Review of the whole Club and business:
As I wrote some months ago, I have been conducting a detailed review of the business and have spent a considerable amount of time at the Club speaking with many people who are involved directly and indirectly.
I do not intend going over old ground, the club is where it is and we must establish the best way of moving forward from here rather that looking to the past. To conclude that point, our CVA will be signed as complete upon the return of the £30000 bond that was paid to the Ryman League and the balance of £3000 paid to satisfy the CVA amendment will be paid in August and that at last secures the long term future of the Club. We therefore have a fresh start to build and move forward and it’s that route that I have focused on recently.
It has become apparent that having such a wonderful facility has substantial costs. We run a ‘burn rate’ of around £60,000 a year just in rent, rates and utilities before we even open our doors. We need to bring in funds that football alone just does not bring even if we were many Leagues higher. Therefore a change of strategy is required and a plan has now been agreed to progress further.
1. A 4G joint venture application for the main pitch is with the Council, which has received a positive reaction. This will go through the usual official channels and we hope can progress to an installation during 2016, hopefully in the off season. Should we need to groundshare temporarily during next season plans have been put in place.
2. The Rushmoor Community Stadium will be used for more than just football particularly should a 4G pitch be laid. We have had very detailed discussions with American Football and Rugby Union teams that seek a long term tenancy at the site, one through the Council directly. The matter is tied to the 4G application but either proposal will bring long term regeneration of the area and ultimately benefit the community as well as the football element of the club. The site will also be used on a daily basis by schools and community groups. I have also received two applications from football teams to ground share next season at considerably more money than our previous tenants. I have delayed an answer on these as our 4G proposal takes precedence and I must give that application every chance of proceeding rather than just taking the short term financial gain. The club is already used five days a week by a soft play and the general use for events is increasing I’m pleased to report. The investment that has gone into the site over the recent years is slowly starting to reap benefits and I’ve assisted the procedures throughout the club, helped by our fantastic volunteers to give many areas better profitability.
3. Two separate applications for housing development and new changing rooms to support the increased usage will go through the usual planning portals in the next 90 days. Both have had initial discussion with planning officials and have varying issues to overcome but we are confident they will get the support of the planning authorities and community in general.
Furthermore I am delighted to have secured our first major five figured sponsorship for this season and next with contracts having been signed last week. To bring back Greene King purely as sponsors having been through so much with them over the last five years in adversity just shows how hard we are working behind the scenes to make the business work and the exciting proposals moving forward.
On the pitch I have given the manager the smallest of budgets as we only pay what we have and its been interesting looking back over the last five years figures. The Club spent on average £12000 per week not including expenses in our play off season, £5000 per week in the 2011/12 season, £2800 per week all in in 2012/13, £2800 again in 13/14, £1800 all in during our relegation of 14/15 and this season we are on target to spend £38000 for the whole season at an average of just under £960 per week-this includes all expenses which is our biggest outlay to players, physio and away travel. A quarter of that amount has been funded by a player sale which has left us with a manageable amount to find and taken the pressure off the club whilst everything was assessed. A huge player turnover therefore has been expected as well as almost free loan players to get a competitive team onto the pitch at all and I’m still hopeful we can avoid a double relegation but I take positivity from Hereford and Salisbury to show what can happen from stepping down and growing from firm roots which our budget would therefore command at that level. Should it become inevitable and only IF we cannot escape relegation I will cut the budget to almost nothing and reduce entrance prices for the remaining games and compensate our season ticket holders. The manager will then look to sign players this season for next seasons campaign and he has agreed to this structure. He has a number of players that have shown keenness in joining Boro long term. Put with that these plans away from football we have put in place and I’m confident that one or more will proceed and give us a great position to kick on in the next decade and beyond.
The club is almost debt free, l have made a number of short term loans which are regularly repaid and with these plans moving forward I’m now more confident in our long term future. Football is a vital part of that and although only play a very small part in our incomes the team and its supporters are at the forefront of my mind. However we have a very expensive 7000 capacity stadium that we now have put in place plans that can regenerate the whole area and thats very exciting news. Alongside that our first substantial sponsorship in a long while and although we have a long way to go things are starting to look brighter for 2016 and beyond,
Thank you in particular to our fantastic volunteers, FAST who have put a package in place to create a new burger facility and the many supporters who are behind us that I am meeting as we go along. I will give a further update as our proposals progress, through the proper channels,
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