A quieter week for news, but still huge amounts going on behind the scenes.
You might not be surprised to know that a large amount of time is being taken up with the new ground and getting all of our ducks in a row to move this forward. We are very close now to having the Heads of Terms agreements finalised, and once this is signed, we will be able to move into the next exciting stages of moving the plans forward, discussing arrangements with all interested parties and working towards fulfilling our dream of a ground that provides superb facilities for the community, not just the First XI on a Saturday afternoon.
I feel as though I have been talking about the ground move for years now, and it has been like that trying to get to this next important stage where we have everything in place with our landlords, the developers, the solicitors and the landowner. I know you as supporters have been waiting a long time for news, believe me, I share your frustration as I am itching to get things moving and start sharing our vision so that we can bring everyone along on the journey with us.
We do have a team of people in place who have already had meetings, covering the various interested parties in the project, and they will be working with myself and the Board to communicate the plans and progress, and to help answer all your questions, and alleviate any concerns you might have.
We are also another week closer to being able to serve drinks outside from The Chess Suite, this will be a great moment on the road out of lockdown. As with previously over the past 12 months, we will be working hard to have everything in place to ensure that visitors can come along, sit down and enjoy a drink once again at their favourite football club!
I mentioned last week the date for the celebrity football match that we will be hosting on Sunday 19th September, please put the date in your diary and there will be more info on this in the coming weeks.
There will also be plenty more dates announced and to look out for in the coming weeks as our new Chess Suite manager, Tanya, finalises many of her ambitious plans.
The celebrity match in September will be raising money for our charity partner, Bucks Mind. Many of you may have seen the very powerful documentary on BBC1 this week, ‘Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency’, which at times was a very difficult watch. There is still a feeling amongst many people from a certain generation that any mental concerns, depression or anxiety are a weakness that can be overcome by simply “manning-up”. It is tragic to think that is the case, but the work that the likes of Bucks Mind do is slowly but surely changing that perception and it is really important that we support their work, as well as supporting our own friends, families and colleagues. All of us can just share a moment to check someone you know and care about is alright. A simple call, a few words and letting them know it is ok to ask for help, can go a long way. If you missed the documentary, you can catch-up with it on BBC iPlayer here.
It might still seem a long way off, but we do also have a start date for the 2021/22 Southern League season, all being well this will kick-off on Saturday 14th August. I just hope and pray that the roadmap out of lockdown has been successful up to that point and we can return to the more familiar site of crowds on the terrace and pre-match drinks in the bar. You do not realise how much you miss it until it is taken away from you!
I hope you all enjoy the Supporters Trust virtual Beer Tasting tomorrow night. Who knows one of the beers on offer then might just become a regular in the Chess Suite for next season!
Stay safe, stay well!