Representatives of the Trust Board and Football Club consortium met last night for the first time following the Club’s exit from administration. The following represents a summary of points discussed:
Shahid Azeem outlined the consortium’s firm commitment to operate the Club on a sustainable business model. This will involve fundamental changes to past practices, but this approach is vital for the Club to move forward.
- Rigorous financial controls have been implemented to ensure that every £ spent is done so appropriately and represents value for money.
- The arrangement with Chelsea to play 25 U21/U19 matches represents a fantastic deal for the Club and local supporters.
- The consortium wish to embrace The Trust and build a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship. Work will commence immediately in this area and our next joint meeting is already scheduled for September.
- The Club must become the ‘heart of the community’. This will be the focus of all those associated with the Club from Players, Management and Staff and this aligns with one of the principles of The Trust.
- The Club will support the Mayor of Rushmoor’s nominated charity.
- The Club recognise the huge contribution that unpaid volunteers have made in the past and moving forward this is an area that will need to be expanded to help ensure the viability of the Club. The Trust will assist with recruiting more volunteers with appropriate skills to fulfil roles.
- The atmosphere that is created on matchday is down to fans – their passion was clear to see and hear by those singing their hearts out in the EastBank and other stands at this week’s match against Dartford. “We’ve got our Club back” is a sentiment understood and echoed by all. We want that passion every match and this will undoubtedly help to win back those who have turned their back on the Club in recent times and most vitally, encourage new supporters – particularly young supporters who will become the future of our Club.
- Negotiations with a shirt sponsor are being finalised. An announcement is anticipated shortly.
- The Club intend to cease the license for Sky TV as it does not represent value for money. It is intended to move forward with BTSport and BBC ‘Red Button’.
- The Club intend to install a new IT and phone system which, moving forward, will enable cost efficiencies.
- There is an understanding that we’re very much at the start of a long journey. But there is commitment to work together for a successful future. The Club are going through some tough decisions but these are for the benefit of the Club. Supporters are therefore asked to be patient, give their support both on and off the pitch while the foundations are put in place and evolve over time.
- A fans forum will be held within the next few weeks. Details will be released shortly.
Trust Chairman, Ian Goodwright, said “I am very encouraged by our discussions tonight and the consortium’s willingness to work constructively with the Trust”.
Speaking on behalf of the consortium Shahid Azeem said “The Trust represents the voice of supporters and an important partner in the future success of Aldershot Town Football Club”.