sorry!!!
1. I support Hendon FC & like to enjoy a match on a Saturday.. All this other stuff - Next gen, limitless Hendon youth, community work, SJP initiatives, commercials - I have zero interest in.
2. I am very happy with the way the club is run. Simon has been integral to Hendon having a football club post Claremont Road. Without his commitment and determination I doubt we would have a team to support.
gaslighting people who work tirelessly for the club, criticism in how the club is run or who has the right ownership model is all a bit unnecessary tbh.
If the relationship with SJP has been “difficult” I am confident that any decisions would always be taken in the best interests of our club & to safeguard its future.
3. Specifically on “the future”, in 2021 there was a supporter survey which should have set out a current assessment and to shape a future vision for our club.
In my opinion what we got back was essentially an advertisement for Hendon youth and an underlying message of we want young people at matches to boost crowds and we don’t really care about long standing supporters.
it was a massive missed opportunity.
4. David Bedford is trustee of SJP charitable foundation. John Creith & john hart run/own Hendon youth at SJP. I am Happy to be proved wrong but I don’t see how their support for SJP plans can be impartial given their interests?
5. Hendon have a rent-free agreement to play at SJP which runs to 2025. It suits all parties not just HFC.
This thread casts doubt on hendons future at SJP which is a great shame as I - like most supporters - have enjoyed being able to call SJP “home”.
Hendon have of course been in this position before. It’s not nice but SJP should also consider what silver jubilee park looks like without Hendon FC
From what I see SJP benefit considerably from goodwill in the Hendon FC name, the clubs brand & intellectual property is used extensively at SJP. You only have to sit in the clubhouse, boardroom or one of the stands to see that.
May be an insignificant point but having seen the demise of Kingsbury town FC following their link up with London tigers academy I am sceptical when I see SJP football academies proclaiming to be “Hendon FC reserves”.
Strictly speaking They are not. They are separate run-for-profit companies with their own directors unlike say the boreham wood Pase scheme which is linked to the main club with Danny hunter director of both.
Should Hendon pursue a different ownership model & require additional investment considering how KTFC disappeared from the non league scene quite quickly I would be very concerned if this money came from an academy for fear of history repeating itself.
7. Cost of Hendon @ SJP
Not sure how this £40k a year figure is broken down but If it is rent only then I’m guessing Vale farm & earlsmead would’ve cost less.
When the lease was signed in 2015 according to Rob & Simon the club was expected to save £25k a year.
I fully appreciate SJP would now want a return on their investment. A considerable amount has been spent on infrastructure, playing surface, clubhouse, etc but this is not solely for Hendon’s benefit and the excellent facilities are used by different groups
Given what Hendon bring to the table in my opinion they should not be paying £40k a year. .I’d expect the club to pay in that region if they were playing at stonex stadium or the Hive where the club would not be a major partner.
8. The footballing side
NA123 raises excellent points but Respectfully I would disagree with the line “To achieve a good team, it is necessary to provide the manager with a competitive playing budget, “
Money does help but I don’t think it’s a necessity. Gary worked wonders on the budget assigned to him building teams that made the play off final twice, just missing out on play offs in two seasons, various trophy wins (LSC, MSC, lge cup) consistently good runs in the FAC and players who would fight for the club.. players who could’ve been motivated by money and play at a higher level but chose not to.
I don’t believe clubs like potters bar or aveley who get smaller crowds in isthmian or hanwell or beaconsfield in our division work off higher budgets. They do however have a formula that works as their football sides are competing at the right end of the table
If they can do it there’s no reason why we cant
It comes down to player recruitment & retention. Each year a few thousand players are released by EFL clubs into National League & below and that trickles thru the non league game. It’s simply a case of finding a better calibre of player.
From the first post in this thread Rob, David & graham seem to be the key protagonists of SJP initiatives . All 3 were directors of Hendon FC (2008) for 22 years collectively
I am unclear - as directors with a say on opportunities and initiatives for the club to exploit - why they were unable to present a compelling business case for SJPs plans to be delivered or if they did the reasons why these were rejected ? Just seems strange timing to raise this as an issue now when former directors find themselves on the outside looking in.
Re: The Future
Thank you for your reply and your thoughts on the situation. SJP would be considerably better off without HFC. It costs is far more than £40k even if that saves the club less.
