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Brockhall STC - planning permission application ?


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2 minutes ago, JHRover said:

Having visited the academy site many times both as a spectator of the under 18 team and also through work, studied these vague plans in the document I am pretty confident that the site cannot accommodate what is required and supposedly sought by the club. There simply isn't the space, and that is before we factor in access, environmental issues, neighborhood opposition etc.

Lets take the indoor pitch - the existing one must be 50ft high and there's no scope for building above it. The 'new' one will have to be the same height and cannot be built on top of. What does this mean? Well the 'plans' in the document show that technically there is space on the existing car park/academy site for the indoor pitch. But what they aren't showing are all the other facilities that we will also need down there outside of the footprint of the indoor pitch. 

Most of these facilities are essential and not optional - even just as a senior training facility - changing rooms, canteen, kitchen, gym, office space, analysis room, boot room, laundry room, plant room, storage. Where do all these things go outside of the footprint of the indoor pitch and car park? The only place they can go is on the grass down there.

A few problems with building out onto the grass.

1) As soon as you start doing this you lose pitch space. At the moment there are 5 pitches down there. Build out and that immediately becomes 4. The senior squad and u23s currently rotate between 4 pitches on the STC. Then we would also have the academy, u18s etc.

2) The academy site down at the bottom is itself in a sensitive area and I'm pretty sure contains strict restrictions on what can be built down there. I believe those pitches prior to Rovers' using them were sports pitches used by the hospital/staff before it shut down. The reason Rovers took over those pitches was because they were restricted for development - they couldn't be developed for housing and the academy building down there now was built on the footprint of the old changing rooms. The reason Jack Walker got those pitches for Rovers to begin with was because they were limited to sports use rather than development so were available 'on the cheap'. So it certainly isn't going to be as easy as building over whatever they like to fit everything they need down there. They are going to be heavily restricted and they know this, hence the references to building on the existing car park and no reference to building over grass areas.

Then we come on to the strict requirements of Category A academy status. It isn't a pick and chose optional game. There is a long list which gets longer every year of facilities and items that the club must have access to in order to qualify for Category A status. 

An indoor pitch is one of them. They also need a pitch with spectator access/use for u23s to play games on. They also need an outdoor artifical pitch which they have up at the STC. So one of the 4 or 5 remaining pitches would have to be ripped up and relaid on that basis. They also need a floodlit pitch, which again is on the STC pitch and would need installing down at the bottom in an area where there is likely to be opposition to it.

Accommodation is a requirement - a set number of rooms, including dining areas, and classrooms for the scholars - where are these going to be built? On top of the indoor 50ft high pitch?

Lets have a think about staffing levels. Again having Category A status stipulates a certain level and number of coaching staff. There must be 50 players in either the first team squad or u23 squad. Probably another 20 u18s. Then at least another 50-60 staff - management team, medical team, analysis team, office staff, kitchen staff, groundsmen.

You must be looking at accommodating in excess of 120 people easily on a daily basis. These people all need access and parking. The road down to the academy is a single track lane running through what has become a housing estate. It just won't work. 

I'd feel confident that this little scheme was a non-starter on the above basis but unfortunately they will have done their homework and will know all this already. This is where the con comes in because they will push ahead with it despite knowing this, knowing full well that we won't be able to get these facilities built down there but by the time the penny drops or the Category A status is lost the houses will be built. 

I wish I could double like this...outstanding...

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1 minute ago, Miller11 said:

The fact you can flog your ground or training facilities to bring you in line with “Profit and SUSTAINABILITY rules” just shows what a farce the whole thing is.

Well you can sell all your players as well so don’t get hung up about that...😉

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1 minute ago, Herbie6590 said:

Well you can sell all your players as well so don’t get hung up about that...😉

The way they’ve been performing lately I’d welcome it!

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Just now, Herbie6590 said:

They aren’t different for FFP. A club can lose up to £39m in a 3 year cycle...though that has been extended due to COVID.

When a club loses money, the owner can invest up to £39m to cover those losses via loans or share capital.

We must be perilously close to the FFP threshold before COVID. This whole proposal is to my mind to bring us back in line. It has nothing to do with improving facilities.

