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 The Poll

Daggers change of ownership: should we...

Stay as we are (Members Club)
Go with the East Consortium
Go with the Tamplin Consortium
Look for another solution


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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"Barnet"
The ability to make your concessions policy needlessly complex and unfathomable and in the process piss off most visiting fans.

 

 

Crest

Next Match


24 November 2018
3:00pm
Bromley
Away
Vanarama National League 
 

Last Match


17 November 2018
AFC Fylde
Home
Vanarama National League 
Won 2-1


     On This Day


In 1994,The Daggers lost 0-4 to Macclesfield Town at Home in the GM Vauxhall Conference 


In 2005,The Daggers lost 0-1 to Hereford United at Home in the Nationwide Conference 


In 2011,The Daggers lost 2-3 to Southend United at Home in the NPower League Two 


In 2016,The Daggers beat York City 2-0  Away in the Vanarama National League 


 

 


The Boss

Fans Forum 9th August
by Hardy on 13/08/2018

On Thursday 9th August 2018 new Daggers manager Peter Taylor and the board faced the fans in an open furum at the club.

Fans Forum

On Thursday 9th August 2018 new Daggers manager Peter Taylor faced the fans in an open furum at the club. Also on the panel answering questions were Chairman Paul Gwinn and MD Steve Thompson, and assistant manager Terry Harris was also available for questions. There were apologies from Dave Bennett, who had family commitments.

There was a decent turnout from the fans although the room was far from full, and the atmosphere was much more conciliatory than the last couple of similar meetings. The meeting ran from 7:30pm for just over 90 minutes.

I have re-ordered questions to make more sense in the account below. If anyone feels this is not a realistic account of the questions asked and answers given, let me know and I can have a listen to the recording and correct accordingly.

Footballing questions to Peter Taylor
Why did you take the job?

Peter said that he was "at home" and available. He had been offered scouting roles, particularly by Wolves, and while he enjoys scouting, he prefers the day to day involvement in football and particularly coaching.

When Pater became aware the Dagenham job was available he came and spoke to the board. He was aware of the issues the club is facing and knew it was going to be a difficult job, and probably hoped to be at a higher level but having spoken to the club thought that it was a great challenge to build a young team on a tight budget.

He was very pleased when he got the call with the offer to take the job and is very up for the challenge it represents. Peter said that he has good contacts and the opportunity to call in some favours will help.

The questioner stated that the team so far was doing very well, getting the ball in dangerous areas. However, we are obviously short of a striker, are you looking to sign one?

Peter stated that the timing of Michael Cheek leaving bad for both us and for Ebbsfleet. He had spoken to Cheek who made it clear that he wanted to go. He stated that Cheek is a good lad and he liked him, but that there was no point in trying to keep a player that wants to go, so his view was to get what we can for him on the transfer market and sign wisely with the wages freed up.

We have a couple of trialists in at the moment and one on particular is a decent prospect to be the answer.

Peter made it clear that he is looking at the right player, rather than the first available player. If that means we don't make a signing for four weeks, but end up with the right player, so be it, He is looking for a centre forward that is good with his back to goal, and recognises that wasn't Cheek either, but feels we need someone that can link up and bring the others in to play.

On the first two games, he felt the team should have 4 points from the 2 games to date not none, but we have been punished for mistakes made. It is important that the teams heads don't go down, and looking to win on Saturday. Support from the crowd is massively important in this.

Will we be able to keep players that have been signed on short term contracts and push forward next season possibly?

Peter said that he has been very encouraged by the quality of the squad that has been built, which is better than he expected. Players are enthusiastic about the opportunity of playing first team National League football on a regular basis gives them to gain experience and on the whole are not that bothered by the money on offer.

Peter is hopeful that we have some players that prove themselves this year and if we can get some investment in we can offer them a better contract that means that they will want to stay and continue to grow as footballers. He made the point that whereas last year we had a squad of around 32 players at one point, this season it is going to be 18 or 19. That means they are all going to get a chance to show what they can do. His view is that the more you are involved, the more you will improve.

He also stated that, as an "old fart", he gets very frustrated that young players are not getting games at other clubs, this is an opportunity to get first team football in a competitive league, not U23 football or reserve football. If they end up having 30 to 40 games in the first team they will definitely improve.

