New three year lease on the ground

Discussion in 'Dulwich Hamlet FC' started by Brixton Hatter, May 6, 2014.

  1. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    Apparently we have a new three-year lease on the ground at Champion Hill. the short term.

    Also, "Hadley plan to improve the environment and security and undertake the essential maintenance and repairs that are required, as well as trying to find ways to cut bills through energy saving measures." Hadley also think the main stand is "unsuitable and poorly designed".

    Source is the latest supporters trust email.

    IRT to the main stand, as I understand it, the fact it has three storeys means we pay a lot in business rates for it. Which might be part of Hadley's assessment as 'unsuitable'.
    SarfLondoner, G Man, editor and 2 others like this.
  2. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    That's about as good as could be hoped for at the moment I think. At the risk of repeating myself for the hundredth time you have to think their long term view is still to build flats there but again in the short term they're doing absolutely the right things, you can't really fault them especially given the previous state things seem to have been in.

    On the main stand business rates might well be a part of it - maybe they can offset that with some of the things they have planned for the building. It's also not very well designed for handling large numbers of people though. Those steps and the little corridor into the bar can't really cope with the half time rush and if crowds keep increasing that could become more of an issue.
    G Man and editor like this.
  3. Champion_hill

    Champion_hill Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Also says that they plan a 4g pitch on site with a new stadium. They only want planning permission applications to be made as part of the whole plans for the site.

    Don't want to be too optimistic but this is all sounding quite promising at the moment. I wonder if their initial thinking was that they would more likely get planning permission with 800 odd hamlet fans supporting an application that includes residential builds?
    G Man and editor like this.
  4. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    They want a 4g pitch plus the stadium pitch, or the stadium pitch will be 4g?
  5. vornstyle76

    vornstyle76 Vorn Chic Vorn Genre

    I think the newsletter only gave 4G as an example of the kind of plans that might be forthcoming. Though it's probably a reasonable bet, I doubt there'll ever be a sub-Conference non-league ground built with a grass pitch again.
  6. Joe K

    Joe K no al calcio con orchestra di ukulele

    I give it very little time before the Conference let up. More and more clubs will go 3/4g, and will be able to use the additional revenue to improve their squads, so it won't be long until the 'Maidstone Question' is getting raised every season. Although the purist in me doesn't like them much, they a) allow good football to be played - in fact, they almost enforce it - and b) almost eliminate postponements, meaning the season can run more to plan.

    Don't believe Darlo are going to lay astro at their new ground, though.
  7. G Man

    G Man Formerly of hard hat fame

    We've come along way from the pessimism of three months ago. Would the supporters team play on any 3/4g pitch?
  8. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    They should do, if we get one. That's the real upside of them for me, that they can get far more use.
  9. Onket

    Onket Je suis [CONTENT REMOVED]

    Time to get that scaffolding & corrugated iron together to build a little roof for behind the goal?
    Scutta and pompeydunc like this.
  10. Joe K

    Joe K no al calcio con orchestra di ukulele

    The real problem behind the goals at the moment is, I think, the way the terracing is designed. Two or three steps then that big flat bit on the top which means we all end up standing in each other's way. In an ideal world, which it admittedly isn't, what with a lack of money/ certainty about the future of the ground/ planning permission, I think I'd concentrate on remodelling the terracing at one end and sticking a roof on that rather than getting cover over both.
  11. Onket

    Onket Je suis [CONTENT REMOVED]

    Fair point. Perhaps add a couple of steps on the flat top bit, plus the scaffolding/corrugated iron roof/sides?

