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Was at the meeting.  Very informative and well put together.

Steve Brown on the first team squad/ players. We've had to pay a severance fee for May so he says there's only likely to be a RB(HOPEFULLY Monday) and talking to a LB and that's it.  Unless we can shift Ando and MacMillan. Seemed optimistic we would be able to.

Foster fell out with manager and agreed to leave. Didn't want to say more as there's a confidentiality agreement.  When asked, he gave a fairly comprehensive account of the May saga.  

He says this has been the hardest window he's ever known, agents are a nightmare. He doesn't know how many more transfer windows he'll be involved in, as with brexit looming he may be thinking of focussing more on his own business. He hinted that he might not be in position all that much longer, but that might just be how drained he feels after negotiations?

Alistair Stevenson talked about the youth programme. A few very exciting players in there.  The 16 (?) yr old Denholm on the bench on Saturday was released by Celtic and the club have very high hopes for him.

Interestingly we don't sign our youngsters on a development contract at 16 as they would leave school. Saints want the players to have an education to fall back on, and get the players in a day a week as well as evenings. It does mean we would miss out on quite a bit of the development fee, but the club want to do right by the youngsters, as the vast majority won't make it.

Cant remember the lads name, Steve someone I think, gave an update on the women's football side.

more....

 

Edited by PauloPerth
Typos

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Stan Harris spoke about the finances.  

We lost about £190k or so last season. The two Dundee teams out the league costs us around £150k I think they said.  The only slightly heated debate of the evening was a couple of Saints fans desperate to pimp out the three sides of the ground to The OF to make us an extra £300k or whatever a season. Starting a sentence with I never ever go to games against The OF, but I think we should give them 3 sides of the ground is a bit of a brass neck in my honest opinion, but each to their own I suppose.  Stan and Broon were fairly non-commital on the issue, but I think it's something that's been discussed.

The cup game against Celtic at home last season there were only 1065 Saints fans there out of a crowd of 5600 or something.

But Celtic smashed 58 seats, and it took us a bit of time to get the money off them, so pros and cons.  The club don't run to the press for variousness reasons about keeping good relations with them, for young players etc.

Our leccy bill is between £12 - £18k a month. Water bill is £12k.  The club have looked at solar panels on the roofs - not cost effective.  Wind turbine - but McD sits in a bowl so wouldn't produce enough to make it viable, and water capture system, but the steelwork of the stands is not strong enough to hold them.  They keep looking at opportunities to save on bills.

Marketing - they have given flyers round all the new estates in Perth area. Bertha Park etc.

We had the 14th highest average home attendance in Scotland last season.  But our wage bill was 8th highest on an average of £48k per first team player. (Excluding bonuses etc!)

more..

 

Edited by PauloPerth
Typos

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On the youths, the club feel they now have a good relationship with Man Utd, who were very complimentary about the set up here and want to develop it further. Talk of a couple of games per season at different age groups.  They spoke well of the standard of several of Saints young players.

The hope is the relationship can be developed further (possibly them sending a reserve/ under 23 side for pre-season game, maybe loaning players etc.


 

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SB was asked why we don't get players in for pre-season, why we always wait until season had started and he said it was completely the managers choice.  There's no stipulation from the club about that.  

Again agents are a nightmare. He spoke about Zander Clark re-signing and changing to Jackie Mac as his agent.  He joked he let Tommy do the negotiations initially but that barely lasted a week.  Said Macnamara knew he had the power as Saints weredesperate to protect their investment in Clark so we wanted get him tied up a few years and can get a good fee if he's sold, so that all makes for a stronger hand for the agent.

Someone asked why players don't overrule their agents and he said you very rarely see that. Some players barely know which club their agent has got them signing for.

He showed list of 1st team players and when their contracts are up. A lot of key ones next summer.  He was asked about trying to tie up Kennedy and Wright now, he said we will be trying but Kennedys agent will be trying to tout him round the bigger clubs so will hardly listen to us just now, and when asked why we didn't try to extend Drey in the summer, similar, his agent wouldn't even have talked to Saints, and if he finds form clubs down south will be all over him.

He mentioned a few times how much Tommy is involved in deals, and reckoned more than at most clubs.  He joked a few times about how stubborn TW is at pushing for what he wants.

