Urban75 Home About Offline BrixtonBuzz Contact

Hadley Property Group, Dulwich Hamlet FC and the dream of fan ownership

Scutta

Live Fast Die Bizarre
http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/dulwichhamlet/news/open-letter-from-the-hadley-gr-1213307.html

Since assuming the running of facilities at Dulwich Hamlet there have been many changes and so it is now a good time to bring you all up to date.

Dear Supporters

We thought we should write and bring you up to speed with some of the things that have been happening at the ground since our arrival as property managers. Much of the first few months of our stewardship of the site has been spent resolving longstanding financial issues with the authority of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Limited, and then, in turn, installing processes which will stop these same (or similar) issues from rearing their heads again. Going through these in any detail would take the rest of the day, but some of them which you may be interested in are below:

· Debts: Payment of the outstanding invoices, and dealing with the historical debts. We’ve had some sizeable invoices to contend with (both utilities and otherwise), and these continued to rear their heads for some time after the date on which we first became involved in the site. Upwards of £50k has paid out for historical debts to date, without even considering the existing rental of the ground itself which is massively in arrears. We’re slowly getting a handle on the finances, and the regular visits from bailiffs to the property have now stopped. Sorting this has been a full-time job, but slowly and surely the finances are getting close to being turned around.

· Car wash: One of the reasons that there was such a huge historical utilities debt was due to the fact that the club was paying for the energy used by a car-wash on the adjoining car park. The existing deal made no financial sense for Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Limited whatsoever, and has caused significant financial strain. In the short-term, we’d like to apologise for the lack of a club car park too; this has been an offshoot of this problem, and it’s something we’re keen to resolve as soon as possible. However, the landowners are now in litigation with the car wash operator so there may not be any good progress for a little while yet.

· Car boot sale: It also seemed sensible to stop the Sunday car boot sale, which had caused considerable inconvenience, through traffic and rubbish, to our neighbours on St Francis Estate.

· Astroturf: The car boot sale also contributed significantly to the disrepair of the training Astroturf at the back of the stadium. Cars were frequently parked on the turf itself. Some repairs have just been commissioned in order to bring it up to the standard required for its actual purpose and to comply with the obligations of Dulwich Hamlet FC Ltd under its lease of the training grounds from the London Borough of Southwark. These should be taking place in the next week or two.

· Club bar: We’ve also had to take steps to deal with the threat of the bar’s imminent closure. Previous mismanagement had meant that one of the first tasks was to attend a licensing committee, whose purpose it was to judge whether the club’s bar was even fit to continue serving alcohol. We have had to make several changes to the operation, including an immediate stop on the late-night parties, which had deservedly damaged our reputation with our neighbours. The track record of Hadley’s management in running high-class venues in London was an important factor in preventing the loss of the licence.

· Improved security: In line with the above, we’ve also commissioned extensive works on the CCTV on the site, the alarm system and the security around the building.

New Licence Agreement: The owner of Champion Hill Stadium has removed the uncertainty surrounding the occupation of the stadium and facilities by Dulwich Hamlet F.C Ltd by granting a new licence,.

· Fisher FC: As a lot of you will have seen, Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Limited has entered into a ground-sharing agreement with Fisher FC so that club can continue using the Champion Hill Stadium while their own stadium is finished. A low fee is being charged, which just about covers overheads – the last thing that anyone wanted was to see Fisher FC in trouble when they’re so close to completing their move..

· Refreshments: The refreshment arrangements on site have also been replaced. Apologies for any teething problems, but, hopefully, things have now settled down and you all find the food to your tastes! There wasn’t really any revenue for Dulwich Hamlet F.C Ltd in the existing agreement, and so a change of personnel and some improved terms seemed the best step forwards.

· Health Club: This is also the case with the gym facilities, which should be changing hands in the very near future. Hopefully, those of you who use the health club will see an improvement in the customer service, the classes and the facilities in general. Dulwich Hamlet F.C Ltd will then be receiving a contribution to the overall running costs of the site.

· Play facilities: Talks with a few companies about the installation of a sensory and soft-play facility downstairs in the club have been held. There’s a lot of space not being used on the site and, as well as bringing in some additional revenue for Dulwich Hamlet FC Ltd, it can continue with some of the community-based activities (which unfortunately haven’t been mentioned in recent times)!

· Workfare: Following on from that point in particular, Dulwich Hamlet FC Ltd has also put a stop to the existing Workfare agreements which took place on site. This programme is unsuitable in the present circumstances.

As mentioned at the start of this note, it could go on for some time – but you, as fans, aren’t necessarily interested in all the business detail.

However, if you do want to raise anything or have any questions, please email info@dulwichhamletfc.co.uk and every effort will be made to keep you updated with what’s happening.