If shares issues are external investment then we are breaking the rules anyway. There is a limit on how much the owner can put in every year/3 years. I'm pretty sure it's not £20m or so every year. I think under FFP external investment by the owner is classed as a 'shareholder' investment and it's limited to about £5m a year. Venky's have been going waaaaaay beyond that with their share issues. Can you explain?

I'm aware of the £39m and fines/embargos etc. That's all fairly straightforward. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Herbie6590 said:

When a club loses money, the owner can invest up to £39m to cover those losses via loans or share capital.

That's the bit I don't think is right, but would love to see a link. 

edit: Only thing i could find which comes close to explaining it. 

Limits for clubs in Championship in 2016/17 season

http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/resources/limits%20for%20cship%2024.jpg

FFP Explained (financialfairplay.co.uk)

So it's £8m a season by the looks of it (£39m minus £15M). 

Edited by Hoochie Bloochie Mama
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18 minutes ago, Hoochie Bloochie Mama said:

That's the bit I don't think is right, but would love to see a link. 

https://www.mikethornton.xyz/ffp-and-p-and-s/

if a club loses more than £39m via the FFP calculation it is subject to penalty.

If the club is to continue trading, it must pay its bills so it either borrows more or the owners put more share capital in to provide working capital. 

Owners can put in more than the £39m if they choose....but the funds would not mitigate the FFP fail & the idea is that a fine would be imposed to negate the impact of the cash injection. 
 

So in practice...they are restricted as to what they can invest. 
 

The FFP calculation isn’t just a case of adding up 3 years P&L numbers. It is an adjusted calculation. So owners are allowed to invest extra on allowable expenditure e.g. stadium redevelopment, training ground etc. So Venky’s could well have been investing more than £39m gross...because some of that is allowable.

 

621F3AA1-6D4D-451D-8890-915411BFD6A3.png

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5 minutes ago, Herbie6590 said:

You're misunderstanding my point (this could be my fault), see my edited post above. I understand the £39m loss, my point has always been how much can the owners inject every season as part of FFP rules in order that they comply with FFP rules and offset the losses. You said they could inject £39m, but that is wrong. You seem to be confusing losses with external funding. 

My edited link gives the answer - £8m a season. http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/financial-fair-play-explained.php

So, back to my original point, Venky's are exceeding that in share issues every year. How are they doing this?

Edited by Hoochie Bloochie Mama
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1 minute ago, Hoochie Bloochie Mama said:

You're misunderstanding my point (this could be my fault), see my edited post above. I understand the £39m loss, my point has always been how much can the owners inject every season as part of FFP rules in order that they comply with FFP rules. You said £39m, but that is wrong. You seem to be confusing losses with external funding. 

My edited link gives the answer - £8m a season. http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/financial-fair-play-explained.php

So, back to my original point, Venky's are exceeding that in share issues every year. How?

I was still editing my post...re-read it now 👍🏻

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41 minutes ago, Herbie6590 said:

if a club loses more than £39m via the FFP calculation it is subject to penalty.

Agreed

If the club is to continue trading, it must pay its bills so it either borrows more or the owners put more share capital in to provide working capital. 

Agreed

Owners can put in more than the £39m if they choose....but the funds would not mitigate the FFP fail & the idea is that a fine would be imposed to negate the impact of the cash injection. 


Under FFP rules owners can only put in £8m a season in external funding. That is allowable. Without injecting £8m they would only be allowed to lose £5m a season (£15m over 3 seasons). With an injection of £8m a season they can take increase those losses to £13m a season (£39m over 3 years)

So in practice...they are restricted as to what they can invest. 

Exactly my point. So how are they getting away with putting about £6m every three months (or whatever it is) in share issues???? This is my original question!! Are share issues classed as external funding i.e. part of the £8m they are allowed to put in every season?? If so we are going to fail FFP in the very near future (Covid notwithstanding)
 

The FFP calculation isn’t just a case of adding up 3 years P&L numbers. It is an adjusted calculation. So owners are allowed to invest extra on allowable expenditure e.g. stadium redevelopment, training ground etc. So Venky’s could well have been investing more than £39m gross...because some of that is allowable.