Someone asked if Tommy was pinched by another club tomorrow if he had an idea who he would try to get as a replacement, and SB was quite quick in saying yes.

The board said Paul Smith is leaving , off to pastures new. They thanked him for all the work hes done for the club.  Paul was in attendance.

 

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Continued...

SB was asked about the Jim Spence article about how we are run. He wasn't scathing, just said it's from someone who's never had to run a club, so doesn't really understand the complications.

He said talk of a DOF etc .. we run the same structure we've done for the past 8 (?) years or so, our most successful period in our history and people only mention stuff like that when the team is struggling.

He said Hibs have 4 full-time staff in charge of recruitment and they've just spent £250k on a striker that's barely had a shot at goal yet. Not to slag them, just to point out there's no guarantees.

As an aside, sounded like Hibs were keen for Shaw to come to us right up until the weekend, But Saints have heard nothing from them since the draw on Saturday.

 

We have 1624 season ticket holders (approx) which is 80 up on last season.

 

Bev the Supporter Liaison Officer talked about the Scottish football fans survey. 284 Saints fans replied last season.its open just now (I think on our website?) for another couple of weeks.

They are really keen for as many Saints fans as possible to complete this as it's really useful info for the club.  

 

More...

 

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infrastructure

the car park remains a big H&S issue. They spend £150k on doing just the top bit, and they will continue to work on it. 

We have had an upturn on commercial income with the road behind the stand being open, e.g. From catering and funerals etc.

The website will likely be another outlay as its needing updated. 

On that, with the e-ticketing system introduced, all 4 stands are now kitted out with wireless coverage. This is with a view to being able to pay by card (app?) in future and make kiosks far more efficient.  Even if we had 10000 at a game, we are very limited to what we can take in by how many kiosks we have and the time to serve folk in a limited 20 minute window.  By moving to more folk paying without cash the hope is that we can generate more income.

The merchandising is an area the club want to improve massively, particularly online. There has been an issue with some sizes of the macron kit but hopefully sorted soon as it's a new supplier thing.  BLK were abit of a nightmare.  We've already sold more of the macron kits I'm pretty sure Stan said.  It's going to tie in with the new website.

Other areas needing money are the hospitality lounges as they bring in a lot of income but are looking very worn. Between £30-£50k.

Finally, and quite fittingly, we just had to spend £20k on a new tractor for the groundsman. 

 

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That's me done. 

This is just my interpretation of what was said. If others were in attendance and read it differently then please comment.

I'm not trying to pitch it from any particular viewpoint, just how i picked it up.   I quite strongly believe that things like this should be in the wider domain and are not just for the few who attend.  

Next time if the club filmed it I think it would be great. Though you might would not get the same level of openness on certain issues possibly.

Overall, very worthwhile in my opinion and well done to those who were involved in it.

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3 minutes ago, PauloPerth said:

That's me done. 

This is just my interpretation of what was said. If others were in attendance and read it differently then please comment.

I'm not trying to pitch it from any particular viewpoint, just how i picked it up.   I quite strongly believe that things like this should be in the wider domain and are not just for the few who attend.  

Next time if the club filmed it I think it would be great. Though you might would not get the same level of openness on certain issues possibly.

Overall, very worthwhile in my opinion and well done to those who were involved in it.

Fair enough report Paulo. I think you got everything. This can only help as information has been provided about/for things people didn’t have knowledge of and so they made it up or criticised. A good move by the board holding such an event, to be commended. Helps build relationships.

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Just for the sake of completion:-

SB gave an account of the May saga that was so detailed it was day by day, who phoned who etc.  It would take pages to relay it all.

All shook and agreed about 5 minutes before KO at Ross County match, then Vine came back with 4 additional clauses a couple of days later.  Adding upto over £50k extra I'm pretty sure the figure quoted. Saints said no on principle, but also because if word got out agents could change a deal after its agreed Saints would suffer from this again.

There was something about May's agent had agreed a severance fee with Aberdeen. Once he had been released by Aberdeen he was to contact Saints and he would get signed for us.  Saints kept checking spfl registrations site to see if May was released but nothing appeared. Saints wondered it was because Aberdeen staff were in Georgia on Europa business so there'd been a delay.  