Steve Thompson made the point that a lot of players are very keen for the opportunity to work under Peter Taylor and this is one of the reasons that he was the best choice for the job. Steve added that Peter has been a breath of fresh air since he arrived. Players love working with him, and the team we are building will be a credit to him and Terry.

What do you think of the standard of refereeing based on the first two games?

Peter said that he thought the one on Saturday at Boreham Wood did well, and was right to send Goodliffe off. The coaching staff had told the players about the advice being given to referees regarding those sort of challenges and particularly at the start of the season that referees would be really hot on them. It was a red, fair enough.

With regards to the referee on Tuesday, Peter was very upset at the lack of consistency on the throwing the ball away. He said that you can't not give a yellow card for a yellow card offense because the player already has a yellow card. The referee booked another player for a similar, but less obvious offence late on and that is inconsistency.

Peter made the point that the support had been great at both games so far and with a young side it is massively important that the support remains positive and doesn't start to get on the players backs if things don't go well and players make mistakes.

We have a lot of players on loan until January, have we got plans if they do well and move on?

Peter stated that he is happy with the relationship with the loaning clubs, who recognise the benefit of players playing proper football and gaining experience. If we want to keep players longer we will try to do so, also we have the option to replace if not. He also made the point that he is very much in control of who stays and who comes in.

On players, Peter made the point that he is very pleased with Liam Gordon, who is becoming a vocal character in the team and gaining in confidence and experience.

It was noted that players are talking much more on the pitch which is encouraging, and the appointment of Benn Nunn as captain is a great decision.

Peter said that communication on the pitch is being encouraged at training and is something that shows that they feel involved and confident. Benn Nunn is a frustration, had a reoccurrence of tendonitis that affected him last season. Ben is in training but is not quite right yet, hopefully not far away. He is a very good player and we need him back.

Peter made the point that he has known Terry Harris for a very long time, and that they played together in 84/85 at Chelmsford, and Terry was then his assistant at Dartford. Terry is a major part of the team that they are building. Peter also praised Jim Stannard, who has taken a pay cut but is still committed to the club and also the fitness coach and John Gowans who are excellent and committed. Peter is very pleased with his off field team.

How does the lack of experience effect the team?

Peter said that he would ideally like some more experience, but recognises that that seniority costs. We are recruiting good young ones who are happy to lead and talk instead. We need a squad of a certain depth and at one point had 6 defenders, 3 of whom were injured, therefore had to build and recruit. If experienced players mean you can't afford to do that you have to go with youth.

Will Luke Pennell be fit soon, and if he is will he get in to the team?

Peter stated that Luke is a very good centre half, but has fitness issues. He has not been able to play 30 to 40 games any season so far in his career and that is a worry. Luke may be fit enough for the bench on Saturday, but Peter has to be careful as centre half cover is short with Goodliffe suspended for the next two games.

If the whole squad was fit, do you know your best XI?

Peter relied probably not to be honest. he went on to say that we know what shape we want to play at the moment but need to be flexible. We have three outstanding quick forwards at the moment so are going with 4-3-3 to make best use of that, but can see that down the line it might make sense to go with three centre halves and wing backs in a 5-3-2.

Peter added that there are not many teams that don't have to be flexible and start off knowing exactly who fits where, and we have a completely new team to get to know so it is particularly hard. He made it clear that we will learn and that in the coming months the team will improve and he is hopeful that we will finish the season a much better unit that we are now. Having said that, he feels we have deserved more from the first two games and that is encouraging.

Defending corners. Do you have a philosophy?

Peter said that he has been very unpopular as the first priority is always to make sure that the opposition don't score from the corner so he doesn't leave players out as a rule. That being said, we have a lot of pace and will do the best to make the most of fast breaks when the opportunity occurs. We are flexible though and on occasion will change that when it is right to do so.

As an ex Spurs man, are you happy with West Ham using the ground?

Peter said that if they are paying us for the privilege, of course.

He took the opportunity to re-state that this is going to be a challenging season and that supporters should stay with the team and be positive. We are not the first team to suffer financial issues and in many cases these things can make you stronger if you can come through them.

Terry Harris was specifically asked whether we are going to take the cups seriously this season?

Terry said that the FA Cup is a major opportunity for players to have a very positive career experience as well as being an opportunity to get money in. It is vital to football clubs at our level in particular and we would never put out a weakened team in the FA Cup.