This forum is really good for everyone to express their feelings and we welcome that. If you feel our contribution is not what you want or you feel it’s not the future then please let us know.
Every fan who owns HFC has a say and we will listen. I want HFC to be at SJP for generations to come but if the fans don’t want that I will deal with the consequences and we will move our separate ways.
HFC Youth will have a home and the community projects are assured. isn’t it time the main club had stability?
I find it strange that people still pick fault with their landlord.that do so much. Don’t you remember what it was like as nomads?
The HFC AGM was a good platform to express any dissatisfaction of the current situation which wasn’t raised.
Please feel free to message me directly on
So far we have only those against SJP and as a democracy we accept that.
Please give your views!
Re: The Future
in my previous post Ive not picked fault with SJP at all as landlords, not said I’m against SJP nor have I said I want Hendon to leave SJP - far from it.
I have merely set out some of my concerns going forward.
Phill Neville has raised a number of valid questions as is my question as to why SJP plans could not have been delivered at the time you were all club directors. You also keep referring to this £40k figure without any context.
Asking for views and not responding to them makes the situation worse. It would be reassuring if SJP were open and honest on these points & their plans and this forum is probably the right place rather than email exchange.
You mention Hendon not having stability but their most 2021 accounts show they have £85k which puts the club on a more sound financial footing than most
Finally imo saying “SJP would be “considerably better off” without HFC” is a bit disingenuous
As an example You mention Hendon youth but If Hendon FC are not at SJP,I would be concerned that HFC youth could not use the HFC brand & would be unable to use the clubs IP such as the crest/emblem etc as presumably these are protected under trademark/copyright.
Re: The Future
As a recent Trust Board Member myself who was involved in countless meetings with the main theme being "The Future", I feel I have some useful knowledge to share as an ex-Board Member and as someone who will be there to see Hendon in the future (touch wood).
The club in its current state is not sustainable, not through the fault of anyone whatsoever; it's all to do with the current climate of football.
Football is only getting more expensive in all aspects. The budgets needed to get promoted at this level 10 years ago would just about get you out of a relegation battle at the same level. Currently, the club relies on donations, gate receipts (very little of it anyway), commercial deals, and competition funds (ie FA Cup). As such, the need for further investment is crucial not only for the success of the club but the sheer survival. It was why I and other Board Members proposed the Alternative Ownership Structure (AOS). This would be a structure that would help introduce more money into the club and allow fans to still have a huge chunk of the club to themselves. However, in my opinion, it felt that the idea was very quickly talked down with assumptions already made before we could even explain our side. SJP was the first to be against the idea as far as to say they would disassociate with the club if we chose this route.
Too keep it short, Whilst both entities want what's best for the club, how we go about that will always be a never-ending battle. I respect and appreciate all the work both HFC AND SJP have done to keep things going but for me, HFC 2008 and the Supporters Trust should have the final and only say in matters relating to the club.
Happy to be challenged or questioned on any of the above.
Re: The Future
Jatin you are a respected person at SJP. Your experience and comments are important to the future of the club.
I also respect that you are happy to be challenged and would be delighted if we all had a debate at SJP about the future of the club.
Phil and Steve Neville are also people that SJP hold in high regard and would like their involvement in the debate.
Simon has posted an articulate version of his position and his experience on the future is important.
For those that post anonymously I can’t send you a personal invite sorry!
We all want the best for HFC and that is the priority. As an owner of the club ( paying my trust membership) we have a duty to help. Having a voice on this forum is good but are you prepared to go on the trust board? Are you willing to help with fund raising, volunteer on match days or donate?
Simon has been banging on for years that we need more people to help on the ground, even investors can’t solve that.
Let me know your thoughts
Re: The Future
Over the next three days I shall share my thoughts on increasing attendances for home fixtures at SJP.
Create a DNA, enhanced branding and a futuristic culture that will attract new and younger fans.
Create a strong strapline, for example something like… Hendon FC greater than a normal a football club………. Brent’s Finest……… Our Community, Our Excitement ……… which needs to feature heavily on all publicity, social media channels etc.
Modernise Club crest/badge.
Change status of Trust members to Owners.
Publish Project 500 Vision, with commitment to the plan
Devise a Mission Statement for Project 500 – reflecting tribal togetherness, community, enjoyment, passion, inclusiveness…………. win, lose or draw.
