The following is Operations Director Stuart Brown’s monthly Inside the Box column for the December issue of The Albion magazine, which goes on sale at Saturday’s home match with East Stirlingshire…
“November was a month to forget. I fully understand the clamour for official communication in respect of the current plight we are in with regards to our on-field performances and what we are doing to address this, with particular reference to the Manager’s position.
“However, the Executive Board are unanimous in the view that it is inappropriate to make public the detail behind our discussions with Greig McDonald. There are plenty of football club managers that can testify to the fate that becomes them following a public expression of confidence and equally there are many who have read about their fate before being properly informed by their employer. Suffice to say, Greig has been made fully aware of what is expected of him.
“Whilst appreciating that football is a results-driven business and that a manager’s success, or otherwise, is largely based on results, for many clubs, it is not as simple as that. For Stirling Albion, it is particularly complicated. When we took over the Club in June 2010, we inherited the sizeable debt owed to Stirling Council that has still to be serviced and also relied on the generosity of a number of people who loaned substantial sums of money to the Trust to enable it to meet the asking price.
“Following on from year one, that produced a small profit, we spent year two of the ownership stabilising and substantially improving the Club’s financial position. This was achieved by a number of cost-cutting initiatives, including dramatically reducing expenditure in respect of the administration of the Club. Year three will see us benefit from Rangers’ presence in SFL3 but the fact remains that we still have to carefully assess our overall financial position to ensure that we can live within budget. This includes forecasting ahead to the following year when the next (substantial) repayments are due to loan note holders.
“I would urge you not to read anything more into the above than an honest assessment of where the Club is at from a financial perspective. The Club Executive is well aware that finances can be impacted on from a number of angles, including through the turnstiles, and this and many more factors beside, are very much in our minds.
“What we will not be taking into account is the views of a very small minority of ill-informed people who clearly have a personal agenda. Indeed, their comments only increase my resolve to do what I believe to be in the best interests of Stirling Albion FC, the Club that I’ve supported for over 50 years. Until that resolve diminishes and/or the Trust Membership decides that my beliefs are misplaced, I will continue to give my all to taking the Club forward.
“I appreciate that this resolve may not be entirely transparent at present and to all true fans, I ask only for your continuing patience and support.
“Turning to our debt to Stirling Council, this will be serviced through a “Payment in Kind” agreement that will largely revolve around SAFC’s involvement in the community. I’m delighted to be able to announce that, with the Club’s financial position now stabilised, we are in a position to embark on a full-scale project that will embrace all aspects of our community engagement and will culminate in the appointment of a full-time Community Engagement /Football Development Manager. Please look out for further announcements on the Official Website, including opportunities to get actively involved in ensuring that the project benefits from input from every perspective.
“In closing, it would be very remiss of me not to publicly thank our Supporters Club Bar – both the helpers and drinkers! – for their latest substantial donation to Club funds. Cheers! I’d also like to nominate “Ray Vaughn” for the Irn-Bru Supporter of the Year Award for his contribution to the world of entertainment at our recent Friday night game at Hampden. Legend!”
J Stuart Brown