On behalf of the AFC R&D Board, thank you for taking the time to read this update, written at the point where we are half-way through the current lockdown, which prevents football from being played. As with the updates which we issued during the previous COVID-19 lockdown, I hope this helps to keep you informed about the challenges which the Club faces and how we are addressing these.
At the time of writing we have received news from the Southern League that, assuming the current restrictions are lifted on December 2nd, the scheduled restart of the season is December 12th, although there is the provision that clubs can start earlier if agreed with the scheduled opposition. The regular season is due to finish as planned on 8th May. We also must fit in new date for our postponed Trophy Game against Peterborough Sports. As I’m sure everyone will understand it will take a few days for Club Secretaries to be able to confirm precise details, but as soon as dates are confirmed we will let you know.
Other than not training and playing football, work still goes on at the Club. This is a scheduled busy period for the Board as we have our normal Monthly Board Meeting, our new six-month interim budget review as well as the ongoing monthly activities of each sub-committee of the Board.
At the Board Meeting we adopted a Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 which sets out the Board’s vison and direction for the Club. In the next few weeks, we will make available to AFC R&D Members both a summary of the Strategic Plan and how Members can engage in the annual development and review of this plan from 2021 onwards. If you would like to either renew your AFC R&D Membership for 2020-2021 or to purchase membership for the first time, you can do so here.
The six-month interim financial review is part of our revised budget management process for the Club as a whole. It allows us to look back at the first two quarters of the year, focusing on the outturn of the budget and forecast for the next two quarters as well as to action any necessary adjustments. The lockdown means that we are able to consider the government’s COVID-19 support. Therefore, we will be applying to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Discretionary).
Since forming for the 2020-21 “term” in the summer, the Board have established a new Communication, Marketing and Digital Committee. The primary aim of the committee is to improve the club’s engagement from and to our Members, the wider fanbase and community at large, including local and regional and wider businesses, through driving content and initiatives that these groups are able engage with and find of interest. One of the committee’s first initiatives was the new “Rushin & Rantin” Podcast. The first episode was launched this Tuesday we will be hoping to be with you at least once a month initially. You can download the first episode at Anchor: https://www.breaker.audio/rushin-and-rantin or one of the platforms listed here: https://www.afcdiamonds.com/rushin-rantin-podcast-launched/
I am also delighted to say we have been selected as one of the local causes to be supported by the Coop Local Community Programme over the next few months. More details will be provided in a separate news story shortly. Essentially if you are a Coop Member you can choose AFCR&D as your nominated local cause and 2p in every £1 of qualifying purchases will automatically go to our project, while you will also receive 2p in every £1. This is a fantastic scheme by the Coop so please give them your support; store details to follow.
Finally, representatives of the Club had the pleasure of being interviewed and filmed at Hayden Road by BT Sport on Saturday. This was for a feature on the progress of reformed football clubs which is currently planned to be aired in Spring, 2021. As soon as further details are made available, we will let you know.
As always please keep safe. Remember you can keep up to date with the government’s advice here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.