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Bob Dorrian Q&A

27 July 2010 13:11 Post ID: #272897
76 John McClelland
Q. Dear Bob, seeing as you model yourself on 'Doc Brown' from Back to the Future, can you fire up that old DeLorean rusting away in your garage and take us back to 1975/76 or more realistically 1980/81 please ..... i.e. we need a strike force and Drew Broughton is no Freeman or Harford/Cunningham. Basically move heaven and earth and offer Somma a contract he can't refuse!

I’m not sure whether I am flattered or not by your description of me, however with regard to Somma we have done everything possible to bring him to Lincoln including making Leeds a substantial cash offer.We will continue to monitor the situation.

Q. What's the latest on the access road and what affect do you think it will have on the club and its facilities/usage?

We are waiting currently for sign off the paperwork and hopefully work should begin in the next 4/6 weeks.The new access will give us the opportunity to develop the area at the South Park end perhaps putting in a reception/welcome area and generally making it more “consumer friendly”

Q. Do you think Ronnie Corbett would fit in a golf bag ?????

Only if you cut his head off.

Q. Hello Bob who is the best player you have witnessed in a City shirt?

Q. Bob, what is the most memorable match you have seen City take part in?

I’ve seen many good players at Sincil Bank over the years and it is a very difficult choice, however I will go for Peter Graham a very classy centre forward from the Graham Taylor era .The most memorable game I have seen us take part in was in 59/60 season I believe, when we beat Cardiff City 3-1 in the last game of the season to stave off relegation from the old second division in front of 18000 people.Incidentally as this was a replayed game I also attended the original game at Sincil Bank where it was called off at half time due to a snowbound pitch with Cardiff leading 3-0 in front of 7000 people (a low gate in those days)

Q. Hi Bob, apart from obviously wanting promotion are there any other targets you have set yourself during your time at the helm?

Obviously promotion is the number one target however I would also like to bring in substantial external investment to allow the club to break out of it’s cycle of interminable underachievement.I will do my best on this front.Ground improvements are an area we need to focus on as well as the Match Day experience for all supporters.

Q. Bob, some supporters feel that the Board doesn't do enough to attract new investment into the Club. What is your view on that?

I do feel that in the past our approach in attracting new investment has been somewhat half-hearted and as stated previously we need to change that perspective.

Q. Bob, do you think headless chickens have anything to teach the England team?

No, but maybe Fabio Capello.

Q. Does the salary cap help or hinder teams in our league? No one wants any club to go out of business (cod-heads excluded of course) but if we wanted to push for promotion and, for example, wanted a top quality signing but it would push the budget over the 60% turnover threshold, where would we stand. Is it still optional which allowed County to buy the title? If so would you like to see it made compulsory.

At this moment we are working with the F.L. to bring about a compulsory cap of 60% of spending of turnover with penalties for exceeding this amount.A club will however be able to exceed this amount if they can prove that it is “new money”, i.e. a directors loan, outside investment or similar and also be able to show the F.L. that the money has been physically paid over, perhaps by means of an Escrow account.

Q. A few weeks ago you stated that substantial new investment was being targeted,most likely from overseas. How has this progressed? Also have you contacted individuals who have been linked with new investment with City in the past ? Do you accept the substantial investment needed is inevitably going to change the power structure at the club ?

As stated before, the search for substantial external investment is a priority item on our agenda, however we are setting ourselves a difficult task and it could take some time to hit “paydirt” If we do manage to find an investor it might not necessarily mean that the power sructure is devolved dramatically and we are looking at ways and means of bringing this about..

Q. Hope you’re well Bob. No one wants to go back to the dark days of admin but I think it’s fair to say we have a manager that seems to have made in a short space of time Lincoln into a more professional club so if the case arose and the gaffer said to you lets have ago this season would there be funds in place to do so? I personally think Sutton can be the best appointment we’ve made for a long time. I just feel we need to make a big signing in terms of a striker and we will be fine.

