As another Season ends I would like to give an update on matters both on and off the pitch.
Regarding our 3G aspirations and our housing application, I am disappointed to announce that we have had a delay in progressing. We have had to go through due process with the Council and our proposed presentation was delayed last month due to the Council elections on May 5th. I am awaiting a new date and am pushing hard to move this as fast as possible but it is just one of those things that happens in a large development process.
Obviously I could not accept a groundshare with teams when we had a timeline to add a 3G. We had to look at the bigger picture and would have been liable for considerable compensation if we couldn’t fulfill their fixtures. The best option on the groundshare is still on the table awaiting approval of our 3G proposal.
On the pitch a fantastic turnaround over the last three months gave such an air of positivity to the Club that we must seek to continue this into next season. Spencer pushed hard in January for us to find extra budget from somewhere and I resisted in the most part, as our policy of only paying what we have stood firm. The signing of a new sponsor gave us some fresh impetus and we managed to find an extra £10000 over the last three months to keep us to one relegation. In context of the total playing budget, that still made us the likely lowest budget in the league but was money very well spent and the results speak for themselves.
I am pleased to report that after two years of hard work, we broke even this last year and now run debt free. This is the first time in many years that the Club can say this. This achievement should show that the unseen work off the pitch is paying dividends and we can now continue to explore future opportunities.
With new sponsors returning, a new kit sponsorship being signed last week and most of last years team returning, we can start next season with renewed optimism. Our playing budget will be at best half way in the Southern Central but the manager has set high expectations for the season ahead.
I have recently set admission and season ticket prices for next season with most prices considerably reduced. In reality our costs rise each year, so to reduce prices is risky but we are keen to get our fans back into our fantastic stadium and it was apparent in the last few months with returning attendances that the product on the pitch is vital.
With regards to our playing budget, our financial position is the same and we will continue to pay out only what we bring in, so I hope as many of you as possible will support FaST’s “Boost the Budget Scheme” to pay for a very exciting player that will be announced by the manager shortly. It’s a very popular scheme at many Clubs, that will show a further contribution to helping the Club put the best team on the pitch.
Thank you again to all our amazing volunteers who have put so much work into this season. This Club could not operate without them.
We bid a fond farewell to Mark McGowan the Club’s Chaplain, who after many years of service to the Club and community, due to work commitments, has decided to move on. He has however accepted the role of official ambassador for the Club.
Finally, thank you to our fans who have supported us through a horrible period. 2016 has been a good year so far and its been great to see so many smiling faces these last few months with positive expectations for the new season.
Enjoy your summer and see you in August.
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