As we enter July, Farnborough Manager Spencer Day provides an update with the latest news from the Club.
First and foremost, I hope you and your families are safe and well in this unprecedented and worrying time. The club, as most of you are aware, is currently shut barring some fantastic volunteers that as usual have been doing upkeep and improvements as best they can. especially involving social distancing. As a club we are extremely grateful for their support.
As far as myself as a Manager the reality is, we just don’t know what is going to happen and when. I personally believe that there is a very long way to go to bring back any competitive football with all that goes with it to be safe. I appreciate authorities and others have opinions that differ and want desperately like I do to get back playing but I do feel that as much as we are rightly talking up the possibility of starting in say late September or October; how this is achieved seems a very long way away to me.
The safety of everyone involved is absolutely paramount and it’s so easy to forget the different aspects of getting a game on and in this situation, what will be required to make it safe. Then you come to the finances of which most clubs require full attendances, fans willing to attend and a good majority of supporters in non-league are in the older age bracket (including me!) as well as the vital income streams such as open bars, clubhouses available for functions, sponsors, and events. Without these being operational and attended many clubs will have almost zero income and either their budgets will have to match that income or they won’t be able to play at all. At Boro we are exceptionally lucky that the club does not hold any debt but without any future income we also have a huge problem to survive.
With so much unknown I have kept in regular contact with the players and it was always my intention to try and keep as many of them as possible for next season whenever that may be. We have a fantastic group of young players with a couple of experienced leaders that I believe showed that we could compete right at the top of this division. I have spoken to a couple of other players as well about the possibility of joining our squad but without any news on budgets and start dates, they really were just general chats about our interest.
We have though decided to start pre-season training in three weeks’ time but only once a week just to keep players ticking over and together under social distancing rules but it’s purely provisional and until we have a more definitive decisions about when we can start, how we can train, where we can train (Frimley Lodge is still closed) the reality is the situation will probably change.
Of course, we all wish for the best and I’m desperate to get back playing football and I want to be positive that this will happen at some point not in the too distant future. However, our priority must be the safety of everyone both involved at the football club and in the community so I wish you all a very safe Summer and we will update you more when we have more information.