First post in a while, but been reading forum for years. This is honestly one of the most depressing discussions I've seen, possibly ever, on this forum.
So our budgets have been cut.....
We are a relatively poor club with a low turnover and have been running a loss for a while, which has eaten into our cash reserves. These cash reserves only exist cause of the sensible(and arguably fantastic) way that our club has been run over the years by our board, especially the Browns. For a few years not that long ago we posted profits based on property deals and the non footballing income of the club has long been a vital part of the clubs turnover. Our gates are low and with arguably three of the biggest four clubs in the country not even in our league this season the turnover is set to drop again.
As has been said in various places we've been renting training facilities down in Stirling for the last few years, the club are now sensibly, with the long term survival of the club in mind, investing in our own facilities. The benefits to this are impossible to argue against. Saints players will now be in Perth, making them a visible and arguably more approachable part of the community; the cost of maintaining our facilities will be much cheaper than the rent at SU; the land was already owned by the club and they've been able to adapt existing facilities within the stadium so although the outlay is high it's not that high. There's also the chance for us to increase our income by renting out the facilities to some of the further north part time league clubs and any number of other teams. Which is a fantastic use of a cash injection that we've been lucky to get.
The club were stung a bit by the cost of travel to the Belarus game last season and maybe that's why the budgets haven't been finalised. They won't want to be taking out a loan or an overdraft to pay for a 5-6 figure travel bill. Now we know we're going to the relatively cheap(to get to) Switzerland, we might find that there is some activity on the manager or May's contracts.
Youth players getting a chance is great to see and there's so much enthusiasm around Brown and Kane in particular, as others have said a hungry eager Kane is a much better option that Iwelumo(sp?) or Fallon. It would have been nice to keep a flair player like Hasslebank but he was on a high wage and the club cannot afford to pay one of it's highest wages to a player that inconsistent, as great as he was when he was on it.
Youth recruitment(and player recruitment generally) must be a difficult aspect of running a club and if young guys see they'll get a chance to play for saints we become a much more attractive club to sign for. Which is fantastic for the long term growth and development of the club.
It is frustrating that we possibly won't be seeing any new signings this summer, but we have a strong squad and the league is arguably weaker than last year, we'll still finish 6-8th which is pretty good going for the size of squad we have, money we make/spend and relative size of the club.
The PR could be improved, in terms of keeping fans in the loop but then the level of detail that a fan of a football club wants probably doesn't match up all that well with good business practice. The Brown's may come across as dour and not very excitable but then I think that may be a Carse thing. My partners from the Carse and we live out here and I swear everyone just sort of gets on with everything without much fuss, hardly the worst characteristics to have, it is possibly this level headiness that kept the club being run on an even keel when other clubs were jizzing money up the wall.
The board has shown throughout the time the Browns have been involved have consistently shown that they they have the clubs best interests at heart and plan our spending as part of the long term with the bigger picture in mind. That is what this feels like again, the pieces are being put in place to ensure that this great club continues to be abel to run and over achieve in the best ways that it can. I for one believe that everything that is being done in the interest of the club.