Together As One? That doesn't always seem the case for Saints off-the-field

First published in View from the Chapel Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Digital Editor

IT’S hard when your club, something you’ve invested time and love into, does something to lower itself in your estimation.

Like many football fans, my love for Saints means I overlook a multitude of sins when I certainly wouldn’t do so for other businesses.

Ticket prices, warm beer, poor service – loyalty is blind to all these types of things, to a point.

However, Saints have most certainly not covered themselves in glory in recent days.

In case you missed it, they were taken to court by a local firm which had not been paid for work done at St. Mary’s, refurbishing one of the corporate suites.

It wasn’t a huge amount of money by Premier League standards – £55,000 was the outstanding amount.

That’s less than Gaston Ramirez earns a week.

There was no reason offered as to why Saints didn’t pay. The club chose not to send anyone to represent them in court.

In effect, they offered no defence – not for the first time this season, you may snigger.

The court demanded Saints pay up immediately, having ignored an adjudication a few months back.

The reason this leaves a sour taste is that many supporters quite rightly have chastised Portsmouth for leaving so many small local firms high and dry when that club went into administration.

Now Saints are doing exactly the same – whilst supposedly having huge amounts of money behind them, either from the Liebherr estate, the Premier League or this mystery loan the club have.

Football clubs are big businesses these days, we all know that. We’ve come a long way from being a local club owned by a few rich men from the city whom you'd probably see in your local boozer.

That’s not to say the club exists in isolation from the community that supports it. The local firms you don’t pay are not just figures on an invoice.

They are the people who buy your tickets, wear your shirts and take their children to see your players. They are you.

Together As One is the club’s marketing slogan this season. But if the club isn’t willing to pay what it owes to the people that make up its local community, we are left in no doubt as to how much stock the club gives that catchphrase – absolutely none.

Are there other firms in similar positions, having not been paid by Saints? I’d love to say there definitely aren’t any but I don’t know.

If this is something Southampton FC does regularly, not only is it risking the livelihoods of ordinary people, it is hurting itself. It’s alienating itself from the very people it needs, its lifeblood. The fans.

If you couldn’t put food on your table because Saints hadn’t paid their bill, I don’t think any amount of Rickie Lambert goals would gloss over it. Perhaps the club would do well to consider that.

Comments (17)

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12:06pm Mon 19 Nov 12

#1saintsfan says...

Why is it the Echo feel the need to print negative articles all the time especially when the whole city is on a high after the win on Saturday?
Why is it the Echo feel the need to print negative articles all the time especially when the whole city is on a high after the win on Saturday? #1saintsfan
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Mon 19 Nov 12

dronskisaint says...

Reporter in not understanding how business works shocker! Reporter looking for negatives after a good weekend shocker...tell us Dan - are you told the subjects you have to write about or is this all your own work? If you want real negative and genuine shock and horror stories drive a few miles th the West where I think you'll find that people have gone out of business, workforce has been laid off in droves, charities have not been paid.....the list is endless! And the Echo is a Southampton paper...? Beggars belief!!
Reporter in not understanding how business works shocker! Reporter looking for negatives after a good weekend shocker...tell us Dan - are you told the subjects you have to write about or is this all your own work? If you want real negative and genuine shock and horror stories drive a few miles th the West where I think you'll find that people have gone out of business, workforce has been laid off in droves, charities have not been paid.....the list is endless! And the Echo is a Southampton paper...? Beggars belief!! dronskisaint
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Mon 19 Nov 12

dronskisaint says...

...or East even!
...or East even! dronskisaint
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Mon 19 Nov 12

SaintsBTGOG says...

"Together As One" is a total joke when the person running the club abuses its history. The treatment of letissier is an utter disgrace and highlights what a horrible vindictive idiot Cortese is.

Results on the pitch do not change these facts regarding how Cortese is a liability to the name of our club. As for people saying the article writer doesnt understand business ! LOL The Staplewood contractor worked off site due to non payments. Ex staff have taken legal action to get money that was owed to them.