He also said that the FA Trophy is a chance for players to get to Wembley and in a short career in football, those are few and far between. Again, Terry felt clubs he had been involved in always took the competition seriously. The Essex Senior Cup he viewed as an opportunity to have a look at a few players.

Questions to Steve Thompson

Are we still talking to potential investors?

Steve stated that since January 2018 have spoken to nine or ten people or groups who have passed the first stage of demonstrating that they were able to show interest in investing in the club. Of these, a couple have gone a long way but not happened, particularly one guy based in Spain. We are still talking to two serious options and very hopeful one will get across the line.

Steve added that we are having to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince. Until the deal is signed nothing is definite.

If we don't get investment are we looking at every penny through the season?

Steve stated that funds are going to be tight. He is very grateful for volunteers helping out, but that we are looking at every penny, tightening our belt as appropriate, and looking at budgets continually. The club have not raised as much money as would be hoped yet through donations and season tickets were down a little, but the gate held up on Tuesday which is encouraging and therefore match day takings could be up if that continues.

What is the status of the club asking for donations?

Steve stated that we are short of the target for donations and are also looking at raising money in different ways. There is a Sportsmanís dinner arranged and other events like the quiz nights etc. There is lots of work being done behind the scenes, mostly being done by volunteers free of charge.

On sponsorship: West & Coe have renewed, and Steve is very grateful. A13 Steel and Blackmore are in longer term deals. Coventry University are a new sleeve sponsor, with boards going up in the ground shortly. All help is gratefully received.

A question was asked on undisclosed transfers and the Morgan Ferrier situation at Boreham Wood. As all of our transfers seem to be undisclosed, should the club let supporters know what is coming in, particularly as we are also asking for donations?

Steve explained that undisclosed fees are a norm at our level of football. He knows it is frustrating but itís a fact of life. He added that the initial bid for Michael Cheek for instance was made under the strict condition that it was confidential. As it was we managed to negotiate it up to three times the initial offer, however the terms of the transfer are still confidential.

With Ferrier, it was Boreham Wood that disclosed that the fee was £18k with an additional £5k for them making the play off final, but this was also made confidential by them originally. We do have a sell on and are waiting to hear what the deal between Boreham Wood and Walsall was.

As a follow up to this, it was stated that figure of what has been donated has not been updated.

Steve stated that this was not the case, and the figure was updated last week at the club website.

Supporters Club accounts includes a £2500 donation to West Ham, what is that about?

Steve said that was a question for the Supporters Club, as we don't run their accounts. He did however state that they did cover expenses on the night, for instance stewarding etc., and that the club was very grateful for this. It was confirmed that West Ham did not charge us anything at all, but there are expenses involved in putting on a match like that.

We haven't seen what was made out of the West Ham game?

Steve said that the accounts are at the auditors at present. but did say that the night raised a profit to the club of about £50k. He added that he was very grateful to West Ham for their help and that the money helped us survive the season.

Barnet moving to a digital programme, not a physical programme, would we consider that?

Steve said that this was discussed at a National League meeting in the summer. Barnet have decided to go digital, and he believes Boreham Wood produce a printed programme and also mail it out electronically afterwards. This is not something we are considering at the moment as we do make a small profit on the programmes over the year and Steve believes it would affect advertising revenue.

It was noted that on Tuesday there were Maidstone fans accomodated on the home terrace in the North Stand, why was that?

Steve stated that National League regulations are that we have to offer terrace accomodation to away fans if we have it for home support, or offer seating at the same cost if not.

He added that what we don't want to do is reconfigure the ground week on week.

To the suggestion that we give away fans Bury Road, however this won't work due to gates, as people just won't walk round to the Bury Road gates to get in to the North Stand (Sieve), and also those that stand on the Bury Road terrace on a regular basis will be upset.

Steve said that If we were starting from scratch the ground would not be configured as it is, but it has evolved and options are limited as a result, but it is what it is.

We have engaged with an "agent" to promote the club to potential investors. How much have we spent on this?

Steve said that the cost to us was nothing. The agent will make commission from the buyers if they introduce someone that buys. We did spend about £2,500 on promotional materials for the club last year.

Why are we in the financial position we are? Why was there not a contract to stop Hopkin pulling out?

Steve stated that the agreement was that Hopkin paid £1m for his majority shareholding and that he had fulfilled this commitment. However he then committed to further investment to fund, in particular, playing staff. This is not unusual at our level where teams are bankrolled by the owner.