    I'm thinking something fairly temporary and inexpensive. The scaffolders might be persuaded to provide the scaffolding in exchange for putting their name on it, or something.
    Scutta and pompeydunc like this.
  12. pompeydunc

    pompeydunc Well-Known Member

    Do you know anyone who would be willing to consider doing this?
  13. Onket

    Onket Je suis [CONTENT REMOVED]

    I'm more than willing to try and find someone. I'll also volunteer myself for any assistance with manual labour where required.
    Scutta and pompeydunc like this.
  14. pompeydunc

    pompeydunc Well-Known Member

    Likwise on the 2nd part. Guess we should check with club first, or inform them what the collective has decided! Dulwich Mishi ?
  15. EDC

    EDC A Slightly Less Invisible Cyber Fan These Days

    Trouble is it's not just putting up scaffolding and a corrugated iron lid, it would blow away. Best example would be like they have at Whyteleafe where they are sponsored by a scaffolding company, Formark who have done it all to comply with H&S regs. A few local firms can be discounted, D&R have connections to the old regime, Coventry sponsor a cup, Kent have links with Bromley. There are a few others.
    pompeydunc and Onket like this.
  16. Onket

    Onket Je suis [CONTENT REMOVED]

    I'd expect scaffolding firms to know thw relevant legislation and comply with it, tbf.

    If people want to start to draw up some kind of action plan and list of companies to approach then I'm happy to help where I can.
    vornstyle76 and Scutta like this.
  17. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    To be honest...the WHOLE ground is, basically, a shit design!

    Yes, cover would be good...but is it essential? In an ideal world we need proper cover behind the goal...but based on the current design, and our current much of a view of the game will you get, with people crushing under a limited amount of cover behind the goal at home might make slightly more noise, BUT atmosphere will be diluted as some people move away from any central cover behind the goal to get a better view, or to avoid the crush under it. As we have had no cover behind the goal since the ground opened in October 1992 surely another couple of years will not really be a hardship, whether 'free' from a scaffolding company or not?

    Me? I'd rather, if people have 'contacts' with these companies, or any other business contacts, they try to see if they're interested in 'more traditional' forms of sponsorship, like programme ads, boards around the ground, or that we can raise money to boost the day to day running of the Club, which ultimately frees more money for Gavin Rose's budget.

    With regard to the 'bigger picture' we need to ensure that cover behind the goals IS included in any future development, whereas if you arrange something now to cover our limited terrace behind the goal, you might get a bit more noise...but do you want to miss a Hamlet goal because your view was obscured by a scaffold pole holding it up? Oh, and it will mean no 'standing at the back' on the rail, and nowhere to hang the flags behind the fans...but hey, if it improves the atmosphere....
  18. Onket

    Onket Je suis [CONTENT REMOVED]

    Keeping dry is also overrated, I presume? :D
  19. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    It means you don't get to tell everyone how you were one of four people stood there singing in The Great Deluge of wheneveritwas.;)
    Brixton Hatter, Balbi and Onket like this.
  20. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    For what it's worth, for the reasons I explained, I don't think a roof is neccessarily a top priority at the moment, for what will, hopefully only be a short space of time. keeping dry is not over-rated, don't treat me like a fucking idiot! if it rains, which is only a few times a season, then I'll either get a little wet, as happens whenever it rains on any given day, not just at football; or i'll go along the side, where there is cover on both sides of the ground when it stops; or put up an umbrella if I have one.
  21. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    Tell me more...I must have missed that one. If people want to get soaked in a heavy deluge that's up to them. From your post it's clear that the vast majority of people will have just done the sensible thing and taken cover along the sides....
  22. Onket

    Onket Je suis [CONTENT REMOVED]

    So, anyone else still interested?
  23. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    It was just a general joke about some people's tendency to revel in how hardcore they are - not aimed at anyone or any particular time (although there are a few potential candidates.;))
    Onket likes this.
  24. EDC

    EDC A Slightly Less Invisible Cyber Fan These Days

    Actually it was just G-Man & myself. I've now had a cold for close on eight weeks so probably not the best thing I've ever done. Funny at the time though.
    Onket and Scutta like this.
  25. sleaterkinney

    sleaterkinney Well-Known Member

    Can someone post up the supporters trust email, I didn't receive it.
    sankara likes this.
  26. sankara

    sankara Well-Known Member

    I didn't get it either, despite being a paid up member.
  27. Jamie Wyatt

    Jamie Wyatt Well-Known Member

    The Hamleter
    The Official Newsletter of Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Trust
    Chair's Message - Eddie Muraszko
    Welcome to the latest newsletter for members of the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust.

