Well I guess the excitement of the new season was dampened a little bit with two 0-0 draws, an early exit from the FA Cup and new restrictions coming into place; but these are early days and there is plenty to look forward to…and the Ladies provided plenty of goals in their 4-2 opening day win of the season at The Meadow.
The FA Cup defeat was obviously a huge disappointment, although the prize money is not the same as what it was last season, a good FA Cup run is always most welcome giving the club a financial boost and the crowds something to enjoy. Talking of crowds, thank you for our excellent support, the gate against Gosport Borough last weekend was our biggest opening day crowd since 1998 – Superb.
I know there is a lot of discussion on the terraces now about the prospects for the season and the games ahead as tighter government restrictions come into play and the return of crowds at ‘elite’ level seems to be moving further and further away. Having visited other grounds since the start of the season I can confidently say that at Chesham we have some of the very best matchday procedures in place to keep everyone safe and minimise the risk of the infection spreading. However, beyond that much of it will be out of our hands if changes are forced upon us, we are already having to look at the way we operate the all-important clubhouse with the measures introduced this week.
There is a lot of doom and gloom around for sport and the very real risk of clubs not being able to cope financially and the forecast that many will simply fold. From our perspective I will try to provide some reassurances for you. As long as we are allowed crowds, we are in a good position to keep playing competitively; without the crowds I cannot really see how it can possibly work having a player’s wage bill and no income from games. I believe that is a view commonly shared across the game and I am sure common sense will prevail in the way decisions are made about the future.
We will of course follow all guidance and rules laid down, but the club’s stability and survival is of paramount importance and I believe we have plans in place to cope with whatever is thrown at us in the coming months, and we will survive through to the other end. Indeed, our planning is much longer term than just getting through these terrible times, we had an excellent Zoom call this week with the new stadium designers and we hope to shortly have some detailed drawings and costings for the Board to review. In short, the longer term plans are still very much full-steam ahead.
Your ongoing support in the current climate is much appreciated and heart-warming, despite the current situation, there is definitely a positive feeling around the club with more volunteers having stepped forward since last week’s notes and sponsorship continuing to come in from our generous business partners, a big shout out in particular to Plumb+ who have recently agreed to sponsor the popular side Ryan Moran Stand.
I hope to see some of you down in Dorset at the weekend, and many more of you back at The Meadow next Tuesday when we welcome Hartley Wintney in the league – Good luck also to the Ladies team for their trip to Cheltenham on Sunday.
Thanks for your support, stay safe
Peter Brown, Chairman
Chesham United Football Club