The sooner Clotese gets out of Saints the better.
"Together As One" is a total joke when the person running the club abuses its history. The treatment of letissier is an utter disgrace and highlights what a horrible vindictive idiot Cortese is. Results on the pitch do not change these facts regarding how Cortese is a liability to the name of our club. As for people saying the article writer doesnt understand business ! LOL The Staplewood contractor worked off site due to non payments. Ex staff have taken legal action to get money that was owed to them. The sooner Clotese gets out of Saints the better. SaintsBTGOG
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Mon 19 Nov 12

ProfoundSadness says...

Hey look another hit piece from the echo, do you think if you bad mouth the club enough that they will come begging for reconciliation?
Hey look another hit piece from the echo, do you think if you bad mouth the club enough that they will come begging for reconciliation? ProfoundSadness
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Mon 19 Nov 12

TheSaintsMan says...

This is laughable. When we do badly the Echo says Adkins should be sacked, when we do well they create some other negative story.

Is there no positivity anywhere???

COYR!!!
This is laughable. When we do badly the Echo says Adkins should be sacked, when we do well they create some other negative story. Is there no positivity anywhere??? COYR!!! TheSaintsMan
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Ciaran says...

TheSaintsMan wrote:
This is laughable. When we do badly the Echo says Adkins should be sacked, when we do well they create some other negative story.

Is there no positivity anywhere???

COYR!!!
I challenge you to find ONE story when the Echo says Adkins should be sacked.

When you do, post the link here - unless of course you are talking nonsense, in which case you can just apologise for lying.

What's the bigger crime - the club doing something wrong or is it the Echo telling people the club has done something wrong?

I know which of those two I think is a problem and which isn't.
[quote][p][bold]TheSaintsMan[/bold] wrote: This is laughable. When we do badly the Echo says Adkins should be sacked, when we do well they create some other negative story. Is there no positivity anywhere??? COYR!!![/p][/quote]I challenge you to find ONE story when the Echo says Adkins should be sacked. When you do, post the link here - unless of course you are talking nonsense, in which case you can just apologise for lying. What's the bigger crime - the club doing something wrong or is it the Echo telling people the club has done something wrong? I know which of those two I think is a problem and which isn't. Ciaran
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Tirau Dan says...

Dan, you say "Are there other firms in similar positions, having not been paid by Saints? I’d love to say there definitely aren’t any but I don’t know."
You also don't say why SFC withheld payment when they so obviously have no financial problem.

So why is this a loyalty issue?
It also has nothing to do with the temperature of beer or price of a ticket. When I came over in 2010 I paid $27 for a L1 Brighton game..
Thats nothing to do with the progress at Staplewood.

Do you not think there is a statement being made by the club that they are not happy with something the builder has done or not done and the builder has been told what that is but as usual Saints don't air business in public?

That's the way I see it.

Furthermore Dan.. I thought better of you than to poke Pompey analogies. When the Swiss group took over SFC they promptly paid the Southampton debts and proudly stated so in the media.

Is it stories like this that keep the club away from the Echo...

I don't know. Touché.
Dan, you say "Are there other firms in similar positions, having not been paid by Saints? I’d love to say there definitely aren’t any but I don’t know." You also don't say why SFC withheld payment when they so obviously have no financial problem. So why is this a loyalty issue? It also has nothing to do with the temperature of beer or price of a ticket. When I came over in 2010 I paid $27 for a L1 Brighton game.. Thats nothing to do with the progress at Staplewood. Do you not think there is a statement being made by the club that they are not happy with something the builder has done or not done and the builder has been told what that is but as usual Saints don't air business in public? That's the way I see it. Furthermore Dan.. I thought better of you than to poke Pompey analogies. When the Swiss group took over SFC they promptly paid the Southampton debts and proudly stated so in the media. Is it stories like this that keep the club away from the Echo... I don't know. Touché. Tirau Dan
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Mon 19 Nov 12

ÚTS says...

Tirau, it was a court case. Not an accusation. If Saints had a defence, that was the time to use it!!

Its nothing to do with airing dirty laundry - giving a decent reason to the judge would have saved SFC £60000!!!!

The club took out a loan just a few weeks ago so much for not beleiving in debt (you can see the documents on COmpanies House).

Please, stop seeing conspiracy theories. Saints are in the wrong here and the Echo are quite right to call them out on it.

