Monday, 26 May 2008

Kit Confusion

There seems to be a lot of confusion coming from BRFC/BRSC regarding the new kits, so let's try to make some sense of it.

GREEN AWAY KIT

In June 2007, BRSC confirmed that the green away kit would become the 3rd kit for season 2008-09.

Clive Farquar said "I have checked and can confirm that the new green away shirt will be the 3rd shirt for the 2008-09 season"

Then in May 2008, Pirate News showed 2 new Rovers kit designs - a new home kit and a new green away kit.

Yet BRSC fans Director David Brain claimed "Unless there has been a change we are retaining last years green kit as our second kit"

David's comments seem to be at odds with what Clive Farquar had said back in June 2007, and what is shown in Pirate News.

Looking at the designs in Pirate News, it is clear that the new away kit is not the same as the 2007-08 green away kit.

See here: http://file043a.bebo.com/7/large/2008/05/23/12/7234157a7815734174l.jpg

So according to BRFC/BRSC we have:

A. The green Away kit from 07-08 becoming the third kit
B. The green Away kit from 07-08 staying as the away kit
C. A green Away kit, plus a green 3rd kit
D. A new green Away kit to replace the green Away kit from 07-08

The new green Away kit design can be found on the Errea website shown as one of their basic designs called 'Maglia Antares' - the type used by amateur clubs.

See here: http://217.56.125.139/ins/fotografie/immagini_upload/%7BA839452F-C2D8-4F04-B874-8E48131B54F1%7D_B230.jpg

Yet David Brain claims "The kit manufactures, utilising their market experience, present a number of options which are developed in consultation with the club retails staff, management and directors."

But we can show that the green away kit design is just a basic Errea design with a sponsors logo, club badge etc. slapped on it.

In addition, it does not make commercial sense to launch another green kit, as people who purchased the one from last season are unlikely to buy another the following season.

UPDATE: On the 3rd of June 2008 Rovers continued the farce by saying "the away shirt in its new format will not go on sale to supporters."

And yet David Brain was defending their commercial expertise.

BLACK ARAB

Fans had been expecting the launch of a Black Arab style kit for season 2008-09 to mark the 125th anniversary of the club.

However, according to BRSC fans Director David Brain, it isn't yet the anniversary - so it seems that we will have to wait until the actual date of 1/12/2008 before it is launched.

It seems a bit pointless to release a kit 5 months into the season, and for it not to be the first or second choice kit. I guess they hope everyone will rush out and buy one for Christmas - but then again they would have missed out on more than 5 months worth of sales and of the players wearing it.

But there's more...

On May 23 2008, David Brain confirmed Rovers "will launch a commemorative 125 year kit on the anniversary later in the season."

Then just 2 days later he said "As for the BA kit I am not yet sure when it will be launched."

It is no wonder that Rovers fans are baffled about what is happening... or isn't happening.

Ironically, Errea already produce a Black Arab style shirt for other clubs, but not for Rovers.





NEW HOME KIT

The light blue colour seems to be a lot less popular with fans than a traditional royal blue colour.

Regardless, Rovers claimed the reason they have changed the colour of the blue on the shirts to a "lighter shade of blue" is "to match the colour of sponsors Cowlin's new logo".

Not mentioned is that having the shirt in the same colour as the logo reduces the printing costs.

However, the shade of blue used for the sponsors logo can't be that big of an issue as it is shown in white on the green away kit.

COMPLAINTS

Fans Director David Brain said "We have a retail manager and commercial director who consider what they believe fans want and what are the best commercial choices."

What he fails to mention is that the Rovers Commercial Director is Barry Bradshaw who also has the Errea South-West franchise.

So, does Barry Bradshaw make "the best commercial choices" for BRFC or Errea?

It is a conflict of interests, so he should be replaced.

EXCUSES EXCUSES

David Brain said "It should also be borne in mind that whilst the shirt design is very important the board, supporters club and football club have been somewhat distracted by the ground development and move to a temporary home and temporary retail and office premises which continues to be very time consuming."

Also See:

http://br-isc.blogspot.com/2007/06/what-no-quarters.html

http://br-isc.blogspot.com/2007/06/thumbs-down-for-commemorative-shirt.html

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Rovers Still Paying Football Agents

Rovers Fees To Agents:

£71,500 1 July 07 to 31 Dec' 07 (33 transactions - av. = £2,167)
£31,500 1 July 06 to 30 June 07 (42 transactions - av. = £750)
£35,500 1 July 05 to 30 June 06 (45 transactions - av. = £789)
£33,000 1 July 04 to 30 June 05 (46 transactions - av. = £717)

Back in January 2006, Geoff Dunford had claimed "We don't normally pay agents apart from in extreme circumstances".

