Monday, 25 October 2010

Clubbing together

Oliver Ash
I didn’t see the Wealdstone game on Saturday (the Ryman is not screened live in France yet unfortunately...) but I hear from Bill the performance was encouraging.

Obviously that is good news. One point is welcome but on the other hand we need a few three-pointers quickly otherwise we’ll be marooned at the wrong end of the table. So please keep backing our boys and they’ll come good very soon, I’m sure.

We’re working as quickly as possible to reorganise the club, deal with the pressing financial issues and agree the new ground plan. It is vital we design the right project before we launch the specific new fundraising and commercial activities because that is the key attraction. We know that we will have to plan a fairly basic design at first simply because of the cost. As and when the club starts to earn revenue we can hopefully extend and improve accordingly.

We have already stated we aim for a budget of £1 million and even this is tight if we want to include all the essentials, clubhouse, stand, car parking, floodlighting and of course artificial pitch. Our preference is for this pitch for all the obvious reasons – it generates revenues, it brings all the club’s teams together on one site, it enables first team games to go ahead in bad weather and it encourages good football.

However we will have to investigate fully the implications for playing at other levels now and taking a view on future prospects before we take a final decision. We don’t know this yet so please be patient.

Next up is Croydon Athletic away on Wednesday, followed by the FA Trophy against Cray Wanderers on Saturday. Here's to wins in both of those games.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A case for the future

Terry Casey
Reading the national newspapers and listening and watching the news I felt a great deal of sympathy for the supporters of Liverpool FC as their American owners seemed to have little understanding of what a football club means to a community.

I strongly believe that a football club can be an important part of a community and the ownership of a club should reflect that importance.

During many of the interviews and news coverage of the Liverpool situation the question “why would anyone want to own a football club” has constantly cropped up. Over the past few months I have wondered myself why I have chosen to invest into a business which history tells us can only bring aggravation.  I will try to explain my reasons and attempt to convince myself that what I am doing makes some sense.

For most genuine football supporters the club they supported as a boy should remain their team forever. It should always be the team whose result is the first they look for every Saturday. For me having been born in Maidstone and having been taken to see them at The Athletic Ground as a boy means that Maidstone United is my team.

Sadly my team has been homeless for twenty years and it means that the sense of community has been lost and can only return once the team returns to Maidstone.  I want my club to play in Maidstone and this explains one of the reasons that I chose to get involved.

Another justification for my involvement was the fact that unless Oliver, Bill and I stepped in there would no longer be a Maidstone United and I wasn’t prepared to let that happen. I couldn’t imagine the town not having a football club and added to the possibility that I might in some way help the team return to the town made the temptation to become involved too great to resist.

Oliver, Bill and I can only promise to try to achieve this ambition as our investments will not be enough to build the stadium but it has ensured the club’s immediate safety. It also enables the three of us to approach local people to try to tempt them the way that we have been attracted to the possibility of achieving something momentous.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Grounds for optimism

Oliver Ash
I did enjoy the game on Saturday although the result was not as good as we had all hoped it would be.

There was a good atmosphere about Homelands in the sunshine and it was tempting to dream of picking up the marvellous main stand and dropping it onto Whatman Way.

As for the team - well you could see the effort was there and that was reassuring; we were unlucky although we didn’t take our chances, particularly in the first half. As for the referee the less said the better……

Thank you to all of you supporters who came forward with their best wishes for Terry, Bill and me. Your support is what we need right now because we are going into the heart of the season with a tremendous amount of work to do on and off the field.

Please come to Ashford and support the team every time you can and bring along as many friends and family as possible. Let’s keep up the positive atmosphere, it’s good for all concerned.

Meanwhile we’re starting to work on the future. The various plans you’ve been hearing about are going to take shape over the next few weeks. Nothing is really set in stone yet, we’ll be taking our time to decide exactly how to: 1. Raise further funds for the ground building, 2. Get you, the supporters, involved more fully in the club through an issue of shares.

Don’t worry if things aren’t clear yet or readymade, please be patient.  We’re doing our utmost to achieve our aims as soon as possible and we’ll try and keep you informed as to decisions.

Thanks again for your support!