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Tracey Crouch MP - Initial thoughts on Football Governance and Finance
at 22:54 27 Nov 2021

It seems that recent events at Bury and Macclesfield as well as our own torrid time have prompted Government to take a look at the National Game to try and secure its long term future and global position. I would urge all fans to at least take a quick look at what might happen, I believe the timescale is around 12 months prior to some sort of legislation.

You can download the 7 page document here
Its a PDF.
The main gist is that she is recommending am Independent Regulator for Governance of Clubs and changes to financial issues such as how the FA distributes its money, the protection of heritage items such as trophies, shirts colours etc, fan participation and transparency and gambling advertising and sponsorship.

A key paragraph from the initial introduction:

". Key aspects of our national game are at genuine
risk. The short-lived threat of the European Super League jeopardised the future of the English
football pyramid. While that threat has receded - for now - the dangers facing many clubs across the
country are very real with their futures precarious and dependent in most cases on the willingness
and continuing ability of owners to fund significant losses. When this is multiplied by poor financial
controls, reckless behaviour by owners and an unwillingness of the authorities to intervene the
results are clear - as can be seen from the recent fates of Bury and Macclesfield. Historic and much loved clubs going under. Loyal fans bereft and communities decimated. "

I'm not sure there has actually been any decimation in Macc or Bury or that artificial surfaces for L2 would be a great idea but her heart seems to be in the right place as a starting point!

Southall vs Charlton Supporters trust
at 11:29 4 Oct 2021

Southall threatened to sue the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust for defamation. Here is the account of what happened...
Follow the money!
at 13:13 2 Oct 2021

Any reader of crime novels will be familiar with the expression "follow the money" as the means to solve intricate cases. This is what we are faced with in our dealings with the people who mean us harm. So... money..often illegally obtained, often from drugs, prostitution, blackmail, people trafficking etc. Apparently there is £2Tr (trillion.. a million millions) of illegal money circulating every year, 5% of global GDP. Somehow this money has to be converted from "dirty money" to " clean money" i.e. money that is undetectable by authorities whose aim is to prevent the circulation of dirty money and thereby its sources. In 2016 $4.2Bn was laundered through 60 HSBC accounts in Hong Kong and this aftermthe bank had promised to be more circumspect having been caught laundering 100s of millions of dollars fron South American drugs gangs. In 2017, Deutsche Bank was fined nearly $700 million for allowing money laundering. The fines stemmed from a scheme of artificial trades between Moscow, London and New York that authorities said were used to launder $10 billion out of Russia. I imagine a fine of less than 10% of the money laundered is probwbly seen asmthe "cost of doing business", especially for a bank that holds over $30 trillion of derivatives and has had its share price tumble from €140 in 2007 to €11 today

The tricky part of "laundering" is what I believe is known as "layering", moving dirty money through a series of entities such as offshore accounts, through different regimes and often into and out of seemingly perfectly legal companies. One of the tricks is to operate these money transfers in relatively small numbers that do not in themselves attract attention but perhaps involving hundreds of accounts, in the US, amounts of over $10k going in and out of accounts have to be notified to the IRS by the banks. This is not the case of course in countries where the regime is happy to simply take your money and "disappear" you without trace. And in a developing world there are lots of people who have become very rich by highly illegal means and who need to convert their illegal money into something legal and which allows them to "escape" from their illegal activities.

Normally there is a cost involved in cleaning money so to perhaps being able to put dirty money into a profitable business capable of being sold again and again for more and more money means that a nefarious investor gets to keep more of his nefarious money.

All of which leads us to people who have criminal backgrounds, involved in multiple small businesses and who seem to have an unusual interest in stuggling football clubs with potential... sound familiar?
Imagine if someone with less than honorable intentions had bought a 51% shareholding in say a football club and having bought control decided to issue lets say 10m shares at £2 each and imagine if those shares were bought by multiple people wanting to hide some dirty money. The money is invested in a training facility, some highly promising young players, maybe even a new ground, and at some point is then sold to say a "chinese investor" who has a pile of cash to "get out of china".... dirty money turns clean , then dirty again ... ad infinitum.