Like Dan Kerrins says, the club is supposed to be part of the community but it doesnt look like its trying to be a good neighbour if you have to take it to court to get money it owes you (and wont give a reason for not paying you).
Tirau, it was a court case. Not an accusation. If Saints had a defence, that was the time to use it!! Its nothing to do with airing dirty laundry - giving a decent reason to the judge would have saved SFC £60000!!!! The club took out a loan just a few weeks ago so much for not beleiving in debt (you can see the documents on COmpanies House). Please, stop seeing conspiracy theories. Saints are in the wrong here and the Echo are quite right to call them out on it. Like Dan Kerrins says, the club is supposed to be part of the community but it doesnt look like its trying to be a good neighbour if you have to take it to court to get money it owes you (and wont give a reason for not paying you). ÚTS
  • Score: 0

8:51am Tue 20 Nov 12

Andy Lombardi says...

I think that both parties here, The Echo and SFC, need to meet up and thrash out the cause of all this animosity for once and for all. There is the truth somewhere between both accounts and if it gets sorted then a more even handed approach from both parties should be seen. Dan is right in the fact that loyalty often blinds us but we cannot go forward in blind unquestioning obedience. It's what we accuse the s kates of doing with their problems/glory years and I don't want our club ending up like them. Neither can we go forward being hypercritical of an individual's foibles. Remember, we are only a few short years on from our almost extinction!
I think that both parties here, The Echo and SFC, need to meet up and thrash out the cause of all this animosity for once and for all. There is the truth somewhere between both accounts and if it gets sorted then a more even handed approach from both parties should be seen. Dan is right in the fact that loyalty often blinds us but we cannot go forward in blind unquestioning obedience. It's what we accuse the s kates of doing with their problems/glory years and I don't want our club ending up like them. Neither can we go forward being hypercritical of an individual's foibles. Remember, we are only a few short years on from our almost extinction! Andy Lombardi
  • Score: 0

12:29am Wed 21 Nov 12

City Saint says...

Dan got this one right. Fair comment.

We were all there for saints through the hard times, and we would be if needed again.

Do right by local business, Cortese, or at the very least have the decency to explain your actions if you get sued and lose.
Dan got this one right. Fair comment. We were all there for saints through the hard times, and we would be if needed again. Do right by local business, Cortese, or at the very least have the decency to explain your actions if you get sued and lose. City Saint
  • Score: 0

7:50am Wed 21 Nov 12

dronskisaint says...

Or it could be just a commercial dispute that it made more business sense not to defend in light of legal costs?! The club does not have to explain it's every move - I'm delighted that we don't have a chief executive that wants his name in the papers every day...what I do want is one that provides a vehicle for the club to progress. This is not a Pompey level of mismanagement or fraudulent behaviour - I'm just bemused as to why this agenda-driven shot taking can find a place in a local paper when there are fa greater wrongs being perpetrated right under the Echo's nose. Why?!
Or it could be just a commercial dispute that it made more business sense not to defend in light of legal costs?! The club does not have to explain it's every move - I'm delighted that we don't have a chief executive that wants his name in the papers every day...what I do want is one that provides a vehicle for the club to progress. This is not a Pompey level of mismanagement or fraudulent behaviour - I'm just bemused as to why this agenda-driven shot taking can find a place in a local paper when there are fa greater wrongs being perpetrated right under the Echo's nose. Why?! dronskisaint
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Stroppy_gramps says...

here's a thought for you:

If someone takes you to court and you know that they are in the right and therefore going to win. Furthermore, you know pretty much what the court is going to decide - pay the debt and pay costs.

Is there any point defending? Is there any point spending money on expensive lawyers? Is there any point even attending?

No. There isn't. This strikes me as a pro-forma court case that had to run its course, everyone knew the outcome and so Saints quite rightly chose not to make a meal of it and just pay the debt plus costs.
In fact if you want to spin it another way - Saints paid the costs of the case so the company concerned got their debt AND got their costs paid. Is that a mean and nasty gesture? No it's not.

