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Lansdown’s threats to City Council (and BCFC), the rattle is being readied.

February 24, 2011

Now you could say I’m being selective in my quotes but according to the bastion of impartial journalism, The Evening Lost, this is what the great benefactor and philanthropist has proclaimed:

Mr Lansdown said: “If they tell me they don’t want me to go ahead with a new stadium and the regeneration that it brings to South Bristol, then I would walk away.(Evening Lost today)

Oh dear, looks like the rattle is being polished up in readiness to be launched from the private jet.

Here’s my message to Mr Lansdown:

Listen Steve you big pillock, put the rattle away along with Sextons dummies and remove advisors heads from backsides:

  1. Council has not said you can’t have a new stadium-they said YES to you building it and a stack of other money-spinning enterprises on the Green Belt. Not much chance of me or other residents putting a rabbit hutch on green belt, but you got the OK for stadium, hotels, conference center, bars, fast food drive thu’s ++++ pretty much everything last year.
  2. Council have also given you millions of pounds worth of land at the old stadium site and former allotments (I know we all get discounts to your new gym). Probably waived all the sec.106 payments as well saving a few million.
  3. The hypermarket is a decision made by our wonderful democratic process, supposedly. Bad luck if you don’t like it, some people didn’t like the new stadium decision- but they’ve no right of appeal even if they had the resources to do so. If the Hypermarket gets the go-ahead, my home is blighted, no chance of appeal for me. Odds are still stacked in your favour and the Sainsbury greed-merchants.
  4. If you are really concerned about South Bristol regeneration, then how about pumping something into Hartcliffe, Knowle-West and Withywood? The monster Hypermarket at Ashton Gate could well damage investment in these areas.
  5. “But if the councillors turn down this application for the new store next week, then they are effectively saying No to investment in South Bristol.” Rubbish, and you know it. They will judge the hypermarket as a massive regional store with all the issues that will arise from it, and you don’t get a free pass, sorry mate. If I want to build a theme-park on the Downs because it will be a good investment, er… get the drift?
  6. Sexton keeps saying thousands of jobs, but there’s no evidence for that. There may be a few hundred..lets see accurate figures not Sextons rent-a-quote . Its not jobs lost either, if the grand scheme doesn’t come off. There will be other investors in this area and Bristol. The future of the city is good, it doesn’t hinge around your plans.
  7. Town Green is national law, people are making use of the law that is there to protect them and open spaces.
  8. The football supporters have been loyal in their support for you and your plans, despite the sometimes bad feelings generated. They don’t deserve to be dumped.  If the Hypermarket gets binned then get heads together and come up with plan B. How about offering shares to the fans and raising a few quid that way?







  1. C&P permalink
    February 24, 2011 5:00 pm

    Must commend you on the C&P job.

  2. Richard Lane permalink
    February 24, 2011 11:25 pm


    So this is what it’s all about then: “If the Hypermarket gets the go-ahead, my home is blighted, no chance of appeal for me”.

    What was all that crap about traffic, poison fumes, kids and grandparents knocked down, ruined community, lost shops, lost retail jobs, no retail jobs, gridlocked roads, millions from the public purse, Lansdown this, Sextone that, megamouth lies, evening lost. and monsters.

    The truth is out, Sacredspring is worried about his house being blighted.

  3. Deano permalink
    February 25, 2011 8:38 am

    Of course people are worried about how Sainsburys affect them personally. That doesn’t mean they aren’t also worried about other effects. Duh!

    The point SacredSpring is making (and I will explain in more detail for you as it has obviously gone over your head) is that in the current one-sided planning system which is almost unique to the UK, only the developers can appeal against a decision (as Sainsburys have already done for the previous decision) whereas local residents and existing businesses who will also be directly affected by the decision have no right of appeal.

    We all know that the only reason you support this store is because you think that it will provide the funding for the new stadium. If Lansdown was to turn around and say that the stadium would go ahead regardless of whether the Sainsburys was built, your support for the store would disappear in an instant.

  4. February 25, 2011 9:01 am

    I reckon blighting of homes is good reason to bin the greedy massive hypermarket.
    I like living here as it is thank you without being blighted.

    Wealthy landowner uses money and power to abuse planning system and keep appealing and putting in new applications for community blighting greedy hypermarket. Gone on for years already-how much longer can residents hold out?-not long the merchants of greed are banking on.

    Deano has explained very well how the football clubs owners have abused their power in mobilising a crazy number of names in support of a hypermarket. Normally the multinational stores manage to rustle up a few names but they’ve hit the bingo jackpot with this hypermarket conspiracy.

