Bringing people together: club photographer raises £940

Spennymoor Town FC’s club photographer has raised almost a thousand pounds for charity after bringing together supporters, players, sponsors and other clubs.

David Nelson, who has photographed the Moors for more than six years, was spurred into action by the coronavirus crisis and wanted to galvanise people’s love of sporting moments to support local efforts.

David auctioned off high-quality prints of some of the club’s greatest recent moments, signed by the likes of players Andrew Johnson, Glen Taylor and Ryan Hall.

Taylor prints in particular proved popular, attracting interest from further afield than County Durham.  The Moors hitman’s late winner over Chorley at the end of last season helped Stockport clinch promotion to the National League, making him a cult hero with Hatters fans.  A number of decided they wanted a print signed by the man himself and leapt at the opportunity to contribute.

Half of the £940 raised has now been paid to the Covid-19 Emergency Appeal and the remaining half has been split between charities close to the club and the surrounding area: Solan Connor Fawcett, Heel and Toe and the Great North Air Ambulance.

David was surprised at the levels the donations reached, but is thrilled with the final outcome.

He said: “There are a lot of people who need to be thanked for helping us reach this total.

“Thanks to the players for giving their time to sign the prints.  Thanks to the Moors supporters for their generosity and the Stockport County supporters for their brilliant contribution to the fundraising. 

“A big thank you must also go to club sponsor Aztec Colour Print for the speedy, quality turnaround.  Director Lee Redford printed the second batch at no cost after we sold out of the first batch in under 24 hours.  That helped boost the total further.

“Thanks also to Rob Ramshaw, who has bought a print himself which he’s going to give to the club to be placed in the Sports Bar.

“I’d like to continue fundraising and raise some cash for the club itself soon, so keep an eye out for some more opportunities.”

Adam Brown, Director of Marketing and Communications at Spennymoor Town FC, said: “David always does the club proud whenever he’s representing us and he’s gone one step further again today.

“He’s a credit to the club and the town and it is testament to the quality of his work that people leapt at the opportunity to own limited edition prints of his photography.

“He has been busy thanking people for their help raising the funds, but I think it is important that we all take a moment to thank David.”

 

A signed print of Glen Taylor scoring the winner vs Chorley
A signed print of Glen Taylor’s magic moment against Chorley last season
Coach issues instructions to kids on a football pitch

Academy earns national accreditation

Spennymoor Town’s academy is celebrating after earning the Football Association’s highest chartered accreditation.

Spennymoor Town Youth FC has been recognised for providing the most advanced level of youth football provision possible for its players by being awarded FA Charter Standard Community Club Status.

This achievement puts the club at the pinnacle of the grassroots youth game in England.

The accreditation is a standard of excellence for all grassroots clubs to aim for, which encourages clubs to employ top-class standards to allow people to enjoy football in the best possible environment.

Charter Standard Community Clubs receive a range of opportunities including applications for funding, tailored FA support, coaching and exposure to help retain players and volunteers.

The criteria that clubs must meet to become chartered include effective and robust policies and codes of conduct; a specified level of coaching qualifications; and clear pathways with development plans for young people within the club.

Spennymoor Town Youth FC’s links with the County Durham community have seen the club surpass the minimum criteria and secure prestigious Community Club status – the highest accolade the FA can give a grassroots club.

Andy Lowe, Head of Academy at Spennymoor Town FC, said: “In the past nine months we have developed a partnership with the National League Trust.  As a continuation of this we have now achieved this wonderful accreditation, which is a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time.

“We are very clear on what we want to achieve at this youth football club.  We want to develop people, players and coaches to a level whereby they foster a life-long love of the sport.

“We now have 600 members of our football club, including new age-appropriate coaching programmes; school and community programmes; a new girls’ programme; and a ladies’ team who have just been crowned champions of their league.  Not forgetting the club’s senior men’s team in the National League North.

“We have worked hard to embed our ‘One Club’ ethos throughout the last 12 months and by everyone working together for the love of football, we have seen this result in some real achievements, such as this accreditation.

“Our structure and five-year strategy have now been recognised and we’ll certainly be challenged to deliver on this and achieve new levels of progress.

“Achieving FA Community Club Status requires a significant amount of time to make it through a robust application process.  It has been a team effort and I’d like to express my gratitude to our volunteer coaches, club officials, specialist coaches, players and parents.

“Everyone at the club should be extremely proud.”

