I would like to start by thanking everyone for the kind words received in recent weeks, it’s good to know there are others out there thinking about us because sometimes it feels like we are the forgotten levels of the game.
It will not be a surprise to hear that things are very tough at the moment, which makes it all the more disappointing that we are having to wait so long for the payment of prize money for our FA Trophy exploits. We are currently still waiting for our share of the prize pot from the games against Aveley and Torquay United, money that will very much help with our juggling of bills at the moment. It would have been nice to think that there would be some empathy with clubs like us desperately trying to keep things going, but it does feel very much as though we are at the back of the queue, almost completely forgotten.
You may recall some time ago that there was talk of a £14 million fund allocated to football at our level – Everyone patted themselves on the back, congratulating each other on striking a deal for the little clubs. Yet all these weeks later we still have no idea how this money is to be accessed and whether it is going to be in the form of grants, or loans – Which frankly will be no good to man nor beast! Although we have heard that The FA are pressing hard for Grants!
Anyway, enough of my woes, I hope you are all keeping safe and well? It is a time when we all have to put our priorities into perspective and realise that there are those suffering more than us, and we must be thankful for those key workers that are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis to protect our loved ones as this pandemic shows little sign of going away anytime soon.
With regards to football at The Meadow, I’m afraid I can share with you the news that we will not be playing any league football on or before 6th March. All the clubs in the league are being surveyed on how they would like to see the season pan out, but we do know that it is going to be at least another two months before we can watch our teams on the field again. Sad, but a reality of where we are at as a country.
As a club we continue to soldier on and welcome all offers and suggestions to help raise valuable income at this time when our business is completely shut down. We do still have bills to pay and commitments to keep. It will not be easy, but I can assure you that the Directors will be doing everything to keep the club ticking over.
I announced previously that we are looking at a reshuffle of the Board, looking to include a number of non-Directors that can play an active role in controlling the direction of the club, taking on areas of responsibility where they can bring expertise to the table. We will be using this period of lockdown to get the new set-up in place so that we are ready to go all guns blazing when some normality returns. I hope to have some announcements on this shortly.
I do appreciate the support we get from our fans; you are amazing, and I share your frustration that we have now gone so long without watching the game we love. Please do stay in touch. You still have time to send us your entry for our kit design competition and we really do appreciate all the purchases made from our online shop which has raised significant funds towards next season’s kit.
Thank you for your support, stay safe – stay well
Peter Brown, Chairman