We have a contingency plan in place should a striker become available who we think ticks all the boxes, so far this has not happened or we have been pipped at the post.

Q. Bob, last summer the manager Peter Jackson stated his intentions that a striker was required and a priority - July struck then August and we were still searching for a striker. Exact same scenario this season - yet it has been quoted that we will push the boat out for a decent centre forward - Bob can you answer why does it never happen?

Chris Sutton has worked very hard during the close season to bring in this elusive striker and a quality striker is still on our agenda.You have to understand that it is not easy trying to attract proven strikers to a club that finished close to the bottom of league two, especially when most of these players believe they should be playing in league 1 and the championship.The search will continue.

Q. Hi Bob, First of all I would like to wish good luck and every success in your new role as Chairman. I was hoping, somewhat optimistically, that we would endeavour to sign at least one of the loan signings we had with us last season. Can you let us know whether or not we have tried to sign any of these players? Thanks.

I presume you are alluding to Baker,Herd and Saunders.Unfortunately none of them are available for transfer to LCFC or indeed any other club.I understand they are highly rated by their parent clubs and probably will not be loaned out to a league 2 club either.

Q. Dear Bob, I have often questioned your predessor on this subject. Can you please state that the brice of Bovril (and alternative beef drinks) will not increase in price for the forth coming season at the Bank? With recent stock market crash, and fall in stock market prices for the subject item, surley there can't be a increase in price..... Thanks

The pricing of food and drink is not within our remit as the franchise for the catering at the ground is contracted out to a third party.

Q. How much money do you have in your pocket right now?

A few bob.

Q. Is the catering space leased out per season, or do the Club receive 'x' amount per head per game?
Also, have the Club considered taking the Stadium catering on themselves and potentially making some extra money? If not, why not? If so, what conclusions were drawn?
(Luke Imp)

The catering is contracted out and the club receive “x amount” per head.Currently we believe that our present arrangements are the most profitable ones.The investment needed to establish our own facilities would not be conducive to a short term payback and I think we would rather wait until earnest re-development of the stadium begins.

Q. Bob, do you think the long-term future of the Imps is at Sincil Bank, or should we sell out to a major supermarket store (covenant permitting) and move out onto the ring-road?

I am a big supporter of retaining the ground at its present location.It would not make financial sense to move to an alternative site for a number of reasons.I think we should stay where we are and develop e the facilities we have.

Q. What was the first car you ever owned?

1956 Mark One Ford Consul.

Q. Bob, how confident are you that we will have a quality striker and another defender in place for the start of the season?
(I Blame Paul Mayo)

Since your question certain positions have been filled, but I am still hopeful that we can strengthen the squad in those positions you mentioned during the next 2/3 weeks.

Hi Bob, which do you prefer, the leg or the breast?

I’ve always been a leg man.

Q. Should the ambition of championship football be realised, is there enough potential (space, finances etc) at Sincil Bank to expand facilities and capacity should it prove necessary

There is enormous potential to develop Sincil Bank in to a 15000 thousand capacity stadium and should we reach the Championship I am sure that those facilities would not be far away.

Q. How does our playing budget compare to other Clubs in L2?
(Luke Imp)

I think that in league table terms we would probably be mid-table.

Q. Hi Bob, good luck in your new role. Are there any young gems coming through the ranks that have attracted interest from bigger clubs, or are thought of as stars of the future?

We recently sold Graham Hutchinson to Birmingham City and I think that shows that other clubs do monitor players in our youth ranks and is a credit to the way we coach and operate our youth department.On the other hand it is vitally important that we groom youngsters for our own senior use , because it is not only financially rewarding in terms of saving the club money,a good crop of youngsters will also further our prospects on the pitch.

Q. Hi Bob, good luck with the new role. Have we put in a firm bid for Somma? If so, what was the response, and if not, why not?