 

FA Charter Standard Community Club Status is valid for 12 months and is reassessed every year to ensure a club is maintaining its levels of excellence.

 

How you can continue to support Spennymoor Town

It goes without saying that Spennymoor Town FC is facing a difficult few months.  Despite the clarity provided by the National League’s announcement last week, which ended the 2019/20 season, we are still no clearer on when football could potentially return.

The club’s financial team have efficiently minimised outgoings where possible, but there are still expenses we need to pay regularly.

As always, the club is focused on providing excellent value for supporters and is currently modelling options for season tickets for next season.  Our view is that we want supporters to concentrate on themselves and their own financial situations, without being concerned about securing season tickets.

We are not likely to have a start date for 2020/21 any time soon and we want to have some guidance on when this could be before making season tickets available.

 

Support from the Chief Executive

As covered in a previous update, Brad Groves has agreed to personally cover the financial shortfall in the club’s academy, Spennymoor Town Youth FC.  He is continuing to do so to protect youth football in the area, which he is passionate about continuing to grow.

Mr Groves is also providing support for the Moors Tavern and the club’s permanent staff to ensure we can keep people working who need to maintain essential areas, such as the pitch and ground facilities.  We are now carrying out some end-of-season drainage improvements on the playing surface, which have been planned for some time, to improve it even further ahead of whenever we are able to play matches once again.

 

How you can help

Tony Wilson, Managing Director, released a statement recently outlining that one of Spennymoor Town’s advantages in this period is the ability to generate revenue through our commercial relationship with Great Annual Savings Group (GAS).  During normal operations, this has been a point of competitive advantage for the club.  At present, however, this potential cash has become essential in being able to cover our costs.

If you own a business or know a business owner and want to support the club, simply refer them to get in touch and start the ball rolling.  GAS has helped hundreds of businesses since the lockdown came into force and has a track record of reducing outgoing costs for businesses of all sizes.  The Group can be a useful partner for businesses at a time when their finances are being stretched.

To refer, please email:

[email protected]

or

[email protected]townfc.co.uk

 

How to make donations

Whilst we are encouraging supporters to manage their finances carefully, we have received enquiries on how to make donations to the club and have received some already.  This is greatly appreciated by everyone.

If you would like to make a donation to the club, you can do so by clicking here.

 

We’d like to remind everyone to follow governmental guidance on staying at home and isolating where appropriate and give the club’s best wishes to everyone.

 

Perfecting the pitch…

In case you’re wondering how our beautiful new pitch is faring with a well-earned break, we think pictures say it better than words.  We’re adding in some extra drainage on the Tees Crescent side of the pitch and Head Groundsman Mark Sleightholme has been hard at work with the lawn-mower, as you can see!

A sprinkler covers a football pitch in water
South end of the ground looking luscious
Two large sprinklers soaking a luscious green football pitch
The pitch has needed regular watering over the warm weather recently
A checkered pattern on a football pitch
Mark has had his creative lawnmower out…
A tractor and some workmen dig shallow trenches in a pitch
Further drainage is being added to the Tees Crescent side of the pitch
A closeup of the drainage being dug
The drainage will perfect the last part of the pitch

Looking back on another season of progress

By Adam Brown, Director of Marketing and Communications, Spennymoor Town FC

 

Today feels sombre for football fans.

It should have been Spennymoor’s final scheduled league game of the season.  We should have been looking back on another successful season and, dare I say it, wondering what might lie in store in the National League North play-offs.

Instead, we’re scratching our heads trying to agree on how the burning issues of promotion and relegation should be dealt with.  One thing is for sure: whatever is decided, some people won’t be satisfied.  Finding a happy medium between the best interests of every club in every league is an impossibility.  It is now up to those who make league decisions to take the course of action that seems the most fair and I do not envy them one bit.

Overall, it has been another season of rapid progression for the club, but in some new ways.  We have broken new ground (literally) in terms of our facilities and our match day experience.  We have plenty more exciting plans in this area, but they will be affected heavily by what transpires over the next few months.

The team, as always in the years I’ve followed The Moors, has been competitive at the top end of the table.  In the couple of weeks before football was cancelled we seemed to be showing some of those touches of magic that carried us to that incredible play-off final last season and it’s a shame we won’t get a chance to see whether this squad could have gone one step further.