  5. Richard Lane permalink
    February 27, 2011 8:12 pm

    Thank you for explaing in detail that the current planning system favours the people that are actually making the plans and putting the money into those plans. Rather than the people that spend their time opposing everything. As it is, there are so many restrictions and requirements (some needed), that I don’t think it is waited in favour of the applicants. Only through compliance to the demands by the applicants, do they then get the chance to appeal wrong decisions.
    There is a way of appealing for objectors, it’s done when enough people are in opposition to the plans and a public enquiry is held.
    If it were any different nobody’s homes or extentions would be built,because some people would be constantly appealing and holding up progress. We probably wouldn’t have the Tobacco Factory theatre and bars, would we?

    As for supporting the store. From the outset Mr Lansdown stated that if funding was not from the store, then other funding would need to be sourced elsewhere.
    The fact that more funding comes from the store is an obvious advantage.
    I support it, because I think it is the best way forward for the club, with obvious benefits for South Bristol and the region as a whole. If it were something else producing £21m, then of course I would support that. You never know it could end up as an arena.

  6. Deano permalink
    February 28, 2011 9:45 am


    Other countries in Europe appear to get things built despite having third party rights of appeal. In fact most other Europeans countries, and especially their larger cities set the benchmarks that most UK cities aspire to.

    Thank you for confirming that your only interest in the store is as potential funding for the new stadium, and thank you for also confirming that you believe that the stadium is not dependent on the store for its funding.

    That in other words, that NO FOODSTORE = NO STADIUM was a blatant lie.

  7. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    February 28, 2011 3:17 pm

    I don’t believe this is down to Steve Lansdown. Far more likely it’s his fellow investors who are keen to gleen any financial benefit available. Why would someone willing to underight a £20 million debt for the football club act as if every last pound were critical? I’m still confused as to why there are three different companies involved. If Sainsbury do purchase Ashton Gate, does the money go to BCFC or to whoever is building the stadium, and which company is building the stadium, and what are the other two building? After all this time I’m still confused!

  8. Richard Lane permalink
    February 28, 2011 9:31 pm


    Thank you for reading my post and getting it all wrong. I did not say, my only interest in the store is as potential funding for the new stadium. I said: “I support it, because I think it is the best way forward for the club, with obvious benefits for South Bristol and the region as a whole”.
    I also said: “The fact that more funding comes from the store is an obvious advantage”.
    And “If it were something else producing £21m, then of course I would support that”.
    Meaning that, it also would unlock the door to developments in south Bristol, for the overall benefit of the people of south Bristol.

    I don’t believe the stadium is not dependent on the store for funding.
    I said: “From the outset Mr Lansdown stated that if funding was not from the store, then other funding would need to be sourced elsewhere”.
    That was quoted when Tesco were first on the scene. Since then, Tesco have withdrawn their interest, so funding is being sourced from elsewhere.
    So perhaps it is, NO FOODSTORE = NO STADIUM . You don’t know, I don’t know, it’s all speculation. But hey! why not stick with your tradition of calling people liars.

    Other European countries don’t have the owner occupier situation that exists in the UK. If they want to build a road or a stadium, they knock down the appartment block and move it elsewhere to accomodate the new build.
    In Italy you can build what you want, then after four years, pay a bribe to the council and get it registered as a legitimate development. Would you like that system? Is that what we aspire to?

    I don’t know the other parties you refer to but, the sale of AG would definately go towards the new stadium building costs. Why would it go elsewhere?
    If there are joint landowners, then I would have thought they’d be involved in the other developments, such as the Moorelands housing, the Hotel and the Restaurants.
    But again it’s pure speculation. It’s their business and their money they’re investing, so why would we expect them to let us know their business. We don’t let people know our business, do we?

  9. harryT permalink
    March 1, 2011 8:43 am

    The land is jointly owned by Vence Ltd and Ashton Vale Ltd (Landsown and Pontin).

    The current stadium is owned by Ashton Gate Ltd and they will own the new stadium but not the land it is built upon or the land surrounding it or the “enabling” developments.

    BCFC will be the tenants of the new stadium only. But, bizarrely, the BCFC accounts show they have spent millions in fees on the new stadium.

  10. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 1, 2011 1:07 pm

    Hi Rich
    Many fans seem to think that profits from other ventures, hotel, restaurant, etc. will be for the benefit of the football club. The way it has all been set up leeds me to question this. If they are not for the club then it seems fans are being left to believe this and could well feel deceived. There has been a sad history of raising expectations above realism.