So why Rochdale? Because there were only 500,000 shares? Ergo only 250,001 or so to buy, about the cost of a top Rolls Royce? And how do the people who "front" these deals make money? Maybe by keeping their mouths shut, perhaps by being given a slice of the action?

Now, lets play a game..
Who do we know that has a drugs conviction and involvement in lots of small companies? Who do we know that has apparently been involved in Chinese deals and football clubs? Who do,we know that is involved with high-end motor cars that seem to be bought and sold regularly? Who do we know that has already "fronted" a takeover of a football club? Supposing we considered all these apparently random people and events as being all linked in a common purpose.. imagine if a director of one football club started talking to the director or CEO of another one and realised that the magical number of "50% plus 1" was within reach for a relatively small amount, particularly if the biggest shareholder was lets say a " distressed seller".

As they say , "follow the money". Who might know people in need of "clean money"? Who might realise that a football club in need of cash might be a good place to wash dirty money? Who might imagine that turning a relatively poor club into something more "investable" could be an excellent money churning device? Players in, players out, "undisclosed fees" bigger crowds, promotions, re-development, and literally Trillions of pounds looking for a big washing machine every year. And how do they get their money back? Simple, individually they could sell their shares to someone else who wants to wash some cash and maybe buy them back in say 12 months, for a fee of course, rather like buying and selling high value vehicles with the same garage (these people always know someone else in the same "industry"). Or they sell the whole kit and kaboodle to someone with a large pile of money that they need to move quickly and then start looking for another football club.. who knows they might already have one in mind, there are always relegation candidates and financially distressed clubs. There may even be smaller clubs that have already been targeted ready for a big "takeover", perhaps even clubs that have already been used previously on a smaller scale, perhaps as a "test" and are now ready for takeover number 2 or number 3. Perhaps a conversation takes place over a couple of beers and a mini pork pie in a boardroom after a game, someone mentions that there is a major shareholder who wants out quickly and is looking for a buyer of his shares and might be perhaps "motivated" to sell in some way.

This sort of criminality may well be embedded within the football industry, there always seem to be clubs running into financial difficulties these days, bigger wage bills, bigger transfer fees, wave after wave of unlikely investors seemingly happy to lose money "chasing the dream". People blame TV money but is that really the case?
There is £4bn of debt in the Premiership. Is a loan clean or dirty money?
Tonights match
at 14:18 31 Aug 2021

Just seen its a 7.00 kick off and thought it was worth reminding anyone who maybe hadn't noticed (just me probably)
Centenary Game on Friday
at 23:17 24 Aug 2021

I was thinking about this game last night, well this morning actually, and wondered if there ought to be a minutes silence in memory of all the fans and players who supported or played for the club and are no longer able to?
I especially thought about lads like my Dad who was called up in 1941 and spent nearly 5 years with XXX Corps in Africa and Europe and was lucky enough to return home. How many fans and players were denied their Saturday matches forever?

I also thought about how as a youngster I was always surprised that my Dad seemed to know Jack Ashworth who ran the tea bar on the Willbuts Lane side and how they usually exchanged "how do's" at matches. turns out they were both in XXX Corps , Jack in the Gordon Highlanders (51st Highland Div) and my dad in the RAOC with 7th Armoured Div (Desert Rats).

I realised where they knew each other from at a "do" in the early 80s when I was invited to the wedding of Jack Ashworth's Daughter to Len Hilton's (former Dale Director and pie supplier) son. I caught My Dad and Jack talking in the car park, whilst taking in some fresh air, about the funnier side of their exploits in North Africa. Not that most of what either of them did was particularly amusing but like so many they brushed that aside and remembered the bits that made them laugh. Recently I have discovered that Jack Ashworth was transferred to gliders and was amongst the first wave into Arnhem. and by coincidence my Dad was just down the road with the rest of XXX corps trying to get 30,000 vehicles down a one-lane road.