"Like the rest of the clubs in the Football League, we are doing all we can to wean ourselves off payments to agents."

And then Rovers continued to make payments to football agents.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Colin Williams

Colin Williams has been a Rovers fan for over 40 years.

During the years when Rovers struggled at Twerton Park, his company 'Roman Glass' stepped-in to help by sponsoring Rovers shirts.

He later became a Rovers Director investing a lot of money into the club.

Colin Williams was the man who came up the idea of how Rovers could finance a new stadium. It was his vision and he was a key part of the project.

He even bought 2 houses next to The Mem to help Rovers get planning permission for the new stadium.

At one stage, Colin Williams (and others) loaned money (interest free) to Rovers so that Rovers could afford to pay the players wages.

Along with some other Directors, Colin resigned as a Rovers Director in 2006 as he wasn't happy about the way the club was being run behind the scenes.

At The Mem, Colin was also the person who organised the doorman of the Directors guest room, and the steward for the guests seating area - without cost to the club. Despite this, Colin was later refused permission by Rovers to visit the guest room.

The Directors Guest Room is free to invited guests. Life Vice President Vernon stepped-in and invited Colin to be his guest so that Colin could be with his elderly mother and her partner (former Rovers player Bill Roost) who used the room.

Roman Glass recently contacted the commercial department of BRFC and expressed an interest in bidding to become the new shirt sponsors when Cowlin's contract expires at the end of the season.

At least one director spoke to Colin Williams, director of Roman Glass, to confirm that he was indeed interested.

Several weeks later Roman Glass were advised that Cowlin's would be extending their sponsorship at the end of the season despite Roman Glass not being asked how much they were willing to pay.

Colin and his wife were also due to attend the Valentines Dinner at The Mem but the booking for the table was blocked by Rovers.

Despite Rovers making him feel unwelcome, Colin continued to support the Rovers.

Colin signed the S106 agreement so that the new stadium development could finally go ahead. Just a few days later he received the letter below:

Bristol Rovers Football Club 11th January 2008

Dear Mr & Mrs Williams,

Following a review of the use of the Club facilities it has come to light that you have been using both the Directors Guest Room and West Stand Car Park, and on occasions sitting within the Directors Guest Seating area.

Our records show that you have purchased Seats D45 and D46 in the West Stand. These seats do not entitle you to use the above mentioned facilities. I should be grateful if you would, with immediate effect, use only those facilities that you are entitled to. All staff have been notified of this notice.

Yours sincerely

A Watola

For and on behalf of Bristol Rovers Football Club


Colin's response:

I signed the '106' on Monday to enable Bristol Rovers to have a new stadium- on Saturday I received this letter.

Many thanks to Ron Craig and the Board.

Colin

Fans would like to hear Rovers side of the story as to why he has been treated in such a way, rather than thanking him for the great things that he has done for the club.

There needs to be a thorough investigation into the actions the club has taken against Colin Williams.

It is thought that Rovers may now need his help again, as Rovers revised stadium plans could mean that the S106 agreement will need to be signed by Colin once more.

Monday, 19 November 2007

A Big Week

A big week coming up for Rovers - PT has recently expressed the need for new additions to the squad, and the window for loan signings is due to close.

One of the great managerial sins is not spending every last penny a board gives you. Spend their money; it's your name, your career, your reputation on the line - splash the cash before the axe falls.

And if you've splashed all their cash, go back for more... Question their ambition first in private and then in public. Those are the basics of dressing room-boardroom politics. Squeeze them for every last drop. And then squeeze some more.

Don't ask and you don't get.

If LL & PT keep asking then they will get. They will get because that's the way for the board to win back some supporters hearts; to increase ticket sales; to secure Rovers' League One status.

It is, likewise, the way for recently appointed Board members to prove that they are in that boardroom for more than just the stadium redevelopment ride.

The recent bid to sign Jermaine Easter suggests there is still some money available to the management. Shifting out a couple of players could increase that amount further.

On the age-old basis of deeds speaking louder than words, who arrives this week may well start to tell everyone the substance to Barry Bradshaw's "Let's go for it" rally call.

Against this pressure to spend, the Board require financial prudence to keep the club in business. The difference being, of course, that such 'spin' actually comes with real substance.

Against this backdrop we also have the mysterious S106 signing - or rather lack of S106 signing. Rovers received planning permission back in January but the situation has been dragging on and on against claims by the Board that there were no problems. Deadlines, and extensions of deadlines have been and gone.

