Saturday, 5 May 2012

Taking shape at The Gallagher Stadium

Oliver Ash
Every day means another chance to see the pictures and photos of the Gallagher Stadium taking shape. 

It's a very exciting time for everyone connected with the club. The contractors, our project managers Prime, Terry and Bill, and all the well-known club officials (including a few familiar new faces in new jobs) are all working flat out now to get it all done on time.
The ground has become green this last week and what a difference that makes. It suddenly looks like a football ground, which is a good job really. Getting the pitch laid and trouble-shooting every day to solve problems is a real challenge. 3G pitches, particularly when they will be used for senior matches in main stadia, are an unknown quantity; not much experience exists of installing them; independent advice of quality is hard to come by; empirical evidence even rarer. So we are having to make difficult decisions at times and we trust we won't come to regret too many of them when we see how it all looks and plays.
Our group of clubs, 3G4US, is going strong and lobbying for greater awareness and change on 3G pitches. We are eagerly awaiting feedback from the Football League after their survey, to which many of you contributed. Even more so because we are targeting automatic promotion this season. We want to progress up the pyramid as quickly as sensible business performance will allow us. 

In a nutshell that means that as long as enough supporters come to games, drink and eat in the clubhouse, buy merchandise, join our future membership scheme, play the lottery etc. and as long as local businesses support our sponsorship and advertising campaigns then we will generate enough revenues to afford a top quality team and infrastructure.
In addition we will have a pitch to hire out, a car park to fill, an academy to operate and a clubhouse/ bar events centre to manage profitably. The more revenues that all generates the more we can invest in due course into the football club. We won't go down the road of other football models where owners' or bank money is thrown at the first team and insufficient revenues are deemed irrelevant until the ship starts to sink. 

That's why we need all of you, including hundreds of new followers we will meet at the Brighton game, to keep behind us on and off the field so the business works well. Then we can realistically hope to be able to jump up at least couple of levels in the next few seasons. And that's why we want to get change on 3G sooner rather than later because you will know that under current rules the Conference has not yet agreed to allow 3G.
We are working with Jay to reorganise the squad for next season and give ourselves the best chance possible of achieving this aim. The new stadium and quality turf will give quality players the chance to show their skills; it will be such a different surface to the ones we're used to; looking like Wembley, genuine skills will be at a premium; luck will be less important than elsewhere. I for one, cannot wait to see the first few games and savour the spectacle!

Thanks for all your support.