As the season draws to a close, I thought it the perfect time to reflect on the achievements of the season. If we do survive in League 1 and barring an unprecedented set of results, we will, it will be a better achievement than gaining promotion from League 2.
Perhaps the feeling of euphoria may not be as intense as promotion, but Gareth and his management team can be hugely proud of what they have achieved, and the players will take a fully deserved round of applause on their lap of honour at the end of the game. League 1 security for next season also completes the 5 year plan, originally set up by Andrew Howard when he was Chairman. A number of people scoffed at the idea of such a plan, but today’s events will hopefully see a successful completion.
So what of the next 5 years? It has been no secret that to be competitive in the Football League, we need external investment to give us a platform to stabilise the Club financially, and start on a new 5 year journey. We thought we had found the right partners in Jim Collis and Bill Luby, but that was not to be, and therefore we continue our search to find the right partners. We have talks taking place with a number of interested parties, and as soon as there is tangible news, I will call a meeting of Trust members, to update them on our plans.
Although we have significant financial pressures, we will not be rushed into a decision that partners us with someone who does not understand the values and history of our Club.
At the end of the season, it is appropriate to thank a number of people who help the Club in so many ways. Our loyal band of volunteers, who help with maintenance, run the car parks, sell programmes or sit on the Football Club or Trust Board. We are all volunteers, and just want what is best for our Football Club. I would also like to thank all of our Commercial Partners who sponsor us, be it on playing kit, stands, advertising boards or on a matchday. We believe we offer sponsors, excellent value for money, but will always strive to improve how we can ensure their money is well spent. The fact that so many have already signed up for next season, suggests that we do.
I would also like to thank the off-field team, which is a small but very effective full time team. Interestingly after the game with Wimbledon, the number of people cutting the grass ( Kingsmeadow is owned by Chelsea), was almost equivalent in number to 50% of our off-field team! On matchdays this number swells to over a hundred, and I really appreciate how hard they all work. Although we may not get everything right, there is an ethos of continuous improvement, designed to enhance the matchday experience.
So what does the future hold? The answer is I’m not sure at the moment. What I do know, is that no stone will be left unturned to establish a stable future for this Football Club, and to give Gareth the resources, to really show what can be achieved. I wish you all a pleasant summer, and will issue updates as and when necessary, to keep you appraised of significant developments.