Aim in the same direction, consistent message
Promotion to National League South…….. would add to attendances and income. Plus community grants from NL Trust.
Consider a unique sustainable/green/eco agenda.
Best possible manager and first team squad
Ensure an attractive and forward thinking playing style.
Midweek night games on Mondays?
Reciprocal Media agreement with league club
........... more to follow tomorrow. Comments welcome in the meantime.
Re: The Future
Pre-Match engage with all potential fans in the following ways:
Annual Fixture cards
Message/voucher in free/online newspapers
Weekly chairmans message
Preview game and publish on website and link to all social media channels.
Club App with notifications
Student season ticket
Future supporters....... next generation season ticket
Combine season ticket with Trust membership
£99 early bird season ticket
Club memberships. Adult, Junior…….. enabling discounts etc. Free to Brent residents.
Link with celebrity supporter?
U12 supporters group/club
More tomorrow, including the match day experience and post match!
Re: The Future
Meet & Greet
Package deal, ie entrance, pint, programme and meal deal.
Tannoy…….. announcements to include match sponsors, matchball sponsors, birthdays etc
Highlights of past games to be shown on clubhouse TV
Teamsheet to be shown on clubhouse TV
Fan zone and Outside bar/drinking area
Improve club shop – walk-in megastore cabin?
Youth team drinks/snacks/sweets separate cabin
Improve food choices, for example veggie and vegan……..and quality……. wraps, protein bars etc.
Separate barista style coffee wagon
Excellent on-the-pitch performance.
Match report/review on website etc
HFCTV Interview with manager
HFCTV Interview with player for publication in the days following
HFCTV match snippets on social media in the days following
Daily next match promotions on social media
Regular individual player pictures/profiles/goalscoring etc on social media, with link to their sponsors
Man of the Match
Goal of the Month
All of the above and the foregoing arise from a standard model for increasing attendances and revenue.
Feedback and comments welcome.
Re: The Future
The Gospel According to John.
Verse 35 !!!
Re: The Future
I'm reminded of why I got out of advertising when the prospect of "advancing" from, "Here's £100,000 to advertise Queen's tour this summer. Spend it!" to "Write something catchy to sell these heroin-laced kiddies' lollipops our client is launching" hoved into view.
Yeah, I nicked that from Bill Hicks (pbuh) - search YouTube for his "advertising & marketing."
I'm getting old... Or turning into James Corden. I never nick other people's material.
Anyhoo, I never spoke to either Nick or any of the other newbies in Peter Marsden's reign when I was helping out at That Mob In Ruislip.
The groundworks volunteer team, several of whom made significant contributions to the "edgy" atmosphere for which games involving That Mob In Ruislip were known, viewed Nick less positively than they did any of the other newbies in and around the boardroom.
I just popped in here for a quick butcher's.
I might respond with an entertaining and offensive rant a bit later.
If I don't get banned first.
Re: The Future
As a former member of the Trust board, former member of the Supporters Association and a lifelong Hendon fan I have had some involvement.
Mickey is correct. We have loads of ideas. Some are better than others but each idea could develop. Hendon FC desperately needs new ideas. It also needs to utilise these ideas. That said, the club needs to let those who know how to do things to get on with them. Part of the problem has been certain influences and interference. You don't tell an expert how to do their job.
Volunteers / Expertise
There are a small bunch of volunteers who keep the club going. I was one. We have supporters at the club with backgrounds in marketing, advertising, promotion, running businesses, finance and much more. I know because I have spoken to them. The club does not engage with them. The sole focus of the club for years has been getting money in. There is far more to running a club than money. The people I spoke to would have been willing to get involved to help.
I disagree with investment into the club. Whilst there are various ownership models, one that diminishes the share of fans, who have owned the club for a decade would be unacceptable, imho. The sole focus of the club should be getting people through the gate. That is how you sustain a football club. A fan buys a ticket, a scarf, golden goal tickets, pints, burger, etc. It is not just about the entry fee. It is not difficult to get people to games in all honesty. A little vision and some commitment. The Facebook group that Chris Hutton and I set up brought at least 7 former fans regularly back to games, within 2 months. I suspect the overall impact was greater than that.
