As I write these notes we have just received notification of our first replica shirt order from the USA, the Chesham United brand is spreading! We have already received more replica shirt orders than we sold over the past two seasons combined, which is fantastic news as we are beavering away in the background organising the distribution. This includes setting up our own Royal Mail account and ordering in packaging tapes and bags which is all in hand, I just cannot wait to see the shirts being worn around town. If you have not ordered yours yet, visit the website for order details.
A big thank you one again to my fellow director, Alex Horne, who is doing a fantastic job promoting the shirts, with so much more to come still across social media, this really is an important part of budgeting for all our exciting plans for the season ahead, so please do help us to keep spreading the word.
On the football side of things I know that supporters are itching for news and commenting across social media as to why we seem to be so inactive whilst other clubs are out there announcing new signings. This is nothing new for us, it is a practice we have carried out for many years. It is not about hiding anything from supporters, or even keeping our cards close to our chests really, it is the simple fact that unless a player is on contract, they cannot sign forms for the new season until the 1st July 2023. Of course there might be verbal agreements in place, and hopefully a handshake is good enough, but in our mind, if there is a player out there available, let’s not tempt fate of missing out on them by letting the world know before they are signed on the dotted line.
The players that can be announced are those that have signed on contract, but as most supporters will be aware, it is very rare for us to have players signed on contract. Most players register for the club, which means that they cannot play for any other side in our league, but they can leave the club with a 7-days’ notice approach made to our club secretary. There are pros and cons to contracts for both the players and the club. If brutally honest, from a club’s perspective, the main reason you will have a player on a contract is if you think there is the potential that the player might move on to a higher-level club willing to pay a transfer fee. For us, the sale of Fitz Hall to Oldham Athletic is the best example of this, but there is a reality that these kinds of transfers are far less frequent nowadays with professional clubs having their own academies and worldwide scouting networks.
From a players perspective a contract gives them security of income, they are guaranteed their wage whether they play or not, particularly useful if they happen to be out injured. However, as I hope we demonstrated last season with our players injury and benevolent fund, in particular after Jake Peck’s injury, we will always strive to look after our players if they suffer an injury that puts them out of work.
All of that said, you will have seen a couple of player departure announcements, which I understand can lead to some concern with no new announcements. We will never stand in the way of a player progressing and we wish our leavers all the best with their careers, and I can assure you that we have been busy looking at strengthening the squad and will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months. The players return for training on 27th June, we will assess where we are at and build the team and any new announcements from there but please, no need to worry! We have earmarked new players and agreed terms, which will be announced just as soon as i’s are dotted, and t’s crossed and they are officially Chesham United players.
By my reckoning, we are around 8-10th in the league in terms of budget size, which highlights the achievement of last year’s fifth placed finish and push for promotion. Our budget is likely to be in the same comparative position against other clubs in our league next season, and the conversations with the management are once again about having a push for promotion. With your support – on the terraces, buying shirts, using the facilities – we can achieve fantastic things.
Away from the pitch I am thrilled that we are now sold out for the Treorchy choir event this Saturday. Those that want to listen will need to stand or sit outside, where we may ask for donations to this great fundraising cause, in support of Bucks Mind.
Have a great weekend.
Peter Brown, Chairman