It is no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic is hitting football clubs of all levels hard, particularly non-league. Indeed, it is hitting the entire nation hard.
At times like these, football pales into insignificance. We have the most pressing of concerns at the front of our minds. As a club, we urge everyone to observe their responsibilities to their families and the community first and foremost by following the government’s social distancing protocol and staying home to save lives.
Your number one priority right now should be to look after your friends and family.
THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS
I would like to take a moment to thank our incredible supporters for the season so far. Whichever way the it ends up being finished, you have turned up in record numbers and created brilliant atmospheres at The Brewery Field (and a few other grounds).
The players, management, staff and officials at Spennymoor Town FC thank you for your support.
We have focused on two things this season off the pitch: making improvements to the matchday experience and embedding the club further into the County Durham community.
We have carried out significant development projects within the ground and enriched our matchdays with new experiences, activities, venues and offers. Feedback has suggested these tactics have been successful, although there is still plenty of work to do to fulfil the extent of our ambition in this area.
We have also engaged with more businesses and community organisations than ever before. Our Academy has grown to more than 550 young people and its footprint is now close to 2,000. We have exciting plans in place, which we believe will improve youth football for the better in County Durham.
Our business club is flourishing with positive outcomes already achieved for its members. Our work with schools has seen more than 20 Community Partners come into the club and take part in engagement measures such as story competitions, free ticket offers and even designing our mascot.
We have been extremely unfortunate that the current situation has resulted in our first ever international fixture being postponed. We held early stages of a national youth football competition at our ground, which was delivered to critical acclaim. We have even hosted a training session for the England Lionesses, two days before they faced Brazil at The Riverside, which felt like a momentous occasion for all of us at the club and was an experience we learned a lot from. That is the absolute pinnacle of the game in this country and Spennymoor is now involved in it.
Your continued support and understanding is very much appreciated by everyone at the club. We are waiting to hear the decision from the League on what will happen with the rest of the season. But, when The Brewery Field re-opens its turnstiles, we’ll be there with open arms to welcome every one of you back.
THE CLUB’S IMMEDIATE FUTURE
The club’s immediate future is obviously a concern for all of us. We operate to an annual budget, with specific targets for income. A proportion of that income is no longer possible now matchdays are not taking place. Meanwhile, The Moors Tavern has closed its doors for the foreseeable future.
There is no club in non-league football who is immune to the worries of the next few months; and many in the football league are in the same position.
We have worked with our partners and creditors to postpone and defer any variable costs where we can. They have been gracious and helpful – a measure of the excellent relationships we’ve built with organisations over the years.
The main positive for Spennymoor is that we still have a revenue stream outside of football and it is of benefit to the wider business community. During normal operation, this revenue stream can be a competitive advantage to the club. But now, we need it to continue to cover the costs the club incurs even without matches being played.
I’m referring to our commercial relationship with cost saving consultancy Great Annual Savings Group (GAS), which is owned by our Chief Executive Brad Groves. The firm specialises in helping other businesses reduce their outgoing costs. GAS can help minimise a business’ expenditure in utilities, telecoms, broadband, payment machines, electric vehicle charging, waste management and many more areas classified as “variable costs”.
Of course, GAS’ team of experts have helped the club itself in all of these areas to be as efficient as possible. The team there can be an asset to businesses around the UK in this time of crisis and potentially offer advice which can boost finances.
This commercial relationship works by the club being a referral partner to GAS. For every successful referral to the Group, we are paid a fee. This has proven useful so far this season and will be priceless over the coming weeks and months to help us earn revenue.
However, it relies on a pipeline of constant new referrals. This is where you can come in.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE CLUB
We have received messages of support from our sponsors, suppliers and supporters asking how they can help, which are greatly appreciated. The answer is very simple. Help us by referring business to GAS through the club. Do you own a business? Do you know business owners? Working with GAS has always been useful for businesses, but can be extra-valuable in our current situation where they are being put under pressure like never before.
To make a referral, simply email our Business Development Manager, Chris Bonas. Email a referral, or contact Chris with any questions by emailing: [email protected]
Additionally, we have been asked about accepting cash donations. We have set up the means to do this through our online club shop, although we are not promoting this heavily as we appreciate people have pressing financial priorities of their own at present.
If you feel inclined to do so, you can donate here: https://spennymoortownfc.co.uk/product/make-a-donation/
My closing message would be to urge everyone to follow the guidelines set out by the government. Please consider your neighbours and the families you live beside when you’re purchasing food and other essentials so everyone can get what they need. Look after the vulnerable in your family, even if that means not seeing them for a few weeks.
The club’s communication channels remain open. Check our “contact us” section of the website if you need to speak to someone, where you can direct your message to the most appropriate person.
Our media team are doing a terrific job of keeping us entertained with a constant stream of nostalgic and unique content on our social media channels. So, keep an eye on those channels and stay connected to the club.
Treat others the way you’d like to be treated in exceptional circumstances and stay safe over the coming weeks.
Spe nemo ruet
With hope, nobody shall fail.
Managing Director, Spennymoor Town FC