Following the AGM of the Chelmsford City Supporters’ Club on 24th August 2022, a new mandate regarding our approach to Chelmsford City Football Club was agreed. The current mandate ends on 30th November 2022, which is a deadline for the Football Club to have proved to us that they are making significant and continuous progress towards the achieving of the Six Aims.
The Forum on 24th October 2022 was arranged for the Members to review the Football Club’s current progress towards the Six Aims and to discuss the continued mandate based on this.
The overriding view of the members at the Forum is that the Football Club is making good progress towards achieving some of the Six Aims, but that there is still a long way to go.
We feel that Phil Crowe, as General Manager, has made a good start with essential maintenance carried out on elements of the facilities in which volunteers and supporters had raised concerns about after last season, as well as the purchasing of new dugouts. There are plans to update the changing rooms and other facilities for the benefit of the playing side, such as the addition of a Manager’s Office and a Laundry Room, which we expect will ultimately meet Aim 3.
Improvements to the bar have been slower than hoped, though the Football Club continue to acknowledge and work on this. We welcome that they did listen to our Polypin idea to make Real Ale available again from the previous home match and we will be providing the Football Club with further information on a range of options to hopefully allow them to continue to offer a variety of Real Ales going forward.
While the focus of the Six Aims is on off-field matters, the appointment of Adam Drew as Head of Recruitment has been a positive move, with results so far showing this.
The newer members of staff include Paul Bailey working on the Operations side and Steven Barron, as Club Development Officer, with a focus on commercial opportunities, an area that Aim 5 covers, and supporter engagement. Joshua Verroken is due to start shortly as Head of Media and Marketing.
While there are still no Board of Directors in place, as per Aim 2, there are staff now appointed “each with responsibility and accountability for different areas of the club”.
There is regular engagement between the Football Club and the Supporters’ Club, as covered under Aims 1 & 4, which we still welcome, and hope will continue. We feel that it is important that both parties work together to ensure that our members’ voices are heard by the Football Club and that we can offer advice, where required, so that the Football Club can make the improvements most desired by the supporters.
Steve Shore announced in the last meeting with the Supporters’ Club Representatives on 4th August 2022 that the Clarets10 Vision is to be reviewed, as per Aim 6, and that he wanted to form a Working Group, which would include representation from the Supporters’ Club. We are disappointed that this has not been progressed nearly three months later with the individuals on the Working Group yet to be named. We feel that the new “Vision” should be in place by the end of this season, ready for the next season, but the continued delays put this in doubt.
We therefore need to have a good working relationship with the Football Club and to assist with this, it was agreed by the members present at the Forum that the mandate should remove the ‘Minimum Spend’ message, effective immediately. All other aspects of the mandate, including the No Confidence Motion in the majority ownership of the Football Club remain in place for now.
Now that the Minimum Spend aspect of the mandate has been removed, the Supporters’ Club committee will reopen discussions internally and with current contributors towards the 12th Man Fund to agree its future purpose, with an update to the membership provided as soon as possible.