Cowling warns of tough times ahead for the U's

Realistic assessment - Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling admits the club are punching above their weight in League One, at the present time. Picture: STEVE BRADING (CO98713-05)

Realistic assessment - Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling admits the club are punching above their weight in League One, at the present time. Picture: STEVE BRADING (CO98713-05)

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Robbie Cowling has warned there are likely to be more tough times ahead for Colchester United in their attempts to preserve their League One status.

The U’s chairman is hoping that Tony Humes’ appointment as first-team manager will see the club move away from their current position in the relegation zone.

But Cowling admits that they are currently punching above their weight in the third tier, pitting their wits against teams with bigger budgets and support.

Cowling has ploughed considerable funds into the club’s academy and Florence Park training ground, in Tiptree.

But he has steadily been cutting the playing budget by £300,000 every year and plans to reduce his subsidy to zero by 2016, in a bid to make the club more sustainable and in line with Fair Play rules.

And while he feels Colchester’s long-term future is bright, the U’s supremo concedes that it will take time for the full rewards of the youth system to bear fruit.

Cowling said: “We’re a club that is punching above our weight in many, many ways.

“We may have a nicer stadium than some and a nice training ground.

“But what goes out on the pitch is really dictated by the budget - and that’s dictated by how many fans turn up and watch us.

“You can see where we are and every year, we maintain our status.

“At this moment, we’re doing well and hopefully in a few years as we see more of this talent come through, we can perhaps do better regardless of how many people come and watch us but that’s going to take some time.

“We’re seeing some of the benefits already of what we’ve done.

“But we’re going to have a couple more tough years and I’ve never said anything other than that, since we had to rip the heart out of the playing budget.

“Some people might feel that the club went backwards under Joe (Dunne).

“But they don’t understand what’s going on in the background of football, what’s been forced upon us and how that could impact the club.”

Cowling stressed that he has appointed Humes as the club’s new first-team manager for the long term.

The U’s chairman has declined to reveal the length of Humes’ contract but says he will give the former Ipswich Town defender his full backing.

“Colchester doesn’t have as big a turnaround of managers as maybe some other clubs,” added Cowling.

“We’re not trying to join this merry-go-round that everybody else has had.

“We’re appointing someone who we expect to be at the club for quite some time.

“Tony, like the rest of the managers, will get my full backing to achieve what we want to achieve.”

For four pages of Colchester United coverage, including the views of Cowling, Humes, Richard Hall and Paul Abrahams, see Wednesday's Daily Gazette.

Comments (21)

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11:33am Wed 3 Sep 14

donttellanyone says...

I will not forget all the money you wasted bringing your mate Teddy Sheringham to the club. How come a club like Fleetwood can do so well then hurry up and leave the club.
I will not forget all the money you wasted bringing your mate Teddy Sheringham to the club. How come a club like Fleetwood can do so well then hurry up and leave the club. donttellanyone
  • Score: 26

11:45am Wed 3 Sep 14

down the line says...

No ambition. Cowling, will you please sell up before it's too late. It is you that has ripped the heart and soul out of this club, and you make out that people should be greatful to you for owning the club! Get out and you can take Tiptree with you.
No ambition. Cowling, will you please sell up before it's too late. It is you that has ripped the heart and soul out of this club, and you make out that people should be greatful to you for owning the club! Get out and you can take Tiptree with you. down the line
  • Score: 40

11:54am Wed 3 Sep 14

hungrystudent says...

donttellanyone wrote:
I will not forget all the money you wasted bringing your mate Teddy Sheringham to the club. How come a club like Fleetwood can do so well then hurry up and leave the club.
Pilley (Fleetwood Chairman) has invested £10 million into their club... Developed a base for community within a small demised fishing town. They will not go up this year, mid table finish.

Cowling has only recently changed his philosophy on the club in the last 5 odd years. (sustainable, youth developing team) He tried investing a lot of money into the first team and that didn't work previously.

