Chairman’s Update #17 – 11 July 2020

Hello again and thank you for taking the time to read the latest weekly update from the Board. 

On Wednesday evening, we held our final board meeting of the current Society year. It has been a very challenging year on many levels but, together, we have risen to the challenges and we continue to make progress. The coming year will, no doubt, be equally as challenging but we are confident that, together we will rise to it.

 Next week sees some important deadlines that I want to remind you about:

The #GetInTheKit initiative will close on Tuesday, 14th July and we are already approaching 200 names. This is a unique opportunity to have your name in both our Home and Away shirts for the next 2 seasons. If you have been thinking about participating now is the time to make your selection. You can select from the following options here but as a reminder here are the options you can choose from:

  • Adult Shirt plus Name: £100.
  • Adult Shirt Gift Package: £120.
  • Framed Shirt: £300.
  • Name in the Shirt only: £50.

Remember your contribution for putting your name in the shirt goes directly to supporting the Club. Financially this will make a real difference to the Club, but also the visual impact of players and supporters wearing the shirt will be a fitting reminder of the culture of our wonderful Club.

– On Wednesday, 15th July we will be holding our AGM via Zoom from 7pm. To take part you must be a Member, so you still have a few days left to join or renew your membership. To participate you must register in advance by clicking here or on the link in the Members area here. The AGM is part of the formal structure of governance of the Club, giving Members a real input into its running. This is an important element of the Club’s culture of One Fan, One Vote, One Community, One Club.

– Season tickets are still on sale for the new season through the club shop here – http://www.afcdiamondsshop.com/tickets.asp

Last week I told you about the relaunch of our Membership scheme under the “Together, We are Diamonds!” banner. This week the membership team have launched the “900 Club” which aims to increase membership to over 900. Details can be found online at www.afcdiamonds.com/membership. This will be supported by some exclusive offers for members throughout the season.  The first of these is a free prize draw for everybody who renews their membership or becomes a member for the forthcoming year before the 31st August. The prize is a framed new-season shirt and lithograph signed by the First Team squad. There will be further prize draws as the season progresses.

At the Board meeting we agreed to launch an exciting new initiative to help find a new main sponsor. As you know, Auto Windscreens were unable to continue their sponsorship due to the effect Covid-19 has had on their business and since we were advised of their decision John Gregory has been working tirelessly to find a new main sponsor. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task in the current financial climate. So, next week we will be launching something new and exciting which we hope will make a real difference and see a sponsor on our shirts for the new season. Look out for the launch on the Club website and all our usual social media channels.

If you have time over the next few days can I please ask you to take part in the Football Supporters’ Association (thefsa.org.uk) fans survey about you think football should return. The results will feed into FA & league consultations on the safe return of football.

On that note, following the Government’s announcement on Thursday afternoon regarding the return of recreational sport, we received the following update from The FA on Friday morning:

We welcome the announcement and publication of the Government’s return to recreational sport framework today which means we can look forward to the safe return of competitive grassroots football.

 We are now working to submit a comprehensive action plan and related guidance for Government approval as outlined in DCMS’s publication.  Once approved, we will publish new guidance for the grassroots football community.  We will confirm timings as soon as we are able.  In the meantime, competitive grassroots football can prepare to return and look forward to the start of the new season.

Please continue to refer to the latest guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity which came into effect from 4th July until a further update is provided, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19. Please also note that guidance is being developed for clubs with teams competing in the National League System (NLS) and will be shared with those clubs directly in due course.

Whilst there is still no confirmed start date for the new season, we have already starting looking at and planning for the return of football to Hayden Road and we look forward to receiving more detailed information in the coming days and weeks. As soon as there is anything more to report, we will let everyone know. In the meantime, please be patient as it is important that we ensure that when football returns, it is safe for supporters, players and officials.

Finally, as always, please remain safe and keep up to date with the emerging Covid-19 guidance from the Government and Public Health England which can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus