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Club News

CHAIRMAN Q&A

7 August 2014

We’ve been asking you for the past couple of weeks to send your questions in for chairman Peter Swann.

On Wednesday afternoon, he took the time to answer as many as he could in an exclusive Scunthorpe-United.co.uk web chat.

Are you still guaranteeing away coach travel this season?
Patricia Lodge
PS: Yes, we will guarantee away coach travel this season.

Can the club bar/social club and the restaurant be fitted in to the stadium design so that it does have some window view in to the stadium and pitch areas?
Antonio Gatti
PS: We hope to have several areas/bars with pitch side views

Are any additions likely to the club board? Are you content with board in its current set-up?
Antonio Gatti
PS: Currently we are looking at a few extra directors to strengthen the board, in particular with experience of finance and commercial business areas.

I understand that the kit contract with Nike is up at the end of the 2014/15 season. Are the club considering their options?
Antonio Gatti
PS: Yes, we want to be a little more flexible in what we can offer the fans re kit

Why is it the Scunthorpe United over 45 football team cannot play on the Gunness training ground any more and we have to make do with the Shed for training on a Monday night? It's too hot in there in summer.
Mark Cranidge
PS: I think that question can be answered by David Beeby.
DB: The grass pitches are used by the first team and youth team on a daily basis so we have tried to limit other use to ensure that they are in the best possible condition throughout the season. We want to give Russ Wilcox the best possible chance to bring us success in League One.

What average attendance is this year's budget worked out on and how close to are we to the top end of it?
Simon Bramham
PS: David Beeby will be able to give you this.
DB: Last year we based our budget on gates of 3,400 and ended with an average of just over 4,000. With the high number of local games we have increased this to 4,300. This aspect of our overall budget is the biggest variable because the average could increase with success or the opposite can happen. We've set Russ a competitive playing budget and he has been able to make quality additions to the squad. There is though provision to bring in loan players if required later in the season.

What will be the new name of the new ground and l hope the way in and out is better then it is now, as it's too long waiting after matches to get away from ground?
Alan Cooper
PS: We are hoping that during our consultation period we can get a few ideas for naming, however theses rights are very lucrative and it would make sense to wait until a major stadium sponsor is chosen. They can then be involved in the process. We will have two/three entrances and exits at the new ground, hopefully making it easier to get in and out.

Mr Swann, where do you expect the Iron to finish in League One?
Jason Hinsley
PS: I would love us to finish top ten to consolidate what we achieved last season and anything above that would be a bonus.

Do you read social media sites?
Tarron McMahon
PS: Yes, I do read social media sites, Twitter, Facebook etc and I was very active on the site for five years at Gainsborough Trinity. I do believe that the club should re-adopt its own official forum, so as to keep the fans even more in the loop with what is going on at the club. Everyone has a right to voice an opinion as long as the facts are correct. It still is important to understand that theses sites are governed by law and posters sometimes forget that in the heat of the moment. This is understandable, but i still believe that the best information is always from the horses mouth and everything else is conjecture.

What developments are being put in place to make the new ground location easier to access from town and suburbs?
Kane Linklater
PS: There is a full road network, which will be in place and this will accommodate new bus routes and potentially cycle routes and paths. More details will be available later in the year.

Why do you want the away fans on a side?
Adam Baker
PS: Primarily numbers. The side stand can accommodate 3,000 fans and this can be split into three sections, thus enabling us to open smaller areas for less away fans but giving us the opportunity to look after the travelling support of the bigger clubs. Also, why should we give an advantage to the away support behind a goal? It makes sense to have both ends full of home fans where possible, behind the goal, pushing the team on.

How will the debt from the stadium moved be recovered and how long do you expect it to take?
Jamie Morgan
PS: The business plan is moving all the while, but it is envisaged that the debt will be recovered within 5-10 years.

What future proofing has taken place to ensure we are not doing this again in 26 years time?
Matt Hickey
PS: We are trying to establish a stadium with multi income streams, thus protecting us from downturns in ticket sales for matches. By incorporating the ground and stadium within the 60 acres we give ourselves our own training facilities and the potential to grow not just as a club, but as a business. Nothing is ever guaranteed.

Is there going to be recognition that Glanford Park existed on its current site?
Matt Hickey
PS: If that is what the fans want, then yes.

You are including all these supporter facilities such as restaurants and bars to encourage fans to use them to eat and drink in before and after the game. But you are building it even further out of town meaning that fans will have to drive so if that's the case would you agree that you are not going to sell a lot of alcohol?
Philip Wood
PS: It is important that the travel infrastructure is in place, so the fans and customers can take advantage of these facilities. We do not sell as much alcohol now due to the fact we do not have bigger and better facilities, but if you look around at Frankie and Bennys, etc they tend to be out of town and do well on alcohol sales. It just isn't about liquid sales, it is food and retail that will provide part of the income stream for the club.

Can we have a bus service straight to the ground from locations around the city for a small fee?
Benjamin Watson
PS: I definitely want to pursue that option and see it as a real possibility.

What provisions are you going to make for all the supporters who have to walk or catch a bus to the ground?
Chris Chapman
PS: Access to and from the ground is very important and hopefully during the next couple of weeks we can get a great feel of what is needed.

What are the car parking arrangements going to be, free parking? Any plans to lay on buses?
Stephen Howe
PS: As above really and if possible it would be great to have free parking, we are currently looking at that option and the costs of running the car parks on matchdays.

