Weekly club update: Sat 3 April
The St James Park pitch will be under-going significant close season maintenance works starting next week. This is a good example of the challenges facing clubs at our level. This work is essential if we are to provide the kind of playing surface Kevin and the first team need. However, the costs of bringing in a specialist company to do this work are high and with no income coming into the club this is an especially big bill to pick up at this time.
Dissatisfaction with the National League over its leadership of the Covid-hit season and in particular the failure to realise continued funding after the initial three month agreement ended, this being replaced only by the offer of loans, has resulted in calls by some clubs for an Extraordinary General Meeting. If the required number of votes are garnered by Monday then an EGM will be held to consider a single motion of no confidence in the chairman and the board. While support for such a move appears strong among National League North and National League South clubs, support from sufficient National League Step 1 clubs will also be needed for this to proceed.
In the absence of spectators in grounds and any grant funding from 1 January all clubs have suffered immeasurable financial loss that will take time to recover from as any reserves have been eaten up simply to keep operating and pay the bills that do not stop despite the club having zero income. One bright spot was the relaxation of the rules permitting live streaming of games. This allowed clubs to bring live games into the homes of exiled supporters and was a big success, as well as generating some limited income. We have joined a group of clubs lobbying the FA and broadcast authorities for this temporary relaxation to be continued at least for a further season. While it is clear that there are other parties interested in maintaining the ban on live streaming, it is important to be making the case loud and clear for this measure to continue so that supporters who may not yet feel able to come back to live games can continue to support their local side and so that this income stream can continue into the coming season.
It has been wonderful to have our juniors back at the club, enjoying the fresh air and glorious sunshine of the early part of last week and enjoying having a ball at their feet. Our Easter Junior Soccer Camp last week was well attended. Thanks to the players who were all so enthusiastic and got a lot of enjoyment and learning from the camp. Some places remain for next week’s Easter Soccer Camp – see website for details.
Junior soccer schools resume on Saturday 3 April at 9am. These are for children aged 4-6 and are football-focused fun sessions on our all-weather pitch led by FA qualified coaches in a family-friendly environment. The first session is free. This leads on to playing in our junior teams from under-7. Trials for junior teams for boys and girls take place in June. Full details are on the club website.
As the completion of The Venue moves ever closer the club is recruiting its staff team to manage it. Adverts for the posts of Manager, bar supervisor, bar staff and cleaning staff are on the club website. These posts offer great opportunities for employment at the club and to be involved at the very opening of The Venue. SEE MORE HERE
The end-of-season clearance sale continues for a few days longer with further reductions on a range of items including club-badged Adidas sportswear in many sizes – men, ladies and children. Also available are photographs and posters and shirts worn by specific players eg in the televised FA Cup tie against Tranmere Rovers. Visit club shop
While some Covid restrictions are relaxed, please continue to follow the rules, take care and stay safe. Happy Easter!