John McGlashan interview: part two

Thursday, 30 May 2002 | In Focus

John McGlashan speaks in the second part of the interview with the Bees United Chairman. You can read the first part here.

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John McGlashan speaks in the second part of the interview with the Bees United Chairman. You can read the first part here.

When you were offered a directorship at Brentford FC Ltd, was it a surprise?

It was in a way. I said to Altonwood that we had to have a meeting to nominate somebody and they said 'It's got to be you' as you're the Chairman of Bees United. It took me back a bit but I accepted.

What was the decision behind launching the one million pound appeal now, as opposed to later in the year?

There are two reasons. Firstly, The Club doesn't have the money it needs to see it through to the end of next season. The second is that Ron Noades has put considerable effort into bringing really good players and management team into the club and on the pitch. He has got that bit right. The way I see it is that if we just only raise enough money to see us through to the end of next season, we will lose Steve Coppell and the players that are out of contract. Whatever our likely crowd is for the first game of the season, it's going to be down by at least a thousand on what it could be if Steve Coppell and the majority of players are here come August. Now we want them to stay, so let's raise the money that will enable the club to offer the opportunity for them to stay, sop let's give them that opportunity.

Our crowds are the best they've been for a decade; the probability is that we can maintain those crowds with the players and manager we have now. So that makes a huge difference to our cash flow and next years losses. Perhaps we can aspire to not make a loss next year. Our deficit this season is not nearly as much as it was expected to be as we've had such a good season. Let's have another. We are going to lose some players but they come off the losses. Next season, if we do as well as we've done this term, we'll make less of a loss no matter what happens as we are going to lose some players. We'll also start off the season in a better frame of mind. No one really knew what was going to happen last August. Ron Noades stated correctly that we were losing '30,000 a year and this has come down.

Say the million pounds target is raised, how is this ploughed back into the football club?

In the form of a secured loan from Bees United to Brentford FC Ltd. We don't need a million pounds in cash. We need a million pounds of funding. Our option to buy depends on Bees United being able to finance the club and take over the overdraft. To be fair to Ron Noades, he has manoeuvred the club into a position where the supporters can buy it. One of things that people tend to overlook is that without our exclusive option to purchase The Club, there would a queue round the block to buy Brentford FC and it would be sold. Property developers know that The Club have a planning application in with Hounslow Council. It's prime land and could be something on their portfolio. Even if the Council refused a planning consent at first, housing companies would appeal and appeal until it happens. Even if it's three or fours years down the line, it would happen.

There still seems to be large pocket of Brentford fans that perhaps don't realise the severity of the situation or they've got an 'it'll be all right on the night' attitude. What's your message to them?

I understand their views. They look at it and see the headlines dominated by money throughout football. Looking at sides like Fulham and Middlesbrough, they've gone done the pan before and have risen up again. I assume Brentford fans feel we'll get over it. We will get over but we need some effort put in before the worst happens, otherwise I'll be pointing people to Maidstone United and Aldershot. Look where Aldershot are now. They didn't have the asset we've got, the stadium. If we did fold up completely, we would probably re-form and be in the Third Division of the Ryman League, fully five divisions below the Football League. If that's where people want us to be, let things ride.

Is it waste or overspending that has got us into this position?

Over optimism perhaps. It wouldn't be really be fair for me to make a comment, as I haven't analysed it. I suspect when Altonwood and Ron Noades came in, like everybody does when they're new, they clear the decks and start all over again.


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