We put in a substantial bid for Davide Somma approximately 5 weeks ago.Leeds declined our offer on the basis that he now seemed like a promising prospect and would like to take a longer look at him before making a decision on his future.We are monitoring the situation.

Q. Hi Bob, I'll start by echoing the comments wishing you the best of luck in your new role - But ever since I read about the appointment. I just wanted to know, what is your favourite type of cheese?

Are we hi-jacking Chris Moyles here?Its Brie anyway.

Q. Bob, if Southend have cut their budget by a million, what on earth was it to start with and still claim to have one of the top 3 in l2, assuming 3rd as he would have said top 2 otherwise I guess.

We are not using Southend as a blueprint for financial security.

Q. Bob will the club be banning the Vuvuzela?

Not been discussed yet, but I don’t think so.

What is the typical day of being a Chairman?
(Luke Imp)

It would take me aweek to answer this question in detail,so suffice to say its busy .Perhaps you can ask me again when I,ve got my feet under the table.

Q. Hi Bob can you shed any light on what happened to Gilmour and Lennon. One minute they were being offered new contracts, the next....?

They were both offered new contracts and were given a deadline within which to respond.There was no response within the deadline and the rest is history.

Q. Hi Bob, if we are pulling out all the financial stops to sign Somma and if we don't get him, does CS have the exact same amount to spend on an alternative or alternatives to strengthen the team?

As you will have seen earlier we have already made a substantial bid fo Somma and in reality that money is still there .So far we have not been able to identify another who meets our criteria and at the same time we are closely following the Somma situationat Leeds as he is our No1 target.

Q. Bob, if we started the season now with the squad we have got right now. How would you feel about our chances?
(I Blame Paul Mayo)

As I speak today 26/7/10 we are probably short in one or two positions.However I am genuinely optimistic for the coming season and without promising anything I think we will do well.

Q. Bob
1) Given that sufficient investment on a very significant scale by wealthy individuals is hard to attract and possibly unlikely to ever happen, what do you see as the most realistic and sustainable ways to increase revenues needed for a club like City to eventually reach the championship? Are there any revenue streams that are untapped at present?

2) Do you think the City of Lincoln still has sufficient potential support in the local population to sustain a club at that level these days as we did in the 1950s? Or would it be harder now even though the population is bigger?


The aim this year is to make a very concerted attempt to attract outside investment.Ideally the new investor would be in a position to invest in excess of £1 million pounds and this is the type of individual/company we are looking for.Obviously we are setting ourselves a difficult task and in reality any kind of investment would be very welcome.However, if you don’t try you will never know.
In terms of a sustainable way of reaching the Championship I believe we have already started that process by employing Chris Sutton and Ian Pearce.

Whilst money is tight and revenue streams are not what they were it falls to the management team to use their expertise,knowledge,contacts and nous to push the club forward and in Chris and Ian I believe we have a duo who can take us most of the way to the Championship with limited resources prevailing.
We are always looking at new revenue streams, however the current economic climate does not help our ambitions in this area..Currently we are setting up small working parties at the club to capitalise on ongoing revenue streams and to bring in new initiatives.As always any suggestions would be very welcome.
My own belief is that we have a core support of approx 3500 fans and a dormant fan base of perhaps 4500.Over the last 40/50years the club has massively underachieved and great apathy amongst our fans has followed as a natural outcome.Given some sustained success I think we can go a lot of the way towards those glory daysof the 50’s.There are a number of clubs in the F.L. whose support has grown dramatically through sustained success and innovation,Norwich City is a club whose league gates have nearly doubled over recent years as have others.So the answer to your question is yes.

Q. Have the Club considered having open trial matches periodically? Something along the lines of where players can contact the Club, ask for a trial and two teams of trialists play, say once a month for instance, and CS and IP cast their eyes over them to see if any have anything to offer.
(Luke Imp)

Its certainly a good idea and I know that other clubs do hold “triallist matches”, to my knowledge it has not happened at Lincoln although we do bring in individual triallists on a regular basis.I will ask the question.
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