Steve went on to add that you don't expect someone that has invested £1m to then pull out as he did, but he did. That left us in the financial hole we are in, as commitments he had made to the budget going forward were then unfunded.

What is Glyn Hopkin's status in the club now?

Steve stated that Glyn resigned as a director in January, but is still a major shareholder. He funded wages in April 2018, and Steve still talks to him on a fairly regular basis, but he is not involved in any way in how the football club is run now.

He is likely to be willing to give up his shareholding should the club find a new investor. The details of how that would work cannot be stated until the situation arises where we have someone willing to invest.

Why will anybody be interested in investing in the club when we are bottom half of the league?

Steve stated that a potential buyer is investing in potential. We have been a Football League club for nine seasons, and we have a designated ground. If you look at what Billericay are having to spend on the ground to bring it up to standard even for the National League it is very expensive. We have none of those issues, with enough seating, CCTV, turnstiles, floodlighting, and changing facilities etc. That is a massive opportunity.

What sell on clauses do we have in place on players transferred out?

Steve stated that we have sell on clauses in all our contracts, and that these range between 15% and 20%, but it is on the profit, not the total fee of a sale by the current club.

He added that we also put in the same clause on any sell on that the buying club get. That worked very well when Peterborough got income from Dwight Gayle moving on from Palace to Newcastle.

He stated that we "sold" our sell on options on Christian Doidge and Jodi Jones last season to fund the club to survive. This was a disappointing decision to have to make, but had the club gone under those options would have been worthless anyway.

Are West Ham using our ground this season?

Steve said that we have a three season agreement with West Ham and that it is the U23 Premier League fixtures that are played at our ground, not the Academy fixtures.

Will there be another West Ham fund raising game?

Steve said that there is nothing planned, and added that these things are very hard to organise and fit in to a busy fixture list. The U23s are committed to using the ground and they pay towards the upkeep of the pitch and a fee for the usage as part of that agreement.

Are we going to go part time next season?

Steve stated that this is not the plan, and that we are hopeful that we will remain a professional club next season if it is at all possible.

Can we advertise the club better?

Steve stated that we try to get the message out as many ways as possible. We have 30,000 twitter followers and are doing what we can to get the message out via social media.

He added that he was are picking up full season fixture posters on the Friday and also produce posters every three home games that get distributed to local pubs, clubs and shops. We have a full page ad in local papers. If anyone wants to help distribute the posters they are available in the club shop please come and grab them.

He added that we are still looking for a few more kit sponsors, and also we have the Sportsmanís dinner with Peter Taylor at the end of September. Please support all these things if you can.

Questions to Paul Gwinn

Glenn Tamplin has been tweeting and saying in interviews about D&R and how he has the info to bring us down, can we do anything about this?

Paul said that in his view this is Tamplin being Tamplin, and that he does say and do some odd things. It is unpleasant, unnecessary and untrue. He went on to say that we could chase it but better to ignore it as doing so would probably be expensive and take forever to see to a satisfactory outcome.

Questions to the panel

Can you explain the transfer process?

Steve Thompson state that there is no transfer window in the National League. The Football League can't even loan players between each other. This is an advantage to National League teams as we can take players they want to loan for experience.

Peter Taylor stated that we had signed Alex McQueen. He is a right back/wing back/holding midfielder, and very good player, ex Spurs academy, a very good footballer.

Plastic pitches. Will they ever be accepted in the Football League?

Steve Thompson said that it is all about money. League One/Two clubs won't accept it until the Championship accept it as it limits the options for promotion. Same thing for the Championship, they won't unless the Premier League does, and there is no appetite from the Premier League, who can afford to keep perfect grass pitches.

Peter Taylor added that players in general don't like them and make every excuse not to play on them. They are very good quality now, and lots of clubs have been training on them this summer as a result of the grass pitches being so hard. There is value to them, but players are just negative about them. In Holland they just get on with it, 4G is used at all levels, but over here it just isn't seen as acceptable.

If Sutton for instance get promoted we were told they would have to rip up the 4G pitch, is that the case?

Steve Thompson stated that there is a National League rule that clubs sign up to when putting in a 4G that they will take it out if they get promoted. If they do get end up in a promotion position and don't abide by this not only will they not be able to enter the Football League but they will be demoted to the National League North/South as a result and won't be allowed back to the National League until they replace the pitch with grass.


 

 

 

 

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