    It has been a momentous three months for Dulwich Hamlet since the last edition in January. On the field the team pushed on but then just fell short at the final hurdle. Despite the disappointment, I’m sure most fans would have happily taken 6th place back in August. It’s been a fantastic effort by Gavin and the team in our first season in the Premier Division in ten years, so well done to all concerned.

    In contrast off the field, it is no exaggeration to say thatDulwich Hamlet Football Club nearly went bankrupt in February. Years of mis-management came home to roost with unpaid bills mounting up, utilities being cut off and bailiffs being called in.

    Against this background, the sale of the new ground by the administrators of DHPD Ltd. finally went through and the freehold is now owned by the Hadley Property Group who have also taken effective control of the club. Hadley immediately paid off a long list of creditors. As well as injecting much needed cash and financial stability, they have also begun to run the club on a more stable business footing which is very welcome.

    Furthermore there is now anew lease in place for a further three years which has given us the credentials to continue to compete in our league. The Trust has now formally met with Hadley and we report on this in more detail elsewhere in this issue. Our initial take is that although we currently reserve judgement on Hadley’s long term plans, it would have been very easy for them to let the club collapse in its own mess, so the way they have stepped in is something for which all supporters can at least be very grateful. They are definitely an improvement on the last ‘regime’.

    The changes at the club and plans for the ground present the Trust with big decisions about the future ownership structure of the club itself and what view to take about development of the site. We want to act in a way that ensures we reflect as far as possible the views of supporters. Our first discussion about these issues will be at our AGM on Monday 7th July – full details of which will follow separately.

    Meanwhile the Trust itself has had a very successful membership drive, with the total now at 184, and we wish all of those who have joined for the first time a particularly warm welcome. We also have a programme of Community events over the summer, starting at Goose Green Fair on 11th May.

    Finally a plea - we need urgently need fresh blood and new skills to help us during this vital period – if you have anything to offer please get in touch.

    Best wishes,
    Eddie Muraszko

    Awards Evening - 10th May, 6.30pm
    At the initiative of the Trust, we have helped organise and part fund the end of season awards party on Saturday 10th May starting at 6.30pm at the club. ENTRY IS FREE.

    Hadley Property Group Take Over The Freehold And Control Of The Club
    Hadley Property Group (‘Hadley’) became freeholders of the Champion Hill stadium in February 2014. The previous freeholders, DHPD Ltd had gone into administration in May 2012 and the sale was for approximately £5.5m. Supporters can get more background on Hadley from theirwebsite.

    Soon afterwards, Hadley realised that the football club itself was in an extremely precarious financial position and agreed to step in to help out. They had an initial meeting with supporters at the end of February. In April members of the Supporters’ Trust Board met with Peter Bennison, the Chief Executive of Hadley, and Matt Rimmer, the Project Manager looking after Dulwich Hamlet on a day to day basis.

    The discussion was very open and constructive. Set out below are the main points that arose. It must be stressed that this is our interpretation of the meeting, nothing below is intended to, or should be, interpreted as a factual statement or a commitment by Hadley to a particular course of action. Much of what is below was used subsequently as the basis of an open letter that Hadley put on the club website on 2nd May – a communication we very much encouraged them to make. It can be viewed here.

    The Club - ownership
    Hadley never intended to run a football club and do not want to do so long term. They have been forced to step in as otherwise the Club would have gone bankrupt and they see the continuation of a football club as integral to their future plans for the site. They hope to run the club for no more than two or three years and then aim to return it to some sort of Supporter or Community ownership. They have had a meeting with Supporters’ Direct (the national Supporters’ Trust movement) to begin to understand the different models.