It is easy to criticise the board or one of the various entities at the club. They have had to make difficult decisions. It is easy to sit at distance sniping. Get involved. Make change. Steer it the way it should be steered. I have spoken to people who slated the board but offered no alternative Some decisions have been 50/50 on what way they could have gone. Some have been quite obviously not the best option. Hopefully the club learns and uses the experience to be better.
One example: On Saturday 24th March 2018 we were scheduled to play Billericay at home in the league. They were running away with the league and we were having a great season. It was an opportunity to have a massive crowd. The club did not promote the match because 'The game will sell itself'. That was the wrong decision.
For a number of reasons we have lost fans. Some of whom were foot soldiers. The club cannot afford to lose those who give up their time. There was sometimes an attitude of people being taken for granted. Some long term supporters are now actively involved in other clubs or have just stepped away. That help could have been used at Hendon. If the club cannot keep volunteers then it is harder to recruit more. The politics has also been a big factor. Too many egos in one little club.
There are a lot of opinions at the club. Sadly that has divided into a number of factions. Opinions are great but can also be polarising. It would have been nice if we all wanted the same thing. There is too much division. A club as small as Hendon should been unified in securing a future.
The club needs to engage with it's supporters. Find those with the skills we so desperately need. Simply talking to people is how to achieve it. Questionnaires are limited as the responses are limited. Talking allows one to change direction or tact. I know. I have done it.
Some willing souls to form a separate unofficial entity (so it is free of any constitutional rules and regulations) (perhaps call it Street Team) and allow the experts free rein to get on with what they do. No club or group intereference. Incentivize those who help with discounts, free ticket, etc.
Promote the club in a positive light. The doom and gloom approach has cost the club significant money. People will not invest in a dying entity. I know. I have spoken to various people about this.
Focus on getting people through the gate. It is simple and free to do. Increased crowds are the only way to sustain the club.
Set up a travel club. Get fans travelling to away games together by car or train. Travelling together should get more fans to away games. Increased crowds home and away will attract people.
Methods of communication. Newsletters are great. An app for the club would be great. One Hendon fan runs a marketing company. He can create an app and may be able to do something on price. He has already approached someone at the club but it did not go anywhere. The quality of their work is excellent. They have a number of banks as clients. He also creates some incredibly good marketing material.
A new range of merchandise. These can be themed. I have so many theme ideas. People will only buy one green polo shirt but they may also buy a red, dark blue, white, etc. Different t shirts for each season.
Host events at SJP. Rob is very accommodating and they can be mutually beneficial. There are sidelines that can be run at each one. Comedy nights, gigs, race nights, meet the celeb, magic nights. Tony and I have a friend who is a full time professional magician. There are so many options. The club could make £1k++ from one night. Ten events in a year = £10k++.
Just my thoughts. We can get 100 posts and 100 opinions. Change is what matters.
Edited by JohnnyRice at 23:47:58 on 26th December 2022
Edited by JohnnyRice at 23:48:13 on 26th December 2022
Edited by JohnnyRice at 23:59:38 on 26th December 2022
Edited by JohnnyRice at 00:15:34 on 27th December 2022
Edited by JohnnyRice at 09:20:34 on 27th December 2022
Re: The Future
Hendon, like most local non-league clubs, are not short of ideas. Most can trot out a list similar to NA23's.
The underlying shortage is with volunteers to implement the numerous ideas.
Many of the ideas would undoubtedly be effective. In truth, most really successful clubs tend to have a wealthy backer who is happy to spend some (a lot) of his money on 'his' club. Most supporters are happy for someone else to fund their hobby. The other obvious alternative is a lucrative cup run which can set up a club for a few seasons.
What would be a very positive and good starting point would be a few ideas from NA23, or anyone else, on how to attract Volunteers to Hendon FC and other non-league clubs, even if only to relieve Chairmen & committee members from the day to day work involved in running a club at this level.
The average age of supporters at this level is probably 55+, many of whom don't want to get involved beyond going to watch a game of football.
Now, what's the answer ?
Re: The Future
Please don't fiddle with the club badge, or suggest we change our colours/strip. I think we have been down this particular route before. The programme is currently one of the best if not the best in the league.
Re: The Future
I'm going to start with a post that isn't going to say anything that's either particularly offensive or especially controversial.
