I've looked long and hard at this "Vision and Plan" and the thought was that it's over 12 months too late. Had AL produced something like this a hell of a sight earlier, it could, but not guaranteed, have saved a lot of angst and division among the fan base. It's well written, perhaps by Adam Morallee or someone in his profession and, whilst it is a concise document, it does carry some worrying signs. So here's my two pennorth.
Fast paced and tactically and technically good quality football - in that case we need more technically gifted players than we currently have. I certainly wouldn't put the likes of O'Grady and Branger in that bracket
League 1 status should be achieved relatively quickly - the word "relatively" shouldn't come anywhere in that statement. We can't flounder in a League 2 that was so poor last season. Even the top 6 or 7 teams weren't that brilliant
A commitment to try to achieve League 1 status within 3 years, hopefully sooner - with a settled and balanced team and management, we'd already be there. Looking at three years does not suggest ambition
Championship football is best considered as realistic within a 5 year plan - if he's aiming at League 1 in 3 years, hitting the Championship within another two is pushing it a bit. Get promoted into League 1 immediately, and it is a little more realistic, but still a hell of a challenge
The club's financial situation - so many times have wages been paid late, HMRC on our backs, bills not being paid I don't see a quick fix no matter how much he's pumping in. If the income stream, ie STs, fans through the turnstiles, programme sales, food and drink sales etc, stays the same or, even worsens, he is always behind the 8 ball and won't catch up to stabilise
Currently subsidising the club from his own personal resources until a more stable position is reached - is he writing off what he puts in or will he want it back? Because that presents two very different scenarios.
Commitment and enthusiasm of fans - he has already gone a long way to destroying that by various actions that need no further emphasising here. STs are down, gates are down and long standing battle-hardened supporters have turned their backs on the club. Now that will take some rebuilding
Begun assembling a Board of Directors - it's about bloody time, but what the hell is Barry Owen doing there again? Hasn't he done enough harm? On the Board, off the Board, on the Board. What's that all about? ML as Sporting Director - this can only be jobs for the boys because his (and AL's) recruitment thus far has been pretty underwhelming. I have a funny feeling that they really do believe that "their players" are far too good to be playing at this level. They're wrong. Here's a novel idea; how about trying to appoint someone with more than a passing/fleeting knowledge of football. That might help
Recognises that the budget is restricted - that's not the 100% quote ratified, is it?
Ownership of stadium, land and buildings - he didn't know they were owned separately? Yeah, right. Is he aware that a fan led group are aiming to do something about this? He's not mentioned it if he is
The value of the squad has declined significantly - anything to do with the AL/ML recruits? No? OK
12 Declining commercial income and fan base - well done for bringing in Pat Cluskey to address the former, but the declining fan base is partly down to the deteriorating level of football and the way the club has been run for God knows how many years with little, if any, evidence thus far that it will improve
Radical reorganisation of the football club - it's certainly been radical. It's almost impossible to count who has been ejected through the revolving door, whether it be playing staff, management/coaching staff, office staff, ground staff. So many have gone and we only found out from other fans and Twitter/Facebook. Is the tea lady still here?
Working to appoint a Chief Executive - at last. It's taken far too long
The quality and value of the playing squad has already improved compared to previous years - see #11 above where he contradicts this. Last season was one of the weakest squads I can remember, so thank God we had the loanees or we would have been in trouble
Open to recruitment of players from across the globe - that's a worry if they're anything like Sefil, Menig or Kyeremeh. Are there no players available in the UK?
The rest of it pretty much reiterates what has gone before, so what does this statement mean to me? It tells me that AL has at last realised that he has to do something to try to get the fans back onside. He could not continue without a Board of Directors and losing managers and fans hand over fist for much longer. It tells me that he is making an attempt at trying to do his best for the club, but it doesn't really say anything that we didn't already know. I hope it works, I really do, because I don't want to see this club I have loved for so long go any further down the slippery slope than it already is.
I think some of AL's ambitions are pie in the sky and not as simple as he's trying to make out. What he needs to do, and do quickly, is get a manager/head coach in asap; one who will be his own man and not be dictated to. He's already got one new signing (Iacovitti) that he's not been involved with. He's lost players (Clarke, Baxter) that he may have wanted to keep. That rings alarm bells straight away because it smacks of "me and likkle bruv will get the players, you just get them to play". If they're not good enough and the new bloke finds it impossible to get a tune out of them, he'll be out the door as well and we start all over again.
As I said at the beginning, it's a well written piece and full of good intentions, but it's not too difficult to pick holes in it. Good luck, AL, I hope your vision becomes a reality.