My Dad was eventually de-mobbed in 1945 whilst Jack went to Norway as part of King Haakon's bodyguard when the King returned to Norway following his years of exile in London

By coincidence, my wife is Jack Ashworth's niece, Jacks son Michael still stands in the Sandy Lane End, sometimes with his son as I do occasionally with mine and the thread to the past continues unbroken.

I write this mainly because this club is an integral part of peoples lives and has been for 100 years and we need to recognise those who helped to build it as much as those now who have stepped up again to save it. A silent minute seems like the least we can do.

Later thought...
Maybe we should try and collect recollections, memories etc from past generations of supporters and players whilst we still can
Dear Simon
at 13:10 6 Aug 2021

First of all let me say thank you for stepping up and putting your time, money and energy on the line on behalf of our club.
As more information emerges about the poor character and financial irregularities of the supposed buyers of the club, I wondered if you have had any fresh conversations with the people who were prepared to sell their shares to them?

Whilst the intentions of the former directors seem to be clear, I wonder if Andrew Kilpatrick really wants to be associated with these so-called buyers if he now knows the latest revelations? Its hard to imagine that a man with such a vested professional interest in probity and straight dealing really wants to be publicly associated with criminal acts and downright thuggery?
If AK were to publicly take his shares off the table at this point, I think this crisis would be effectively over and he could be welcomed back into the fold.

Just a suggestion.
Best regards 49th
MK Dons losing £63K per week - £16m in Debt
at 19:54 6 Jul 2021

Now over £16m in debt (underwritten by owners).
Sheffield Wednesday lost £23m in 2019/20 now £99m in debt
I have the sense that as much as we are struggling, there are plenty of clubs much worse off right up to the Premiership... Newcastle accounts not filed , and have asked for a time extension, Crystal Palace accounts now overdue ,

I wonder how many clubs didn't chop their overheads and thought they would be able to manage? Pity the EFL has tin ears and no claws. They really need to get a grip.

Looking ahead to Next Season
at 16:16 6 Apr 2021

Which ever division we are playing in, this coming Summer has a whole raft of players coming to the end of their contracts. By my reckoning we only have 9 players contracted for next season:
Dunne has another 1year option

Reaching the end of their current deals are McLaughlin, McNulty, McShane, O'Connell, Dooley, Lynch, Keohane, Done, Ryan, Lund, Baah, Hopper and Bradley. Going back to parent clubs are Bazunu, Roberts, Osho and Vale

How many of the OOC players would anyone realistically re-sign? For me, O'Connell, Lynch Keohane Lund would be favourites O'C and Lund being good enough for L1 should we manage what is looking more unlikely and stay up, Lynch as a Number 2 keeper (or Brad Wade if they think he is anywhere near ready) and Keohane simply for his versatility. This means signing an almost entirely new defence! Does anyone realistically think Baah might re-sign?

That would give us 1 Goalkeeper
1 Centre Half, plus Dunne if they take up his 1 year option.
7 midfielders (including Keohane)
4 forwards + Baah?
Hopper and Bradley ??
Peter Thomas and Kacper Mialkowski I presume will be kept.

I really don't want another on-loan keeper, indeed where possible I think I would avoid loanee defenders altogether and try and bring in a couple of pacey forwards.

I think we need to say thankyou and farewell to a number of players who are blighted by injuries, if you have a small squad anyway, the risk of them having long term injuries is too great.

Crypto currencies for Football Clubs
at 23:25 14 Mar 2021

I can't honestly say I really understand how this works but there are some big clubs involved and it seems as though Bitcoin and Etherium are making a lot of people much weathier. If a football club can improve their connection to their fans fans as this seems to imply by having their own crypto can someone please explain it to our club? Or even the rest of us?

