The papers are currently full of the current machinations in Premier League boardrooms. Liverpool are talking to Saudi investors, just days after other gentlemen from the Gulf ‘rescued’ Portsmouth. And today the Independent suggests Saudi’s could be looking to take over a further 10 clubs in the English league in the coming months.
It is easier these days to count the clubs in the Premier League who have not attracted investment from some far flung place overseas (Just 9 remain in British ownership).
Now in saying that I am not saying that ownership of a club by someone from overseas is necessarily a bad thing. The question has to be what are the motives for getting involved.
I’ve written before about my distaste for the way the Premier League is funded and how Clubs in some cases are becoming mere baubles of billionaires, this year’s ‘must have’ so I don’t want to go on about this anymore – but it is a link into what I wanted to write – somewhat tenuous perhaps.
On a relative basis money pays equally as important a role at our level. It was no accident that AFC Wimbledon, Chelmsford City and Dover dominated the past two seasons in the Ryman Premier and Dartford now appear to be treading a similar path.
I tend not to take much notice of what other clubs are supposedly paying, as interesting as it is. Our focus needs to be on what we can afford, and how we believe we can best support Gordon to have the most competitive squad we can, playing in front of ever improving facilities with a structure across the Club that enables us to progress on and off the field.
There are many aspects to how we try and derive income. Our commercial operation is a crucial part of this. Dennis Byatt, with some support from Leo Morris, has been tasked with hitting some tough targets this season, targets made all the more difficult because of the economic situation which impacts on many potential sponsors as well as individuals.
Given the challenge we must constantly look for ways to improve our commercial structure. That’s why I’m delighted to welcome Stuart Coutts onto the Board of Directors. Stuart is just the type of person we need to bring to the Club, a successful businessman with real commercial nous, someone passionate about his football with (hopefully) the time and the contacts to make a difference.
As a close friend of Quentin Fox, Stuart has been around the Club for many years and already in the past 2-3 weeks he has made a positive impression on us. His first major task is to take a good look at how we are operating commercially and make some quick recommendations about where we can improve. I am hoping this is the start of a process to give us the best commercial operation that we can have for what we can afford.
This is very important area – perhaps the most important for us and we need to get it right. I know Stuart will be happy to talk to anyone reading this who might have a view to how we can improve the way we make money. If you want to be introduced please let me know.
And, returning to the opening remarks of this post we haven’t had to travel the world to find Stuart, he lives in Pinner.