What you probably dont understand, is that Cowling will see the club as a business (one that needs to be profitable) therefore the only way he can do so is by developing and selling youngsters and avoid spending unprecedented amounts on personnel.

In his time as chairman has he not invested in a quality training facility ? Stadium ? and Youth department allowing us to attract the best youngsters ?

Cowling is setting the foundations so when a lot of clubs go bang we will not. I can think of plenty worse chairman.
[quote][p][bold]donttellanyone[/bold] wrote: I will not forget all the money you wasted bringing your mate Teddy Sheringham to the club. How come a club like Fleetwood can do so well then hurry up and leave the club.[/p][/quote]Pilley (Fleetwood Chairman) has invested £10 million into their club... Developed a base for community within a small demised fishing town. They will not go up this year, mid table finish. Cowling has only recently changed his philosophy on the club in the last 5 odd years. (sustainable, youth developing team) He tried investing a lot of money into the first team and that didn't work previously. What you probably dont understand, is that Cowling will see the club as a business (one that needs to be profitable) therefore the only way he can do so is by developing and selling youngsters and avoid spending unprecedented amounts on personnel. In his time as chairman has he not invested in a quality training facility ? Stadium ? and Youth department allowing us to attract the best youngsters ? Cowling is setting the foundations so when a lot of clubs go bang we will not. I can think of plenty worse chairman. hungrystudent
  • Score: -11

12:00pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Shrubendlad says...

Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club.
BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again.
We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.
Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club. BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again. We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers. With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used. Shrubendlad
  • Score: 36

12:04pm Wed 3 Sep 14

hughie-s says...

Had sense prevailed and Coventry & Portsmouth been slung out of the League one or two more would have undoubtedly have followed while the rest started to put their shops in order. Eventually clubs will fail and be slung out, panic will spread amongst the other clubs as they slash costs, we will be way ahead of the rest of them and reap the rewards.
Had sense prevailed and Coventry & Portsmouth been slung out of the League one or two more would have undoubtedly have followed while the rest started to put their shops in order. Eventually clubs will fail and be slung out, panic will spread amongst the other clubs as they slash costs, we will be way ahead of the rest of them and reap the rewards. hughie-s
  • Score: -12

12:37pm Wed 3 Sep 14

archiebunker says...

Shrubendlad wrote:
Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club.
BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again.
We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every time...

Do on know the only season we averaged 10k? 1957/58. We could give away every ticket and the chances are we wouldn't fill the ground.
I dislike the complicated ticket price structure but that's not what stops people attending, what stops them coming is apathy, pure and simple.
For the most part the population isn't interested in it's local team. You only have to be at the station on a Saturday to see the shirts of many other, bigger, teams as people head off in all directions, and that's not counting the ones getting their football fix from Sky.

You also might not like the phrase "punching above our weight" but it doesn't alter the fact that it is now true in all senses. We tried throwing money at it and having a budget that matched far bigger clubs but it didn't work and it isn't sustainable, not if you still want there to be a Colchester United to support in the future. Our gates are mid-table League 2 at best.

Reality sometimes hurts but we have to face it. The current policy gives us a chance of surviving and, with luck, prospering and I can't see it changing unless some other wealthy benefactor, with the desire to turn a big fortune into a small one, appears. The phrase "rocking horse poo" springs to mind.
[quote][p][bold]Shrubendlad[/bold] wrote: Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club. BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again. We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers. With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.[/p][/quote]With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every time... Do on know the only season we averaged 10k? 1957/58. We could give away every ticket and the chances are we wouldn't fill the ground. I dislike the complicated ticket price structure but that's not what stops people attending, what stops them coming is apathy, pure and simple. For the most part the population isn't interested in it's local team. You only have to be at the station on a Saturday to see the shirts of many other, bigger, teams as people head off in all directions, and that's not counting the ones getting their football fix from Sky. You also might not like the phrase "punching above our weight" but it doesn't alter the fact that it is now true in all senses. We tried throwing money at it and having a budget that matched far bigger clubs but it didn't work and it isn't sustainable, not if you still want there to be a Colchester United to support in the future. Our gates are mid-table League 2 at best. Reality sometimes hurts but we have to face it. The current policy gives us a chance of surviving and, with luck, prospering and I can't see it changing unless some other wealthy benefactor, with the desire to turn a big fortune into a small one, appears. The phrase "rocking horse poo" springs to mind. archiebunker
  • Score: -25

