Three weeks ago I issued a statement calling the club “to arms!” I received one particular message to the effect that it was brave. It was not. It was the truth. The first step to solving any problem is in admitting that there is one in the first place.
I have been absolutely astonished by the incredible response of our supporters, management, players and members of the Board. In a week commemorating D Day I recalled that Henry V was watched by the troops on the night before. The parallel I drew is that we Wittoners are as “the few, we happy few, we Band of Brothers” that the young King addressed on the eve of Agincourt. The essence of our strength is in a relatively small number of dedicated and incredible people who work tirelessly for the club. Northwich people are the salt of the earth. Literally and metaphorically speaking!
Accordingly, I am absolutely delighted to report that in this short period of time I have received cheques and financial pledges from supporters and Board members for the next 12 months of just under £30,000 as part of the 60 Club initiative commenced three weeks ago. Incredible! These are of course specifically donations. Not loans!
A revamped and much larger commercial arm involving Alan Sneddon and Dean Meadows and others has been an instant success securing sponsorship from Worthington Transport, Oakmere Motor Group and many more.
They have also been selling player sponsorships for all those who have put pen to paper. Season ticket sales have been proceeding nicely for May and June either by bank transfer or personal attendance at the club office manned by Brian Cross.
The future looks much brighter. Our excellent social media is reaching out to local businesses and supporters alike. The supporters Development Fund which has been essential to us will continue to provide much needed revenue. We are integrating better in the town. The club lottery will be expanded.
The Social Club with manageress Jackie Beasant and Jimmy Powell has improved beyond all recognition in double quick time. Function bookings are infinitely more healthy in number. There is a much greater interest in Match Day hospitality for next season. I am conscious that those supporters who are not minded or unable to donate are all doing their bit in other areas to assist.
Our initiatives with Witton Albion in the Community such as Heartstart and Walking Football are bearing fruit. Relations with Witton Albion Juniors are the best that they have been for 20 years. We now have in Graham Wood a liaison officer from the Juniors specifically dealing with the main club on how we can work together to benefit all.
Our very own Alan Jackson has facilitated a free membership scheme for all of the 300 plus Witton Albion Juniors players to join the main club. This will take our very own Witton Albion FC Juniors to approaching 450 members. Many thanks to Chairman Tim Pont et al in assisting. We are creating the next generation of Witton Albion fans together.
All of this is for one sole purpose. To get behind the management team and the players and provide them with all available resources. We are lucky to have Carl and Gary. We must not take them for granted. They have brought stability and quality on the pitch at a high level of football and deserve our 100% support.
Last season was not a miracle. That is too strong a word. However, the great Cup runs and a top 10 finish were without doubt an outstanding achievement given the financial constraints with which they were confronted. Next season will be another challenge. As a testament to their skill and the regard in which they are held the players want to play for them. For less money too. All are making sacrifices. Their player retention rate has been excellent.
In short, we have started to recover from a very difficult financial situation which had to be addressed. It is not the end however. Or even the beginning of the end. It is perhaps the end of the beginning! We must carry on in this vein.
As your Chairman I am extremely proud to be associated with such a fine football club with its veritable band of brothers. On behalf of myself and the Board of Directors you have our heartfelt thanks.