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Supporters' Trust admit concern over Lincoln city's finances

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 01, 2011

  • Financial pressures:Lincoln City chairman Bob Dorrian

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The chairman of Lincoln City Supporters' Trust, Chris Ashton, has spoken of his "concern" at the state of the club's finances ahead of their annual meeting next week.

The Imps are set to announce they have lost more than £480,000 in the last financial year due to the impact of relegation from the Football League.

In his covering letter to shareholders, chairman Bob Dorrian explained that depreciation, a loss in gate revenue, extra transfer money for Steve Tilson and a mixture of other income streams failing to meet their targets were responsible for the significant loss.

And Ashton said the Trust, who are the club's largest shareholders, have made it clear to the board that they expect tighter financial control.

But he admitted he was pleased to see the club recruit three new board members which has meant a fresh injection of cash into the club's coffers.

"As the largest shareholders in Lincoln City, the Trust board are obviously both concerned and disappointed, but not surprised, with the latest losses sustained by the club," he said.

"We have made it very clear to the club board that we expect much tighter financial controls, particularly in relation to the playing budget to ensure the long term success of our club.

"We were delighted to see new directors join the club board.

"We welcome the investment they bring and will continue to support the club in seeking further, new, investment.

"Ultimately the success of the football club is a reflection of what is achieved on the pitch.

"It is important everyone with an interest in Lincoln City works together to support David Holdsworth in his quest to install a winning team at Sincil Bank."

Lincoln's financial problems have been well documented this season which has led to the club streamlining its staff.

A number of redundancies have taken place as the club attempt to adapt to the precarious nature of the current economic climate.

But writing to shareholders, chairman Dorrian, who confessed he was in the middle of making some radical changes, said he could see an end to the suffering.

"The board continue to work very hard on behalf of Lincoln City in what are very difficult times," he said.

"But I can see a light at the end of the tunnel."

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  • Redimps1976  |  December 06 2011, 6:44PM

    Just what do the Trust bring in to the club? Certainly no amount of substantial investment. They have passed their sell by date. Done well in past, but no longer. The only answer to me is put the club up for sale.

  • helgy2  |  December 06 2011, 2:17PM

    Sorry but how do you know for 100% that the directors only put in 30k thats only something you think has happened. Who would want to put in 75k just to get free drinks and the prestige of being a director of a BSP side not exactely the glamour life is it? The Trust it seems don't put off investment as we have had 3 new directors but it seems the trust far from having alot of control don't have that much say. Rob Bradley firmly beleives in the trust speak to him and he's out and about promoting the trust on matchdays which is good to see.

  • SleafordImp1  |  December 06 2011, 10:11AM

    I am so pleased that a few of real supporters can recognise one of the fundamental problems we have. I fully agree that it is the presence of the Trust that has put of potential investors off. They cannot see the wood for the trees, and has already been suggested they want power but not responsibility. I have to acknowledge that the support of the trust has been very valuable but they should be merely supporters not a small group trying to exert a disproportionate level of influence on the club.

  • Alanimp  |  December 06 2011, 2:49AM

    well done george,you hit nail on the head.

  • uphill_imp  |  December 05 2011, 3:27AM

    Ha is this the same chris ashton who husehed me down at the EGM when i stood and told Dorrian to step down as he was ruining OUR club and who told the chairman he had his full support HYPOCRITE .... see you thursday

  • EastMidsImp  |  December 02 2011, 10:54PM

    It is all right Chris Ashton expressing concern but the Trust,with 2 Directors on the Board,must share collective responsibility for the dire state the club is in.It looks like the Trust want power but not the responsibility.

  • lincolnsar  |  December 02 2011, 5:12AM

    no george . keep talking , every thing you have said is dead right . you just choose not to ignore it like a lot of city fans do . supporters trust , so your concerned are you . you voted them all to stay if i am not mistaken . you saved our club once and well done but george is correct . you have passed your sell by date . stop hanging on , just like our present board and chairmen. your all taking our club down .

  • Mickcaddoo  |  December 01 2011, 2:51PM

    Georgegordon1: I like your comments and agree somewhat but lets face it, the writing has been on the wall for over 3 years now. Those who peered over the parapets and voiced concern were immediately dismissed and criticised. The Trust also, (something I never really got my head around) is probably a concept that may be preventing potential investors from coming in. We are without doubt in dire straights, and the present economic times are extremely challenging, but the club must work hard and continue to reach out and re-capture the hearts and minds of business and the community. LCFC were extremely good at this during the Graham Taylor era, but I dare say the greed of footballers and managers may have changed the way in which local community is viewed………. except that is when they want our cash!! ......But without the paying public the club will be doomed anyway.

  • georgegordon1  |  December 01 2011, 12:02PM

    I know I've said this before many times (so I apologise in advance to the people on here who are baying to shout me down), but the current structure of the Club with the Trust being the biggest shareholder, is a strait-jacket that is preventing any further meaningful investment. I mean absolutely no disrespect to the new directors, but their investment is a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the financial mess we are in at the moment. The new directors (OK I fully expect to be shouted down here... but I have done my research and I know what I'm talking about) don't really add any great 'practical' investment in the club either - aside from their financial investment. It's all very well taking on new directors who have put a few bob in the club (around the price of a new BMW, eh? - you know who you are) but are they really adding any meaningful amount of money, or any real practical benefits. What do the new directors do in real practical terms apart from attending board meetings once a month and voting? Read what Keith Roe and Rob Bradley said in the Echo on this matter (last summer). Thirty years ago, the directors would play a real practical part in running the club and drumming up community involvement and local business financial imput. Nowadays being an LCFC director is just a status symbol and free drinks at half-time. These days, in order to get onto the LCFC board all you need is to put in about 30 ish grand and turn up once a month for board meetings. In order to be on the LCFC board you should be committed to offering some real practical benefits and make a substantial 'time' investment - not just hand over a bit of play money so you can tell people you're a Lincoln City Director at your Christmas dinner party. I know that beggars can't be choosers, and we desperately need money from whatever source. So I am not in any way criticising the new directors. We are very grateful for their money. But in the longer term, the strategy of having a straitjacket structure (Trust / Co-op) placed around the club and taking ocassional piddly bits of investment from 'lifestyle directors' is not going to save us from the inevitable. We need to start playing the long game (off the pitch) and think where we want to be 10 years from now. I have said it once and I will say it again. We will never get any real meaningful investment while the Club has this structure. It is a straitjacket that is suffocating us. OK... now for the torrent of abuse I suppose......

  • redimp45  |  December 01 2011, 9:17AM

    Sorry I do not mean to sound unsympathetic but Dorrian and co knew what the implications of relegation would be, Yet they still poured money and faith in to Tilson. Everyone on the outside could see the crash coming. Lincoln really have no one but themselves to blame for the situation we find themselves in.