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.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:36 pm

Had to laugh at Roo's comment above about "taking Ka$$am at his word" when I clicked on this thread just now to add this link to today's story about Uncle Firoz rowing back on promises he made to restore the Priory pub.

Good to see the council actually having the courage of their convictions for once and taking action against him. If only good old Snake were still alive and kicking to talk us through the intricacies.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:24 am

OxVox have today renewed the "Community Asset" status of our ground.

Looking back over the last few pages of this thread, it's hard to not be cynical that this will be yet another news story that signifies time being spent on something that will move us no closer to owning the stadium. What came of OxVox's promise from Firoz that heads of terms would be agreed? What came of Bob Price's intention to persuade Firoz to sell the ground for cheap in order to expedite the development into housing of the overflow car park? What came of the council's tough line on making Firoz stop the Priory from falling apart?

It's hardly a hot new take to say this is a right bloody mess - but is anyone aware of any work going on that would actually move the situation forward? It's painfully obvious now that Firoz Ka$$am will only sell if he gets a huge offer that values the land above what he'd get for housing. Maybe Sunrith Thanakarnjanasuth has that sort of money, maybe not; I doubt it though. Maybe he'd spend it on the ground rather than the playing squad; I doubt it though. Maybe the council recognise the need to sustain a professional football club in the city and that this requires them to be actively involved; I doubt it though.

Please, someone, give me a reason to feel cheerful!

Radley Rambler
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Radley Rambler » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:42 pm

Kairdiff Exile wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:24 am
OxVox have today renewed the "Community Asset" status of our ground.

Looking back over the last few pages of this thread, it's hard to not be cynical that this will be yet another news story that signifies time being spent on something that will move us no closer to owning the stadium. What came of OxVox's promise from Firoz that heads of terms would be agreed? What came of Bob Price's intention to persuade Firoz to sell the ground for cheap in order to expedite the development into housing of the overflow car park? What came of the council's tough line on making Firoz stop the Priory from falling apart?

It's hardly a hot new take to say this is a right bloody mess - but is anyone aware of any work going on that would actually move the situation forward? It's painfully obvious now that Firoz Ka$$am will only sell if he gets a huge offer that values the land above what he'd get for housing. Maybe Sunrith Thanakarnjanasuth has that sort of money, maybe not; I doubt it though. Maybe he'd spend it on the ground rather than the playing squad; I doubt it though. Maybe the council recognise the need to sustain a professional football club in the city and that this requires them to be actively involved; I doubt it though.

Please, someone, give me a reason to feel cheerful!
That about sums it up for me. The ground has been the elephant in the room for many years. When DE took over, he was asked what his views on stadium ownership and he said that it wasn't important. 5 years later and he sells the club with one of the reasons being the inability to secure the ground. Tiger is asked the same question at the fans forum and he says he hasn't had any meetings with FK but that one was planned - good luck with that!

Unless Tiger is going to stump up a load of money for a fairly soulless ground or unless he has some master plan to build a new one with Council backing (yeah, right) then we are exactly where we were about 5 years ago. Oxvox were an unhelpful distraction here as they predictably got played by Kassam and wasted 18 months in doing so.

Silver linings - well there aren't many. One though is that I understand we can renew the playing rights in 7 years time and so Kassam can't bulldozer the place. One completely hypothetical one is that Pavon Singha might fancy a stadium with his name on it.......

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kernow Yellow » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:07 pm

Radley Rambler wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:42 pm
Silver linings - well there aren't many. One though is that I understand we can renew the playing rights in 7 years time and so Kassam can't bulldozer the place.
I think a little bulldozing might improve the place!

It's all so predictably depressing. Usually the one thing that GY/OY and I agree on every pre-season is that this is the year the ground situation has to get sorted for us to progress as a club. But unless Mr Singha (or whoever else) wants to spunk a load of cash on it with no likely return, it simply ain't gonna happen in the near future.

I don't blame OxVox for trying, and I don't think they got in the way of anything (because there was no realistic deal to get in the way of). Kassam certainly used them to get some sympathetic publicity over the last couple of years though, and the promise of heads of terms looks a bit silly now.

slappy
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by slappy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:21 pm

Perhaps BMW will leave Cowley and there will be a huge brownfield site ripe for a state of the art sports complex.

Radley Rambler
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Radley Rambler » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:18 pm

slappy wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:21 pm
Perhaps BMW will leave Cowley and there will be a huge brownfield site ripe for a state of the art sports complex.
Or maybe Hinksey Heights could be bought up and redeveloped.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by OtmoorYellow » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:44 pm

If you smell bacon and spot pink flapping wings on an oinking animal overhead, that can only mean one thing.

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