Paul McShane interview
at 20:40 5 Mar 2021

McShane interview
[Post edited 5 Mar 20:40]
Next 2 games suspended
at 16:33 28 Dec 2020

Whatever happened to "merit"
at 16:33 27 Oct 2020

Ifollow Help!!!!
at 21:24 19 Sep 2020

Can anyone offer any help?
1. Visit our website www.rochdaleafc.co.uk
Look for the iFollow dropdown link on the main navigation bar, at the top of the page.
Done that

2. Click on subscribe
Hover over the iFollow dropdown link and click on subscribe.
I am subscribed

3. Select the fixture
Scroll down to Match Passes, select the fixture that you wish to watch, and click ‘Subscribe Now’.
there is no subscribe now option

4. Sign up or sign in to iFollow
If you already have an iFollow account, sign in using your email address and password. If not, create a free account by clicking ‘Register Now’, completing the form and clicking 'Create Account' at the bottom.
I an signed in

5. Enter your code
Enter your promo code into the box on screen and click ‘Apply’ to activate your discount. Your Match Pass will then be available for free.

Please note you will still have to enter your card details in order to process the free match, but don’t worry, you won’t be charged.

6. On matchday, head to the match centre and tune in!
Head to the match centre via either the website home page, or the ‘Next Match’ link on the iFollow dropdown before kick-off to tune in.

So I am registered on ifollow,
I have put in Credit card details
I have a code from the club
I scroll down to select the game tomorrow
Cant select anything the FAQ says a box should pop up .. no box
Club says I should get this done early ie not on day of the game.. is this too early?

Anyone got any ideas?

[Post edited 19 Sep 2020 21:31]
The Jury is in ! Take your Vitamin D!!!!
at 19:37 7 Sep 2020

Sensational results for a Vitamin D clinical trial for Hospitalised Covid 19 patients.

The Government / NHS apparently doesn't want to give you a cheap , easily obtainable vitamin despite the FACT that it will give you a 98% of not dying even if you end up in hospital. So buy some now for you and your family!

Family Rewards Cards
at 12:21 2 Sep 2020

I bought one of these for my lad rather than a season ticket because he doesnt get to many Saturday games when he is playing Lacrosse.
I had a think about the possibilities for using the card and SCs rather like one of those dining discount cards where you can get 25% off if you eat on a thursday night or whatever. Given the restaurant business is in a bad a state as football seems to be it struck me that this could be a whole new revenue stream . Restaurants, take-aways, butchers bakers etc might all offer 5% or 10% discounts to attract new customers who show them a Rewards card or SC. at £25 a time, its decent money for just sending someone out to create a list and give the participating shops a door sticker.
All of us on here can probably think of several places that might be interested in participating and if the club got its act together we could be signing places up for fun!
all that would be needed would be a page on the official website with the list of participating places, their offer, and a link into the online ticketing system.. Who knows, they might also want to sponsor a player or a banner at the back of the stands?
This could be repeat business too year in year out 4000 sales = £100k and its a win-win for the club and the town.
If only we still had 100 Gold Bond reps calling on people!

This is the blurb on the website:
£5 discount on match tickets for home league games;
Priority purchase for cup games;
Discounted iFollow match passes.
Monthly rewards such as;
Bring a friend vouchers;
Half-price hospitality;
10% discount in the Club Shop;
Local business offers.
Season Card holders will also receive all of the above monthly rewards!

Note this: "Local business offers". Somebody thought about it so when will it get going?
Released list announced
at 13:05 19 Jun 2020


"Half Crown" Oil Arena
at 19:13 20 Apr 2020

Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate Oil prices have just gone negative. Producers are now paying people to take it off them. All themstorage and pipelines are full. No idea really how this affects Crown Oil our biggest sponsor but would presume this cannot be good news running into Summer when demand is low anyway. Great time to fill the tank if anyone uses Oil CH though.
This will potentially kill thousands of jobs unless it reverses quickly , expect the stock markets to get hammered too in the morning.
at 18:38 12 Feb 2020

Signs first por contract until summer 2021 ... official site.
Photographs from last night
at 11:18 26 Sep 2019

And Luke interview


[Post edited 26 Sep 2019 11:19]
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