What is our level?
#1

An FGR supporter said to me recently that 'every club finds its level'. He said that they were fine as a club in NL but L1 & 2 were not where they should be - "what's a club at the top of a village doing playing in L2" were his actual words. He was as disparaging of their setup as we are of ours. 

We're a club representing a small provincial city that's spent 70 years in the SL and 15 years mostly clinging on at our current level. We have a population that could feasibly support a L2 club, but history and financial etc etc circumstances indicate it's not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

So, whilst we all want the club to progress, is there a realistic level we should be playing at? Have we earned the right to be playing in NLN, or with our ground and financial circumstances is SL really where we're comfortable? Personally, I think we should be L2, but after so many years beginning to think it's a pipe dream with the current setup, unless Elon Musk steps in.
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#2

In theory I don't see why we couldn't be a regular National League side, but we are miles away from being that at the moment.
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#3

I think as a club, if you look at our average level since post-war, Step 6 is where our level is. As a City, I think we've massively punched below our weight, I worked out recently we'd be 10th in L1 and 7th in L2 based on population alone. We usually always play smaller settlements than us each week even if they are ex-EFL clubs. I'd guess the football world probably sees us as this level, or maybe even lower as you often see derisory comments from fans of "bigger clubs" bemoaning the fact they now have to play us.

As to why we are punching below our weight, it seems reading Dad's history of the club that we've always been in a state of financial struggle and in the shadow of the rugby club, nothing has really changed in 140 years and currently nothing looks like it will change.

The real frustration for me is that when I started supporting we were the same size as CTFC, and we were bigger than FGR. Over the course of the last 30 years they've both left us in the dust. There are a number of old regular opponents playing in the EFL. It shows that it can be done, as there are so many examples even on our doorstep. We've got the scope to be even bigger than any of those clubs, it'll just take someone with a vision and some stability - plus the sport of rugby going pop wouldn't go amiss.
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#4

This is our level. Forest Green is supposedly a hamlet. The National League most definitely isn't their level!

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#5

Realistic sustainability has to be key.
I applaud AP and EM for getting us home again but....
Going full time was to much to soon I think APs enthusiasm clouded his judgement.
The Sport Gloucester attempt was way to optimistic and to soon, we're not a city the size of Bristol
Covid and its effect on business clearly pulled any financial input out of the club and we see a car crash season.
Where we go from here is anyone's guess but the only way forward is in new ownership and sustainable financial input, who will buy a club in the SLP seems unlikely unless EM and AP cut their losses which seems unlikely. I can't see anyone coming in as the Chambers did with no real assets to invest in they will want the ground as well as a loss generating football club(as 99% are)
Lottery anyone, Hollywood listening......
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#6

(07-02-2024, 11:52 AM)Severnside Wrote:  Realistic sustainability has to be key.
I applaud AP and EM for getting us home again but....
Going full time was to much to soon I think APs enthusiasm clouded his judgement.
The Sport Gloucester attempt was way to optimistic and to soon, we're not a city the size of Bristol
Covid and its effect on business clearly pulled any financial input out of the club and we see a car crash season.
Where we go from here is anyone's guess but the only way forward is in new ownership and sustainable financial input, who will buy a club in the SLP seems unlikely unless EM and AP cut their losses which seems unlikely. I can't see anyone coming in as the Chambers did with no real assets to invest in they will want the ground as well as a loss generating football club(as 99% are)
Lottery anyone, Hollywood listening......
Can't trust Hollywood money. Eventually, sugar daddies become disinterested. Then what? Better to become sustainable and move forward.
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#7

National League for me feels like our natural level. Which may seem odd to say considering we’ve never been at that level!
We just need to catch a wave and stay on it, and build up long term momentum.
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#8

(07-02-2024, 11:52 AM)Severnside Wrote:  Realistic sustainability has to be key.
I applaud AP and EM for getting us home again but....
Going full time was to much to soon I think APs enthusiasm clouded his judgement.
The Sport Gloucester attempt was way to optimistic and to soon, we're not a city the size of Bristol
Covid and its effect on business clearly pulled any financial input out of the club and we see a car crash season.
Where we go from here is anyone's guess but the only way forward is in new ownership and sustainable financial input, who will buy a club in the SLP seems unlikely unless EM and AP cut their losses which seems unlikely. I can't see anyone coming in as the Chambers did with no real assets to invest in they will want the ground as well as a loss generating football club(as 99% are)
Lottery anyone, Hollywood listening......

