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Champion Hill: Proposed Ground Redevelopment

Borstal Scum

New Member
I'm a bit unsure in the club's statement when it states, " As a fan owned club DHFC could not afford the estimated costs of longer-term renovation (over £2 million) or the estimated costs of a replacement stadium compliant with the demands of the modern game (over £10 million)."

Are the words 'fan owned' inaccurate? Can we say that DHFC is a fan-owned club? DHST is now a significant shareholder, but one can be a significant shareholder with only 3% of the shares. McCormack is still the controlling shareholder, is he not? Unless a democratic fan body is the controlling shareholder, can one say that DHFC is really 'fan-owned?'
 

B.I.G

Well-Known Member
I'm a bit unsure in the club's statement when it states, " As a fan owned club DHFC could not afford the estimated costs of longer-term renovation (over £2 million) or the estimated costs of a replacement stadium compliant with the demands of the modern game (over £10 million)."

Are the words 'fan owned' inaccurate? Can we say that DHFC is a fan-owned club? DHST is now a significant shareholder, but one can be a significant shareholder with only 3% of the shares. McCormack is still the controlling shareholder, is he not? Unless a democratic fan body is the controlling shareholder, can one say that DHFC is really 'fan-owned?'
Chelsea are fan owned, its PR innit.
 

Roger D

Well-Known Member
The majority of allocated shares in the last public breakdown are held by people who can legitimately be described as Dulwich Hamlet fans.

The phrase fan owned can be read in many ways. Its use may be intentional.
 
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Borstal Scum

New Member
Nah. All this information is in the public domain if you could be bothered to take a look.
I was going by disclosures on companies house which seemed to indicate that McCormack was the controlling shareholder. If I’m wrong please correct me, though it may be nice if you did it without the condescending attitude.

I’m not saying I’m against the planning application, but the use of ‘fan-owned’ may raise an eyebrow at clubs like Fisher and Clapton CFC.
 

B.I.G

Well-Known Member
I was going by disclosures on companies house which seemed to indicate that McCormack was the controlling shareholder. If I’m wrong please correct me, though it may be nice if you did it without the condescending attitude.

I’m not saying I’m against the planning application, but the use of ‘fan-owned’ may raise an eyebrow at clubs like Fisher and Clapton CFC.
Maybe we should go bust and reform? Is that your business plan? Those clubs did it that way after all.
 

Roger D

Well-Known Member
It is a matter of public record that Nick signed over the bulk of his shares to a company run at the time by Ben, Liam and Tom. (I haven't checked they are all shareholders in that company still. Gavin may also have been involved at one point)

Liam posted a while back that a new share register was being prepared due to a recent investment. Unless that was the one the Trust have confirmed they made, we don't know who it was. There is no reason to believe it was Nick.

If Nick's shareholding remains as in the last share register, he remains a large shareholder, second biggest from memory, but has zero control as the block vote he transferred can outvote him. From memory that would hold true even if every other shareholder voted with Nick. Which is pretty unlikely to happen anyway.

Note the investment may perhaps have been Ben converting loans into shares. If so, he as an individual probably moves ahead of Nick in the number of shares held. We will know for sure when the updated share register is released
 
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Borstal Scum

New Member
Maybe we should go bust and reform? Is that your business plan? Those clubs did it that way after all.
No, that is not my business plan. OK, let’s just agree that ‘fan owned’ may be interpreted various ways, then. I thought it meant where there was a fan body (not just one fan) having majority ownership of the club, but others may interpret it as being owned by a person who is identified as a fan. Obviously, I clearly do not want DHFC to be bust.
 

Roger D

Well-Known Member
Remember that on top of the shares Nick transferred there are many small shareholders.

Not sure how long you have been around the club but if you were here in the mid-90's you will recognise many of those names as regular fans. Most are still around the club.

I doubt the club are using the term fan owned solely because of the biggest shareholding but are instead reflecting the wider share ownership by fans, albeit a small % of allocated share capital.

Full disclosure - I'm one of the mid 90's fans with a small shareholding
 

B.I.G

Well-Known Member
No, that is not my business plan. OK, let’s just agree that ‘fan owned’ may be interpreted various ways, then. I thought it meant where there was a fan body (not just one fan) having majority ownership of the club, but others may interpret it as being owned by a person who is identified as a fan. Obviously, I clearly do not want DHFC to be bust.
Cool. Everyone in agreement. Another Urban success story. Take that the haters!
 