I enjoy looking back at that day.  It was a proud moment despite the result and there’s no better way than through the 10-minute video ‘The Final’, which you can watch here:

The media team at the club has been working hard whilst in lockdown to continue to bring a smile to supporters’ faces, fuelled by what our fans have given us this year.  Record average attendances, brilliant atmospheres and a whole lot of fun have been a staple at The Brewery Field.

Some memorable late wins over Chester and Darlington stick in the mind as some of the best games of football over the season.  Personally, the away victory over Alfreton felt really hard-fought and well deserved; Robbie Ramshaw was unplayable that day in arguably one of the best individual performances all season.  You can always look back over those games and the monthly summaries still being released regularly on our Youtube channel too.  Click here to see all of our videos.

The vast programme of ground works which started almost a year ago has been one of the stories of the season.  It was a monumental effort from club officials, suppliers, staff and supporters.  As Jason Ainsley has said since the season ended; the ground has become something we can be immensely proud of.  You can look back at how the club has transformed over the last 18 months in this short documentary, entitled “The Legacy”.

As I’ve mentioned, supporters played a significant part in this development.  From physically helping with painting and cleaning to generous donations through the Supporters’ Club.  This week we acknowledged the importance of this in a thank you video we sent to those who run the Supporters’ Club:

We want to continue to make all supporters of Spennymoor Town proud.  We are preparing various scenarios around when football may or may not restart in this country and we’ll be ready to deliver whenever we get that green light.  Until then, our priority is protecting the club financially as much as possible.

For now, we must follow the guidance, stay in contact with each other and take some time to enjoy the brilliant moments last season produced.  Whatever the footballing outcome of the next few months, those moments have provided us a platform to go on and have even better ones next season; which is something we can all look forward to.

 

 

League announces remaining matches cancelled

The National League has announced this afternoon that the National League North season has officially ended and all remaining fixtures have now been permanently cancelled.

The second stage of their resolution-setting will now focus on deciding what happens with potential promotion and relegation candidates in the National League, National League North and National League South.

Spennymoor Town FC voted in support of the resolution to end the season here.

 

Full league statement

National League Clubs were asked to support an ordinary resolution on 9 April to end the Playing Season for all fixtures scheduled up to and including 25 April 2020.  With almost 90% of responses returned it is evident a clear majority of Clubs are in favour, including a majority of Clubs in each of the National League, National League North and National League South divisions.

In the knowledge that the ordinary resolution has passed, the League’s Board has chosen to communicate the decision now and before the last few responses are received, which will not change the outcome, to enable Clubs to make business decisions with greater clarity as soon as possible.  Clubs yet to respond still have an opportunity to do so, and the League wishes to include as many preferences as possible before the final voting result is declared.

National League Chief Executive Officer, Michael Tattersall, commented, “At a time when the entire country is wrestling with the devastating impact of Covid-19, the cancellation of the remaining normal season matches brings a degree of certainty to our Clubs coping with the business implications of the virus.”

In consideration of the very serious and unprecedented national public health emergency caused by the coronavirus, National League, National League North and National League South football activities have been suspended since 16 March.  The options concerning the sporting outcomes of the 2019/20 season remain under careful and timely consideration, and further updates will be given in due course.

<ENDS>

National League thanks Premier League

Statement from the National League:

 

The National League wishes to place on record its gratitude to the Premier League for an advance in its annual solidarity payments.

 

The Premier League unanimously voted to send funds to The National League three months earlier than originally scheduled.

 

Reflecting on their decision, National League Chairman, Brian Barwick, said: “I am delighted that the relationship between the Premier League and The National League remains so strong.

 

“We are very grateful that the Premier League have advanced us monies to be able to distribute to our clubs in the coming days.

 

“It is a gesture that will bring some welcome relief to many of the clubs in our league. It is appreciated”.

 

 

Season Review Part Two | August

Moors begin the season with three tough away trips at Hereford, Guiseley and Farsley, before their first fixture on a new pitch against York City.

A visit to Curzon Ashton and a crucial home clash with Chester round-off the opening month of the campaign.

Season Review Part One | Pre-Season

The Brewery Field gets a new state of the art pitch, meanwhile, Jason Ainsley brings in a host of new signings who gel into the squad during a demanding pre-season schedule.

The fixtures for the new campaign are released, with Moors facing a tough opening month with three consecutive away trips.

Working together to beat COVID-19

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/

 

STAY SAFE

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.

 

Tony Wilson

Managing Director, Spennymoor Town FC