Like me, you are probably getting increasingly frustrated at the weekend without your live football fix; thankfully for me there is still plenty to keep me occupied at the football club, even if some of those tasks do sometimes add to my frustration!
In a week when the former president of the United States faces potential impeachment for being the one that incited bad behaviour across the pond, it seems ironic that a £350 fine landed on our doorstep for failing to control our players during an incident in the league game at Yate Town earlier in the season. This you may recall was the game when the opposition were awarded a penalty for what was admittedly a blatant handball by a Chesham player in the penalty box, but it was the goalkeeper who handled it, which, from my understanding of the rules, he is completely entitled, indeed encouraged, to do.
The upshot is that we must take the fine on the chin and accept that the players did misbehave, it is just frustrating that the cause of the misbehaviour does not get followed up and it is us that takes sole responsibility, and another financial blow at a time when we need to be looking after every penny we have.
I mentioned last week that we have exploited all the grants available to us, that has been a lifeline to the club and will enable us to keep going through the crisis with the help and support of my fellow Directors. The key to running a football club, indeed any business, is not just about the cash you have in the bank today, it is what lies ahead tomorrow. We know that on a monthly basis our outgoings are £1,500 more than our income until we can get our clubhouse open again, and supporters back on the terraces – Though I fear we may have a long wait on our hands for the latter. We desperately need to be generating additional income to be able hit the ground running when all of this finally goes away.
One source of income that is proving beneficial is the new online shop, this has proved very popular and enables you to show our club colours on a huge array of products. For the month of January, we have a sale on offering 15% discount on orders under £50 and 25% off orders over £50. Take a look at the website and treat yourself, or a loved one, to a special gift to get us through this awful pandemic, and help the club whilst you do it: cheshamunited.co.uk/shop
The shutdown period does enable us to continue to plan for the future. Discussions and planning for the move to a new ground continue, I know it is frustrating when there is no news to share on this, but I can assure that work is going on in the background and we are working tirelessly towards the time when it is appropriate for the plans to be shared. There is much legal work and negotiating involved, giving out details now, however much I would like to, would be the wrong thing to do. We are listening to opinions, and we will continue to do that throughout the process, and I am confident you will not be disappointed when you see what we are working towards.
As a signed up member I also attended the Supporters’ Trust AGM this week. The turnout was not huge, but there was much discussion over nearly 2.5 hours of Zoom time, and I hope going forward we can look to strengthen that relationship between supporters and club. I will admit, I did feel some disappointment after the meeting at some of the apparent distrust that exists within the supporter’s community and I would hope that we can overcome that over the coming months and work together to achieve our joint goals.
It remains very much my intention to have a representative of the Supporters’ Trust on a new look management board, along with our new Bar Manager when appointed. If we can build representation for the youth and ladies into that group as well, I am excited about what we can achieve together.
I have always stated that I will happily answer questions and discuss the club with anyone interested. Like any business, there will be things that will of course have to stay confidential, but I want this to be a club for everyone and a club that moves forward in unity, built on a foundation of trust. My proverbial door is always open, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will always look to get back to you.
Thank you for your support, stay safe and stay well.
Peter Brown, Chairman