In preparation for the season ahead maintenance work has continued at pace during the last week and I hope to have seen as many people as possible this morning at our latest Work Party with a bucket, gloves and knee pads for a start, or even completion, if we have enough volunteers in attendance, to clear the fast-growing weeds! I know this will have a massive impact on the appearance of our wonderful ground, creating an impressive first impression for new visitors, be they potential new supporters, sponsors or local groups looking to use our facilities. Thank you to everyone for your help.
One unfortunate event to report that happened during last Saturday when a person, who was not visiting the football club, drove into the wall we have surrounding the ground (a key part of the ground regulations that we must have in place), and has badly damaged a main holding spar, so much so that this will have to be replaced at a cost to the club of some £200. Unfortunately, the driver did not seem bothered by the damage done and chose to quickly clear the scene without reporting the damage to anyone as far as we know. I would therefore ask that if anyone saw it or has heard of a person talking about the damage to the front or rear of their vehicle or their vehicle is going into a repair workshop can you please let us know at the club? I am sure the driver in question would like to apologise and look to help to fix the damage caused and it is only fair that we give them the opportunity to do so.
You will notice that we are trying to get more environmentally sustainable as a club and the latest step we have taken is that we have purchased 14 new dustbins and marked them as Plastic/Glass, Tins and General Rubbish. We hope that all supporters will deposit their rubbish in the correct bins so that our work on a Monday is easier and more cost effective for the club, as well as reducing our environmental impact. The cans we are having collected each week by a local charity to raise funds for themselves, the rest will go into specially marked refuse bins and will save the club a huge amount of money over the year.
When it comes to scoping the plans for the new ground, we will be looking at the green issues very seriously and making the best possible environmentally friendly decisions. As a point of interest, the cost to run our floodlights, 154 lumens, at the club for a match and players warm down, results in costs to the club of some £55 to £60. At the potential new ground with 250 lumens lights the running costs will reduce to approx. £15 for the same amount of time, a huge energy and cost savings. More to follow when we get to the stage of planning, and you will see how green we intend to become. However, I can confirm that unlike Forest Green Rovers, who in fairness are the ultimate when it comes to green issues, we will continue to have meat in our burgers at the new ground!!
As you will be aware, we are working hard to finance and purchase a proper digital scoreboard to enhance the match day experience at The Meadow. We have received promises of £3000 towards the cost of £6700, including fixtures for fitting up, and this week another company has come forward and promised a further £1000 to this fund. For the balance, we have asked the Supporters Trust if they can help us to raise the funds and we will be setting up a funding page to hopefully raise the balance as soon as possible. Of course, this will be taken to the potential new ground for future use. Please look out for this and any help will be very gratefully accepted and received.
You have probably seen the massive social media reaction this Tuesday at 4 pm to our announcement of our Charity Football Match on Sunday 19th September and seen the names of the celebrities taking part. All ticket monies raised will go directly to Bucks Mind, our adopted Charity as we are all aware of the lack of funding charities such as Mind have received since COVID hit this country. We are also aware of the growing demand for their help as the effects of the pandemic continue. So, please book your tickets as soon as you can for a great day out. Tickets are priced at £12 per Adult, £6 concessions, Family ticket at £25 and all under 5’s enter free of charge.
We have already sold over 275 tickets for this event. At present due to possible COVID restrictions we are limiting the initial sale to 500 tickets, which we hope to increase later and put more on sale but if we cannot a number of people will miss out, so I strongly recommend that you buy your tickets now. There will be two outside Bars; the Tea Bar will be open; and Bill’s Diner with his brilliant burgers, sausage, chips etc will be there along with a soft drinks crisps; and sweet stall plus the clubhouse will be open. There will be a Supporters Trust organised raffle also on the day for Bucks Mind. So come down for a truly wonderful afternoon out and watch some of the stars you see every week in your home!
Our Clubhouse Manager, Tanya, has been working very hard with the clubhouse and is in the process of sorting out a new permanent outside bar for near the Tea Bar so supporters in the Popular Stand will not have to walk to the clubhouse at half time for a beer, but instead just a few steps away!
Finally, the managers have had meetings with all of last season’s squad where they all have to complete fitness, weight, and endurance tests and checks; then they will all be checked again on the first day back at pre-season training. The managers are working very hard to improve the squad and as you are aware we always play our cards close to our chest as we do not want our opposition to know what players we re-signed and signed until the last possible moment as there is always so much negotiating going on at this time of the season – we like to work with facts, not rumours.
The managers have told me that due to COVID they have never had a pre-season like it in the years they have been involved in football – there are some clubs offering unbelievable weekly wages to players. This could be viewed as gambling on if the country faces another COVID inflicted shutdown of Non League football then they would be able to claim the points per game balance and maybe get promoted. The downside as you will all be aware is that if – as we all hope – another lockdown does not happen, some clubs could or will have a serious financial problem at that point.
We as a board, with the full agreement of the managers will not follow this route to potential disaster. The club has been in that situation in the past and will never under this Chair and Board put the club into such a position whilst we remain in our capacities at your club. Just a little more patience, live football at The meadow is just 34 days away!!
Finally a very special thank you from me to Gordon Finch for your most kind and generous written words on social media over the last few weeks. It is appreciated, and your thoughts taken onboard.
Take care, and stay safe all of you