Reg Out? Regime Change? Or It Is Death By a 1000 Cuts

It is now clear to even the most rose tinted of Imps, that the fans have voted with their feet.  Yes we have been at the manager cross-roads before and normally it happens at the end of October, but this stitch in time will need to save Bob Dorrian more than nine, with losses now set to exceed £10,000 per home game.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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After 45 largely same old signings, the managers excuses are easily countered by anyone with access to Google and half an inkling to seek.  There being perhaps the biggest problem, as far too many are past caring, with frustration turning to blind alley anger and subsequently apathy.  There is frustration board-wise of course.  But it is not just the fans. Full and associate directors are alarmed at events both on and off the field, but non disclosure agreements, in this instance rightly, preclude further investigation and publication on STMI’s part.

The financial events off the field are as much a reason for David Holdsworth to be given the boot as those on it.  Yet the blame game, or even collective responsibility chestnut, should not save Mr Holdsworth, as his managerial policy and second-hand car dealer policy has done as much to alienate fans as his success rate.  For Bob and the board, necessity is the mother of invention you feel, albeit with more speed and hopefully less than the usual haste.  The manager said he would never bankrupt a club, but reducing income can play as big a part as excess expenditure, to ensure the sums ultimately do not add up. A lack of funds has seen him put quantity over quality and farm players, that he has brought in,  out on loan, both last season as well as this. Plenty of managers face injuries, yet the timing of so many player ins and outs appears as open to question as the players he has signed themselves.

Depending on which spreadsheet or management process the Imps are favouring this week, the club now appears 1300-1800 short of the home game clicks required. Thus the big question is will Bob cough more cash to protect his and the Holding club vision? Or will admin take that from them sooner than he has envisaged? Most watchers agree that 2000 crowds would have seen us struggle on for maybe 15-22 months. But Saturday and Tuesday saw the crowds break through the barrier that the board had set as the minimum. Just as a government runs a fiscal deficit that it feels comfortable with, so Bob and co did the same. Yes he has made some mistakes, but the differential between the 2000 mentioned by the CEO in a pre-season Q & A and his 2800-3000 admission on Saturday, was in reality the short-fall he and the directors had envisaged having to make up. This they were undertaking in a systematic and professional manner, to their credit, behind the scenes.

The 1500 barrier suggests a disenchantment level that can no longer be masked by propaganda, yet at the same time the regime cannot be breached. It is not just the funds required to pay off the fallout of years of mismanagement, but the inclination on the part of investors to reward those at the helm with a handsome profit into the bargain. Of the £2,000,000 required to take over 51% of the club (a takeover of the holding company in its entirety), the team would see perhaps at most £500,000. Therefore the wait for administration, or perhaps even an AFC Lincoln City scenario would seem the wisest move. No one wants to buy out poor Bob, who if truth be told was actually lumbered.  He was reticent if you remember to take on the job, but wearing our objective hat: He and two mates stepped up to the plate, delivered the short-term finance needed and naturally protected his investment with a holding company.

The questions here of course is will a consortium then come forward to save the club once Bob and Co’s money runs out or can we stop the rot?  Our investigations suggest a queue(s).  Certain individuals, mindful of the publicity, ensure STMI cannot publicly name them or the parties involved at the current time.  They are also keen not to befall their predecessors’ fate on the message boards.  The desire to reward the failure of others does not appeal either.  What does is the desire to see our great club thrive and prosper under whatever options are available when the time comes.

The agonising death by a thousand cuts scenario, indeed term, was used and envisaged by more than one of the parties within our discussions. It pains them and us as fans. We have endured much and those that still do care have more to go.  For the fans and the local businesses have already shouldered most of the financial burden in reality, thanks to the folly of setting the bar too low for a ticket on the board. Pardon the pun Mr Dorrian (and Bob inherited this culture), but £50,000 and then £75,000 is chicken feed for a Football League club.  Well it is if you expect 5,000 to turn up every other week, at £16-£18 a throw.  That would surely facilitate a good income stream for any lucky recipient of any contracts awarded.  Many have questioned the player digs policy, prior to its change, plus the match-day catering decisions.

But that was hopefully then and this is now, for there is certainly no time to look back in anger.  Bob must in the short-term get the fans back – and we do come out in force to give a new manager a warm welcome. Bob cannot continue use the current loyalty ploy, for that has worn very thin, with the renaming of the 12th Imp Stadium, the Fans player scheme and the Share Save Scheme. What he can however do is get rid of the manager (that would be a bucket collection and a half) and hope that Lincoln wide pride will get behind a local hero. And we will. Grant Brown will cost us nothing extra but he needs to learn under or alongside another. Gary Simpson seems to be doing well with no money again, not too far away at Parkgate in Rotherham. Tommo is currently running a pub and not too sure about Mick. Yeo knows how to find the back of the net as does Forester, but Futch is unlikely to move from Bury.

Gary has that link with Keith Alexander that resonates and in truth found the players that the great KA built into a proud side. He has learned from KA and has a good contact book and an eye for talent that many in the game would love as it saves thousands. Bottom line – which has to be central for our beloved club) he made a lot of money for Macclesfield, who cashed in too quick and went down. King is happily spending it as they seek a quick return.

Whoever takes over the Lincoln job faces a long-term turnaround. The lucky recipient of the poisoned challis and Bob both need to buy time.  An Imp hero or legends double act,  who will get out into the community and give the lads a chance could do that.  Restore the faith – build a Bank-Bounce-Back – infect the afflicted with a massive dose of hope.  The key to their success and the cash-flow are the turnstile clicks.  We the fans would back them,  we always will.  That will buy them time. Show ambition Bob, reconnect with us and we will come.  Yes we have no money and jobs but this club means so much to us – and you from what I have been told. The answer on and off the pitch is to get the right team in.


Posted on September 6, 2012, in Financial, Manager's pearls of wisdom, Uncategorized, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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