Keep spinning DE. you're making up stories because you can't get anything decent to report. Go and sort your differences out with the club.
here's a thought for you: If someone takes you to court and you know that they are in the right and therefore going to win. Furthermore, you know pretty much what the court is going to decide - pay the debt and pay costs. Is there any point defending? Is there any point spending money on expensive lawyers? Is there any point even attending? No. There isn't. This strikes me as a pro-forma court case that had to run its course, everyone knew the outcome and so Saints quite rightly chose not to make a meal of it and just pay the debt plus costs. In fact if you want to spin it another way - Saints paid the costs of the case so the company concerned got their debt AND got their costs paid. Is that a mean and nasty gesture? No it's not. Keep spinning DE. you're making up stories because you can't get anything decent to report. Go and sort your differences out with the club. Stroppy_gramps
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Thu 22 Nov 12

ÚTS says...

Stroppy_gramps wrote:
here's a thought for you:

If someone takes you to court and you know that they are in the right and therefore going to win. Furthermore, you know pretty much what the court is going to decide - pay the debt and pay costs.

Is there any point defending? Is there any point spending money on expensive lawyers? Is there any point even attending?

No. There isn't. This strikes me as a pro-forma court case that had to run its course, everyone knew the outcome and so Saints quite rightly chose not to make a meal of it and just pay the debt plus costs.
In fact if you want to spin it another way - Saints paid the costs of the case so the company concerned got their debt AND got their costs paid. Is that a mean and nasty gesture? No it's not.

Keep spinning DE. you're making up stories because you can't get anything decent to report. Go and sort your differences out with the club.
If someone takes you to court and you know that they are in the right and therefore going to win


Then why not just pay them what you owe them in the first place rather than making them take you to court?

There is no possible way the club can be painted as the good guys in this.
[quote][p][bold]Stroppy_gramps[/bold] wrote: here's a thought for you: If someone takes you to court and you know that they are in the right and therefore going to win. Furthermore, you know pretty much what the court is going to decide - pay the debt and pay costs. Is there any point defending? Is there any point spending money on expensive lawyers? Is there any point even attending? No. There isn't. This strikes me as a pro-forma court case that had to run its course, everyone knew the outcome and so Saints quite rightly chose not to make a meal of it and just pay the debt plus costs. In fact if you want to spin it another way - Saints paid the costs of the case so the company concerned got their debt AND got their costs paid. Is that a mean and nasty gesture? No it's not. Keep spinning DE. you're making up stories because you can't get anything decent to report. Go and sort your differences out with the club.[/p][/quote][quote]If someone takes you to court and you know that they are in the right and therefore going to win[/quote] Then why not just pay them what you owe them in the first place rather than making them take you to court? There is no possible way the club can be painted as the good guys in this. ÚTS
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Jesus_02 says...

55k is a lot of cash for a smaller business to be waiting for…Saints are in the wrong here.

I’m interested in a couple of points of fact here, Dan states that this is less than Gaston Remerez gets paid a week. How much does he get paid a week and how do the Echo know that information?

Also UTS states that Saints took out a loan. How much for and where can people see this information. I would find this the most concerning fact of all.
55k is a lot of cash for a smaller business to be waiting for…Saints are in the wrong here. I’m interested in a couple of points of fact here, Dan states that this is less than Gaston Remerez gets paid a week. How much does he get paid a week and how do the Echo know that information? Also UTS states that Saints took out a loan. How much for and where can people see this information. I would find this the most concerning fact of all. Jesus_02
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Dan Kerins says...

Jesus_02 wrote:
55k is a lot of cash for a smaller business to be waiting for…Saints are in the wrong here.

I’m interested in a couple of points of fact here, Dan states that this is less than Gaston Remerez gets paid a week. How much does he get paid a week and how do the Echo know that information?

Also UTS states that Saints took out a loan. How much for and where can people see this information. I would find this the most concerning fact of all.
Before he signed, Gaston Ramirez told the Italian press that Saints had offered him £35k a week net (what he gets after tax and deductions), which works out as somewhere between £60k and £70k a week gross, roughly.

