Stadium matters

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Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:56 am

Today's Oxford Mail carries a lengthy story on the latest showdown between the council and Firoz Ka££am. My reading of it:

- Bob Price wants to ensure his legacy notes his commitment to working for OUFC's long-term future;
- At the same time, he know he stands a snowball in hell's chance of getting Firoz to play ball;
- Firoz is well aware that he is sitting on a valuable asset (turning the overflow car park into housing);
- There is zero likelihood of him doing anything that stops him maximising the value of the land and the stadium;
- The uncertainty over our future ownership is playing nicely into Ka££am's hands and gives him another excuse to wait;
- There is no movement on the stadium arbitration issue;
- There is no movement on the stadium acquisition issue from either Eales or OxVox;
- It's all pretty bloody bleak.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by OtmoorYellow » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:15 pm

This just confirms to me what I already thought. Bob Price is badly out of his depth and doesn't understand commercial negotiations.

Price has had plenty of opportunities over the years to help OUFC, but has singularly failed to do so, to the point of obstruction of the development of the club in my view.

Kassam knows full well the pressures on OCC to provide significantly more housing. It is a far greater pressure than parking provision at a football stadium, and given the council's persistent failures to help OUFC, there is only ever one side that will crumble first. Kassam can hold out forever. OCC cannot. That makes it a very one sided situation.

As regards Kassam's comments, he clearly for the first time makes clear his purely commercial intentions regarding the stadium, despite his previous significant profiteering at the club's expense. Statements about wanting to protect OUFC future by handing over the reins only to particular people are meaningless hogwash for delaying tactics and are clearly shown to be by the other comments that he is not a charity but a commercial organisation. Kassam cannot be trusted to do anything that is for the benefit of the club, only what is for his own benefit. That isn't intended as a nasty or personal attack, just a recognition that he is first and foremost a businessman and OUFC is not his business interest.

I remain highly doubtful about OxVox interventions re buying the stadium as a community asset, which I suspect relied on taking Kassam at his word regarding his "good" intentions. I think that probably delayed and hampered negotiations between Eales and Kassam, rather than sped the overall process up.

When push comes to shove, Bob Price is putting up obstacles to OUFC moving from the stadium by the decades old mantra of this site isn't suitable, or that site isn't suitable for spurious reasons that come down to OCC wanting them for housing. He isn't trying to help the club, he is diverting attention to result in the club remaining at Grenoble Road. But that is not in the interests of OUFC without Kassam Stadium ownership. And Kassam Stadium ownership is not going to be possible until Kassam has reaped every penny from the land development, which will take a very long time indeed.

Essentially both Price and Kassam are obstacles to the development of OUFC.
Last edited by OtmoorYellow on Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:22 pm

OtmoorYellow wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:15 pm
Statements about wanting to protect OUFC future by handing over the reins only to particular people are meaningless hogwash for delaying tactics and are clearly shown to be by the other comments that he is not a charity but a commercial organisation
Quite. If a consortium of Darth Vader, Dr Evil and Kim Jong-Un came along and offered Ka££am one billion dollars for the ground so they could demolish it to use the land for a secret underground bunker with en-suite parking for the Death Star, does anyone seriously believe he'd say no on the grounds that it wouldn't be in the best interests of OUFC?!?

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Kernow Yellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kernow Yellow » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:55 am

And now, two weeks before he retires, Bob Price says that the City Council might look into doing something about The Priory. Maybe. Possibly.

It is the council's fault that The Priory is closed. It is they who insisted the marquee was taken down because it was 'out of keeping' with the listed building, making it unviable. It is they who allowed a massive ugly hotel right next to said listed building (apparently not out of keeping at all). It is they who have not enforced specific planning conditions relating to the hotel's construction about making repairs to The Priory. And it is they who have done nothing about ensuring that their own listed building is kept in reasonable condition, as the lease surely demands.

As OY notes above, the council have done precious little to help OUFC over the years. You only need to look at clubs like Hull, Swansea and Portsmouth to see what can be achieved from the brink of disaster with a helpful local authority.

I applaud OxVox's attempts to get all the relevant people round the table to try and get things moving. But Bob Price's recent musings are far too little too late as far as his influence is concerned.

Interesting that Kassam is being vocal on the subject now, having not said much for a few years. He knows he holds all the cards, but only because the council have handed them to him over the years.

Very depressing.

Roo
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Roo » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:00 pm

Isn't it about time that we took Kassam at his word? He has stated on several occasions that he's not willing to sell the KasStad to any 'single individual.'


This isn't to say that his word is his bond, by any stretch of the imagination, or that he couldn't change his opinion if it suited his ends. But instead of second guessing him, why not try taking this statement at face value, until he does something to indicate that his plans are changing?


It lends a totally different angle to the (non-existent) conversation.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by OtmoorYellow » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:59 pm

If Kassam had wanted to do right by OUFC, he didn't have to extract the profits of The Manor and he has had 17 years during which time he could have sold the stadium to a community group.

His latest statement is highly contradictory. On the one hand he says he won't do anything unless it is in the interests of OUFC, but on the other says he won't sell for anything less than full market value. Those two elements of his statement are incompatible and hypocritical.

On top of that he is trying to develop the stadium "overflow" car park, without selling the stadium, which is clearly not in the interests of OUFC.

Many of us have hoped for a long time that he had good intentions. Sadly those 17 years have shown otherwise.

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