Chairman’s Update #27 – 19 September 2020

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my final weekly Update before the start of the new season.

When myself and my fellow board members started writing these updates back in March, we wanted to open up a new channel of communication with all our Members, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, employees and players to keep everyone informed about the situation the Club was in. I hope you have found them useful, informative and given you a real insight to some of the challenges and successes within the Club over the last six months. If you have any feedback, positive or constructive about the updates and about what communication you’d like to see from the Club moving forward, please feel free to let me know by emailing me at ralph.burditt@afcdiamonds.com.

As you will recall, back in March when we’d just been told there would be no more football in the 2019/20 season, the Club faced an incredibly difficult financial position. This was due to losing the match day revenue from one third of home games and the loss of our main shirt sponsor, while many fixed costs remained. At one point, there was a genuine risk of AFC R&D going out of business. Since then, as a result of hard work, support and generous donations from a great many people, I am delighted to say that things are now significantly better and we are now entering 2020/21 on a firm financial footing.

There have been many positive actions and initiatives over the intervening months that have helped us get to this position including:

  • Members renewing their new annual Membership early, and new Members joining
  • Season ticket holders buying 2020-2021 tickets early
  • Existing and new Sponsors continuing to support the Club
  • The growing success of the Team Building Lottery
  • The Launch of Club2020
  • The “name in the shirt” initiative
  • The Home Shirt Sponsor Raffle
  • Receipt of various grants from East Northamptonshire Council, Sport England and the Football Foundation plus the government’s schemes to protect employees and business support packages
  • The “900 Club” Membership initiative
  • The launch of virtual Quiz nights
  • The brilliant support of volunteers, employees and contractors in getting Hayden Road ready for the new season including the increased summer pitch improvement works and COVID-19 Secure works.

These are only some examples of the activities over the period, but emphasise the huge amount of work carried out by everyone connected with AFC Rushden & Diamonds. It’s what makes our Club so special. On behalf of the Board I would reiterate our thanks to for their support over the last few months.

Last week I told you about the capacity restrictions which will be in place at Hayden Road to comply with the COVID-19 Secure requirements. Originally, we estimated that the capacity would be limited to 397, however, following experience from the preseason games and ground arrangements we have been able to increase the capacity to 450 for the upcoming matches. All games will therefore remain all ticket to support Track and Trace and monitor attendance levels. We have also been able to make some changes to the ground arrangements by reducing capacity to give some limited 2 way routes to enable access to the toilets, Dale’s Bar and Food Point, using exit and entry gates on Hayden Road. Full details are available in the Match Day Notice to Supporters which you can find on the website later. It is essential that all supporters visiting Hayden Road comply the arrangements.

We also have a new vacancy for the Shop Manager – https://www.afcdiamonds.com/club-vacancy-shop-manager/. It’s a volunteer role and can be an individual or split across a number of people in a team. It’s an important role managing and staffing the shop as well as dealing with suppliers and customers. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Matt Ward at finance@afcdiamonds.com.

Finally please keep safe, enjoy your football and keep up to date with the government’s advice here: https//www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

One Fan, ONE vote, one community, one club

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