Dulwich Mishi

Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!
R.I.P.
Maybe we should go bust and reform? Is that your business plan? Those clubs did it that way after all.
Fisher Athletic did go bust. With same owner that was manoeuvring the strings controlling the puppet that was Nick McCormack.
Clapton still exist. Clapton CFC are a completely different kettle of fish. Their fans choosing to break away and form their own club. More in the mould of FC United of Manchester or Enfield Town I’d say.
 

pettyboy

Well-Known Member
I was going by disclosures on companies house which seemed to indicate that McCormack was the controlling shareholder. If I’m wrong please correct me, though it may be nice if you did it without the condescending attitude.

I’m not saying I’m against the planning application, but the use of ‘fan-owned’ may raise an eyebrow at clubs like Fisher and Clapton CFC.
If you weren’t posting false information, there would be no need to be condescending. I’ll spell it out again shall I? All this information is available to read in the public domain. The club has been damaged enough already over the years by the spreading of lies.

“Scum” seems to be the operable word here fella.
 

blueheaven

Well-Known Member
If you weren’t posting false information, there would be no need to be condescending. I’ll spell it out again shall I? All this information is available to read in the public domain. The club has been damaged enough already over the years by the spreading of lies.

“Scum” seems to be the operable word here fella.
Wow, the guy was just asking a question, why be so aggressive?
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
I've not followed, nor am I going to read the whole of, this thread.

I last looked into all this a couple of years ago, and my thoughts back then were as per my comments quoted below (from another thread). Has anything changed in the meantime, that might change my opinion?

(I have been asked elsewhere for my thoughts, in relation to whether the current planning application should be supported or objected to)

Affordable housing quotas on new developments are effectively one of the few ways we currently manage to get anything approaching new social housing built. They are standard practice and part of planning policy. Any developer is aware that it's a cost they take on when developing a site.

As I understand it the deal here is basically that we give up some public open space for a new football stadium. That's already controversial, because strong arguments can be made for metropolitan open space being a significant community asset. Which by definition has existed for much longer than the football club.

Also as I understand it, the club's ground has a planning condition on it that protects it as for leisure use. So, in planning terms, the "do nothing" option means that the football ground stays, and the open space does not get built on.

To give permission to build housing on the site, then, something has to be given up - either valuable open space or a valued local football club.

Let's set aside any argument about which is more valuable. If the developer is asking "us" for one or other to disappear, then what are they providing in return? If they are providing a generous amount of social or affordable housing then maybe giving up one of those community assets can be justified. Maybe. If they are providing just a standard amount - the same as any developer would have to provide on any site, where no community asset was lost as a result - then that seems a very bad deal. So, they are also throwing in a new football stadium. But they are actually just providing the bricks and mortar of that stadium - they are not providing the actually expensive and valuable part which is the land it sits on. So to me, it doesn't look like an amazing deal, even before they try and propose a significantly reduced affordable housing quota.

So, I think Southwark are right to reject what is in effect a bad deal.

All of the planning context of the site will have been known by the developer when they bought the site. They make a commercial assessment of likelihood of getting planning permission for what they want to build. If they don't get it, and lose money, that's their problem, not the council's. The developer is obviously using the club as a negotiating tool. The council shouldn't give in to that. Of course, if you look at it only in terms of the interest of the football club, then it seems like a solution to let them have what they want, in exchange for the benefits for the club. But that's not the only interest at stake here and it's not the only interest that the council should have an obligation to defend.

If you say you don't care about the affordable housing quota, as long as you get what you want then you are successfully being manipulated by the developers. Of course that's what they want DHFC supporters to say, because DHFC supporters have a strong voice in the media, and it puts pressure on the council and other politicians. Unlike the less easily vocalised and characterised general public and community interest in maintaining open public space, and providing affordable housing.

Additionally, it's pretty much standard practice for developers to pull negotiating strings with claims of schemes not being "viable". If it's not "viable" that's their problem. Southwark are right to call their bluff. The particular financial/ownership situation and difficulties of the club are really a separate issue as far as I can see, possibly ones that have been successfully engineered by the developers, and I don't think it's right for them to start influencing planning decisions.
What kind of support - that they could reasonably be expected to give - would you like to see from these organisations?