Most sports now have a cabal of marketing men & spin doctors hovering around them, pitching "rebranding" as a way of increasing profile, media coverage... and, obviously, revenue.
I have to say, the all singin', all dancin', boater-flipping, cane-twirling huckster Lyle Lanley, in the "Marge versus the Monorail" episode of "The Simpsons", springs to mind when these people spin their spiel.
The other thing that springs to mind is the endless series of soap operas in Private Eye that follow the misfortunes of various local authorities that were persuaded by soothsayers to launch their own large scale energy, construction, etc. schemes...with predictably disastrous results... & predictably generous golden handshakes for the incompetent council officials who were bilked into approving the ideas.
One personal point before I go on.
When Swaziland changed its name to Eswatini a few years back, because people kept mixing it up with Switzerland... allegedly!... I remarked to a compos mentis, 80-year-old football fan that it reminded me of West Bromwich Albion officially changing their name to "The Albion FC" about 50 years ago, because the chairman was hacked off with "WBA" and "West Brom" being used. The change didn't last long. My ancient acquaintance looked at me blankly. As have several other football fans of similar age. And I can find no trace of this on the Internet.
Am I imagining this?
Obviously there is no conclusive evidence that rebranding works. There seems to be little evidence of any description that it has any long-term, or even medium-term, benefits. Yet belief in the concept is almost universal amongst the Public Relations brigade... Who naturally make ££££ from planning & overseeing any rebranding that occurs.
I'd imagine David Ballheimer made a larger percentage of his income writing about Rugby League than from any other strings of his multi-talented bow in the years London Broncos were doing well in Super League.
Several past and present Board members can find Mr. Ballheimer's eloquence and erudition... errrmmm... "slightly irksome" - just on the odd occasion - but many people find him very entertaining and would welcome a chat on a long train journey. As Brick Top said of Gorgeous George in "Snatch": he's not exactly inconspicuous, is he? I'd be fairly confident he's had lengthy conversations with a variety of Rugby League luminaries.
Rugby League has gone for rebranding in a big way. David's personal views aren't what those keen on rebranding Hendon FC are after, but what's the general "off the record" opinion of the success or otherwise of rebranding in Rugby League as a whole? It would require a Harry Enfield caricature of a blunt Yorkshireman to openly slag it off. But what do they think in private?
Does naming your club after an animal, cuddly or otherwise, increase community engagement or attract children to games in ways that can generate income?
Saint Helens remain Saint Helens and win most of the silverware. Would "St. Helens Spiders RLFC" or "St.Helens Scally Scousers RLFC" attract more fans, sponsors and revenue?
How many traditional fans are deterred by name changes & gimmicks? Do Halifax fans resent being called the "Blue Sox", then switching to "Panthers"? Neither of those names has any connection with Halifax RLFC.
Does it work?
For genuine hard cash, of course, most people will sign any document Mephistopheles sticks under their nose.
See Uncle Rupert's initial £££££££££££ offer to set-up Super League in Europe, as he waged the "Super League War" against the establishment Down Under.
Club chairmen genuinely approved the merger of Hull FC and Hull KR, the amalgamation of the West Yorkshire clubs (Cas, Wakey & Fev, as I recall) and a similar "consolidation" in Lancashire at an EGM.
Obviously they backtracked pretty quickly when fans with pitchforks and flaming torches began to head for the castle, but the blazers were initially in favour.
The only football competition I follow remotely closely these days is the Aussie Rules AFL. Their blazers get an impressively high percentage of calls correct... For blazers at a sports governing body... In contrast to the National Rugby League galahs... Or the equivalent 13-aside drongos over here.
Aussies can go for new franchises or rebranding enthusiastically, but there are limits.
The idea that Carlton might call themselves something other than "The Blues" or ditch their "CFC" monogram as their badge wouldn't even be raised, never mind get any support. More chance of Rangers ditching their "RFC" monogram and calling themselves Glasgow Gazelles.
Similarly, Collingwood's anatomically correct avian avatar will not be turning into a musclebound, snarling mallard - sorry, I mean "magpie" - or an amusing cartoon Loony Tunes magpie like Heckle & Jeckle. Collingwood FC is seen as the equivalent of Highbury's marble halls (God knows why! Collingwood looked a craphole when I walked through it! Dags, caravans & periwinkle blue scatter cushions) but lynch mobs would form quickly.