1:13pm Wed 3 Sep 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

archiebunker wrote:
Shrubendlad wrote:
Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club.
BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again.
We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every time...

Do on know the only season we averaged 10k? 1957/58. We could give away every ticket and the chances are we wouldn't fill the ground.
I dislike the complicated ticket price structure but that's not what stops people attending, what stops them coming is apathy, pure and simple.
For the most part the population isn't interested in it's local team. You only have to be at the station on a Saturday to see the shirts of many other, bigger, teams as people head off in all directions, and that's not counting the ones getting their football fix from Sky.

You also might not like the phrase "punching above our weight" but it doesn't alter the fact that it is now true in all senses. We tried throwing money at it and having a budget that matched far bigger clubs but it didn't work and it isn't sustainable, not if you still want there to be a Colchester United to support in the future. Our gates are mid-table League 2 at best.

Reality sometimes hurts but we have to face it. The current policy gives us a chance of surviving and, with luck, prospering and I can't see it changing unless some other wealthy benefactor, with the desire to turn a big fortune into a small one, appears. The phrase "rocking horse poo" springs to mind.
When we did throw money at it we had the wrong managers in place to use it because Mr know-it-all thinks he knows about football management and managers when he simply hasn't got a clue. So much money was literally thrown down the drain by buying players at inflated prices and then eventually giving them away for very little and in some cases nothing. That wasn't the fault of supporters or lack of them. There was nobody else to blame only the Chairman. It was so wasteful it was untrue and it was all because his selection of managers was a shambles and he still hasn't learned from it. There should be a proper board in place to make this serious level of decision not one man and a few yes sir no sir followers. Until that is put right don't expect fans to be sympathetic to cause.
[quote][p][bold]archiebunker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shrubendlad[/bold] wrote: Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club. BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again. We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers. With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.[/p][/quote]With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every time... Do on know the only season we averaged 10k? 1957/58. We could give away every ticket and the chances are we wouldn't fill the ground. I dislike the complicated ticket price structure but that's not what stops people attending, what stops them coming is apathy, pure and simple. For the most part the population isn't interested in it's local team. You only have to be at the station on a Saturday to see the shirts of many other, bigger, teams as people head off in all directions, and that's not counting the ones getting their football fix from Sky. You also might not like the phrase "punching above our weight" but it doesn't alter the fact that it is now true in all senses. We tried throwing money at it and having a budget that matched far bigger clubs but it didn't work and it isn't sustainable, not if you still want there to be a Colchester United to support in the future. Our gates are mid-table League 2 at best. Reality sometimes hurts but we have to face it. The current policy gives us a chance of surviving and, with luck, prospering and I can't see it changing unless some other wealthy benefactor, with the desire to turn a big fortune into a small one, appears. The phrase "rocking horse poo" springs to mind.[/p][/quote]When we did throw money at it we had the wrong managers in place to use it because Mr know-it-all thinks he knows about football management and managers when he simply hasn't got a clue. So much money was literally thrown down the drain by buying players at inflated prices and then eventually giving them away for very little and in some cases nothing. That wasn't the fault of supporters or lack of them. There was nobody else to blame only the Chairman. It was so wasteful it was untrue and it was all because his selection of managers was a shambles and he still hasn't learned from it. There should be a proper board in place to make this serious level of decision not one man and a few yes sir no sir followers. Until that is put right don't expect fans to be sympathetic to cause. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 34

1:18pm Wed 3 Sep 14

romantic says...

