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Chairman’s Update

Home crowd pack the Main Stand at the Green Elephants Stadium.

Kevin Newell gives us few words on the current situation at the football club.

I’d love to be able to open this message with the news that we have a date to restart football, but I’m afraid that still seems some way off. My discussions with the board of the Isthmian League and the drip feed of information coming from the FA indicates that everything will depend on the consequences the easing of the lockdown has on the spread of the virus, and for those to become apparent we’ll have to wait a few more weeks.

Meanwhile, thought has been given to the various scenarios which will present themselves according to when a start can be sanctioned. It seems that unless we get a start before the end of October, it won’t be possible to play a full season, so we’ll have a half season when we play all the other clubs once, or we create two regionalised divisions of 10, and play them twice. All very messy and difficult to administer, but having some football to look forward to is better than none at all!

I’d also like to be able to say that Mid Sussex DC have relented and waived our rent, but sadly, that’s not the case either. Whilst the council have agreed to let us spread the payments, in the end we still have to find the money from our non-existent income.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to all of our other volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to help bring the whole of the ground to the best condition I’ve ever seen.”

On the question of finance, I’m pleased to say that we were successful in getting a grant from Sport England towards the annual cost of pitch repair and maintenance. I must pay tribute to the work that our groundsman Richard and his assistant Tom have put in. The pitch looks pristine and will be a credit to the club when football returns.

I’d also like to pay tribute to all of our other volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to help bring the whole of the ground to the best condition I’ve ever seen. The next stage of the lockdown release will allow us to re-open the clubhouse bar, and we will be working on ways to allow us to do that safely, especially as we will be able to offer Premier League football on the big screen – keep an eye on the website for details on that.

Another financial issue confronting us is the requirement for a Floodlight assessment in September. We know that some of the lights are in need of repair ! So, we have been getting some quotes together to see what the likely cost will be. I hope that we will be able to set up a fundraising scheme via Crowdfunder, who have agreed to make their platform available to Isthmian League clubs free of charge. Look out for more details on this very soon.

In the meantime, you can be assured that myself, and the board of directors are still working to ensure a bright future for the Club, and with your continued support I’m sure we can get to the level we aspire to. All we need is some clear direction from the government and we will be up and running.

Please stay safe and follow the guidance, so we can back to what we consider to be normal – as soon as possible.