Are you happy with the summer signings and do you think there will be any more to come?
Josh Wentworth
PS: I am really happy with the squad we have built and I think they will do you all proud. Always on the lookout for players who could improve the squad.

Why was Sam Winnall sold so quickly and will he be replaced? Does Russ have anybody in mind?
Paul Hodgkins
PS: This was not an easy choice and theses things happen, but we have replacements in mind if the current strikers do not hit the ground running.

We have signed quite a few players and sold them on at a good profit. Do you feel that the Iron have developed enough home grown players, and what are your long term plans to develop more players through the Academy?
Brian Morris
PS: I am very excited about the youth development at this club and that has a major part to play in the move to the new stadium. We want to not only try and keep the better players, but entice top class youngsters to the club, they are our future and the current batch are very good!

This new car park is big, so is this going to facilitate a park and ride scheme?
Noel Hogan
PS: If we have the space that makes a lot of sense.

Why is the main/best stand on the artists impressions in direct sunlight?
1500club
PS: You can never get these things completely right, but we have tried to build the stadium on an angle which would cause the least disruption when the sun goes down.

How will the chairman ensure best value for money for the club, as well as ensuring that local companies and people are the prime beneficiaries of work to be generated?
Richard Podmore
PS: During the tender process a priority will be to use as much local labour as possible and use as many local firms as possible, however we still have to look after the costs.

Will the new stadium incorporate a big screen TV like many of the modern stadia do nowadays?
Dave Green
PS: Yes, in fact several screens in and around the concourses will also be used.

If the squad are pushing for promotion in January is there a possibility of strengthening again in the manner we did last season?
Daz Wilson
PS: Yes, absolutely, if that is what is needed.

Will there be a vote on whether we keep the current badge or move permanently to the 2D fist? Is it a real possibility?
Josh Gray
PS: I do like the old Unity Badge, I think it would look great on the new stadium, but we will let the fans decide!

Have we thought about making it an bigger sporting complex (athletics/cycling stadium - separately to the football one) and maybe relocating the speedway down there. Then why not something similar to Xscape  - make it something every town Is jealous of, a mini Olympic park almost?
Lee Woffinden
PS: I think with having the 60 acre site it opens up many possibilities for extra sports to be played there, so yes.

If we can't have a terrace can we have unreserved seating in the home end?
Garry Horton
PS: When you have unreserved seating in an area you have to reduce the capacity of the stand by five per cent to ensure everyone can find a seat. If you didn't, the last person into the stand would be looking for the one empty seat and have no idea where it was. Therefore a decision will be made closer to the time taking into account the division we are in and envisaged demand for tickets. If there was high demand for tickets we would be very reluctant to reduce the stand capacity by five per cent.

If the new ground is going to cost upwards of £18 million, but we are not going to sell Glanford Park immediately, where is the money coming from?
Richard Harmer
PS: I cant go into too much detail just yet, but there are ways and means to finance prior to selling anything. We also have some very nice projected incomes within the stadium and around it, which can be tapped into.

Will the new stadium be owned by Scunthorpe United and it's shareholders?
Richard Harmer
PS: Yes.

Will the new ground be built to maximize acoustics/atmosphere?
Paul Mitchell
PS: Yes, I am a big fan of getting the acoustics right and with the potential of concerts within the stadium we need to do it right.

Will we have decent seats in the new stadium?
Michael Huteson
PS: Similar to the ones at MK Dons I think? Yes.

Do you have any further plans to improve the catering in the stadium? We'd like to see chips back!
Liam Clark
PS: Please send your ideas on food in and we will work hard to put on what you the fans want

Mr Swann, many are asking for clearer details on the financing of the new ground are you able to clarify as best you can how it will work?
@badapple365
PS: Very difficult to do that in this sort of Q and A, but I would be delighted to answer that question at the meeting on the 14th or at the first game against Preston, just come and chat with me.

Who will own the Land freehold, if not SUFC how much is the rent? If so how much is the mortgage each month? Who will own the training facilities, if not SUFC, how much will we pay to use them and what access will the Tories insist on?
Anthony Dent
PS: The football club will OWN the ground not lease it and whoever is in power is irrelevant. It is the club that will be charging for the use of its facilities.

When will the Hotels etc be starting, will they be locally run or franchised chains?
Anthony Dent
PS: We have a couple of options and a few interested parties, so we could do a franchise, lease to a major chain, possibly in the mould of Holiday Inn Express etc or even run it ourselves.

Why are having a ground that needs a 1000 car, car park when the world is moving towards greener projects?
Anthony Dent
PS: We currently have 900 or so spaces at GP, but I can say the we are looking at solar, thermal and rain water collection systems as well as LED lighting throughout the stadium. So being greener is very important to us.

Who will own Glanford Park while it stands idle?
Anthony Dent
PS: If it does stand idle then the club will still own it, but our intention is not to have it standing idle for very long if any time at all.

Will it be in some magic area that will never flood?
Anthony Dent
PS: Probably not, it is a bit flat here in Lincolnshire, so there is always a risk. However we are convinced that the flood risk will be addressed as it has within the Lincolnshire lakes plan and submission from the developers.

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Peter Swann added: Thanks for all the questions and I am sorry if I could not go into too much detail on some things. However do take the opportunity to talk to me over the coming weeks, this is your chance to air your views and get your message over, in what is one of the most important times in the club's history.

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