Hello everyone and welcome to the latest Update from the Board. We held our May Board meeting this week and, for Club members, the summary of our April meeting is now available in the Members’ area of the Club website. We have been working extremely hard since the season was brought to a premature end and we now feel that we are beginning to make real progress as we continue to plan for the 2020/21 season.
At the Board meeting we signed off our budget for the next financial year. The budget is very tight and is dependent on several revenue elements coming through as the year progresses. As things stand, we do not know when the 2020/21 will start, so we have instituted a rigorous approach to managing the budget, phasing it over four quarters with the intention of reviewing and forecasting at the end of each quarter. However, it does mean that we can now move from the planning stage to putting some plans into action.
One of the first things we will do is to carry out some enhanced pitch work activities at Hayden Road. Working with our friends at Rushden & Higham United, we have put together an annual Integrated Pitch Maintenance Programme which has been designed to improve the condition of the pitch and alleviate some of the problems we experienced in previous years. The aim is to provide a surface that improves the quality of football across the whole season. Preliminary work has already started with the main activity planned to commence at the beginning of June.
Setting the budget also means that Andy Peaks can start to implement his plans for the playing squad for the new season. As you know from his recent updates, Andy has been talking to the squad from last season and now over the coming weeks will be able to finalise his plans. The Academy, too, can now start to focus on the new season and I am sure you will have seen that, subject to the current restrictions on footballing activity being lifted, they have started to approach and attract new players with the announcement of open trials on the Club website.
Early bird Season Tickets are now available. This represent a 25% saving on standard match pricing so don’t miss out. Don’t forget you can also purchase your reserved seating and programme season tickets.
This weekend is your last chance to make sure you are entered in the Team Building Lottery for May. The next draw sees the first quarterly draw with the chance to win over £1400 in addition to the monthly prize of over £500, plus 2 Cineworld tickets. All the information you need to join can be found here – https://www.afcdiamonds.com/diamonds-team-building-lottery
The Club2020 programme is still open for all members and supporters, individually and in small groups; more information on this can be found here – https://www.afcdiamonds.com/become-a-diamonds-club2020-founder-member-and-club-donor.
If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so by sending a cheque to Hayden Road or making a BACS transfer to account number 91508903, Sort Code 40-39-15, Account name AFC Rushden & Diamonds. For any commercial and sponsorship activity please contact John Gregory either by phone on 07788 102430 or email email@example.com if you are aware of any organisation who can help the Club. All converted leads will be rewarded with a £30 AFC R&D voucher.
While we make progress with our plans for this year on and off the field there are some important dates coming up affecting the Club and the way we operate.
- The AGM will be held on Wednesday, 15th July 2020. Based on current Government advice this will be held by a remote, video meeting. We are considering how best this can be delivered and hope to run a trial meeting in June. The AGM is open to members only, so if you’d like to be involved please ensure that you renew your membership or join as a new member before the date of the meeting.
- Board elections will be held between 1st June 2020 and 6th July 2020. More information on this will be available on this in the coming days.
For members, please do not miss your chance to vote for our Home and Away shirt options. Voting closes next weekend and all the information you need is here – https://www.afcdiamonds.com/home-and-away-kit-vote-2020-22
Ben Farrell will be answering your questions on our Twitter account on Sunday afternoon. If you’d like to join in with any of our social media activities, here’s a list of where you can find us:
Finally, and most importantly, on behalf of the Board thank you for all the support, ideas and suggestions we have received over the past few weeks. We have been amazed at just how much we have achieved in such a short space of time.
Hopefully, we are beginning to see a relaxation of some of the current lockdown measures but in the meantime, please stay safe and follow the guidelines issued by the Government and Public Health England; updated daily and can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.