The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on.

Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower.

Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is.

The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it.
The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on. Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower. Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is. The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it. romantic
  • Score: 29

1:24pm Wed 3 Sep 14

donttellanyone says...

Do we even own our ground?
Do we even own our ground? donttellanyone
  • Score: 13

1:33pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Shrubendlad says...

donttellanyone wrote:
Do we even own our ground?
Ipswich have a Billionaire owner apparently-BUT they still rent Portman Road from the council.
And they still have an Irish Manager and live in cloud cuckoo land.
[quote][p][bold]donttellanyone[/bold] wrote: Do we even own our ground?[/p][/quote]Ipswich have a Billionaire owner apparently-BUT they still rent Portman Road from the council. And they still have an Irish Manager and live in cloud cuckoo land. Shrubendlad
  • Score: 3

1:54pm Wed 3 Sep 14

JBoswick says...

romantic wrote:
The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on.

Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower.

Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is.

The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it.
This. So much This.

Colchester United is so poorly marketed its Crazy!? I would do my damnedest to ensure Eddie the Eagle was at every children's event in the county.

Why doesn't the club rent one of the hollow shells in town that we used to call shops, stick some merchandise in it and sell tickets from the shop?

Has anyone thought about automated ticket kiosks around the town? Railway Stations, Leisure World, Colleges, The uni - If people wont come to the stadium, take the stadium to the people

I'd be offering free stadium tours to local businesses on match day - They can then see the conferencing facilities and buy tickets for the game

Do promotions and free ticket competitions on local radio

Use their social networking accounts to get a following. Its no accident that Hyde FC have nearly three times as many followers as Colchester on Twitter, only 16 teams have fewer twitter followings and only 10 teams have fewer Facebook fans - Colchester United are missing a trick here... These platforms are FREE marketing platforms (this isn't an issue with local culture either. By comparison Ipswich town rank about 20 out of 72 for their social media followings)

There is so much that could be done for this club that isn't being done, its a bit sad really
[quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on. Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower. Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is. The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it.[/p][/quote]This. So much This. Colchester United is so poorly marketed its Crazy!? I would do my damnedest to ensure Eddie the Eagle was at every children's event in the county. Why doesn't the club rent one of the hollow shells in town that we used to call shops, stick some merchandise in it and sell tickets from the shop? Has anyone thought about automated ticket kiosks around the town? Railway Stations, Leisure World, Colleges, The uni - If people wont come to the stadium, take the stadium to the people I'd be offering free stadium tours to local businesses on match day - They can then see the conferencing facilities and buy tickets for the game Do promotions and free ticket competitions on local radio Use their social networking accounts to get a following. Its no accident that Hyde FC have nearly three times as many followers as Colchester on Twitter, only 16 teams have fewer twitter followings and only 10 teams have fewer Facebook fans - Colchester United are missing a trick here... These platforms are FREE marketing platforms (this isn't an issue with local culture either. By comparison Ipswich town rank about 20 out of 72 for their social media followings) There is so much that could be done for this club that isn't being done, its a bit sad really JBoswick
  • Score: 10

2:11pm Wed 3 Sep 14

donttellanyone says...

Shrubendlad wrote:
donttellanyone wrote:
Do we even own our ground?
Ipswich have a Billionaire owner apparently-BUT they still rent Portman Road from the council.
And they still have an Irish Manager and live in cloud cuckoo land.
Ipswich can't be compared Colchester will never be as big as a club if we were a good championship side we would still not got 10k every week don't forget wr give away fans almost 2500 tickets.
[quote][p][bold]Shrubendlad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]donttellanyone[/bold] wrote: Do we even own our ground?[/p][/quote]Ipswich have a Billionaire owner apparently-BUT they still rent Portman Road from the council. And they still have an Irish Manager and live in cloud cuckoo land.[/p][/quote]Ipswich can't be compared Colchester will never be as big as a club if we were a good championship side we would still not got 10k every week don't forget wr give away fans almost 2500 tickets. donttellanyone
  • Score: 17

2:45pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Shrubendlad says...

