VIEW FROM THE BOARDROOM – Paul Armitage’s Notes (11/03/23)

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It has been a tough few weeks for our team with so many carrying injuries and for the travelling fans in particular, who have journeyed far and wide supporting the lads.

This is a good time to thank them for their support, their excellent behaviour and their endurance, making us a club with a reputation for friendly and welcome support. If any group deserved a run of wins, these are the guys worthy of special praise who deserve seeing more rewards on the pitch.

We saw Peterborough Sports getting a new investor this week, starting to build more stands and taking on a new challenge. Their pitch was as poor as Kettering’s so there are several problems to resolve down there. I believe they need to reach a 3000 capacity level by March 31st according to NL rules.

Peterborough were saying that lots of NLN teams are now concerned about long distance travelling in this league and the cost of running clubs at this level. The latest increases in costs of building, maintenance, utilities and players suggest some new realism is required for survival and continuity.

Gloucester’s departing chairman talks of monthly costs for them reaching £30k, which is partly why he is moving on. I’ve referenced the massive funds in the higher reaches of football before and the failure of sufficient financial support for the lower leagues. Whilst this continues some clubs at lower levels will eventually fail to survive or must drastically change their business plans.

Here at BPA some of that work has started. Two full years of a well-run Academy has just started to bear fruit with some lads getting first team experience and Tom is working hard to establish important new links with colleges so we can combine football and education and continue some development up to and beyond the under 19 level for some of our lads. He is also looking to grow and develop our approach to ladies football here.

Calum has made great improvements in terms of stadium commercials and is working hard to encourage greater use of all the facilities. New budgets are being set for all aspects of the business and whilst the challenges would be the same whatever League we were in, everyone is doing their best to keep NLN survival within our sights.

Companies with public, social and community policies have an opportunity to invest in our Horsfall Trust activities which, with NL Trust support, continues to invest in the health and wellbeing of South Bradford. The stadium, football club, Academy and other anchor users will benefit from increased engagement, sponsorship and support from local businesses.

It is particularly refreshing to see Integra Insurance supporting a Primary School football competition here, organised through Tom, and hopefully that will encourage more support of such worthy plans.

Please contact Calum or Tom for more details of how you, or your company, can get involved.