With Christmas fast approaching it seemed a good time to offer an update on things here at the Bob Lucas.
Recently questions have been raised about our financial position, how the club is recovering and what does the future look like. The financial position is significantly healthier than this time last year and we are continuing to make steady progress on our road to recovery. There are a few factors around this, primarily the careful financial management of the business and increased revenues on non-matchday and matchday, we have been fortunate to have picked up some great sponsors and commercially we have grown. Of course, we continually look at ways of increasing revenue streams whilst being mindful of supporter’s pockets especially in these tough economic times. For most of our supporters I guess the big question is how does this effect our playing budget? It is under constant review, and we are hopeful of being able to support a slightly increased budget that will allow some wriggle room.
Unfortunately, we have been given some ground grading improvements that we will have to spend money on to enable us to keep our National League rating. Primarily we have to install new changing facilities for match officials and increase the size of them to meet the new criteria, on top of this many of you will have noticed that the gates around the pitch are not in the best of health and are going to be replaced along with some other work on turnstiles and to be honest the maintenance list is a lengthy one which we continue to work through. If you recall back in the summer the Tony Hobson stand was closed due to some necessary maintenance to keep it open for the season. Whilst we have factored in maintenance work to the businesses budget some of these projects like the changing rooms were unknown and have had to been prioritised. We are working with the Football Foundation in order acquire grants to help with these projects.
I have been asked about having a fans forum which I am more than happy to do so in the New Year once we have got through Christmas.
We have several events to look forward to in the New Year. We will be hosting the annual Hall of Fame evening, hopefully a sportsman’s dinner. On-top of this we will be having a school’s day with local Schools being given tickets, this had been planned for before Christmas but had to be rescheduled, an ex-players day will be hosted which will be a great day to catch up with former favourites.
The community arm of the Club is growing and hopefully it will start to become more prominent in the New Year as we look to build our relationships with schools and the wider community.
This year’s foodbank and toy appeal was very well supported by you all, as was the money we raised for Andy’s Man club and the Veterans Hub.
A lot has happened in this first part of the season not all good and some very difficult to deal with, some extremely difficult decisions have been made but we will continue to do what we can to push forward and bring positivity to 2024 as we say goodbye to 2023.
I thank you all as supporters, volunteers, sponsors, staff, players and board members for your support and take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Paul Maitland – Chairman Weymouth FC.