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Re: Statement from the Chairman

By SDG (SDG (Ks))16/4 12:31Tue Apr 16 12:31:10 2024In response to Re: Statement from the Chairman

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Wow, a hell of a lot to unpack here, this would have been much better as a series of individual updates over the last eight weeks.

Some of it is helpful, even encouraging. In particular, having a women's team again will be a real positive for the club. Good on Jamie Street taking this on, an absolute stalwart of the club through good times and bad. I look forward to hearing more about this - in particular, are we expecting the current U18 crop to graduate to become an adult side for us from the following season? And we might need to consider the name as ladies is quite old-fashioned now. But it's a real positive that this is happening, both as the right thing to do and for us to be taken seriously by the Council and other decision-makers in our ground hunt.

The ground update is welcome too, even if it doesn't show masses of progress. It seems like at least one of the previous sites identified last year has fallen through now but it's good that we're still looking at multiple sites in parallel. Let's hope the out-of-borough one is in a sensible location though - and I'm afraid I share Jon's scepticism about the financial side of things.

A hint at cheaper ticket prices is welcome. And seeing some actual figures for the money we've spent is positive compared to how things were before. It's also pretty sobering though about how far short we are of a competitive budget for this league and it makes you fear for next season in the one below.

A few things really spoil the update though.

Chiefly, the threat to ban supporters. It felt like after a well-received fans' forum eight weeks ago there was a window where relations between the board and the supporters could have improved. We have a staggering number of volunteer vacancies all of a sudden, which is really worrying. With club secretary, comms officer and physio all being particularly important ones. But these sort of threats to ban people are hardly going to encourage the fans to step forward at a time when it seems like there's a desperate need to get more volunteers.

The explanation of the AFC money is just dancing on the head of a pin and makes little sense. So we didn't spend it on the playing budget but on a bunch of other expenses that would otherwise have come out of the playing budget. It's effectively the same thing and in my opinion it's a massive portion of our nest-egg badly squandered over the last seven years.

Public criticism of the Council is hardly going to do us any favours either. And it's frankly bizarre when Chessington coming to nothing was more down to the Mayor than the RBK; and for years we were never even asking the Council for anything. When the plan was a permanent groundshare with Casuals perhaps we didn't need to. Whatever party the Council is, the problem will remain that there are very few sites suitable for a football ground.

About all I have time to say right now. But it feels like a real missed opportunity here, with some helpful updates being drowned out by the negatives.

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