Regarding the open space - there are various dismissive comments about its value, referring to it as "wasteland" and so on. It may be true that it could be better used. However, the point is that even if it's currently unattractive or un-useful, once it's built on that's it forever. There's no possibility of it becoming a better managed open space in the future. I think the instinct to have a "zero-tolerance" attitude to encroachment on public open space, once it gains any level of protection, is a good one. I can see that from the club's point of view, a last throw of the dice, and agreement that it goes no further, can seem a reasonable request. That's the kind of thinking that I'm sure the developers want to take advantage of. But it sets a precedent, and what do you say to the next good cause who wants to take away just a little bit of it, ten or twenty years later? And what's left 50 or 100 years down the line?
OK, let's agree for the purpose of the argument that the affordable housing opportunity, regardless of quota, is of no real social value. So we take that out of the equation.

You're controlled by the owner of the land. Who wants you off the land so they can make money out of it. In exchange for negotiating, on your behalf, to take away some existing public open space and put you there instead, in a new stadium where they'll be kind enough to stop bullying you.

But they are not just offering you a carrot - they are waving the stick which is that they'll destroy the club if you don't co-operate.

The wider "community" loses some open space. They don't actually gain a football stadium - what changes is that the football stadium ceases to be one where the landowner is holding the football club hostage.

Is that a fair summary of the situation?
Ok, so, the thing is that looking at the situation from the outside - which is what I'm doing because I have no interest in football - it seems the basic problem is to do with the ownership of the existing stadium. It's not to do with land or a stadium being available or not - there's a stadium that is apparently is fit for purpose and on land which is designated, in town planning terms, specifically for that purpose.

And what the "wider community" is being asked to accept, is a solution to this problem that involves giving up public space *and* giving the developer what they want - a profitable housing development. So, basically the developer wins at the game they are trying to play - which is one of bullying. And like I say, looking at that from the outside, that seems a very bad deal. To me it seems that what needs to happen is to sort out all the mess of the ownership of the land and the landlord/owner/club relationship.

That's why I fully support the council calling the developer's bluff. I can see of course that this process makes life very difficult for the club. But I'd actually rather see public money going into supporting the club, maybe even buying it out, than see public space being given up to appease a developer playing games. Actually, it feels like the site should just be CPO'd to protect the long term future of the club, which I'm happy to accept as a valuable community asset even though I have no interest in it. Of course, there are probably all sorts of legal reasons that's not a viable solution. But this is the way the situation looks to me, anyway.
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
From DHFC site:

Will the stadium will be built on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL)?

No, that’s not a true statement. No section of the stadium building will be on MOL, all buildings will be on the existing Champion Hill site. The pitch though will be on our existing astroturf pitch which is on MOL and will be enclosed which it is not today. The renovation and the enclosure of that pitch was already part of the Southwark Plan for Green Dale Fields before this application was submitted and is therefore due to be actioned regardless of whether there is a stadium adjoining the site.
Seems a bit of a stretch. As far as I can see, what is planned for the astroturf enclosure at present is just a mesh fence.

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 15.56.29.jpg

That's not really the same thing as the hardstanding and enclosure that would be required for spectators etc that would be part of the redevelopment.

The basic argument here seems to be "it'll still be open land really". That it's all still broadly within the intended use of Metropolitan Open Land. But the existing stadium was built on open land, and as I understand it, that was subject to a planning condition that it be used for leisure purposes and not redeveloped. What this proposal facilitates is the loss of that previous open land - supposedly protected against development.

In 20 or 40 years time, when people have forgotten that this new, enclosed pitch was built on supposedly protected open land, it'll be ready for the same argument to develop it. The pitch can be relocated onto some other portion of Metropolitan Open Land. No open land will really be lost, because a football pitch is still open land really! The football club is in financial trouble and this is the only way to rescue it! But some more houses can be built and another developer can make some cash.
 

Nivag

Well-Known Member
This sums up some of the meeting.
[Ben]...explained that there are ongoing problems regarding the maintenance of the failing mechanical, electrical and public health services at the ground (i.e. floodlights, plumbing, drainage etc.) which continues to swallow a lot of time, money a
Also still waiting on various parts of Southwark council to do their planning thing.
 

EDC

A Slightly Less Invisible Cyber Fan These Days
EDF reporting its gone to the major’s office as it doesn’t meet requirements but might go through with changes.
 
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