VIEW FROM THE BOARDROOM – Paul Armitage’s notes (11/02/23)

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Well there it goes. £815 million in transfer fees in January. What financial crisis? Trouble is, enough of it doesn’t go down the pyramid to where it’s needed most. A familiar story. Agents get more than the EFL or NL out of this, so, as the saying goes, the rich get richer.

It doesn’t need to be like this, but failing the Premier League creating a 10% levy for EFL and NL clubs to share, an independent regulator with such powers becomes more and more attractive as a proposition.

The PL clubs would be dragged kicking and screaming into an independent regulator’s arms but can’t seem to understand that football beyond the PL across England is fan-led, community focused and deserving of more than crumbs from the rich man’s table. They spend fortunes assessing overseas players and could be looking just around their own country for new blood. An obligatory transfer window one year where only UK players could be recruited might help!

Which reminds me, Tom Ogden is putting our U19 team on YouTube when we have games at Horsfall and the last two have been crackers – a 5-1 beating of FCUM and a 4-1 win over Marine.

Well worth watching and streamed live for free, usually on Wednesdays. Free entry to watch the games at Horsfall too. Come along for a free feast of football. They are a credit to our Academy team leaders and the first team sit proudly in second place in their league behind Wrexham’s U19 team.

The likes of first teamers, Lancaster, Maroodza, Brooks and Angell this season are only a year or so ahead of our own lads and I hope we get to see one or two of ours break through before too long.

As usual Mark and Danny find excellent young lads on loans and can now consider options from the Academy.
By the time you read this we will have held a Fans’ Forum session, Trust and Board meetings with our owner present.. Hopefully our league position will improve during Gareth’s visit and keen fans will have quizzed him on the club’s fortunes on and off the field. He has many important meetings planned for his UK visit.

We will always be looking for new investors to share the burden of costs, as are most clubs. We are always aiming to operate more efficiently and find new ways of earning more income, like all good businesses. We are hoping that we can start to grow a few of our own, ‘home-made’ first team players. All this despite a lack of better funding from the Premier League, which is well within their gift to make.

Locally this season has seen the loss in NLN of our relegated neighbours Guiseley and we have seen new director appointments at Farsley after the sad loss of their former benefactor. Liversedge have had pitch problems and Thackley have changed managers. Challenges for clubs all around the region remind us of the need to build our supporter base and prepare to face every type of challenge. Success on the pitch gets ever more important for success off it.

Back to some more mundane tasks. This month we are planning to repair broken seats and find more seats to add in, wherever possible! We are discussing new educational agreements with Bradford College to help our Academy to thrive; planning next season’s kit deal, aiming to help local families and fans with reduced kit prices. Given the increasing costs of coach hire we have purchased a minibus to move our Academy lads to games and this can, on occasion, be hired out for other users. (Contact Calum Cullen or Tom McStravick for details.).