Thanks a lot for your patience whilst all this has been going on. We’d also like to extend sincere thanks to the volunteers on the football committee, who have been doing a great job holding the ship steady during some troubled times; and of course, to the supporters for bearing with us through undoubted teething problems. It’d be much harder for us to get hold of things here at the club without the noise that comes down from the stands, and from behind the goal - the most colourful rabble around.
Yours,


Matt Rimmer, on behalf of The Hadley Group

Nice little schmooze for the Rabble there..... (Even the property developers like us Otta! :D)
 

Monkeygrinder's Organ

Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager
Interesting. You have to say that so far they've been for the best, despite my initial scepticism. They didn't have to do all that stuff so fair play to them, long may it continue.

That said at some point they're going to want to make a hefty return on their investment. As long as they're doing OK in the meantime I don't suppose there's much we can do until how they intend to do that becomes clear.
 

EDC

A Slightly Less Invisible Cyber Fan These Days
So far so good although like MgO above, when does it stop.

Answers quite a few questions posted by some on the EDF, especially their golden bollocks car wash and more recently the gym. The bar, gym, catering should have always contributed to the club as they're part of the infrastructure. I wasn't aware of the boot sale although I doubt the plastic pitches could have got any worse, they were shit when my son played on them when he was six and he's now at Uni.

It would be nice to have some noise coming from 'covered' stands behind the goals.
 

Monkeygrinder's Organ

Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager
Covered stands would be brilliant. It's the one thing most if the other grounds have that we don't and they really do add to the atmosphere. They don't need to be very expensive I don't think.

I doubt they'll be adding to the ground soon though.
 

el-ahrairah

forward communism, forward gerbils!
so far so good - they've already exceeded my expectations and so i probably have a whole load of hats to eat somewhere.
 

editor

hiraethified
Covered stands would be brilliant. It's the one thing most if the other grounds have that we don't and they really do add to the atmosphere. They don't need to be very expensive I don't think.

I doubt they'll be adding to the ground soon though.
I like the idea of each of us bringing along a sheet of corrugated iron and making our own DIY roof.
 

Scrooge

Well-Known Member
Both the Supporters Trust and the 1893 Club have a pot of cash and have previously spoken about using it to improve the ground, but the problem has always been the short term nature of the club's lease at Champion Hill. There's no point blowing the cash on a roof behind the goal, only for us to be moved to an alternative ground soon after.

Now we have a bit more certainty (I hear a new lease has been signed) I wonder if this is something that could be looked at again?
 

sleaterkinney

Well-Known Member
Now we have a bit more certainty (I hear a new lease has been signed) I wonder if this is something that could be looked at again?
That's interesting, how long for?, although the lease is just between two parts of Hadley Property group. :hmm:. But the letter sounds positive. The club should be able to pay for itself with the gate receipts and the bar.
 

vornstyle76

Vorn Chic Vorn Genre
The author Matt Rimmer is the consultant guy representing Hadley who I contacted re: previous regime's workfare and was great about killing it off. He seems pretty decent and likeable.

Obviously as a good Marxist I remain healthily sceptical of anyone or anything that owns capital assets (especially land) and will do so until the commodity form is abolished, but the previous mob were so incompetent and immoral that anyone's going to be an improvement on them.
Covered stands would be brilliant. It's the one thing most if the other grounds have that we don't and they really do add to the atmosphere. They don't need to be very expensive I don't think.

I doubt they'll be adding to the ground soon though.
Both the Supporters Trust and the 1893 Club have a pot of cash and have previously spoken about using it to improve the ground, but the problem has always been the short term nature of the club's lease at Champion Hill. There's no point blowing the cash on a roof behind the goal, only for us to be moved to an alternative ground soon after.

Now we have a bit more certainty (I hear a new lease has been signed) I wonder if this is something that could be looked at again?
I asked Mishi about the chances of basic cover behind the goals last week, he wasn't particularly hopeful. But it would be brilliant. Even if it was only temporary, depending on the costs it could potentially pay for itself with (1) people less likely to wimp out of games with a threat of rain/hail/snow/apocalypse and (2) the intensification of our already Turkish-quality atmosphere encouraging more punters.

Does anyone have any idea what the cheapest (insurable) cover would be? Could we just bung a couple of old shipping containers at either end? (if they can get away with making a painfully fashionable shopping mall out of them I'm sure they're good enough for a non-league ground).
 

Fingers

From Tuscany SE22
Does anyone have any idea what the cheapest (insurable) cover would be? Could we just bung a couple of old shipping containers at either end? (if they can get away with making a painfully fashionable shopping mall out of them I'm sure they're good enough for a non-league ground).
i was talking to some fan who built their own (I am sure it was Billericay) and it cost them 10 grand in all
 

Crispy

The following psytrance is baṉned: All
Blimey, that is cheap.
The balance of trade with China etc. is such that there are more shipping containers in the country than we could ever need. You're basically paying to help solve the end-of-life shipping container glut problem :D

EDIT: I could well be wrong about this :oops:
 

Dulwich Mishi

Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!
R.I.P.
Both the Supporters Trust and the 1893 Club have a pot of cash and have previously spoken about using it to improve the ground, but the problem has always been the short term nature of the club's lease at Champion Hill. There's no point blowing the cash on a roof behind the goal, only for us to be moved to an alternative ground soon after.