  11. March 1, 2011 9:21 pm

    I’ve surfed on here after being on the receiving end of some misplaced accusations by Paul of Southville Deli and Googling to find what the background to his perception was.

    I have no issue with being on different sides of the Sainsbury’s plans, will happily debate it, and I can even live with the (his?) sinister postings about where I live* and what I wear.

    (*reference my article last year, I published dots on a map of public speakers against the plans which could be generalised to no more than 30 houses – Paul lists my exact location)

    Anyway, my real issue is that I am not the person who wrote under the pseudonym Mike Ford and some comments on this blog by “Southville Deli” are therefore highly slanderous.

    Mike Norton of the Evening Post asked me to write a piece last August after my OTIB posts (and addressing only the politics) but it was never published because of their lawyers view.

    That’s the closest I’ve come to the Evening Post, however the editor is well aware who Mike Ford is (he put him on the radio) and so are many other people in South Bristol I can call on.

    Mike Ford worked in IT support in a large company and has since re-located. He grew up in Southville a street away from the Deli and I got the sense he felt he had become a cult figure.

    I sincerely believe in anything I’ve written, none of which was in spite, the same cannot be said for “Mike Ford” who was evidently trying to be “funny” and nasty in equal measures.

    I have no issue what what Paul thinks but I won’t have lingering bad blood on my doorstep simply because he and others are putting two and two together and making five. It’s not on.

    I’m referring to the comments below this post in particular which I have taken a copy of:

    If I have to ask the Evening Post or anyone else to clear my name against the suggestion that I was Mike Ford and therefore made the comments Paul has referenced, then I will do.

    If you feel this is slightly paranoid then please review Paul’s comments which reflect on the tone of Mike Ford remarks and then speculate that I would have someone brick his shop.

    That is highly slanderous. I run a business outside Bristol. Why on earth would I want to be vandalising a small shop that I don’t agree with? The postings make that explicit connection.

    I made 10 posts on OTIB last August about the case (and most people for whom they were written know who Ole is, I don’t hide behind anonymity, it was a matter of record who I am).

    Since then all I’ve done is publish 8 posters this week as I can’t be there tomorrow and we’re up against another focused campaign of objections which don’t always get a proper answer.

    Collectively I don’t believe that is anything other than a mirror of what others have done on blogs and in local campaigning to further the Green agenda and challenge opposing views.

    But convincing everyone that I’m Mike Ford as a vehicle to make a range of very sinister or directly slanderous remarks is not on and if I have to take action to remedy this, I will do.

    I will happily meet the owner of this blog or anyone else to debate the rights and wrongs of the causes, but I’ve done nothing to apologise for and I won’t be tarred as bloody Mike Ford.


  12. March 1, 2011 9:39 pm

    If someone could put me in contact with Paul I would get in touch right now. It is quite clear why he has such an issue with me and it is utterly misplaced. The remarks he is unhappy with as evidenced by his final remarks on that page, are not mine and are an embarrassment. He only had to come up and speak to me once to clear this up. Instead he has posted more and more about me and my background. We don’t need to agree but I’m mortified he has formed this view that I’m behind the things Mike Ford was doing.

  13. harryT permalink
    March 1, 2011 9:45 pm

    Rob/Ole/Mike/Whoever you are

    Whether you win or lose this battle, BCFC fans have left themselves a horrible legacy.

    1. the threats to the councillors who voted in favour, causing their withdrawal

    2. the tacit support and encouragement for this tactic on Otib. Dolly Marie even asked this week to make sure that there was not too many calls for violence

    3. the bricks through windows and slashed tires in Ashton Vale

    4. the threats to anti-supermarket campaigners. Your map contained names and addresses of people whose names were deliberately withheld. Your map was followed by googel streetmap photos of peoples houses. You defended this tactic.

    You cannot claim inocense and neither can the club.

    The club may well be in South Bristol for many years to come. But they have savaged their most local support base. Bizarre behaviour for a club seeking to double its gate – making so many enemies in its own backyard.

  14. Richard Lane permalink
    March 1, 2011 10:12 pm


    You are still insinuating that RobF is Mike Ford. Why the provocation?
    Threats to councillors? What police action was taken? There were probably a few abusive posts. Councillors should be used to that, I am.