Agreed, but that adjusted calculation does not explain the vast sums they've been putting in via share issues. The money they've been putting is clearly to pay the wages, transfer spends .... allowable expenses that amount to very little are going to have very little impact on that. 

From the link I provided. Allowable expenditure include: Youth development spend, Charitable Community spend, and Women’s Football spend. For a Championship club this rarely exceeds £500k per season (and is usually less)...and  now also Covid costs. 

Interesting discussion (to me anyway😉) but I'm still none the wiser! And very tired! 

Edited by Hoochie Bloochie Mama
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1 hour ago, JHRover said:

Having visited the academy site many times both as a spectator of the under 18 team and also through work, studied these vague plans in the document I am pretty confident that the site cannot accommodate what is required and supposedly sought by the club. There simply isn't the space, and that is before we factor in access, environmental issues, neighborhood opposition etc.

Lets take the indoor pitch - the existing one must be 50ft high and there's no scope for building above it. The 'new' one will have to be the same height and cannot be built on top of. What does this mean? Well the 'plans' in the document show that technically there is space on the existing car park/academy site for the indoor pitch. But what they aren't showing are all the other facilities that we will also need down there outside of the footprint of the indoor pitch. 

Most of these facilities are essential and not optional - even just as a senior training facility - changing rooms, canteen, kitchen, gym, office space, analysis room, boot room, laundry room, plant room, storage. Where do all these things go outside of the footprint of the indoor pitch and car park? The only place they can go is on the grass down there.

A few problems with building out onto the grass.

1) As soon as you start doing this you lose pitch space. At the moment there are 5 pitches down there. Build out and that immediately becomes 4. The senior squad and u23s currently rotate between 4 pitches on the STC. Then we would also have the academy, u18s etc.

2) The academy site down at the bottom is itself in a sensitive area and I'm pretty sure contains strict restrictions on what can be built down there. I believe those pitches prior to Rovers' using them were sports pitches used by the hospital/staff before it shut down. The reason Rovers took over those pitches was because they were restricted for development - they couldn't be developed for housing and the academy building down there now was built on the footprint of the old changing rooms. The reason Jack Walker got those pitches for Rovers to begin with was because they were limited to sports use rather than development so were available 'on the cheap'. So it certainly isn't going to be as easy as building over whatever they like to fit everything they need down there. They are going to be heavily restricted and they know this, hence the references to building on the existing car park and no reference to building over grass areas.

Then we come on to the strict requirements of Category A academy status. It isn't a pick and chose optional game. There is a long list which gets longer every year of facilities and items that the club must have access to in order to qualify for Category A status. 

An indoor pitch is one of them. They also need a pitch with spectator access/use for u23s to play games on. They also need an outdoor artifical pitch which they have up at the STC. So one of the 4 or 5 remaining pitches would have to be ripped up and relaid on that basis. They also need a floodlit pitch, which again is on the STC pitch and would need installing down at the bottom in an area where there is likely to be opposition to it.

Accommodation is a requirement - a set number of rooms, including dining areas, and classrooms for the scholars - where are these going to be built? On top of the indoor 50ft high pitch?

Lets have a think about staffing levels. Again having Category A status stipulates a certain level and number of coaching staff. There must be 50 players in either the first team squad or u23 squad. Probably another 20 u18s. Then at least another 50-60 staff - management team, medical team, analysis team, office staff, kitchen staff, groundsmen.

You must be looking at accommodating in excess of 120 people easily on a daily basis. These people all need access and parking. The road down to the academy is a single track lane running through what has become a housing estate. It just won't work. 

I'd feel confident that this little scheme was a non-starter on the above basis but unfortunately they will have done their homework and will know all this already. This is where the con comes in because they will push ahead with it despite knowing this, knowing full well that we won't be able to get these facilities built down there but by the time the penny drops or the Category A status is lost the houses will be built. 

Honestly one of the best researched and knowledgable posts I’ve ever read. This is the kind of info Rich, Andy Bayes and co need to be researching and tackling.

Thanks Jack, genuinely learned a lot from that, it shows that in all likelihood it would lead to the end of category A and then what?

Get rid of under 18’s? Send them off to train elsewhere?

Im also yet to see anything revolutionary or better than what we have already.

