It really is now just a couple of days until we can swing open The Chess Suite doors and start serving drinks out to tables on the terraces – I for one cannot wait, and I hope some of you are able to come along from 4.00pm on Monday to join us in celebrating the occasion. It feels like a step back towards normality.
Another sense of things returning came on Thursday evening when we had our latest monthly board and management meeting. Although it still feels a long way off, it was so good to hear James Duncan and Michael Murray sharing their plans for a return to training, pre-season friendlies and preparation for what we want to be another serious push for promotion in the 2021/22 season, that looks all set to start as planned (fingers crossed) in August.
With that in mind, we will imminently be putting season tickets on sale and contacting existing season ticket holders about renewals. As mentioned in my notes a few weeks ago, the decision the board have reached after much consultation and deliberation is that supporters that had tickets for 2020/21 will be offered a 75% discount to compensate for the lost games in 2020/21. It is important that we balance fairness to our supporters, the stability of our club and also our ambition for the season ahead. If any supporter has any concerns about their renewal, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you also to supporters that got in touch following last week’s question about the possibility of us renting out car parking spaces at The Meadow. We received some constructive feedback and some great suggestions. We have listened to the comments and are proposing a restricted number of reserved parking spaces on matchdays for our supporters, these will be kept free up until 15 mins before kick-off. The cost of this is a one-off £100 payment covering all games of the particular season, including cup competitions and pre-season friendlies. This is available for season ticket holders and will be added to the season ticket subscription. This offer is aimed at those for whom parking away from the ground is simply not feasible.
Off the field, we continue in our quest to unite the different elements of the club. On Thursday night, there were representatives from the Ladies, Youth and Supporters’ Trust at the meeting, and it was fantastic to get an update on how the Youth section and the Ladies are working towards their return to football and resuming training. Even more pleasing was the way the two sections came together on the field with the Youth team’s Generals XI playing a 90-minute friendly match against our Ladies team. That is great to hear, and very much in line with our vision for a united club.
I was also pleased to learn that the Supporters’ Trust have launched their own website at www.custrust.co.uk, enabling them to promote their own activity and communications in a much more independent manner. Of course, we are determined to work closely with supporters through the Trust, but it is equally as important that fans see it as an independent organisation where they can have their own views and opinions without being seen as under the control of the club. For me, it is vital that there is a formal line of communication between supporters and the club, a chance to feedback and express opinions; I am sure we will never always agree on everything, but listening, understanding and communicating is key to our success.
At the management meeting, there was also an update from our new Bar Manager, Tanya has loads of exciting events lined up once we are allowed to fully open up once more, I for one am excited at the potential of what we can achieve through our clubhouse, please keep an eye out through all the usual channels for what we have planned – or come along and join us for a drink or two on Monday at 4pm!
Finally, for those fans of the TV series Endeavour, you will recall that our club was used for filming earlier this year, I have been informed that the episode that will feature our club, Series Eight Episode One, has been completed and signed off, likely to be aired later this year. During the location filming, we were also able to get a Chesham United shirt signed by the leading members of the cast, which we will be looking to auction this off at some point later in the year.
Thank you for your support, stay safe & stay well and I hope to see some of you on the terraces on Monday.