What’s it all about?

Red Army Loud and Proud have teamed up with Mark Devlin to provide you with the chance to direct your questions on all things STFC to a man that knows!

   How does it work?

Simply click here to submit your questions to Mark Devlin. Every month we will get Mark to respond to as many questions as possible and you can see those answers on this page. If you sign up to our text service you'll be sent an alert when the section is updated, for more information click here.

   This months Q&A

Question : Regarding the planned redevelopment of the country ground a)How long will the club give the Council before announcing plans to move? b)Are the club going to revise their proposals given the Council concerns and the recent response from the Sports Minister?

Answer: Privately we have been made aware that the council may prefer to see a more leisure orientated approach to the our redevelopment plans, and this would be much more likely to receive a positive response than the current proposals. We are trying to obtain an official response, and we don't want to act too hastily before understanding more fully what exactly the council would like to see at the site. Clearly their position has changed since our original proposals were put together, as I understand these were formulated following a degree of guidance from council officers. The option to move away from the borough remains to the club, but we would much rather work with the council on plans that would keep the club at the CG. That is very much our preferred route Question : Are there plans for the introduction of retro shirts to the club shop range to help boost sales? Answer: We have spoken to the two major suppliers of retro shirts in the UK, and it is likely that you will see further retro shirts available through the club shop. I believe the 1950's style shirts sold very well, and 60's/70's style should be available at the start of the new season.

Question : Will there be a review of ticket prices? I am under the impression that if tickets are lowered to a more reasonablerate that this may increase the attendance which will lift the spirit of the team and also may lift sale of both Merchandise sales and of food drink etc.

Answer: The Management team are currently reviewing match day and season ticket prices. On a personal basis, I would love to see us reduce the prices next season, whatever League we are in, and invest in a playing squad that would have a chance of challenging at the right end of the table. However, as we have no 'Roman Abramovich' type backer, the finances must stack up and make sense, as there is no guarantee that someone would be able to make good any financial shortfall. But I agree that we must make positive strides to get fans back to the CG and build the fan base again, but it is a fine financial balancing act we have to achieve.

Question : Will players have to be sold should the club get relegated and whether the Manager would be allowed to invest in the squad ? 

Answer: We have, as you may be aware, made new contract offers to many of our current squad. If all, or most, of these players renew their contracts, I believe we will have a decent playing platform to build upon for next season. Clearly, Iffy will also want to add to the squad and we will try to provide him with the finance to do so.

Question : How are the club spending the money we got for Sam Parkin?

Answer: Most of the money from the transfer of Sam Parkin, and remember we have had to pay Chelsea some of it has gone to keeping the club going over the course of the year. The attendances, in the main, have been well below those budgeted and the club has been losing money on its day to day operation. Sadly, this is normal at many clubs, and most are then subsequently assisted by a chairman or directors guaranteeing against any losses.

Question : What plans are there to actively market the club outside of the borough? Â My family come from Bournemouth for every home game and many away games. There are a few others down this way but it always amazes me how few people come from Salisbury and other parts of Wiltshire. As the county's only professional club should we not be the natural home for most football fans in Wiltshire? How can the club exploit and build upon this potential fan-base?

Answer: I still think the club has lot to do to market to the people of Swindon. The percentage of fans coming from the town itself is too small in my opinion, and whilst I understand the transient nature of the Swindon population, I still believe we can do more. We have recently struck up a new media partnership with GWR to help us get our message across Wiltshire. The first of these initiatives is the GWR family day, with all round price reductions, at the forthcoming MK Dons game. We will continue to work with all local media to market the club, but please bear in mind we have a very small marketing dept, and there is only so much you can achieve without adding to our resources and costs. Our supporters have also helped in recruiting new fans. The recent season ticket holders promotion was a great success. Over 1,800 new names were added to our database, and we will repeat this promotion next season.

Question : Thank you for clearing up the monkey dilemma, but the thing is, could you claim to have a similar love of Meerkats?

Answer: I have never loved a meerkat. Anyone saying this is spreading malicious gossip!

   Q&A Archive

February Q&A Mark answers questions on Badges, Monkeys, Stewards and more!

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