Chairmans Statement 2015
I am extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to fulfil the role of Chairman. I hope we can all work together for the good of the club and move forward.
I believe there are three areas to focus on over this season;
Something that was highlighted at a recent EGM was the lack of effective communication within the club. In particular between the Trustees committee and the age group managers. I feel that the age 5, 6, 7 and 8 groups, who train on a Sunday morning, are well supported and helped to develop as we would wish. Once managers and their age groups leave that phase they are left very much on their own. Of course the committee assists when issues arise but, I want to improve the support network at these stages so that managers are aware of what help is available to them. At the same time, by strengthening these links, we provide an opportunity for the Trustees to reinforce the ethics of the club and help to prevent issues arising. This process has already begun with the instigation of the managers’ meetings and having Sean Bowden as the managers’ rep on the Trustees committee. I want to take this further and look at ways of improving all our communications. One example of this is the publication of Trustee committee meeting minutes. I will make all minutes available to the managers so that they can see the issues and projects we are dealing with.
I am confident that by improving communication links we can ensure all associated with the club are aware that our first priority is providing football to as many children as possible.
- Ground Improvements
I am aware that the Scout group donated a sum of money to the club and that there was an intention for that money to be used to improve the playing surface and Highbury in general. Last year the committee pursued ways to move away from Highbury or to replace the existing surface with a 3G or 4G pitch. Both options were dismissed due to cost and a decision was made to stay at Highbury. So I want to see the playing surface improved. We may have already missed the ideal opportunity weather wise but, I will liaise with the ground staff and see what we can do to improve the surface. Last year we sort a quote for a car park within the Highbury grounds, the £25,000 quote was just too much to spend on one project. I will be looking for further quotes and other ideas from all club members to see what we can do to improve the Highbury site in general.
I would like to thank all involved in the recent kitchen re-fit and tea hut redecoration, many club members have given a huge amount of time and effort and we now have a much improved facility. The next stage in developing the tea hut and changing room areas is the potential to provide rain cover and hard standing. I think this would be a wonderful addition to what we have now and will encourage more families to stay around during training. This kind of improvement links back to my first point, communicating clearly that we want to improve the club and provide better facilities for all. It also generates great links with families and opens opportunities to get more people involved with the club.
- Club Image
I feel the club is somewhat disjointed and as such the image we generate collectively is not the best. I want to see all managers and coaches issued with kit they will wear at home and away, so that all other clubs can see who is a Highbury member. I appreciate this will incur a cost and I want to look at ways of managing this expense. One suggestion is to have some form of bonding agreement between the club and the members. So that when a manager is given kit there is a clear understanding it will be returned should he or she leave the club. Playing kit is also varied and I know Rob Nash does a great deal of work organising the kit. I want to look at ways to standardise the playing kit so it will present a unified image, to do so I will work with Rob to see what we can do to achieve this aim.
Overall there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the club, I want to improve what we have, strengthen links and communications whilst proving to all inside and outside the club that we are a good place to play football and that we are moving forward.