VSC Meeting with DRFC following collapse of takeover



Following the recent takeover collapsing, the VSC board felt it necessary to meet with the club to understand next steps and the roadmap for future development in the playing squad.  Yesterday's statement regarding the youth development model, coupled with an interview with Ritchie Wellens and the recent departure to Barnsley of two players who had been training with us, has resulted in supporters questioning the direction of the club.

We met this morning with the club and ran through a number of the issues of concern which had been raised by supporters.  Through this discussion we have gained an understanding of the board’s vision of how they would like the club to operate.  For those of you who say sustainability is a pipe dream, can we re-iterate that this is still about sustainable losses and not self-sufficiency.  The gap between this year's budget and projected income still requires significant funding from Terry and Dick which will be 7 figures, and for that we thank them for their commitment to the club.

The first thing to state is that the late collapse of the takeover deal has absolutely hampered a lot of the things the club were planning to do back in May.  All significant spending plans for the summer had to be placed on hold and this has now caused the club some difficulties in the player acquisition process.  Furthermore, as is evident from Ritchie's interview, certain contracts appear to have been discussed with the prospective new owners which do not fit into the plans of the current owners

In a nutshell, short -term contracts are, generally, going to become something that the club will rely on less and less.  In recent times the club have given one and two year deals to players on very good salaries because that is what you generally had to do to secure their services on such contracts.  The club wants to move away from this to develop an approach to building a squad for a number of years, not just a season at a time.

Paul Dickov has been given a competitive budget for the division, Paul has indicated to the board that he can deliver to the plan with the budget he has.  But the model isn't just about signing X player on ŁY a week.  It’s about identifying a number of players to play in that position.    The plan is to create a squad by securing the services of a "seasoned pro", an up and coming pro with a good future (think Luke McCullough-type players), and one or two youngsters with clear potential who will benefit from being in and around the first team squad.

The youngsters with potential are likely to be signed on 3 year deals, so that as they develop they become a clear asset for the club and allow for succession planning into the first team squad.  The "German model" of football development is currently receiving a lot of column inches, and this plan certainly aligns with that, where Bundesliga clubs aim to develop 3 players with first team capability every season, plus 6 other players who can go on to have good careers in the game.

The club are very close to announcing some player information which fits to this model, so we would ask supporters to be patient and watch closely as the personnel to deliver this plan are confirmed and added to the existing squad over the next couple of weeks, but also to bear in mind that some of the players announced will be on the development path described.

The club also confirmed that Rob Jones will be having another scan on his neck on Monday next week, and hopefully will receive the green light to commence playing fully.  Fingers crossed that Rob receives the good news we all want to hear and that the next few days are filled with more positive news

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