    Bricks through windows and slashed tyres? Allegations made by anti stadium groups, where is the evidence? It could have been anyone with a grievence against those unlucky people, i’ts just assumed and promoted to be connected to the stadium, so blamed on city fans.
    I must state that I don’t agree with those actions, if they occured and are connected. Though I do say you get nutters on both sides of the argument.

    Ole printed information which was available to anyone, on line. Those people objecting new their addresses were available, Alice, Tess, Charlie and George know that it common knowledge where they live. Southville Deli actually posted Rob Fs abode in a spiteful act.

  15. March 1, 2011 10:13 pm

    Harry, please can I politely remind you that if you continue to suggest I am Mike Ford, then given that connection appears elsewhere on here in very slanderous terms (expectation he’ll have the Southville Deli vandalised) then I’ll be forced to redress that accusation in the most formal means.

    It’s a planning dispute – people don’t have to agree. The issues you’ve raised are largely over exaggerated, there has been no mention of committee members being threatened so much as a pre-emptive move by the Liberal Democrats to avoid this (but a clever one for hearts & minds) and I’m not aware of the incidents in Ashton Vale you’ve raised but to suggest that a girl who to my indirect knowledge works in charitable concerns and has a public role on the Supporters Trust is tacitly encouraging violence when asking for people to be restrained is really the height of misdirection to your own ends.

    As for me, the map I published contained publicly available details of everyone local who’d voluntarily made submissions to the council meeting. If this was private information how did I get it? 95% of it was published on the council website and the remainder is a matter of public record, or again, where did it come from. No one’s exact address was published and the street map pinpointed to no more than within 20 houses. Quite different to comments on this blog by people in support of Green issues who name exactly where I live down to which windows and entrances, and anything else they can dig up. All playing fair are we?

    Obviously I am not going to bother complaining about it but people in glass houses and all that. If it was the other way round it would be milked for all it was worth to show how nasty football fans and those on this side of the debate are. But feel free to feel righteous.

    From my own experiences I don’t think either side can sit back smugly and play the “shame” card. But then again, this is a very local dispute and it tends to bring out the worst in people.

    I’ve only come on here to address a very specific accusation which is wholly inaccurate and although I’m unlikely to have a chance until Saturday in person, I am reaching out to Paul to address this because perpetuated it is slander and has created some very bad blood on my doorstep that is at odds with what I have actually ever written, which as a mirror is really no different to countless Green bloggers in its defence of a view and its knowledge of its enemies.

  16. Richard Lane permalink
    March 1, 2011 10:27 pm

    Hi. The benefits to the club are, as I see it. The proceeds from the land sales for the housing, hotel and restaurant go towards building the stadium, not the trading profits.
    The sale of AG to Sainsbury’s goes towards building the stadium. The rest is obtained by all sorts of means. Share issues, ten year season ticket sales, corporate entertainment box sales and a big wedge from Mr Lansdown. He and possibly others own the land and rent the stadium to the club, as is the case now.
    The added benefit is, that there are more commercial outlets and a greater turnover from increased crowds, providing greater potential earnings for the football club.
    What is this sad history of raising expectations? unless you are referring to on the pitch expectations.

  17. harryT permalink
    March 2, 2011 9:09 am

    Blimey – I am asked to produce proof that the police have been heavily involved in investigating acts of violence and threats, which are widely known and have been reported. But no proof is put forward that Rob/Faka/Ole is not Mike Ford.

    More double standards.

  18. March 2, 2011 9:12 am

    Rob f- you’ve made your point and Paul be good to mend a few bridges. I think Rob made a mistake in targeting objectors and their home addresses which has backfired a bit. Not keen on the targeting of small independent businesses either.
    The big boys, main players , politicians in all this are fair game as they are used to it and generally court publicity and have the wealth and resources to fend it off.
    For us lot that live next to each other its not good.
    And I hold the club to account for that for not taking a big enough lead in dissuading fans from targeting residents or taking a lead in community cohesion.
    There’s plenty of other stuff to rant about without going personal on the bloke next door.

  19. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 2, 2011 11:14 am

    Hi Rich. I have this theory that the higher the expectation, the greater the dissapointment. Like Blair and New Labour, or Obama, two obvious examples. Here we had the constant talk of the World Cup coming to Bristol, as if it were a done deal. A mention of the Rugby World cup, World famous bands on a regular basis even though planning permission is for only 3 per year. An Arena (not a claim by BCFC but by others) , a Premiership manager, top 2 likely, playoffs certainty, England goalkeeper. Some perspective is needed.

