Monday, 17 August 2015


Here are some quick notes from SFU fans forum with John Radford, 17 August 2015

Notes by Pete Wright

At top table, Darren Shaw (DS), John Radford (JR) & Mark Hawkins (MH)

JR said that 'club' run as three separate businesses
1) Football Club - managed by Adam Murray
2) Stadium - managed by Paul & Tina Broughton
3) Youth Academy - overseen by Steve Hymas & Mark Hawkins.

Q - Why stadium in name of JR and not MTFC?
A - Need to protect it against suing against Football Club

Q - Though you had kissed and made up with SH?
A - AS ( in audience) not kissed and made up  yet ( ha ha), JR confirmed stadium safe in his hands, no intention of selling up, has club best interests at heart.

Q - What's happening at Woburn Rd training facilities?
A - Still being held up by red tape. Meeting on Friday, hoping to get go ahead from Notts CC.
land bought from MDC two and half years ago, Andy Sutton eager to get on with levelling land. Hope to have it ready for next season, but might be earlier if things get a move on. Woburn would be for first team, but at present training on 'top' pitch and have option of using other places (eg Rainworth, Fretwell).

Q - Where's scoreboard?
A - Ready to go but waiting permissions, SAG red tape.

Q - when will extra corporate facilities be used?
A - Need to be ready by Sept as an event is booked for room. Was going to be called 1897 suite but now 1861 is being considered with reference to oldest ground record. New suite holds 250 whereas present Kevin Bird Suite only holds 75. Possibly have hospitality at games in new suite and having Kevin Bird Suite as bar for Upper West supporters, but need to increase numbers in hospitality to make it viable. This should happen if/when team starts winning games consistently.
JR confirmed a lot of behind scenes stadium infrastructure improvements had been made, but still more to do.

Q - Fans still complaining about problems with toilets, DF said SSA have regular meetings with Tina and Paul and things are getting done.

JR confirmed smoking areas are working well and folk in West Stand can change season tickets to QLE if they want to take advantage of smoking areas.

Q - View on AM as manager
A - Pleased with Adam, most chairmen the would have sacked him last season, but he could see the potential of Adam when he had is own team. JR target last season not being relegated, AM had confidence that he had JR support even if he lost 5 games on bounce. Not going to be a selling club in future. Big coup to get Matt Green back at MTFC. JR in for long haul. MG got two year contract, had worries that he might get injured again, but now only same worry as any other player.

Q - How long are players contracts.
A - Majority are one year with options, only player without option is Ryan Tafazolli, nearly lost him last season, but pleased we could keep him. Hope to keep JT for a number of years, he is an excellent player but still has a lot to learn, might be a struggle to keep him.

Q - What have you learned from the transfer market?
A - Learned a lot, made a few mistakes which will not be made again.

Q - What went wrong with Paul Cox?
A - Went a bit stale, he came to JR and said he needed a break from Football.

Q - What are your views on Notts County performance A - Very Good, NC boardroom directors said they would win before the game but at the end they admitted we were better team and were very polite and complimentary about it. JR very positive about this season.

Q - any chance of more signings this season?
A - Yes, If injuries and suspensions kick in, results are paramount.

Q - Why have sub benches been changed around ( home team North stand end)
A - so home management team can get at linesman, as Lino runs the right wing and hence nearer to our bench. Lot more professional this season especially in training.

Q - Is Adam Murray on a two year contract?
A - No comment, Adam has a contract.

Q - Why One Call shirt sponsor?
A - If someone pays more than the £70k per year that one call pays then they can have their name on shirt.

Q - Any chance of having a female Sam stag mascot.
A - No objections if you have a costume. ( questioner didn't have a costume)

Q - Are you surprised we have two first class keepers this season?
A - No, AM planned it that way, a bit expensive but Adam is managing his budget well.

Q - Worried about Lee Collin's injury?
A - No, should be ok for weekend.

Q - What are your views on Police costs?
A - I have wrote a letter to them and are awaiting reply, bills being paid on time.

Q - What are your views on Stewarding? DS says away fans at SD conference told him that stewards go over top at Field Mill.
A - Think we have not got any major problems this season, difficult to get balance right, but much better now than previous seasons.

Q - a specific complaint from floor about an OAP not being able to use lift by a steward last January.
A - JR asked for details outside meeting and he would get Tina and Paul to get back to him with an answer tomorrow.

Q - can we do anything about the Bishop Street Stand.
A - not viable until crowds improve and extra capacity needed.

Q - What would you do differently if you had been around when ground redeveloped.
A - not had to do retro fit projects. Would have put everything in first time round ( eg bars, gyms etc). KH had told him that BSS not done because grant capacity was 10K and folk wanted a very big impressive west stand and not a Scunthorpe type single tier stadium, so nothing left for BSS.

Q - How are payments to KH getting along.
A - All payments on schedule to finish in March 2019.

Q - any chance of having North stand back for home fans?
A - No chance, police not budge.

Q - any issues with SAG?
A - No, have good relationship with SAG now and have got 100% capacity again for this season.

Q - Why do car park drivers have to wait 'half an hour' after a game to leave car park?
A - H&S regs as part of SAG to prevent accidents with pedestrians leaving ground. Same as most grounds around the country.

Q - What is break even figure this year.
A - 4,500, JR still having to cover losses, trying to use his companies to 'spend' more on sponsorships to reduce his own personal input.

Q - Could the club have an away fans beer tent like Plymouth?
A - would like one but realistically siting would be a problem.

Q - Could Mark Hawkins explain the youth academy situation?
A - very exciting, over 300 young kids (7- 16 years) and 80 over 16's in elite and development squads. (55 players at Brooksby (16-18 years) from Sept and another 24 older players based in Mansfield). Teams playing in FLYA and Conf YA leagues and two college teams in Leics.

Q - Where do you want team to be in two years?
A - Love to be in Championship.

Q - what is situation with Matt Blair?
A - talking to him regarding a contract.

Q - what is situation with Luke Jones
A - not looking good, he could retire from game.

Q - When are your horses going to win?
A - one has won, and Rupert could do next time.

DS - Thanked JR for attending and confirmed JR always happy to attend these meetings and answer fans questions.