After last weekend’s long trip to Plymouth, we are excited to be hosting our first league game of the season at The Meadow tomorrow when we play host to Hartley Wintney, kick-off 3.00pm, please do come along and give the team your support. It is going to be a hot day, but fear not, the clubhouse bar will be open selling refreshments!
Last Saturday’s game against Plymouth Parkway finished 2-2, a hard-earned point against what is a very good side is a good start, although when you go 2-0 up there is always a little bit of disappointment in the back of your mind. However, all of that could have been very different had we been awarded the penalty at 2-1 that everyone in the ground saw, apart from the person who matters. A good start, and we are underway.
I am delighted to say that the new kit is arriving today so the players will be proudly wearing that for the game tomorrow, and if you have ordered a replica shirt from the shop, these will be available to collect from Gavin in the clubhouse from 2.00pm.
As the new season kicks off at The Meadow, it seems like a good time to update you on the status of our plans to move to a new ground within Chesham. Last year we had a Pre Planning Application (PPA) discussion with Buckinghamshire planning authority to run through our thoughts and vision. From this meeting there were a number of questions that we needed to answer that would help with the proposal further down the line. Most of these questions have now been answered and, as a final piece of this particular jigsaw, a land drainage report was completed at the ground just yesterday.
The purchase of the new land has been agreed with the current landowner, and although not able to share the exact location as yet, I can 100% assure you that it is very much in the borders of Chesham.
We are also very close to completing the Heads of Terms – I know you will probably think you have heard that before, and you are right, but this is a huge task to formalise and agree on everything between the four parties involved – Chesham Sports Club (the landowners at The Meadow), us the football club (tenants at The Meadow), the landowner of where we propose to build the new ground and of course the property developers that we are proposing to work with for the project. If you have ever purchased a house and thought all the legalities of that was complicated, I can promise you this is a hundred times worse to get completed!
To ensure all the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted each of the four parties involved needs to have an agreement with the other, so in total that is nine documents that need to be agreed and all signed on the same day. Simple? That is just the first part. The next stage is to then combine all of those agreements into one master document that covers everything within and each of the four parties are again happy with the content.
I know it is frustrating waiting for news, but whilst all this is going on, there really is not much we can do or say, it is a long and complicated process, but one that we remain committed to seeing through.
Once all this is done, and other required reports are pulled together, we will then be in a position to put forward another PPA to the Buckinghamshire planning authority. How long this will take I honestly cannot say, like when you are buying a house and need to have everyone in the chain ready, we have many things to have lined up ready for when the time is right, so that all the actions can be carried out in conjunction with each other. All I can promise is that I will keep you posted as much as possible and I hope it will not be too long before we can share the plans and vision, and you can all join me in getting excited about the prospects.
On a sadder note, the players will be wearing black armbands tomorrow in memory of Jim Duncan, father of our joint manager James Duncan who passed away last week. Jim was a big follower of his son throughout his career and a regular at The Meadow, all of our thoughts and prayers are with James and his family at these difficult times. There will also be a minutes applause before kick-off, a chance for us all to remember Fred Wallis, a passionate supporter who also died over the summer and will be greatly missed this season.
One notice to advise you of. From 2.00pm on Sunday the film crew of Endeavour will be taking over The Meadow until the end of Tuesday, please help us to keep the area clear.
Unlike many clubs at our level, we are still printing a matchday programme for the coming season, so there will be more to read from me and others in that tomorrow, an excellent read for just £2.50 if I do say so myself, be sure to grab yourself a copy when you arrive for the game.
Thank you for your support.
Peter Brown, Chairman