Now we have a bit more certainty (I hear a new lease has been signed) I wonder if this is something that could be looked at again?
Not sure if the Supporters Trust would be willing to spend over half of their 'war chest' to build something that ould well end up temporary, if a new ground comes to fruition. And as for the '1893 Club' having a pot of cash...I simply can't see that being true, when you base their income being on the small prizes they pay out, their income must be small, and they-unlike the Trust's '100 Club' put money back into the Club, through things like paying for the tracksuits & warm-up tops the players wear.

As for shipping containers...you would still need to pay to secure them, and weld off the ends of them, so people can get a view of the game.

Bottom line is...we are stuck with what we have, as there are more important things to pay money out on in the short term. Though a ut in Gavin's budget next season should be able to cover it...your choice? Or maybe scrap the cheapest & most wide ranging concessions at our level of non-league football?
 

Posh 'n Proud

Well-Known Member
Terry Farrell's are a monster architectural company of international renown and I think their appointment suggests that they're not planning to pack the site with over-priced Wimpey Hutches.

That said, the word 'consultation' normally implies 'done-deal stitch-up' to me. However, taking things at face-value, a stadium designed by Terry Farrell would be a pretty impressive item IMO. It'd also be bloody expensive which chucks up lots of question marks.
 

Monkeygrinder's Organ

Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager
Terry Farrell's are a monster architectural company of international renown and I think their appointment suggests that they're not planning to pack the site with over-priced Wimpey Hutches.

That said, the word 'consultation' normally implies 'done-deal stitch-up' to me. However, taking things at face-value, a stadium designed by Terry Farrell would be a pretty impressive item IMO. It'd also be bloody expensive which chucks up lots of question marks.
TBH I think we all have a pretty good idea what the first plan will be. Shift the ground over onto (or at least partly onto) Greendales and build new flats, which will be worth a fortune due to the location. The real question is what they plan on doing in the very likely event the council says no.
 

Jamie Wyatt

Well-Known Member
TBH I think we all have a pretty good idea what the first plan will be. Shift the ground over onto (or at least partly onto) Greendales and build new flats, which will be worth a fortune due to the location. The real question is what they plan on doing in the very likely event the council says no.
The sounds fine to me and I think these company's always find their way around local councils !!
 

Crispy

The following psytrance is baṉned: All
Also Four Communications are a very slick, well practised PR firm who specialise in these sort of consultations. I've worked with them before from the other side and they run a tight ship. They will have been responsible for the wording of this newsletter. The presentation will be targeted carefully at the club supporters, so expect lots of exciting and enticing proposals.
 

Dulwich Mishi

Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!
R.I.P.
TBH I think we all have a pretty good idea what the first plan will be. Shift the ground over onto (or at least partly onto) Greendales and build new flats, which will be worth a fortune due to the location. The real question is what they plan on doing in the very likely event the council says no.
The Council may, or may not, say no. The election is over...so they can change their minds on what councillors personally said a few months ago. Also, the decision will not rest with the Council. The final decision will be with the Mayor of London. I hope that it all goes through, that we get a new ground with a long-term lease, to ensure the future of the Club, and that we can obtain some form of fan-ownership in the process. This is, potentially, one of the most exciting things to happen to the Club for decades.
 

pettyboy

Well-Known Member
Terry Farrell's are a monster architectural company of international renown and I think their appointment suggests that they're not planning to pack the site with over-priced Wimpey Hutches.

That said, the word 'consultation' normally implies 'done-deal stitch-up' to me. However, taking things at face-value, a stadium designed by Terry Farrell would be a pretty impressive item IMO. It'd also be bloody expensive which chucks up lots of question marks.
Wow - what a portfolio!
 

Taper

Mark McGann
I've picked up that Farrell have been speaking to the people who have an interest in the open land of Greendales from a open space and biodiversity perspective (something we as fans should support). I think this will be a crucial element. I think a balanced portfolio of freeing up space to build on, building a new ground for the club, presumably encroaching on the all weather pitch, and then turning the remainder of Greendales into a space that is of benefit to locals and better for bio-diversity is the key to this. The friends of DKH Wood could be key. That hidden but rather lovely bit of land makes a lot more sense if it links up with an improved Greendales.

If successful, and Headley are clearly confident, the club and its fans need to get working on what basis the club will be owned and run in the future. I think it should be supproter owned and held in trust, but also pragmatically commercial in order to put us on a proper and sustainable footing. The design of the ground is crucial to this. It's clear that some of the supposed cash generators in the current set up (gym, squash courts etc) are actually a drain. So a business plan for the club will be very important. this will need to include (presumably) managing the year or so when the club can't play on champion hill.
 

Dulwich Mishi

Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!
R.I.P.
As I understand it changes are already being made to the way the Club, as in the Limited Company, and non-matchday revenue streams are run. So non-cost efficient things like you suggested are being looked at already. The new car wash being a case in point, as will be the smartening up of the bar, anyone who was at the Supporters Trust AGM last night will agree.
 
Top