  20. March 2, 2011 1:18 pm

    @SacredSpring –
    Thank you. I have put a letter in the post first class to Paul at the Deli today which I believe could not be more conciliatory in the circumstances of the personal remarks made. I’ve even given him a direct copy of a letter sent out in the same post today to the editor of the Evening Post asking him to write to Paul and confirm that I am not and never have been Mike Ford or responsible for any of that content which has so upset him – again, nothing I have written is worthy of the offense in which it has been taken but I think a few people have been happy to buy the I’m “Mike Ford” idea and aim all their anger for the most baseless comments in my direction.

    For reference, while “Mike Ford” was obviously a pseudonym, Ole was hardly anonymous, when initiated it was done whilst operating Bristol City’s biggest website which had predated the official site, in which my full name was published and well known for a number of years. I did not write anything on the City forum with the expectation or intention of remaining anonymous, which is why the thread about Sainsbury’s contained people mentioning me by both first and last name. This should have immediately not bracketed me in the “Mike Ford” category of spineless anonymous stirring and vitriol which Paul is clearly most incensed by in relation to our close proximity.

    Also, just on a point of order SacredSpring, again I must assist I did not “target” objectors, I published the pattern of locations of voluntary submissions to the last meeting both FOR and AGAINST the plans, to back up a point about the concentration of objection in Southville (not withstanding also highlighting in passing that 2 or 3 objections came from one address). It was very clear that the point being made was a collective local geographic one and no one’s exact location was published to anything more than a street name or a general mark on a map that would not discern an exact property, quite different from the detail Paul has posted about me but it is what it is, I’d like to move on and, suffice to say I don’t believe I have done anything nasty or unfair to warrant the vitriol or concept of something backfiring against me!

    @Harry T
    What proof do you require that I am not Mike Ford? As indicated I asked for the EP editor to contact Paul and give it to him in writing. I have many ways to prove it but not sure which you want. If you’re so keen to labour the point I’m very happy to prove it via a lawyer – or rather make you substantiate your prior claim and apparent doubt in my word. If you think this is excessive, consider what Mike Ford wrote and how many people he antagonised and what implication an indelible connection to me perpetuated by others might have…

  21. Deano permalink
    March 2, 2011 1:58 pm


    Just to clear a few things up. Are you also Dog Walker on the Evening Post website?

  22. harryT permalink
    March 2, 2011 5:05 pm

    Have to say I did not see any of his posts as “Faka”

  23. March 2, 2011 6:24 pm

    @Deano – no, I am not, although that accusation was made by Paul (I think) yesterday, which I guess at least might make sense if I posted with the frequency of Mike Ford and the regularity of his use of pseudonyms. I post on the EP website about once a month at absolute most, an in my name, I’m too busy to be the sort to spend a whole day adding comments, even if that’s the impression people formed. It is what it is. I’m just one person, Rob F, Ole on the City Forum. I’m not even at the council house, I’m 150 miles away and still working, as in really working – with people – not posting messages, besides this one (!).

  24. Bobs permalink
    March 2, 2011 7:34 pm

    So Rob/Faka/Ole

    Are you the one who posted the malicious slander of Simon Rayner or was that Mike Ford ?

    Did he threaten to sue you ?

    Did you condemn the tide of hate mail he received ?

    Are you a bit of a hypocrit ?

  25. March 2, 2011 8:40 pm

    @bobs. You name where I slandered Simon Rayner. I posted a range of facts which were publicly available. I also didn’t publish his contact details. Other than that your remarks are bang on but don’t let facts get in the way of another dig. Did I accuse Simon Rayner on abuse or of being prepared to break the law (“expecting a brick through the window”)? No. So your attempt to suggest I’m the hypocrit (sic) is well off the mark but good luck with that. You show me the City fans who pointed out where Simon Rayner lives, when he comes and goes, and what he wears, then you can talk about hypocrisy or try and take the higher ground. Looking forward to it.

  26. March 2, 2011 8:47 pm

    @bobs. You name where I slandered Simon Rayner. I posted a range of facts which were publicly available and asked some questions. I also didn’t publish his contact details. Other than that your remarks are bang on but don’t let facts get in the way of another dig. Did I accuse Simon Rayner of being abusive or of being prepared to break the law (“don’t think I’m not expecting a brick through my window”)? No. So your attempt to suggest I’m the hypocrit (sic) is well off the mark but good luck with that. You show me the City fans who pointed out where Simon Rayner’s windows and entrance is, when he comes and goes, and what he wears, then you can talk about hypocrisy or try and take the higher ground. Looking forward to it.

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