Turned out SB phoned Milne who had a sweary rant about the agent.  Once the deal with Saints had been agreed, he'd gone back to Aberdeen and wanted a bigger severance payment from them than the one that had already been agreed with them.  Aberdeen said f**k off.  So it didn't happen.

Thats why for the deal to go through Saints have had to make up the balance of the severance fee, and we maybe can't afford another player (other than the full backs mentioned).

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A few other things that have come back to me:

We will be charging OF fans £30 for games at McD this season to make extra money from them. I think that's what they charge us anyway?

It means Saints fan walk ups will also be charged this, but there will be again be the deal where if they go with a season ticket holder then they get it much cheaper.

 

We had 3 bids for Jason Kerr during the summer, from 2 or 3 different clubs.  There was interest in Clark but no bids.

Someone reckoned we sold May too cheaply the first time round. SB said a players' value is only what clubs are willing to pay for him.  May had a bit of time left on his Saints contract, but his contract with his agent expired on the 31st December, so his agent was desperately pushing for a move to cash in.  SB said once a player wants to move you have no choice but just get as much money as you can.  Wednesday was the biggest offer, but it was also over 2 years whereas the others were mostly over 4 years which Saints thought was too risky with the climate of clubs going bust down there.

SB was asked about including sell on clauses. There was one on the May deal but it wasn't reached. However Saints reckon it was, but the figure stated wasn't accurate so as to avoid paying Saints their cut.  There was a very strong implication of an underhand payment to keep the stated price down.  Saints looked into pursuing it through the English league/ FA, but it couldn't be proven at all.

SB admitted it was a learning curve for Saints, and any future deals would be worded differently.

 

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4 hours ago, PauloPerth said:

Just for the sake of completion:-

SB gave an account of the May saga that was so detailed it was day by day, who phoned who etc.  It would take pages to relay it all.

Thats why for the deal to go through Saints have had to make up the balance of the severance fee, and we maybe can't afford another player (other than the full backs mentioned).

Thanks for this. The press had reported that the second time we offered a reduced deal but it sounds like it was one prolonged saga.  Did he mention anything about what happened after the initial deal was 'dead'?

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Can I offer a sincere thanks to Paulo for a comprehensive report of last night's meeting; greatly appreciated from one of our most respected posters on this form.

It was clear to all that the May saga was outwith  the control of the club but naturally some on here jump to the conclusion that Steve Brown is behind some kind of conspiracy of misdirection. I'm glad we have finally got to a happy conclusion.

The report clearly highlights how precarious our financial position is and we need to start getting behind out chairman and the club.

The situation surrounding the St.Johnstone future of Drey Wright and Matt Kennedy is depressing and brings in to focus how the club are being hamstrung because of agents.

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8 minutes ago, SaintJet said:

Can I offer a sincere thanks to Paulo for a comprehensive report of last night's meeting; greatly appreciated from one of our most respected posters on this form.

It was clear to all that the May saga was outwith  the control of the club but naturally some on here jump to the conclusion that Steve Brown is behind some kind of conspiracy of misdirection. I'm glad we have finally got to a happy conclusion.

The report clearly highlights how precarious our financial position is and we need to start getting behind out chairman and the club.

The situation surrounding the St.Johnstone future of Drey Wright and Matt Kennedy is depressing and brings in to focus how the club are being hamstrung because of agents.

Pretty much. Listening to what was said last night made clear just how ridiculous and foolish it is to arrive at conclusions based on what someone imagines, rather than the facts. For perhaps the first time last night we were given facts, lots of them. This augurs well and as information from last night is disseminated (great work Paulo) I’d hope it informs and alters some of the views of many of our support who are so quick to fill in the gaps and to criticise anyone and everyone, even if only out of sheer frustration. This meeting could have happened earlier, but improved communication has to be welcomed whenever it is offered in this way.

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10 hours ago, PauloPerth said:

That's me done. 

This is just my interpretation of what was said. If others were in attendance and read it differently then please comment.

I'm not trying to pitch it from any particular viewpoint, just how i picked it up.   I quite strongly believe that things like this should be in the wider domain and are not just for the few who attend.  

Next time if the club filmed it I think it would be great. Though you might would not get the same level of openness on certain issues possibly.

Overall, very worthwhile in my opinion and well done to those who were involved in it.