    The Club – as a business
    Hadley’s plan is to separate the Football Club from the other businesses on the site, with the exception of the bar in order to limit any possible liabilities for the club. However money raised by the other operations will all help to support their long term aim of handing over a club that is financially self-sustaining. Specifically their plans currently are as follows:-

    • Car wash - Hadley are now apparently in litigation with the former operators so there is a limit on what may be said. If settled Hadley may consider using another operator to set up a car wash in the car park because, if done properly, this could be a really good source of income for the football club. They are mindful that the operation shouldn't impact on supporters.
    • Health Club - Hadley are looking for a new operator to potentially take over the gym. They are considering turning squash courts into a soft play area.
    • Car boot sale - This is being ended on the basis that they only paid £150 and caused damage to the five a side pitches as well as leaving a mess which was not popular.
    • Licence issues - The previous problems have been resolved and meetings held with local residents. All existing bookings were cancelled, and in due course, once proper sound proofing has been put in, reputable bookings will once again be taken.
    • Five-a-sides - The council (as freeholder of the Greendale five a sides) has served a Section 214 notice on the club obliging them to bring the facility back to an acceptable standard. Once this is done, Hadley will consider the best options for re-vitalising the use of the site.
    All told, Hadley seem to have uncovered a litany of financial mis-management, money not being accounted for properly and poor business decisions.

    They told us they had so far spent tens of thousands of pounds paying off bills and stabilising the situation. They are considering options on the best way for the club and the site to be managed on a day to day basis.

    The Ground
    In the short term, Hadley plan to improve the environment and security and undertake the essential maintenance and repairs that are required, as well as trying to find ways to cut bills through energy saving measures. However their view is that the main stand is unsuited for the club, poorly designed and carries with it ongoing costs that make putting the club on a sustainable footing very difficult. This means that even with rising gates the club is over-reaching itself and is not currently self-sustaining financially.

    In the longer term, Hadley obviously want to undertake development on the site. They plan to develop a community masterplan for the site, with the club playing at a suitably equipped modern stadium including (for example) a 4G pitch. They said they plan to eventually put in one planning application for the whole site rather than go for piecemeal development, and want supporters to be involved in the drawing up of the master plan that will underpin this.

    Supporters’ Trust View
    It is clear that Hadley are investing a lot of time and money into securing the short term future of the football club and that in their ideal scenario, a thriving football club would be part of their future plans for the site. Without prejudice to how the longer term plans unfold, there is no doubt that Dulwich Hamlet FC are in a far better financial position than they have been for some time.

    We advised Hadley that open communications with the supporters would be crucial, because if they don’t get their message across, then other people will do it for them.

    The Supporters’ Trust Board welcomes Hadley’s willingness to engage, whilst maintaining a healthy scepticism and caution about the long term position given the fact that there is clear intent to re-develop some or all of the site. As well as the ground, there is also the question of what role the Trust could have in any future ownership model.

    We will be discussing how we approach this with our members – starting at the AGM on 7th July – and also have the resources, support and experience of Supporters’ Direct to draw upon. Please help us to help shape the future of Dulwich Hamlet.
    sleaterkinney, Onket and sankara like this.
  28. Jamie Wyatt

    Jamie Wyatt Well-Known Member

    Part 2....

    Membership Rises To Best Ever Level
    We had a big and successful drive for the Trust’s two year membership period which runs from February 2014 to January 2016. We are very grateful to those who re-joined and also to the very many new members who joined the Supporters’ Trust at the home games in January and February.

    As a result of this our membership has nearly doubled to 184 members– so getting on for one third of our average home attendance which is a remarkable proportion. We ran a prize raffle for members who joined by the end of February and the winners were:

    1) Nils Battye who won last Season’s First team shirt autographed by the promotion winning squad of 2013
    2) James Powell and Jason Cross who both won a pair of free tickets and Boardroom hospitality for the Enfield match on 22nd March
    3) Rob Hullett who won a £20 voucher (sponsored by the Honor Oak Handyman) to spend in the club shop

    If you haven’t joined or renewed yet, there are three ways of paying – at the club shop at the ground, online by PayPal or by cheque.

    Trust Takes The Club To Community Fairs
    Following the award of a Community Council Fund Grant the Supporters’ Trust will have stalls and a mini shoot out competition to for kids at the following events:

    • Dulwich Festival Fair on Goose Green on Sunday 11th May
    • Lambeth Country Show at Brockwell Park on 19th and 20th July
    • Peckham Rye Fete in early September
    We would welcome any help in manning the stands at these events which are designed to help raise our profile and standing in the community and boost our attendances. If you are able to do so, even for a short time please send us an email.
  29. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

  30. Balbi

    Balbi Hey, Dean Yager!

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