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25/10/2019 11:15 AM  #1


Supporters Open Meeting 23rd October 2019

Ilkeston Town Supporters Group Open Meeting
Mark Clifford
– Mark introduced himself and pointed out the new badge/logo and said he was to talk about the club, the future and the changing times. He introduced his backers Dave and Andrew and Head of ITFC Juniors Mark Frost.
Mark C said he took the job as Head Coach in August and had never regetted it. He told us Andy and Dave watched the game against Cleethorpes Town the first game of the season and that they are Planning Consultants and that they do not need to make money out of Ilkeston Town. He said that Dave has led the negotiations with Alan Hardy although Mark C is 100% the owner with Andy and Dave being his financial backers.
Mark told us that there will no full-time staff employed by the club barring Mike and Kelly Pike. He said there is to be partnership with ITFC Juniors and that the players will now meet and socialise in the main bar after the game to meet the fans.
Mark said he had meetings with Academy providers and was looking to build a bridge between the Juniors and the First Team and will be looking to develop talent that can go on to play in the first team.
He told us there was to be a committee with fan representation.
 
We then were invited to watch a professionally video showing what the plans are for the New Manor Ground.
 
Dave– Dave Introduced himself as a football fan and said both him and Andy were Forest fans. He said his Mum lives just five minutes from the NMG and it had always been his dream to be involved with ITFC as he has watched them many times over the years. He reassured that he was not here for the short term but his financial input was a long term project. He told us the development particularly the office spaces and industrial units will generate income for the football club. There is to be a 4G pitch, bigger car park situated behind the clocktower end. The income from the new facilities should generate £500K income per annum. This will help the club continue to climb the pyramid with aim being the National League. Dave told us that Andy would be in charge of logistics. He then introduced Mark Frost who was boing tasked with unpicking the present financial position.
 
Mark Frost– Mark told us he has been asked to look at the current situation. He said the Junior section at the club along with Stanton Ilkeston and West Hallam was one the strongest in the East  Midlands. He praised Mark C, Andy and Dave as people who will action things and added that as a town we need to support the development. He said the key for him was transparency and they had delivered everything they had promised so far. He added that Kelly Pike would be developing the Bar side of the operation. He stressed it was a community project and we must back it.
 
Mark Clifford– Mark C  said they would not over commit themselves and would aim to sort out the behind the scenes issues first. He reiterated that it is a long-term project not a quick fix and would not be pumping lots of money into the first team initially and they would focus more on the football side as they move forward.
 
Dave– Dave gave his thanks to Mike and Kelly Pike and Mark Frost for the work they have done so far. He said they want to create an inheritance and a brand, and this was the idea behind the new badge. He said there would be more on the website soon. 
He then gave us an update on the situation he had inherited. He stressed that previous CEO and COOs Nick Hawkins and Anthony Redwod were not guilty of any wrong doing and both had one hand tied behind their backs. He told us Nick Hawkins did not have enough money to pay the bills and he was not backed by Alan Hardy. He confirmed they had paid £250K to buy Ilkeston Town Football Club which they were led to believe was debt free. The money they have paid for the club has gone to two of Alan Hardy’s companies with £25K to settle any debts that come to light.  Those debts are £117K so far and they are pursuing Alan Hardy over this matter. He confirmed that kit supplier Kappa had not been paid and there were people not being paid by Alan Hardy. He said there was £23K currently unaccounted for that the juniors had paid for football kits. He stressed it was unfair to use Nick Hawkins and Anthony Redwood as scapegoats for the financial problems. He said without action being taken the club would not have reached Christmas as Kappa would have started winding up procedures.
 
Mark Clifford– Addressed the audience stating that he wanted to hold regular meetings and invited people to ask questions.
 
Are the council on boards and when will the developments happen?
Dave-There is no issue with just replacing what’s already there but issues with new car park, which may be encroaching on to green belt land. Current lease ends in 18 months but they have been offered a 25 year lease by Erewash Borough Council although would prefer 99 year lease or the freehold. It will be better and more profitable financially for EBC to give go ahead for the plans as it will generate revenue for the EBC. Dave has met the Chief Executive of EBC. Dave added from a planning point of view the developments would not be quick.
The 4G pitch has been ordered and will be installed at the end of this season. The club is funding the pitch itself rather than jump through the FA “hoops”. The 4G pitch should generate £120K a year. The developments at either end of the ground will start the following season and the floodlights are being changed to LED lights to cut down on electricity bills.
 
Will the perimeter fencing be replaced?
Dave –The fencing will be replaced when the new pitch is installed but the club may consider installing LED advertising boards which are financially more economic in the long term as they will generate more advertising revenue. Dave then said how he wanted his sons to be able to one day play at the NMG.
 
Mark Clifford– Mark stated that the club had been in negotiation with Notts County to develop a relationship between the two clubs. He said players wanted to play for the club because the fan base and they were aiming for quality players to stay for the long term.
 
Will the clubhouse be made more secure?
Dave– Dave said that the CCTV will updated and enhanced once the man responsible comes back off his holiday in Portugal.
 
Mark Clifford– Mark added that Sky would be back in the clubhouse for the next home game.
 
What sort of level is the club aiming for?
Dave– Dave stated again that the club is aiming ultimately to gain promotion to the National League and when asked about expected crowds said he wanted as many as possible. He said that eventually he hoped the club would run itself.
 
Mark Clifford– Mark said that they wanted to provide a happy atmosphere at the NMG
 
Dave– Dave added that Nottingham Forest were rebuilding their main stand and Ilkeston would be looking to purchase seats from Forest to install down one side of the ground. Dave ended by saying that the Clocktower Stand would be used as offices for club staff and a home for the club shop as it would be the new main entrance to the ground. He said that due to the construction of the present clubhouse they would need to pull it down to rebuild as a two story building.

The meeting was attended by approximately 150 fans and was followed by the scheduled IFSG Agenda.

 

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