Great info Paulo, well done. so wish brown had drip fed this info to the fans, on a monthly basis, it wouldn't have been difficult and made all the difference. 

Hope he learns from this and PR gets much better from now on. 

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11 hours ago, PauloPerth said:

That's me done. 

This is just my interpretation of what was said. If others were in attendance and read it differently then please comment.

I'm not trying to pitch it from any particular viewpoint, just how i picked it up.   I quite strongly believe that things like this should be in the wider domain and are not just for the few who attend.  

Next time if the club filmed it I think it would be great. Though you might would not get the same level of openness on certain issues possibly.

Overall, very worthwhile in my opinion and well done to those who were involved in it.

Thanks Paulo you are a star, a very informative and well written set of posts.

PS I also learned that there is a limit to the number of reactions you are allowed each day on WAP.  I used my entire allocation on your posts, well spent in my view.

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2 hours ago, SaintJet said:

Can I offer a sincere thanks to Paulo for a comprehensive report of last night's meeting; greatly appreciated from one of our most respected posters on this form.

It was clear to all that the May saga was outwith  the control of the club but naturally some on here jump to the conclusion that Steve Brown is behind some kind of conspiracy of misdirection. I'm glad we have finally got to a happy conclusion.

The report clearly highlights how precarious our financial position is and we need to start getting behind out chairman and the club.

The situation surrounding the St.Johnstone future of Drey Wright and Matt Kennedy is depressing and brings in to focus how the club are being hamstrung because of agents.

Totally agree.

I think when we do get players as good as Kennedy, Wright (and O'Halloran and May) we can only really enjoy them while they're here. If they extend their stays then brilliant but I don't think we can realistically just expect them to do that. They know their value and it's a short career at the end of the day - if they get offered a massive pay rise to go elsewhere, then it's only natural they'll take it into serious consideration even without agents pushing them out the door.

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53 minutes ago, Kyle said:

Totally agree.

I think when we do get players as good as Kennedy, Wright (and O'Halloran and May) we can only really enjoy them while they're here. If they extend their stays then brilliant but I don't think we can realistically just expect them to do that. They know their value and it's a short career at the end of the day - if they get offered a massive pay rise to go elsewhere, then it's only natural they'll take it into serious consideration even without agents pushing them out the door.

A possible upside of this is that other players will see us as a stepping stone to potentially something bigger and be more more willing to come here than to another similar club.

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7 minutes ago, dunblanemike said:

A possible upside of this is that other players will see us as a stepping stone to potentially something bigger and be more more willing to come here than to another similar club.

Yes, and maybe agents will get the message that we aren’t a pushover.

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Thanks Paulo for your very comprehensive report on last nights forum.Im not a season ticket holder and I’m sure I speak for many others like me that we appreciate your sensible straightforward posts that have cleared up many questions we’ve had over the last few weeks.

Cheers.

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Was lucky enough to be there and thought it was excellent and very interesting.

I ve always been a bit sceptical about Steve Brown but I thought he came out of last night very well as did all the board.

when you sit and look at the figures it is a very hard job.

Not going to go over the whole night as Paulo has already done that very well and has provided a very comprehensive coverage.

I was genuinely surprised to find out we d under 700 adult season ticket holders.

Steve Brown definitely hinted that he is looking to move on.

I didn’t understand the lad who seemed to get terribly upset about Rangers fans abusing St Johnstone’s catholic players, maybe just me but I never even consider what any of our players religion is. Like most of society I imagine the majority of the Saints team aren’t religious at all. It was a definite hatred of Rangers from him though, no mention of Celtic. To me the crap that surrounds the old firm is equally as bad from both of them, one is no worse or better than the other.

My own opinion is that if it helps our team trade in the black rather than the red I would happily move my seat over to Main stand for the day.  As Brown himself said, the ground and Scottish football don’t come out of it well when TV is looking at an empty ground. Maybe not for a league game but I fully expect it to happen if we draw either of them in the cup, think they hinted as much.

I ve seen us beat both Rangers and Celtic with them having 3 stands in the past so don’t think it disadvantages the team too much.

Night was a great success, the board very open and honest, the night finished when there was no more questions, there was no rushing through things.

It would have been good if more could have been there though or if they posted some of the presentation for all to see.

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