As for the information about the loan, if you look in the article above, I've linked the phrase " this mystery loan the club have" to the relevant article, which is what I imagine UTS is talking about.
[quote][p][bold]Jesus_02[/bold] wrote: 55k is a lot of cash for a smaller business to be waiting for…Saints are in the wrong here. I’m interested in a couple of points of fact here, Dan states that this is less than Gaston Remerez gets paid a week. How much does he get paid a week and how do the Echo know that information? Also UTS states that Saints took out a loan. How much for and where can people see this information. I would find this the most concerning fact of all.[/p][/quote]Before he signed, Gaston Ramirez told the Italian press that Saints had offered him £35k a week net (what he gets after tax and deductions), which works out as somewhere between £60k and £70k a week gross, roughly. As for the information about the loan, if you look in the article above, I've linked the phrase " this mystery loan the club have" to the relevant article, which is what I imagine UTS is talking about. Dan Kerins
  • Score: 0

9:05pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Thornhill Saint says...

All football clubs and football associated charities I have dealt with have been a pain in the *rse but have paid in the end. It makes me think this may be a football thing. I surfed the web and found the below which though not much would in an anecdotal way from someone who knows the industry suggests slow payment is rampant and ingrained in the culture of the sport.

"Soccer Apparel Supplies Ltd (SAS) is a bespoke clothing importer, specialising in soccer merchandising. It ships high fashion, highly branded products into the UK and sells them to the major football clubs. Ambitious to grow the business beyond the confines of the top four divisions of the football league, the directors of the company have recently broadened the offering to appeal to the corporate market, importing top brands such as Rizla and Cobra, and it intends to continue to develop this customer base.

In addition to the working capital requirements for on-going expansion, the nature of the business model necessitates external funding. Marc Cohen, the business owner explains, “Football clubs are notoriously slow payers, and the credit cycle would be a big stretch without finance."

The court case refered to by DK is special, and even a little bizarre in that there was no defence. It is nothing to be proud of but indications are Saints are not alone in their slow payment of suppliers and in this respect at least stand with their fellow clubs, "together as one"

Maybe we could start a "Non payment of suppliers 'aint Saintly" campaign locally. But is this realistic, fair or wise when it could put our club at a disadvantage. A national KDDOF (Kick Delinquent Debtors out of Football) campaign would be more far more appropriate.

In the meantime, loved the game against Newcastle. Tommorow (if not sooner) I for one will suspend my pontificating, put this to the back of my mind and support the team!!!!!!

This includes Cortese who may not be perfect but has saints interests at heart, lofty ambitions, and has done an amazing job so far in taking our club where we want it to be!
All football clubs and football associated charities I have dealt with have been a pain in the *rse but have paid in the end. It makes me think this may be a football thing. I surfed the web and found the below which though not much would in an anecdotal way from someone who knows the industry suggests slow payment is rampant and ingrained in the culture of the sport. "Soccer Apparel Supplies Ltd (SAS) is a bespoke clothing importer, specialising in soccer merchandising. It ships high fashion, highly branded products into the UK and sells them to the major football clubs. Ambitious to grow the business beyond the confines of the top four divisions of the football league, the directors of the company have recently broadened the offering to appeal to the corporate market, importing top brands such as Rizla and Cobra, and it intends to continue to develop this customer base. In addition to the working capital requirements for on-going expansion, the nature of the business model necessitates external funding. Marc Cohen, the business owner explains, “Football clubs are notoriously slow payers, and the credit cycle would be a big stretch without finance." The court case refered to by DK is special, and even a little bizarre in that there was no defence. It is nothing to be proud of but indications are Saints are not alone in their slow payment of suppliers and in this respect at least stand with their fellow clubs, "together as one" Maybe we could start a "Non payment of suppliers 'aint Saintly" campaign locally. But is this realistic, fair or wise when it could put our club at a disadvantage. A national KDDOF (Kick Delinquent Debtors out of Football) campaign would be more far more appropriate. In the meantime, loved the game against Newcastle. Tommorow (if not sooner) I for one will suspend my pontificating, put this to the back of my mind and support the team!!!!!! This includes Cortese who may not be perfect but has saints interests at heart, lofty ambitions, and has done an amazing job so far in taking our club where we want it to be! Thornhill Saint
  • Score: 0

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