Another week without live football (and if they don’t stop kissing and cuddling after a goal, we could soon be without football on the TV as well!), yet still an eventful one at Chesham United as we deal with the present and try to prepare for the future.
I would like to re-iterate my thanks to Mark Ford for all he has done for The Chess Suite following his resignation announced earlier in the week. I would also like to give a huge thank you to Lisa Walker of The Black Horse Chesham who has been the licensee at our club over the four years that Mark has been in charge. Understandably Lisa now needs to devote all her time to her own business through these challenging times, therefore we will be looking for our new Bar Manager to have their own personal license to run the bar.
Although the clubhouse is locked down for the foreseeable future, we do not want to hang around finding a replacement and have already received applications from interested parties to whom we are talking. As soon as we have the right people, we will let you know. Hopefully by the time this lockdown is over, we will be in a position to welcome everyone back to our facilities.
We are delighted to once again be welcoming Aylesbury United to The Meadow next season, since they returned to ground-sharing with us in 2017 they have been the perfect tenant and have produced some entertaining football to watch when the Generals are away. My special thanks go to our groundsman, Craig Ringsell, who does a fantastic job of maintaining the pitch and making it possible for us to share the ground with our neighbours, as well as our Ladies side and Academy.
On the football front, I hate to say it, but it is looking increasingly likely that we are facing another null and void season. We can hope for different, but as a Board, as a business, we need to start preparing for the worst-case scenario and the implications that will have.
Through season ticket sales, sponsorship and advertising we have around £30-35,000 of liabilities that we will have to look to offer refunds or credits for. Yes, it is all very easy to just say we will roll it over to the following season (which we all hope can begin in August), but that will simply mean that we will not get that income for the 2021/22 season and we have the implications of that to consider. I will let you into a little secret, with all the other costs that still exist, we are not just sat here with all that money in the bank waiting to be told that we are allowed to play football again.
With that in mind, you can see why I get so frustrated in these notes when the talk of grants and loans still remains so unclear, we need to plan for the future of the club, and that is not easy with so much uncertainty. We have been very successful in applying for some grants throughout the pandemic and have very much appreciated & relied on the funding available – However, I believe I have exhausted every option currently available there as it stands. Fortunately, we have received our prize money payments from the FA Trophy run now, so that does at least give us some breathing space. It remains a daily challenge, and I remain open to ideas.
Elsewhere, I remain determined to provide some interaction between supporters and the club to maintain that engagement and thank you for your ongoing loyal support and kind words. In the pipeline, our Media Team hope to have an online Meet The Managers evening and also we are looking to host a CUFC Quiz Night over Zoom– watch this space.
I am also pleased to see that the Supporters’ Trust are holding their AGM on a Zoom call next week, now more than ever is the time for everyone to pull together for the good of our club. I hope as many members as possible can join that meeting to support the Trust in the work that they do and help us develop that relationship even further moving forward. If you would like to join the Trust, you can do us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Thank you for your support,
Peter Brown, Chairman