Fans are quite rightly concerned about the situation and rumours are rife due to a lack of information from the football club. Let us hope that the next week will bring some positive news on the stadium front.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Bristol Rovers: The Bert Tann Era (Hardcover) £14.99




















A new Rovers related book is being launched at the Bristol branch of Waterstone's in The Galleries on Saturday, November 3 (11am-noon).

A number of former players will be there to autograph copies, including Bill Roost, Ray Mabbutt, Josser Watling and Bryan Bush.

'Bristol Rovers: The Bert Tann Era' is written by Former Evening Post journalist Edward Giles who covered the club during those years and tells the story of Tann's reign from 1950 - 1968.

The book is priced at £14.99 and anyone who wants an autographed copy can contact the store on Bristol 925 2274.

Alternately, you can pre-order a copy of the book via the Amazon Gas Store:

http://astore.amazon.co.uk/gas-store-21

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Desert Island Books (1 Nov 2007)
ISBN-10: 1905328370
ISBN-13: 978-1905328376

Happy Easter

Striker Jermaine Easter has revealed that he had been all set to sign for Bristol Rovers until Plymouth Argyle came in with a late offer for him.

Easter revealed "I was preparing to sign for Bristol Rovers this week so it came out of the blue."

Easter continued: "I think Bristol Rovers put in an offer for me on Tuesday. I don't think Plymouth put in their offer until Thursday.

"As far as I was concerned, I was going to speak to Rovers, but Plymouth came in at the last minute."

Plymouth are expected to pay £210,000 for the striker at the start of January and he will remain on-loan until then.

If Rovers had a similar bid accepted then there seems to be plenty of money available to sign new players.

Rovers are thought to be looking for a striker and a central defender.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Section 106

Rovers fans are still waiting for news as to when the Section 106 agreement will be signed.

Once the Section 106 agreement has been signed, the planning permission given by the city council in January can take effect.

It was originally due to be signed by the 17th of July 2007 - the same day as Geoff Dunford claimed in the BEP that any problems had been "resolved" - and the same day that Rovers were given a 2 month extension.

UPDATE: On the 7th of August 2007, Ron Craig claimed there was a "slight delay".

When the extension was due to expire, the Bristol Evening Post reported on the 18 September 2007, that the S106 was "expected to be signed in the next fortnight".

UPDATE: It is now the 16th of October - 3 months have passed since Geoff Dunford claimed that problems had been resolved.

UPDATE: From the BEP (18th Oct 2007)

"Nick Higgs, vice-chairman of Bristol Rovers, told the Post he expected the section 106 agreement to be signed tomorrow (which will be the 19th of Oct '07) and that he was not against residents and ROSE members being on a stadium monitoring group. A council spokesperson, however, said the agreement was not due to be signed until November 12."

So what happened Nick?

UPDATE: From BRSC AGM (1st Dec' 2007)

Fans were told it would be signed 'early' this week.

UPDATE: Monday & Tuesday (4th December 2007) have passed without any news at all from BRFC.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Mastermind - Captain Gas

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Evening Post Sack Gasheads

After just 6 weeks, the Bristol Evening Post has sacked two Gasheads who were writing a 'Fans View' column for the Evening Post's Green Un.

Rovers season ticket holder Rick Johansen explained:

"I met with the Sports Editor today and he told me that our presence in the Green Un was causing a rift between the newspaper and the football club and we were to be axed "with immediate effect".

"I was told there were no issues with quality nor content."

The newspaper was happy with their work, so who wanted them sacked?

Last season, Geoff Dunford had asked BRFC programme editor Keith Brookman to sack Rick & Steve Slade from the Rovers programme.

In addition, Rick & Steve's names were recently deleted from the 'Credit & Thanks' page on the Rovers official website. See: http://br-isc.blogspot.com/2007/08/thanks-but-no-thanks.html

Some Gasheads are already planning to stop buying the newspaper in protest.

UPDATE: The following is from the Rovers offical forum:

My name is Mike Norton. I’m the editor of the Evening Post. As I am the person who made this decision, let me give you some facts about it.

1. These two columnists caused absolutely no rift between the club and Evening Post.

2. The club did not put any pressure upon me to “sack” them. In fact, as they are not employees of the paper, I’m not sure how they could be “sacked”.

3. They are being replaced by someone who I know to be independent, a lifelong Rovers fan who is also a journalist and who worked at the Evening Post for many years.

4. In other words, the new columnist is certainly not “board-approved”.

5. The Evening Post is – and will always be - editorially independent of both Bristol Rovers and Bristol City.

UPDATE: The above explanation by the editor fails to explain 'Why were they sacked?' and seems at odds with what the Sports Editor said to Rick.

UPDATE: Rick regarding the comments from the editor "I have never met him or spoken to him".

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Rovers 0 - 3 Leeds Utd