Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Just the ticket

Terry Casey
There has been some interest over the ticket pricing for next season and I thought I would take this opportunity to explain the thinking behind asking supporters to pay £10 for a ticket.

The first and most important point to make is, as many of you know, the club has to pay £2 of the admission price to HMRC and therefore only receives £8.  Furthermore, as the club did not pay any VAT for the previous four years, we have now been forced to set out a re-payment programme which hopefully will eventually re-pay the £25k the club currently owes. Not paying the VAT could jeopardise the very existence of the club.

Please also consider the club’s ambitions both on and off the pitch. We have a stadium to build that will cost £1.6million and will give the club a home after more than 20 years in exile.  Many of the supporters of the club feel that one day we may return to the football league which seems realistic after seeing AFC Wimbledon achieve that feat. Our potential and ambitions is far greater than any other club in the Ryman South so to compare Maidstone United FC to others in the league is like comparing apples to oranges.

Even with the ticket prices as they are we have no hope of meeting the costs of the next season through the turnstiles alone. Our average attendance was 311 at Ashford but our loyal supporters are our best chance of at least coming close to the £170k required to keep the club afloat.

I am unashamedly asking the supporters to help the club by paying an extra £1 or £2 more than Whitstable Town or Ramsgate are asking. Every single penny that comes through the turnstiles goes to the survival of the football club. Nobody receives a wage for what we do and Oliver and I will have invested over £1million into the club to both ensure its very existence and to make sure that we play our games back in Maidstone.

I am not seeking anything from the supporters except their support by their attendance at matches in return we will put a team on the pitch that you can be proud and that will give us a realistic hope for promotion next season.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Much to learn, much to achieve

Bill Williams
My two fellow directors Terry and Oliver have agreed to me posting a blog this week, as I have to go into hospital for a procedure and will not be around the club for up to six weeks convalescing.

You will have noticed however, like all good football people, I made sure that nothing interfered with the football season!

There has been much to learn, both on and off the pitch this season. As we make huge strides in bringing the club back home for August 2012, the great escape to keep us out of relegation didn’t quite go as we’d hoped.

At the end it was a very close affair, winning five out of those last possible six was a magnificent effort and, on reflection, had Jay been appointed earlier in the season who knows!

What we have to do now is build on that type of commitment and desire that we all witnessed and come back stronger and more determined.

With Jay agreeing to take on the manager’s job, expectations will be high. The task ahead for him will not be easy. There has never been a “please bounce back first time” situation that has ever been easy. But in Jay Saunders I do believe that we have a very young, determined and astute manager, who certainly has the ability to find the players, motivate and create a winning mentality.

All that we all need to do for now is focus on the coming season and Maidstone United’s return home in August 2012. Terry, Oliver and I, along with everyone at the club, will continue to work towards getting our new stadium built and the team management will work towards getting us back into the Ryman Premier Division at the first attempt.

The passion for the club’s future is plain for all to see. We all have to now work together to make sure that we do not lose this wonderful opportunity over the weeks and months ahead to complete the job of building the stadium and a creating a new team to bring us a championship to that new stadium.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Planning for the future of our club

Terry Casey with Ellis Green

I was so delighted that Jay had persuaded Ellis Green to commit to Maidstone United that I felt compelled to meet with the player and speak to him about the plans and ambitions that we have at the football club.

I had thought that because of Ellis’s performances we would be unlikely to be able to keep him especially as a number of the clubs he had played against immediately made offers to him. Most of the approaches were better in financial terms than our offer but because of his high regard for Jay Saunders and his immediate affinity with the supporters he wanted to stay with the club as he felt he could enjoy his football with Maidstone. I personally feel that Ellis is one of the most promising and exciting talents in non-league football so his signature on a contract is a very significant signing for the club.

Next season will throw up different challenges for the players and management of Maidstone United Football club as there is now an expectancy that we will win promotion at the first attempt and the promotion will coincide with our return to Maidstone. I share that expectancy and there should be no excuses for any failure to achieve this ambition. 

To meet the wage roll of the players and pay the bills for the 2011/2012 season will require about £160,000.  To enable the club to meet this target until the end of next season we need the help of the supporters. Please join the lottery and try to get your friends to join as our target is a thousand players each week which will give the club £4,000 a month and mean that we can go some way to making the club financially solvent. Alternatively you can make direct donations to the club which will also help pay for the day to day running of the club.  

The offices that we use cost the club nothing, the club doesn’t have any administration charges and doesn’t pay anyone salaries. All the work that is done comes at no cost and is done by an army of people who are utterly dedicated to the football club. Any money that you donate either directly or through the lottery will be used trying to achieve success on the pitch or survival off the pitch.   

All of these activities are separate from the work that we are doing in raising the money to build the stadium. We are having meetings with Maidstone Borough Council who are helping to guide us through the numerous alterations to the original planning permission that was originally granted. I am sure you are keen to know that there have been a number of slow worms found on the site and they have been escorted successfully to a nature reserve.

The building of the sub-station will begin in August and we are looking at fencing part of the site as our next job. We are having meetings with local businesses as we are looking for a main shirt sponsor for the next two seasons.