Shrubendlad wrote:
Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club.
BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again.
We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.
I am a Lawyer by training and taught myself how to sell.
I led sales/production teams for years-always hitting our targets and making profits.
I have never heard of this sophisticated sales technique where you belittle your own product.
[quote][p][bold]Shrubendlad[/bold] wrote: Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club. BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again. We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers. With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.[/p][/quote]I am a Lawyer by training and taught myself how to sell. I led sales/production teams for years-always hitting our targets and making profits. I have never heard of this sophisticated sales technique where you belittle your own product. Shrubendlad
  • Score: 30

4:35pm Wed 3 Sep 14

down the line says...

I have a horrible feeling that Robbie Cowling wants things to fail.
I have a horrible feeling that Robbie Cowling wants things to fail. down the line
  • Score: 20

6:55pm Wed 3 Sep 14

southstand says...

"half the ticket price" how many times have people come up with this stupid idea, anyone with children under 11 can take 2 kids for free, if they half the price say in the east family stand the 3000 it can fit will only bring in £10,000 ish per game if everyone brings 2 kids, that works out at £3.33 each!! why not chuck in a burger? We are already cheaper than league 2 Southend and they get bigger crowds! Colchester people do not get behind their local club, end of. ( Southend fans also moan about everything including Phil Brown!)
"half the ticket price" how many times have people come up with this stupid idea, anyone with children under 11 can take 2 kids for free, if they half the price say in the east family stand the 3000 it can fit will only bring in £10,000 ish per game if everyone brings 2 kids, that works out at £3.33 each!! why not chuck in a burger? We are already cheaper than league 2 Southend and they get bigger crowds! Colchester people do not get behind their local club, end of. ( Southend fans also moan about everything including Phil Brown!) southstand
  • Score: -10

10:14pm Wed 3 Sep 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

There will be a mass exodus of players at the end of this season no matter whether we get relegated or not, with 15 contracts up for renewal. So if we avoid relegation this season, in all honesty, I can't see us avoiding it next.
There will be a mass exodus of players at the end of this season no matter whether we get relegated or not, with 15 contracts up for renewal. So if we avoid relegation this season, in all honesty, I can't see us avoiding it next. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 24

1:17pm Thu 4 Sep 14

CUFCEEL says...

donttellanyone wrote:
I will not forget all the money you wasted bringing your mate Teddy Sheringham to the club. How come a club like Fleetwood can do so well then hurry up and leave the club.
That was his money, not the clubs money. He gambled, it failed, he's now adopting a more prudent long term strategy.
[quote][p][bold]donttellanyone[/bold] wrote: I will not forget all the money you wasted bringing your mate Teddy Sheringham to the club. How come a club like Fleetwood can do so well then hurry up and leave the club.[/p][/quote]That was his money, not the clubs money. He gambled, it failed, he's now adopting a more prudent long term strategy. CUFCEEL
  • Score: -8

1:20pm Thu 4 Sep 14

totallyfootball says...

archiebunker wrote:
Shrubendlad wrote:
Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club.
BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again.
We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.
With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every time...

Do on know the only season we averaged 10k? 1957/58. We could give away every ticket and the chances are we wouldn't fill the ground.
I dislike the complicated ticket price structure but that's not what stops people attending, what stops them coming is apathy, pure and simple.
For the most part the population isn't interested in it's local team. You only have to be at the station on a Saturday to see the shirts of many other, bigger, teams as people head off in all directions, and that's not counting the ones getting their football fix from Sky.

You also might not like the phrase "punching above our weight" but it doesn't alter the fact that it is now true in all senses. We tried throwing money at it and having a budget that matched far bigger clubs but it didn't work and it isn't sustainable, not if you still want there to be a Colchester United to support in the future. Our gates are mid-table League 2 at best.

