So, here we are now with just one game left in September and into a much healthier position than we were going into the month. Four successive wins in all competitions, five out of six games for the month so far,have lifted spirits and we seem to have a winning formula back again.
Since the last update, we’ve progressed once more in the FA Vase, beating Hackney Wick 4-2 and rewarded with another home tie next month when Southern Counties East side Lordswood visit Crabtree Park in the 1st Round Proper and the chance for some more prize money. As with most clubs we don’t budget for receiving any through the course of the season so what we do make helps clear historic bills and also allows us to add some more revenue streams to help the club become more profitable away from the football.
The only problem with this prize money, you have to wait an age for it! The FA Cup money for a game played back in the 2nd week of August I had to chase up and didn’t receive until after the next Cup round was played, yet if we’re late sending paperwork back to the FA, no leniency is given. So far we’re still waiting for payment from the Vase match on the 1st of this month, we’ve played the next round since then……….
On the subject of FA competitions, the amount of paperwork involved is just crazy! And not just for the main FA comps, it’s no different for County Cup ones. Different team sheets to the normal County League ones, different numbers to text the results into and fines if you don’t get it right. It’s no wonder people make mistakes or forget a sheet to fill in, it’s far too much. Whilst FA people are paid, I think there is a memory block that we are all volunteers dedicating our own time to run these clubs, if we asked for payment for all we do and at levels above County League as well, less than half of clubs could afford to survive.
Off the pitch, we’re continuing to grow as best we can. We have BT Sport inside the clubhouse which gives us the Champions League midweek and the live Premier League offering on a Saturday evening at 17.30, perfect when the action on the pitch is finished, all designed to increase our bar takings.
We have a pool table and fruit machine coming to add a little bit more, we have plans for the next round of the Vase on 13th October which is also Non-League Day, no PL games due to the International break and a chance to encourage people to get their football fix lower down the pyramid.
We’re hosting our first Halloween Party on 26th October at the club, starting at 7.30pm with a £5 entry and free for Under 12’s with a £50 1st prize for the best dressed person, complete with a disco and karaoke.
All things we have to try so we can sustain the football on the pitch. Having now been able to work out the budget as best you can it comes out at around £2000 per month for the upkeep of the ground, utilities and running the team. As a county league division one club, football is not going to earn you £24,000 a year so it has to come from somewhere to make sure you are there for next year and those figures do not include any adhoc things that will crop up during the season.
This is why we have to keep working throughout this season to ensure we cover all of that and end the season at least level before embarking on the next campaign. As a committee we’ve made great strides in just 2 and a half months to reduce the deficit in the bank account whilst improving what we have already and getting ourselves into a position to grow and keep growing.
We still have more things to achieve this side of Xmas, we will have directional signage added to places, there will be a card machine in the bar area to increase sales and we will have our 50 club in place and bringing in money with the aim to get it back up to the 100 club we had last season.
Hopefully by the next time I update, we’re in the 2nd Round of the Vase, progress in the County Cups and in touching distance of the top 2 in the league, no pressure then Lee and Ady is there………………..