Chairman’s Update #25 – 5 September 2020

Welcome to the latest weekly update from the Board.

Firstly, I would like to express our sympathy to Burton Park Wanderers FC who were due to make their debut in the FA Cup this week with a televised extra-preliminary round tie against AFC Sudbury. Unfortunately, due to one of their players testing positive for Covid-19, they had to withdraw from the competition and forfeit the tie. There were a further 3 clubs around the country who found themselves in the same position. The loss of income and, particularly for Burton Park Wanderers, the loss of TV income is substantial at a time when clubs have had no significant income for many months. This highlights the fragility of the situation which we are all faced with at this current time and the need to ensure that we are all aware of our surroundings at all times. On behalf of the Board, I want to reassure you that we will continue to do everything we can to make visits to Hayden Road as safe as we can. However, we cannot, and will not, make decisions that reduces the level of safety in the ground. Sometimes it may feel like the arrangements in place bring in too many restraints and drawbacks but the measures in place are there to help protect everyone. Many of our walkways around the ground are under 2m wide which makes it very difficult to have 2 way flows of spectators. We have received useful feedback from supporters following our opening pre-season matches and we are looking at ways in which we can improve things ahead of the first scheduled home League match. However, for the time-being, the measures as detailed here –https://www.afcdiamonds.com/documents/AFCR&DCOVID19MatchDay.pdf – will remain in place and we thank you all for your continued co-operation with these.

If you have any comments to make and/or constructive feedback please continue to email them to support@afcdiamonds.com; and we can see if we can make them work.

We are delighted to confirm that Shield Labour Solutions Limited (SLS) have agreed to become our Away & 3rd Kit Shirt Sponsor for the 2020/21 season. In addition, SLS will continue to be home and away shirt sponsor for our Academy Under 16 side. Commercial Director John Gregory is delighted to have secured a sponsor for the First Team Away & 3rd shirts “SLS became an Academy shirt sponsor last season and will continue to sponsor our Under 16 Academy squad this season. I am very grateful and indebted to Shield Labour Solutions Limited for extending their support of the club in such a big way. Gareth Bough SLS Operations Director said “As a business we are proud to offer our support to such a developing club as Diamonds. We hope they can once again push for greater things over the years to come.”

You will also have seen that the Trident Leagues, made up of the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues, have secured a new sponsorship deal this week replacing BetVictor. Pitching In will be sponsoring across the leagues at Steps 3 and 4. More details and information can be found here – https://southern-football-league.co.uk/news/125786/Pitching-In-Revealed-as-New-Partner-for-the-Southern-League/

As we head towards the start of the season, Managers across the Club are busy finalising their teams. The U21s started their season this morning away at Barwell FC U21s and the U18 Northants Senior Youth League season starts this week with the U18s playing at Hayden Road on Thursday evening. There are a range of sponsorship opportunities across the Club available, including player sponsorship, and details can be found here –http://www.afcdiamondsshop.com/sponsorship.asp.

Club 2020 membership is still available and we have various packages available for local companies looking to advertise their business which be tailored to suit individual needs. Please contact John Gregory on 07788 102430 for further details.

Season tickets and memberships are also still available. Please remember that we are likely to be operating under reduced capacity at Hayden Road for some time so it’s particularly important to secure your space at the ground now. Full details including prices can be found here – http://www.afcdiamondsshop.com/tickets.asp

Our online fundraising quizzes are back! The next one will be held on Thursday, 17th September 2020. Please contact Glenis Haynes on 07870 332606 if you would like to take part and have some fun, while helping to raise funds for the Club.

Finally, please remember take good care of yourself and your loved ones and keep up-to-date with all the national and local government and public health advice regarding Covid-19. The most up-to-date advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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