Should Clubs Amalgamate?

The bad one

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The idea that clubs compete for water is largely false. Other entities may try to outbid clubs, but clubs very rarely go head to head in direct financial competition. Clubs that attempt to poach waters from other clubs don't tend to last too long. They don't tend to get wind of water that may be being relinquished by a sitting club. There's also very little in terms of competition for members. Most clubs know the score and don't pull stunts to pinch members from each other. There is far greater co-operation between clubs than most non-members or ordinary members will ever realise.
Agree entirely with this, rarely if ever happens in my experience. Clubs that try such antics usually get done over by responsible clubs teaching them a lesson and making hostile bids for the waters the errant club controls.
 

markg

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Agree entirely with this, rarely if ever happens in my experience. Clubs that try such antics usually get done over by responsible clubs teaching them a lesson and making hostile bids for the waters the errant club controls.
Wasn't my experience locally, two big clubs mainly and one or two further afield. I used to work with the bloke that was responsible for buying the waters of one club, used to go round with him sometimes when he went to look at possible waters for his club. It was all about getting waters before the other club got them, it was always a straight forward battle for waters and members to him. I don't know if they ever tried to poach each others waters though, that's true but I suspect it did go on from memory when I had the inside track but it was always a fierce competition between them to attract members whatever...
I cant see, no matter how friendly and how much liason goes on, when it comes down to attracting members were the clubs survival depends on them, they are not in direct competition.

---------- Post added at 06:55 ---------- Previous post was at 06:47 ----------

If things were that simple, it would certainly be a "no brainer". However, it's not the reality. .
Take your points about how waters could be lost, especially the owners etc wanting more rent because of more people fishing his land and for all the other scenarios you pointed out, its a good point, I hadn't thought of that. I havn't really got an answer, I will have to think about it. I dont agree anglers wouldn't want a lot of waters they don't want to fish., all these clubs have desirable waters at least in my area they do. The greater choice I imagine most anglers would welcome. As to the cost thing with different fees, different sized clubs and members belonging to more than one club, I covered that before, I think it could be worked out.
Such a scheme would have to be carefully worked out, I have just started with an idea, working my way along it but it would have to be refined and then put to clubs and in turn they would have to put it too their members and their owners. It would come down to the many, at least I think there are many advantages and the disadvantages as to if they would vote for it.
I imagine to start with a few clubs, owners, members might join such a scheme and some or even a lot wouldn't. However, if the scheme grew and all the non affiliated clubs started to lose members because of it they might change theirr minds over time or it could fail. I am not sure, I know which choice I would make if the cost was more value than just joining the one club, it would depend on the cost but I think it would represent the greater value depending on how it was worked out; certainly the greater choices to fish and the better organizational side of things would probably draw me in.
There are precedents for this type of thing in the modern world where different businesses join an overall umbrella organizational head and it often works out very well for them and members of the public pay a standard fee and they get a lot of advantages too..
 
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thecrow

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If a counties waters/clubs all amalgamated wouldn't the best bits of river and the best lakes get a hammering? anglers that always wanted to fish the best bits but because of where they lived, waiting lists or finance couldn't do so would be straight on them, I doubt that would please the members of the previous club much. It could end up being a Cromwell weir scenario.
 

whitty

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The idea that 'super clubs' are 'the' best thing doesn't actually help angling for the six times a year man,putting the price beyond justification,let's be honest many people struggle to make ends meet and joining clubs that cost way over one hundred pounds is beyond justification to their families,the Ringwood club down south is a case in point,I think it costs over £180,brilliant value when you look at the waters on their book,I would pay it in a flash,but it is a lot of dosh and because they are so 'powerful' in harvesting quality waters,little choice is left for the man in the street,whereas if smaller clubs spread them it would give more options,i'm afraid people think everyone is in a similar situation to themselves,but how many members of FM work at McD's...

One other point,how many FM members are members of syndicates,I personally wouldn't join one,feeding the 'greed' has never been a joy of mine.
 

markg

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I think a lot would depend on how the cost worked out. Sam Vines put a possible serious dent in that, he could be right. But there would be savings to be made on the general administrative side of things and Sam's reasons put aside for the moment, a don't see why an average fee couldn't be worked out.
Regarding the best waters getting over crowded, does that not happen anyway with individual clubs, one local club I know has a lot of waters, most people seem to join for one lake, has a reputation for big carp and tench, you have to book your place on it a week in advance even though your a member of the club and not guarenteed a place, first come first served, their other waters are empty more often that not, mainly rivers its true.
The point is most clubs are like this, with favoured waters, in an affiliation the ratio of good waters/members wouldn't change, wouldn't they spread out a bit?

---------- Post added at 09:24 ---------- Previous post was at 09:08 ----------

Would there be a discount for OAPs in the super club :D
I wouldn't allow it personally, they should stay at home and do some knitting instead of getting in everyones way. oh, and falling in the water disturbing my fishing:)
 
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sam vimes

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One other point,how many FM members are members of syndicates,I personally wouldn't join one,feeding the 'greed' has never been a joy of mine.
Much depends on what your idea of a syndicate is and the circumstances of that syndicate. I'm a member of two syndicates, neither of which I feel remotely guilty about. One is a stretch of river. It was formerly rented by a club that ceased to exist. The landowner wasn't going to bother to allow fishing once the local club failed. Fortunately, a small group of former club members (along with a few assorted angling mates) managed to persuade him that a small syndicate would be no trouble. The landowner gets significantly less money from us than he would if he had a proper club in. No greed on anyone's part here.

My other syndicate is a gravel pit in the grounds of a listed building that's run by a trust. Not surprisingly, they want minimal footfall but maximum return. The syndicate is therefore limited in number. Naturally, each individual pays a bit more than they would if the numbers were doubled. As with the other one, this is a genuine syndicate. X number of people paying just enough to cover the rent. If it didn't have a syndicate on it there would be no fishing.

I know that there are plenty of "syndicates" out there that really don't live up to the name. An unspecified, and often unlimited, number of individuals paying lots of cash to a landowner to fish his water is not a real syndicate. One bloke renting a water and charging as many anglers as possible to fish that water is not really a syndicate.

Not all syndicates are bad and not all syndicates are expensive. Pick the right ones and greed shouldn't be a big issue, even when costs seem high. The snag with such syndicates is that they are either nigh on impossible to get into, unless you are in from the start, or they are reasonably expensive. I suspect that the biggest problem we now have with syndicates is that many that use the name are anything but true syndicates. They are just commercial ventures with annual tickets.

There are plenty of "syndicates" I won't join on principle. Any that have made hostile bids to gazump a sitting tenant will never get my cash. Any that have a syndicate "leader" that's making money out of it, won't get my cash.

---------- Post added at 11:23 ---------- Previous post was at 10:43 ----------

But there would be savings to be made on the general administrative side of things
I'm sure that an amalgamation of clubs would make some savings on administration. However, I suspect that in the overall scheme of things, the savings would be rather insignificant. I'd expect a fairly average club to have admin expenditure that was in the order of hundred(s) of pounds, no more. Most of that will be in printing costs, stationary and stamps. If they have a website, they may be paying for hosting. Compared to the rent on a piece of water, admin costs are pretty unimportant.

Insurance costs might be considered admin. These aren't as straightforward as a club might like. Many will go through the Angling Trust. Their prices are tiered based on membership numbers. It's great when you are just under one of their thresholds, You feel like the cover is a bargain. It's not so great when just over a threshold. A club with 51-200 members is having to pay £390 for insurance and fish legal. If they've got 201 members, they are paying £599. However, it is true that insurance costs come down the greater the number in the club. Just watch out for those damned inconvenient tier cut offs.
 

The bad one

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Wasn't my experience locally, two big clubs mainly and one or two further afield. I used to work with the bloke that was responsible for buying the waters of one club, used to go round with him sometimes when he went to look at possible waters for his club. It was all about getting waters before the other club got them, it was always a straight forward battle for waters and members to him. I don't know if they ever tried to poach each others waters though, that's true but I suspect it did go on from memory when I had the inside track but it was always a fierce competition between them to attract members whatever...
I cant see, no matter how friendly and how much liason goes on, when it comes down to attracting members were the clubs survival depends on them, they are not in direct competition.
Much more civilised up north than those “grab all” for yourself southerners Mark. We know how to work collaboratively to stop the rich landowners screwing us. :D:D:D
 

markg

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Insurance costs might be considered admin. These aren't as straightforward as a club might like. Many will go through the Angling Trust. Their prices are tiered based on membership numbers. It's great when you are just under one of their thresholds, You feel like the cover is a bargain. It's not so great when just over a threshold. A club with 51-200 members is having to pay £390 for insurance and fish legal. If they've got 201 members, they are paying £599. However, it is true that insurance costs come down the greater the number in the club. Just watch out for those damned inconvenient tier cut offs.
In a affiliation of clubs say 10 clubs with 200 members each, 2000 members; how much would the insurance be under the tier system?Are these figures annual.?
 
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sam vimes

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In a affiliation of clubs say 10 clubs with 200 members each, 2000 members; how much would the insurance be under the tier system?
Angling Trust Membership Rates
As I said, the costs do come down as you gain more members. The snag is when you only just roll over one of the cut off points, especially for a small club with tight cash flow. One extra member could, in theory, end up costing the club far more than the price of his/her membership.
 

markg

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Angling Trust Membership Rates
As I said, the costs do come down as you gain more members. The snag is when you only just roll over one of the cut off points, especially for a small club with tight cash flow. One extra member could, in theory, end up costing the club far more than the price of his/her membership.
Looking at the Angling Trust link 10 clubs could save £2482. When you start to add up, for example one hosting fee as opposed to 10, £1000-£2000 possibly, bulk buying, bulk printing etc, there must be savings, plenty for an accountant to get into.
And do you know who gets paid for what in a small club or do the treasurers, secratarys, committees etc do it for free? And do they have offices in spare bedrooms or do they rent own offices for example.
I am just curious as to how much a small club costs to run.
 