Reality sometimes hurts but we have to face it. The current policy gives us a chance of surviving and, with luck, prospering and I can't see it changing unless some other wealthy benefactor, with the desire to turn a big fortune into a small one, appears. The phrase "rocking horse poo" springs to mind.
More interested in entertainment than football, any more news on Elton John signing?
[quote][p][bold]archiebunker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shrubendlad[/bold] wrote: Mr Cowling/There is a great deal of respect for you from most followers of the Club. BUT Please NEVER use the phrase "PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT" again. We(the wider Club) are competing against Ipswich in the North Essex Suffolk catchment area for customers. With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every game-customers stay away partly because because every time we have a big crowd-the team underperforms and partly because once or twice year this suicidal phrase is used.[/p][/quote]With proper marketing the Community Stadium could be full every time... Do on know the only season we averaged 10k? 1957/58. We could give away every ticket and the chances are we wouldn't fill the ground. I dislike the complicated ticket price structure but that's not what stops people attending, what stops them coming is apathy, pure and simple. For the most part the population isn't interested in it's local team. You only have to be at the station on a Saturday to see the shirts of many other, bigger, teams as people head off in all directions, and that's not counting the ones getting their football fix from Sky. You also might not like the phrase "punching above our weight" but it doesn't alter the fact that it is now true in all senses. We tried throwing money at it and having a budget that matched far bigger clubs but it didn't work and it isn't sustainable, not if you still want there to be a Colchester United to support in the future. Our gates are mid-table League 2 at best. Reality sometimes hurts but we have to face it. The current policy gives us a chance of surviving and, with luck, prospering and I can't see it changing unless some other wealthy benefactor, with the desire to turn a big fortune into a small one, appears. The phrase "rocking horse poo" springs to mind.[/p][/quote]More interested in entertainment than football, any more news on Elton John signing? totallyfootball
  • Score: 3

1:22pm Thu 4 Sep 14

totallyfootball says...

romantic wrote:
The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on.

Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower.

Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is.

The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it.
Romantic for a seat on the board!
[quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on. Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower. Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is. The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it.[/p][/quote]Romantic for a seat on the board! totallyfootball
  • Score: 5

1:52pm Thu 4 Sep 14

romantic says...

totallyfootball wrote:
romantic wrote:
The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on.

Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower.

Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is.

The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it.
Romantic for a seat on the board!
Thanks, tf! Would be an interesting experience, although I fear it might feel like shouting at the wall after a while.
[quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: The ground is scarcely 1/3 full most games for 2 reasons. 1: tickets cost too much. 2: the club does so little to promote itself that many people are not aware when games are on. Get posters up around the town, and at the station, saying: Next game is vs xxx, cost is xxx. Have a flat rate ticket for all matches, and keep the rate the same if you just turn up at the ground. Make that rate something like £10-£12. With prices lower, more people will come. Those people will buy refreshments, merchandise etc. There are a lot of lapsed U's fans out there who would come back if prices were set lower. Get people round the pubs and clubs on a Friday night selling tickets for the game next day. Get fixture lists into them as well, and into factories, offices etc. Get a poster at the station showing when the next game is. Several thousand commuters a day pass through there, and I assure you that many of them will have no idea even where the stadium is. The club seems only to promote itself to those who already know. Get out there, market the games so everybody else knows as well. Halve the price, get double the people. 7,000 fans cheering you on is a boost to players, you might find they step up a gear because of it.[/p][/quote]Romantic for a seat on the board![/p][/quote]Thanks, tf! Would be an interesting experience, although I fear it might feel like shouting at the wall after a while. romantic
  • Score: 6

2:06pm Thu 4 Sep 14

totallyfootball says...

The only person punching above their weight is you Cowling!
The only person punching above their weight is you Cowling! totallyfootball
  • Score: 16

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