After yesterdays game between 1874 Northwich and Pontefract at Wincham Park and with an attendance of 625 fans I would imagine that Witton has made quite a financial gain as in addition to the rental I understand that the bar was so full they ran out of drinks and food and a good day was had by all.
Yes I suppose it was BUT I hope that does not lead to a cut price long term rental agreement for our top class facilities in the future. Also The drain on volunteers having two clubs at one stadium is huge and should not be underestimated so the pain/cost has to be worth it to the Landlord or why bother when you are effectively giving a helping hand to competition. UTA
Not got a problem with them playing a few games at Wincham Park because of their fixture backlog but don't want them ground sharing on a permanent basis. We are the only way they can ever play in the town so let them stay where they are.
My first thoughts were let's help each other out and allow 74 to share Wincham Park but then i re read some of the bitter comments on their forum regarding the Vics groundshare in which they called us every name under the sun and said they would rather fold than ever share with us as were tarnished forever yet suddenly they have seen an opportunity to play in Northwich once again and hey ho they want to be best friends!!
Tell em to F**k off
When we housed NVFC the first time [while they were building the Victoria Stadium] which was when the current 1874 fan base was supporting them Witton's then-Chairman, Mike Worthington, always used to say it was "like having your mother-in-law round every other week, sometimes twice a week!"
Depends whether you like your mother-in-law I suppose.
If it goes to the shareholders as it probably should do ! it might not be certain for a yes vote that a ground share would get approved ? Reasons being, they will not pay the required going rate, more than V**s we will be helping a competitor to grow back in the town ! some of their fans have been pretty damning of everything Witton and finally the longer term risk of them getting a foothold in Wincham Park and becoming joint owners!
We should be very careful before making this decision if it comes to fruition in the near future, I would prefer us to manage on our own even if it stalls our ambitions initially..
In terms of letting 1874 grow, I am with Colin Jump on this one. But imagine if Witton and 1874 could work together on community projects for the town etc and the local community. But obviously when Derby Day comes around, then the friendliness goes out the window. I have said many times before, despite them being Ex-Vics, (some say they still are) I do have a respect for them that they have achknowledged. If it improves out financial situation, then I am happy for a groundshare but I would demand them to tell us any future plans as I think it would be our right to. I am going to get a few things going to see what we can do alongside 1874 as my ideology for Northwich is to have two clubs barnstorming up the leagues whilst looking after each others own. As I wasn't around at Witton when the Witton v Vics rivalry was really booming, maybe I don't have that hate towards them. But I have a vision and I need others to see that vision with me.
In terms of possible stadium share arrangements, surely it would be right for some of 1874's groundstaff to help out as well as I have been told by their manager himself that about 7 of them like to get together in Winsford to do some ground work. Apart from that they can keep filling our coffers for Carl to sign another 9 players! #UTA #NorthwichIsStillOurs
I think what some on here have to remember is that
a) the "need" was very much on the other foot with the groundshare you had with JR - they were desperate and you could take advantage of that. Now the need is as much if not more on the WA side of things - or how else do you propose to maintain your current status, costs etc? It is not a criticism, just a stark financial reality.
b) with JR and co you would doubtless have had minimal volunteer assistance. If events at Winsford are anything to go by, you would get a fairly strong band of willing volunteers.
That said, there is still a lot of mistrust and deep-rooted ill feeling on both sides. But if (and its a big if) some arrangement could be agreed that was mutually beneficial (neither club would be looking to do the other a favour, that's obvious) both sides would be daft to let petty ancient rivalries get in the way of good business.
There numerous difficulties associated with long term ground sharing - all of which can be overcome with common sense and goodwill. The bottom line is that neither 1874 nor WAFC can make much progress with the separated resources currently at the disposal of each club.
One way or another we (WAFC) have to make more use of our assets to improve the team and that's just to stay at our current level. The pool of people willing and able to fund the club is growing smaller (as evidenced by falling gates over the years) and so we need new funding streams and we need to consider that ground sharing may be part of the solution.
There are wide ranging views on both sides of the proverbial fence, but hopefully somewhere along the boundary we may be able to put a gate in said fence that enough people can admire and use !
I would never agree to them buying into our ownership ! would I consider them as tenants I would rather not tbh but if the board as they did with V**s think we can work to a financial deal that really suits us and that must include them taking on responsibility for their own ground/pitch mgt aspect eg bring in volunteers and leave the infrastructure as they found it after use ! but under the supervision of Witton staff. Until we have our new structure/board in place after Mark Harris leaves we should not make any long term decision now that We may have to live with under duress.
The shear arrogance of some 1874 fans will have them wanting to run the show and us beholding to them ! that should never be the case indeed some conversations go along the route that they will buy in a 50% share ( at ridiculously low figures ) and they should not consider renting as our tenants lol.
However Wincham Park is 100% our asset worth roughly £ 2.5 million at current valuation ( obviously more if sold for building land and houses are going to be built in the area soon) So they cannot afford to buy into this and even if they could why would we sell them our crown jewels ! Another issue is dilution of current shareholder value if it could be overcome which I doubt ?
For me currently its a No to both options as a shareholder & Witton fan unless the board can convince Me that the rental option can work with no Threat to Witton Albion in the future UTA
I will ask one question, what would the answer be if the shoe was on the other foot and Witton needed a groundshare?
Not buying all this it's benefits out way the negatives rubbish, and that we can move forward as one big happy Northwich community clubs, working side by side those lot will turn us over at the first opportunity.
As Matt said a short term to help with backlog fixtures and get us some money in the bank until the end of the season. Then we will have a new chairman in place who will hopefully have his own avenues of revenue, which hopefully don't include getting into bed with that lot.
But whatever the decision is it isn't mine and we will have to take whatever they do, I just hope like Colin says it's thoroughly gone through, only time will tell.
Reach for the stars
And if you don't grab 'em,
At least you'll fall on top of the world
Think about it