Excellent post. IMO the null and void Covid season did for us. New stadium quality players impetus on our return to the City dashed. I can see the reasoning behind full time to try and push on full time attracting better players etc but sadly what with off the field managerial issues etc and some poor managerial appointments it became unsustainable.

I really makes what Boris and Tim Harris did remarkable with a fraction of today’s budget.
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#9

(07-02-2024, 11:52 AM)Severnside Wrote:  Realistic sustainability has to be key.
I applaud AP and EM for getting us home again but....
Going full time was to much to soon I think APs enthusiasm clouded his judgement.
The Sport Gloucester attempt was way to optimistic and to soon, we're not a city the size of Bristol
Covid and its effect on business clearly pulled any financial input out of the club and we see a car crash season.
Where we go from here is anyone's guess but the only way forward is in new ownership and sustainable financial input, who will buy a club in the SLP seems unlikely unless EM and AP cut their losses which seems unlikely. I can't see anyone coming in as the Chambers did with no real assets to invest in they will want the ground as well as a loss generating football club(as 99% are)
Lottery anyone, Hollywood listening......
Price is always going to be very prohibitive unfortunately.  What is the ground and club realistically worth, certainly not what it cost to build.  And this is the conundrum, if I built a ground for £1m (no idea what the actual figure is), and brought the team home, I'd be very reluctant to give that away to any new prospective owners, so I understand AP/EMGs reluctance to sell for less than that.  Equally I understand someone telling them to get lost if those are the sort of prices being quoted.  All of which makes you think we will continue to stumble along, with no real coherent plan, maybe do okay in the Southern League (I'm resigned to that being our fate now) if we have the right manager and group of players, but ultimately never really fulfill our potential.  Unless as you say someone comes in who doesn't mind paying over the odds, and to whom money is neither the motivation or a barrier, which does leave us to a Lottery/Hollywood type thing.  All a bit depressing when you consider coming home was meant to be the Phoenix rising from the flames and not a dead cat bounce.
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#10

(07-02-2024, 02:20 PM)RJS Wrote:  Price is always going to be very prohibitive unfortunately.  What is the ground and club realistically worth, certainly not what it cost to build.  And this is the conundrum, if I built a ground for £1m (no idea what the actual figure is), and brought the team home, I'd be very reluctant to give that away to any new prospective owners, so I understand AP/EMGs reluctance to sell for less than that.  Equally I understand someone telling them to get lost if those are the sort of prices being quoted.  All of which makes you think we will continue to stumble along, with no real coherent plan, maybe do okay in the Southern League (I'm resigned to that being our fate now) if we have the right manager and group of players, but ultimately never really fulfill our potential.  Unless as you say someone comes in who doesn't mind paying over the odds, and to whom money is neither the motivation or a barrier, which does leave us to a Lottery/Hollywood type thing.  All a bit depressing when you consider coming home was meant to be the Phoenix rising from the flames and not a dead cat bounce.

Agreed and it is depressing to think about. I think with EMG owning the club he’d never let us go under, but on the flip side I also think we’ll never realise our potential because he’s been here 20+ years now and pays to keep the lights on (of which I’m very grateful etc. etc.). We only got promoted because of the amazing work by Tim, Boris and others, not a major increase in budget, and we only got home because AP paid towards the stadium. 

I think you’re right about the stadium, it’s not worth what we paid for it, and no one is going to recompense EMG/AP. I think we’re doomed to just stumble on forever as let’s face it we’re not lucky enough to get a Euromillions winner in!
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