Gloucester City AFC would like to take this opportunity to further address the lack of communication to the fans and to give an update on goings on at the Club.
We met with the Supporter’s Trust last Tuesday in the wake of recent events and to work with them on getting answers and providing a better communication plan for our supporters. During a passionate yet productive meeting, the concerns and questions of our supporters were eloquently and directly delivered to the Club by the Trust Board members present.
There were questions raised and issues recognised by both sides which needed to be addressed and we shall endeavour to answer them within this statement.
Communication from the top level has been non-existent regarding both the management structure and developments at Meadow Park.
We as an organisation take full responsibility and whole heartedly apologise.
Our lack of communication regarding these issues, was not due to a disregard for our Supporters but due to projects we’re undertaking to rectify these issues not coming to full fruition just yet. Therefore, having little to update and rather than give our fans news on incomplete developments, we wished to complete on projects and provide a full succinct update as to work done and the next steps.
We have in place a plan to provide a monthly update on all club matters via the website and via a newsletter emailed to season ticket holders and Supporters Trust members 24-48 hours before its general release.
Internal communications are also being addressed and we are talking to one of our sponsors who will be hosting an official email exchange which shall support the new management structure and give supporters official points of contact for various matters. The Management Board are meeting tomorrow with an agenda to address structure with a meeting between the owners, directors and Supporter’s Trust Board also due to take place this week.
We also recognise that our lack of communication has created a vacuum which has been filled with rumours on social media and on the fan forum. The Supporter’s Trust Board were very vocal at our meeting that we should answer the points being raised, which we shall do now.
The telecoms mast was installed under the previous owners’ instruction on a long term lease with no thought given to the future expansion of the Club and stadium. The mast was installed incorrectly meaning it overlapped into another property title. This meant that due to a loop hole, we could force the telecommunications company to relocate the mast, however we were unable to apply for and enforce this until we’d received full planning permission for Meadow Park. Once planning had been approved, this was done immediately. The base has already been installed in the far left hand corner, where it should’ve been located originally and we are now waiting on a date when the specialist technicians can come in and relocate it, which we’re expecting in the coming weeks.
The ground is being raised as part of the flood alleviation plan and once this process is completed we need to allow a number of months for the settlement of the soil. Pyramids of earth are being created to assist settlement of the ground beneath it. Whilst the ground is settling, we can then engage further with our various funding channels, including the FA funding for the pitch laying and further ground developments.
There are no planning permissions either in place or in the application process for housing of any kind. Eamonn McGurk has made it clear and never wavered in his commitment to building the ground and bringing Gloucester City home.
The Club is not going into administration.
The Club is not applying for voluntary relegation and we have no intention of applying. We want to stay in this league and recently, despite the board backing several loan signings over the beginning of the season which have not worked out as intended, results have not gone our way. We recognise that this is contrary to the efforts of our first team and hope that our new managerial appointment will not only bring stability to a period of doubt and unrest but with it a new energy and upturn in results.
Off the pitch, the directors have been working in different areas to provide the club with alternative revenue streams.
One Director has been instrumental in using their business contacts to engage with local businesses and now that significant work has been completed on the ground, they will be hosting various commercial days down at Meadow Park to gain financial support through sponsorship for the rest of the season and beyond.
Another director has been working on the community foundation project that will allow us to apply for further funding through charitable donations and by encompassing our ladies team, enabling us to apply for further FA funding.
Both projects are to ensure that the Club’s reliance on the major shareholders’ donations diminishes gradually, continuing when we are based back at Meadow Park, where we can begin to generate our own income through events, hospitality on match days and other streams of commercial revenue such as digital sponsorship via the currently in development new website.
Taking a moment to recognise all of the work carried out by those who have resigned in recent weeks, Gloucester City AFC cannot begin to express our thanks and gratitude for Tim Harris, Mike Dunstan and Nick Priest for all of their work in keeping Gloucester City at our current level and for their continued support and work in the background.
Despite these resignations, we as a club remain positive. Projects are in place to explore new revenue streams to move away from shareholder reliance, we have a restructuring plan to alleviate the burden on the volunteers, a communications plan to keep you, our supporters, updated as to club progress and shareholders who remain resolute in their commitment to be back at Meadow Park for the end of the 2018/2019 season.
We are a Club who have survived great tragedy in losing our home and no doubt recent times have been difficult. However, we ask that you continue to support the team, the personnel who run the Club and continue to work with us to bring the team home and realise the full potential of this incredible Club.
To that end, Eamonn McGurk had this to add,
“I want to personally thank Tim, Mike and Nick for what they did for this Club. Their loss has been heavily felt by not only the Club volunteers and supporters but by me as well. I’ve not come out to make a statement over the last few days as both myself and the directors have been working hard to put in place the budget and Manager to see us compete in this league through the second part of this season, which is an appointment we hope to announce this week.
I also want to personally congratulate Tom Webb for reaching 700 games this past Saturday. He continues to be an incredible ambassador for the Club both on and off the field and hope he’ll continue to break records and realise his ambition of playing for the team when we get back to Meadow Park. With regards to the ground, as the Club have advised, I’ve never wavered in my commitment to building the ground and to bringing Gloucester City Football Club home.”