Company secretary Ashley Carson provides an update on various matters affecting the club...
Wow, I can’t believe where the last few weeks have gone! I was just checking and noticed that my last update was May 29. Apologies for letting you all down on keeping you updated on what is happening within your club.
All staff including the players, with a couple of exceptions, continue to be furloughed. I have been talking to the manager regarding him returning to work, but until I have a clearer picture from the National League, the entire football side remain furloughed.
I did make enquiries regarding the ten contracted players just having some light training sessions and a bit of bonding, but any of this is deemed as work and as furloughed they are prevented from doing so, which is a shame.
Money is still extremely tight and we have submitted our third furlough payment claim, which is for £112,210. The wages total this month is £122,347 so we have a shortfall of just over £10,000. Cash coming into the club is currently very low, mainly sponsorship payments and now the sale of replica shirts.
Dave Allen will probably have to inject about £35,000 this month. Cashflow continues to be extremely tight and I must thank suppliers who have been very patient with us, whilst we drag ourselves through this surreal situation.
So we finally all voted on concluding the season with agreement on allocating the final points and I was delighted to see that Barrow AFC were justifiably promoted to the EFL League Two. I would like to think I was one of the first to congratulate Ian Evatt on his achievement. I can’t, however, help feeling very envious!
We still have no direction on what is going to happen going forward with starting next season. There are discussions about September, but with no direction yet on behind closed doors or not, we still can’t plan anything.
Pitch and Training Ground
Absolutely not talking about grass, but the pitch is doing fine and growing well. For those who are concerned, Liam from Premier Pitches is giving it lots of TLC and I am confident that it will look amazing when we eventually kick off once again.
Sadly, there are still no plans as to when we will be announcing the new season ticket prices and when we will be putting them on sale. Once we know when the season will start, we can work back from this and then start to sell them. The ticketing software update is currently in progress and scheduled to be completed today.
Angie is currently speaking to all of our amazing collectors and everyone is itching to get back to work and start collecting again. Even Jeff Hall is not wanting to be left out, so we will be looking to finalise details during July and hopefully start the Spire Lotto once again. All I would say is that it would help if you could possibly pay for four weeks at a time, reducing the amount of times the collectors have to call.
Lisa and Angie are going to be kept un-furloughed and continue to process online sales. Sales online are averaging £1,500 a week and to date we have sold nearly 200 shirts, which is an amazing achievement.
I have not received any updates on when the away kit will be delivered. It is looking like the end of July, but apparently we can have one in black by the end of next week!
We will be opening the Club Superstore from next week. It will open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, between 10am and 2pm. Stadium manager Dean informs me that he will have Lisa and Angie firmly pinned behind a Perspex protective sheet at the till, which is a sight worth popping down to see in itself!
The new Technique Learning Solutions signage will be erected anytime now. Dean is working with the company who have been contracted with the order. Technique Learning Solutions will be covering all costs as part of the agreement.
This project is moving forward and I think with the exception of programmes being sold on matchdays, everything else will be cashless.
The manager is still in discussion with target players but furlough continues to delay further developments until we have some further guidance from the National League.
We are sadly unable to commit to any new signings yet, as much as we would like to.
The appointment of an assistant manager, fitness coach and goalkeeping coach still remain in the pending file.
Both injured players, Laurance Maguire and Haydn Hollis, are making extremely good progress, Claire informs me that Laurance is fit enough to return to pre-season training now and will be ready for the start of the new season. In fact, I am sure she told me that he looks fitter than his brother!! Haydn is also making extremely good progress and should also be good for pre-season. Luke Coddington requires a small procedure before he can commence training. Well, I call it small, if removing wires from your shoulder is 'small'. This has been delayed by the Covid-19, but we now have a date of July 2 for his procedure, providing he tests negative on a Covid-19 test, two days before the operation. Hopefully he will return to rehabilitation soon after.
I have talked to John Pemberton about when we will be able to bring the remaining players back off furlough and conduct some training with them, to get them back into a working environment and also for their mental health and wellbeing. But we would then also need to bring other staff back in, including the physio and all of this would cost the club over £10,000 a week so, for now, we simply cannot afford to do it.
I have been asked about Liam Cooper’s contract and if anything was put into it for CFC to gain any bonus if Leeds United were to gain promotion, whilst Liam was still a player for them. Well, for all of you who 'hate Leeds', I suggest you start cheering for them. We do have a clause that pays us a significant bonus if they gain promotion to the Premier League. As you can imagine, the contract is subject to confidentiality, no surprise, but it is a six-figure sum.
Chesterfield FC Academy
The academy will sadly close at the end of June and Neil Cluxton will move over to the Community Trust to head up their new CFC Junior & Youth Academy. I would like to thank all of the academy staff for their hard work. We have operated a professionally run academy over the past 18 months but without funding from the EFL, we had to take the sad decision to close. I wish Neil and all of the staff the best for the future.
Conference and Banqueting
So the green light has been given for July 4. Maddie is looking at ways for us to re-open by the end of July, but nothing is ever straightforward. We currently have a lot of out of date barrels that the brewery has agreed to exchange. We are still trying to gain agreement to drip feed these to us. Also, we just need to work out best ways for use of toilets and access etc.
We still receive interest and another 'tyre kicker' bites the dust this week. However, I can’t fault the Community Trust and Mike Goodwin’s desire and relentless persistence to take over. After quite a few twists and turns, I do feel that progress has been made again. I think my forecasts on a completion date are proving to be a jinx and so all I will say is that nothing is dead in the water - keep the faith! Your club needs to go to the right custodians going forward.
Finally, Dave Allen and I continue to send our very best wishes to you all.
Stay Safe, Stay Alert - please don’t get complacent and we hope to see everyone return to the football club as soon as possible.