Please see club’s response to questions raised by the fans prior to our meeting last Sunday. The Shots Trust will be meeting the club again in the next few weeks and we will issue a summary note from both meetings in due course.
Q: Are the club working on any long term plans for the future of the club? In the recent past everything seems to be done in an instant rather than with long term considerations.
A: The board since its inception has always had a 3 year plan going forward for the club. It is, of course, very challenging financially to run a football club at this level and the consistent factor for the club at this moment is to run with financial prudence and not to speculate unnecessarily. We continue to actively strengthen the board of directors and grow the club’s business and professional connections. This is imperative so we can move forward with any future plans whether they be commercial opportunities or ground development – in tandem with the supporters and local community at the forefront of such plans.
Q: What was the reason for the manager’s 3 year contract?
A: At the inception of the football club’s new company and in order to take the club out of administration, the board of directors negotiated with the football management team to spread their 2 year contract over 3 years. This enabled the initial board of directors to have a feasible financial plan that aided the cash flow forecast for the 3 year plan. The manager’s and assistant manager’s contract, which was authorised by the previous Chairman and General Manager, is a cost that cannot be averted and must be paid up in full if released by the club.
Q: Is there a plan for next season to invest in the club and improve the squad?
A: The club will set a Player Budget that will coincide with the budgeted income expected in the overall cost of running the club. We will continue to run the club on this basis. If at any time there is a possibility that the player budget can increase, the board will take a prudent view in order to maintain a positive cash flow.
Q: How is the Cup Run money being spent / has it been spent due to the decrease in gates?
A: The extra F.A.Cup money received will be spent on any necessary ground requirements and underpinning the balance sheet. The decrease in recent budgeted anticipated attendances is a cause for concern but it is understandable due to the home league performances/results. A continual decrease in attendances will of course have a negative effect on the balance sheet, however not to a point whereby the club is put in an immediate and problematic position. Obviously if attendances continue to be lower than expected, then this could have an effect on the future playing budget.
Q: Is the fact that certain basic things like non-working scoreboards, no ball boys, no half time entertainment, an indication that we are in financial trouble again?
A: No, there is no relationship to the club finances in regards to the question. We had ball boys at today’s game at home to Telford and are looking to address the match day entertainment very soon. The scoreboard was down due to an electrical problem which is now rectified.
Q: Was the allowing of supporters (season ticket holders) from other Clubs in on the cheap over Shots fans a success or failure?
A: There was no real discernible use of the scheme to make its future of this scheme worthwhile.
Q: Has anything changed or will it change with regard the catering / bar, specifically on the south side of the ground. The bar is often out of something, service is slow and the catering hut is poor quality, and again slow.
A: We have very few complaints about the catering other than the lack of food in the South stand family room which has now been rectified. Our caterers are continually monitored for quality and if anyone has any serious issue on a match day they should contact a member of staff or a director directly.
Q: Unless you pay for the posh seats there is no match day experience at the shots, the football is dire so that won’t attract people, you tell the fans to bring a friend. You need to tell us why we should and what is in it for them?
A: At this level of football the entertainment value is crucial to maintaining a good supporter buy in. The club as a whole is aware of the need not only to improve match results but also the quality and style of play conducive to gaining repeat attendances. The board have sat down with the team manager and collectively agreed a plan of action to rectify the situation. This will be monitored closely on an ongoing basis. The board are fully aware of the supporters view regarding the present situation and anyone is more than welcome to discuss any thoughts with them.
Q: Is there any reason why the electronic board at the front of the ground doesn’t show our next fixture anymore?
A: We are, at this moment, sourcing parts for the electronic board – at best cost – as a matter of priority.
Q: How does Chelsea’s purchase of Kinsgmeadow affect any support or revenue long term for the stability of Aldershot?
A: The football club will only include any guaranteed income in a season’s budget, Chelsea’s support of the club has been fantastic and we are grateful for any future contracts for them to play at the ESS stadium.
Shots Supporters Trust