Club Statement regarding relegation

I, like all supporters am devastated that the club was relegated from the Conference South last weekend. When Spencer brought me to the Club, I made it clear that my aim was for the club to be self-sustainable as soon as possible and to find new investment and/or buyers. Therefore I set very clear playing budget parameters this season again and I hoped that Spencer and his staff could produce another football upset and keep us up, which they had achieved against the odds over the past three seasons. They failed despite a huge effort and even managed to bring in substantial income from player sales and a good FA Trophy run but the football has not been good enough. The club has made significant progress in becoming a stable operation, which I am confident in the long run will give a far better base for the club to grow and not be boom and bust.

The stadium is looking fantastic and is certified for over 6000 capacity. The help of the volunteers has been immense but that has been ably supported by significant investment into the clubhouse and facilities.The PRE also looks amazing. The football club is an entity that requires income via sponsorship and various other schemes. The growth of the non football strains through the direct management of Clair and Trevor is starting to bear significant fruit.

The club has signed a new two year contract with the Knights Group for the Academy and the financial and player forecast is particularly strong for the future and we are delighted with this new relationship with a very strong local brand.

Our relationship with Reading FC also continues to grow and as much as their contract is not up for renewal, they are seeking a significant extension and it is another great commercial relationship. James Willcocks is making progress on other new sponsorship opportunities and slowly but surely sponsors are returning as we continue to show stability. A main club sponsor is definitely a priority for the new season and talks are on going with one serious candidate.

Analysis for a 3G pitch is well under way and will be before the Council shortly. We have followed the Maidstone model and believe their growth can be mirrored. We would expect to be able to report back on this project before the start of next season.

The winning of the Conference Grant for our Community work led by Mark McGowan speaks for itself and that area continues to grow via football and the community events such as the fireworks and funfairs.

Of course the fans want an update on the CVA for Farnborough Football and Social Club. This is far from a straightforward matter and our relationship with the Administrator is strong and working to a conclusion together. The original figure was nearly £3m although nearly £2m was owed to Spencer and I at administration. This still leaves a large figure even if I wrote off every pound. It would be wrong to comment on ongoing discussions but simply put, we do not know the accepted figures yet, as a number have serious issues which the Administrator is working through. The last thing the club needs is legal issues dragging for many years, so we must let the Administrators legal team do their job, which I am confident they are doing.

I have made significant investment into this club like Spencer did before me and I know that I will lose most of that money. I made it perfectly clear that the club is for sale and I have accepted numerous bids that turned out to be from time wasters from all over the world. Until a genuine reasonable bid comes forward I will continue to support the club. We pay our bills, we pay our players and our infrastructure is one of the very best for this level. We are though a football club and I am sure that the football management will make sure the team will improve next season and learn from the lessons of the past nine months. Of course it isn’t easy but we still have a club and this was made clear just before I bought it out of administration, that if we hadn’t, Farnborough wouldn’t be here today.

Thank you to all our fans, a big special thank you to our volunteers. Have a good summer and come back refreshed.

Up the Boro

Rob Prince

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