Footscray did rebrand as "Western Bulldogs", while keeping the same kit and ground, but they're a much smaller club. They still get the lowest or 2nd lowest attendances of the Melbourne clubs, even though they won their second title fairly recently.
North Melbourne tried to ditch their identity almost entirely, rebrand themselves as an All Australian club called "The Kangaroos" and play "home" games in Tasmania and elsewhere. Didn't work. They get lower gates than Footscray.
Speaking of Highbury.... Has Arsenal's dumbing down of their badge attracted more fans who were previously put off by a Latin motto and a traditional heraldic design?
Would Whitehawk's "Brighton City" idea have boosted the club? Would it have attracted more "Right On!" ultra-style fans? (Or more of the dags, caravans & periwinkle blue scatter cushions mob from the estate?)
"Thurrock FC" didn't do Purfleet much good.
Some other non-league clubs have changed names recently. I've not paid attention to how that's gone for any of them, but I doubt it's changed anything.
I can't imagine an Irish county team in either hurling or gaelic football "rebranding" itself.
No US college football team would consider any such thing... even after "The Washington Football Team" charade.
Anyhoo, that's enough bollocks from me for now.
I might be back with something offensive later.
Edited by Not A Mong at 17:39:03 on 31st December 2022
Re: The Future
How to get and retain volunteers
Get the message out there, posters in schools, colleges, doctors and dentist surgeries, website including sign-up form, social media, twitter @nonleaguevolunteers, linkedin, local volunteer organisations, local newspapers
Appoint a volunteer coordinator reporting to each board meeting.
Create a database of current and past volunteers Hold an open day.
Identify the roles that need filling and create job descriptions
Give specific roles that fit with the person
Sell the club and the community asset.
Engage at all times, talk to them, value them, thank them,
Remind them to add their role to their CV
Reward with food and drink vouchers,
Give a volunteer of the month award,
Give a certificate of recognition at the end of the season
Stay in touch at all times, weekly e-mail, whatsapp group etc
Re: The Future
There are lots of similarities between NA and what I believe. I have many more ideas with engagement with the community, increasing local business support, development of relationships with councillors investing in local infrastructure and being a focal point of many things.
I would be more than happy with meeting up and discussing. Really pleased with all those that support our posts at matches recently. There have been some really good posts on this forum and I thank you for your input. Would you like to discuss at SJP?
Edited by StAlbansDon at 21:52:51 on 8th January 2023
Re: The Future
To expand on the volunteer idea
Keep in mind stewarding and SIA licences are popular job options, linking up with local SIA or steward agencies looking to train new staff is a good idea to save costs maybe also advertising with the local jobcentre for people looking for work experience to add to volunteers not just as stewards, club shop for sales experience, turnstiles for cash handling etc, similar to in years gone by the connection with a local uni and their media students which led to recorded games again after several years gap
As for adding it to their CV we have at least 2 fans that I know of who can give tips to professional CV updating as part of that discussion.
Some of the ideas mentioned cost money which is the crux of the clubs central issue. I won't pretend to have an answer, nor a suggestion thay hasn't been posted.
I might be in the minority that thinks an alternative ownership model has its merits because the club can't carry on relying on the gate even if we do increase and also I'd say having extra connections in business can't hurt but I do share the fears some have about the fans losing control again. Especially those, unlike myself, who are still regular attendees.
Last thing. We won't all agree on the right way to move forward 100%, or the right way to promote the club to more fans or what will attract and retain them, or the volunteers &etc. All it takes is a solid common ground. We already have one thing which is the club celebrating 200 years, preferably at SJP and with our decendants and many others in the stands to do so (also we will win the champions league thay year)
The Future - a response
It has been interesting to see all the great ideas many of you have shared for our club. We as a Trust Board have collated all of them and discussed them at the last meeting. Obviously we would want to action the majority of them, but as a few of you have already mentioned, we are sadly lacking in resources. You may be aware we are still struggling to get a physio for the first team!
We will be running some Zoom meetings in March to discuss some of these ideas with you, as well as how we can implement them. For those not confident with technology we will also be arranging a meeting at SJP. We want to see if there is just interest in making these happen, or real commitment. The club belongs to all of us and we need a few more willing people to assist in implementing some of these ideas.
Thank you to everyone who contributed.