 

Do the club still have a duty to honour a fans consultation? If so they need grilling 

Edited by Tom
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42 minutes ago, Tom said:

Honestly one of the best researched and knowledgable posts I’ve ever read. This is the kind of info Rich, Andy Bayes and co need to be researching and tackling.

Thanks Jack, genuinely learned a lot from that, it shows that in all likelihood it would lead to the end of category A and then what?

Get rid of under 18’s? Send them off to train elsewhere?

Im also yet to see anything revolutionary or better than what we have already.

 

Do the club still have a duty to honour a fans consultation? If so they need grilling 

Fully agree.

Think it would be helpful if you 'Backroom' guys could find a way of collating these types of posts and forward to Messrs Sharpe, Bayes etc.

Also, think it would be good for BRFCS to make a 'formal' representation to Ribble Valley Planning as they invite submissions.  Historically, you've also been able to make representations in person.

I've read some excellent stuff on this thread and constructive, coordinated input to Sharpe, Bayes and Ribble Valley Planning can only help.

Also, has anyone within BRFCS got links, contacts to residents in the immediate vicinity of the Rovers' facilities at Brockhall as I am sure there will be a lot of noise emanating from that area and we could feed off one another.

This planning application might not be as straightforward as perhaps Rovers think! 

Edited by Mercer
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May I ask on what legal grounds the clubs proposals will be opposed? If there's no community type protection on the site, is there much anyone can do to stop them from making the decision (if planning permission granted)?

If anyone a bit more knowledgable than me on the subject knows then please do let me know

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1 hour ago, JoeH said:

May I ask on what legal grounds the clubs proposals will be opposed? If there's no community type protection on the site, is there much anyone can do to stop them from making the decision (if planning permission granted)?

If anyone a bit more knowledgable than me on the subject knows then please do let me know

Maybe the answers to that are better posted in private or via DM's by those co-ordinating such things.

Never know who is reading the forum 🙂 wouldn't want any surprises to be spoiled if there are objections would we?

To bring a war time phrase up to date 

Loose lips cost dips (in the current brockhall training  facility)

Edited by perthblue02
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''It's understood that Peacock and Smith Ltd, the acting agent in the development, are applying for the Brockhall covenant to be removed in order for plans to progress ahead. Restrictive covenants were imposed by the Walker family, which prevented the application of planning permission and blocked the erection of any buildings for residential, commercial and industrial use. With the covenant still in place, no demolition of the STC site can be commenced.''

''In addition, the development will also include a replacement for The Lodge, comprising of 20 total rooms, two communal lounges and utility rooms, bathrooms etc.''

https://www.lancs.live/sport/football/football-news/blackburn-rovers-training-ground-plans-19885443

Warning: I have very fast fibre internet connection but always struggle with the Ad overloaded site

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If this gets blocked it could turn into the new snowball theory. 

Also i wonder if this policy of loaning kids in from high end clubs is someone trying to show the owners that's the way to go instead of your own cat 1 ?

Edited by tomphil
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41 minutes ago, tomphil said:

If this gets blocked it could turn into the new snowball theory. 

Also i wonder if this policy of loaning kids in from high end clubs is someone trying to show the owners that's the way to go instead of your own cat 1 ?

The purpose of the Academy is two-fold, provide first team players, then sell them to help fund the clubs working capital.

If we lose Cat 1 status, both of those become harder.

Developing other clubs players of course helps them....so it would be perverse in the extreme to pursue that intellectual argument....*insert pithy comment here* 🤨

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Just reading some of the excellent posts in this thread has got me wondering if the club would be happy to dispense with the Academy in the long run and focus on the seniors and under 23's. JHRovers terrific, detailed post shows it's nigh on impossible to do what they are saying in the proposal.

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2 hours ago, Mattyblue said:

Looking at the comments, it is not the first time since the news broke I have seen people thinking that Rovers will get the money from the newly built house sales!

Edited by perthblue02
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Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Travis, JRC - that's just in the last few years. That's a lot of talent, and mostly because we were Cat1, certainly in the cases of the players we take from the big city clubs when they get released. (JRC, Travis etc).

Jeopardising Cat 1 status is lunacy, especially when there are very limited transfer funds. Without the Academy we wouldn't have a team. 

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