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trotter2

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What cripples clubs is dwindling members due to lack of interest from a younger anglers.
We have an ageing population of anglers which unfortunately either die or find themselves unable to fish any more due to health reasons. It's happening .
All clubs are finding this situation increasingly hard its unavoidable in this day and age
Only clubs which own there own water probably purchased when times were better for angling are finding it not difficult to balance the books for the moment at least.
Clubs in time which own there own water will find themselves with assets in the form of water owned by the club which is worth nothing.
The club's will either cease to exist or have too amalgamate with other clubs which own there own water.
This will do three things lessen the burden of mantainece and finances.
And condense a limited membership to one club.
 

sam vimes

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Looking at the Angling Trust link 10 clubs could save £2482. When you start to add up, for example one hosting fee as opposed to 10, £1000-£2000 possibly, bulk buying, bulk printing etc, there must be savings, plenty for an accountant to get into.
And do you know who gets paid for what in a small club or do the treasurers, secratarys, committees etc do it for free? And do they have offices in spare bedrooms or do they rent own offices for example.
I am just curious as to how much a small club costs to run.
I have said already that the vast majority of clubs are run by those that step up for love, not money. My experience is that no one is getting paid in the vast majority of clubs. The vast majority don't have offices or club houses. Most clubs aren't even running to giving out free tickets, to any type of member, any longer. Administration cost are generally in the order of hundreds of pounds. When most market value rents are in the order of thousands of pounds, administrative costs are generally neither here nor there. Yes, a club amalgamation could make some small savings, but it wouldn't actually be enough to justify an amalgamation in most instances. If there is a big enough distance between the clubs amalgamating, an awful lot of the officers of the individual clubs would no longer be prepared to stand. Going to a regular meeting in Littletown might be acceptable, traveling to Nearbytown is very likely to not be acceptable to most of them.

All I can suggest is that you join the committee of your local club. They'll likely snap your hands off for any offer of assistance (if you know your way around a website build or can use MS Office, they are likely to be rather keen). Knock yourself out and join two or three. From there you'll probably get to see some reasons why they haven't amalgamated. If you don't see any good reasons, then perhaps you can suggest that they do it. You are probably going to have to be prepared to do a lot of the donkey work yourself though.

It may suit you, and even me, if a load of local clubs amalgamate. However, an individual club committee is duty bound to do its best for the majority of its membership. The bottom line is that most amalgamations, that are likely to be beneficial to the majority, will have already happened. Bottom line financial considerations are only part of the equation. Personally, I'd be over the moon with a good excuse to no longer be involved in a club committee. Like many others, I've no real idea how it came to be. However, I'd rather be involved for another fifty years than sell the club down the river because it suits me.
 

trotter2

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I don't know of any club committee member who get paid its a joke even suggesting they do really

Join your club committee and find out what its all about before making such suggestions plz.
What you will find is a lot guys with good intentions working for the club and your benefits for nothing.
Which is rare in this day and age.
 

thecrow

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---------- Post added at 13:18 ---------- Previous post was at 13:15 ----------

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Regarding the best waters getting over crowded, does that not happen anyway with individual clubs
They may get fished more than other waters that a club has but if it is open to the members of another 5 clubs there would be more anglers able to fish them.

---------- Post added at 13:19 ---------- Previous post was at 13:18 ----------

I don't know of any club committee member who get paid its a joke even suggesting they do really
Birmingham Anglers Association ?
 

markg

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I don't know of any club committee member who get paid its a joke even suggesting they do really

Join your club committee and find out what its all about before making such suggestions plz.
What you will find is a lot guys with good intentions working for the club and your benefits for nothing.
Which is rare in this day and age.
Sorry if it looked like I was taken the piz, I really just didn't know and thought I would ask. Joining a club is an option but for long winded reasons its not an option for me, and just to find out how one is run and how their finances are spread which I probably wouldn't find out anyway makes it a bit futile and costly. I think I have a fairly good basic idea how their finances work out and how they are run but not all the detail so thought I would ask. I am trying to see if an affiliation of small clubs would be financially viable for them hence the questions; so I can weigh up the savings against the extra costs. Some are an unknown, some can be calculated to some extent.
If I took it on it would be different, I have talented people at my disposal who would look at it in finer detail but of course this is just an exploring throw it out there and see what comes back thread; just to see if there is any potential in an idea. No harm is meant or taking the piz intended.
 
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steve2

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A number of clubs in my area already have water sharing on some of their waters at no additional cost. With membership in small clubs falling the only way forward might well be more water sharing.
 

markg

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A number of clubs in my area already have water sharing on some of their waters at no additional cost. With membership in small clubs falling the only way forward might well be more water sharing.
Funnily enough I checked out my two local clubs today, online and in the tackle shop. They seem to have both dropped their joining fees which used to be about £50 last time I looked + the annual fee which I think was about £50 as well making £100 but now charging a straight £65 a year. I wonder if that's because of diminishing membership.
I never fancied either of them for various reasons but one now has an agreement with a club further afield which includes a few miles of river. Therefore this one would be the more attractive to me and I imagine others also. However, river angling is not the top of most fresh anglers agenda these days so maybe not. Whichever, I still think the more choice on offer for your money would be a better sell.
 
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