VIEW FROM THE BOARDROOM – Paul Armitage’s Notes (20/2/23)

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Our win against Leamington saw us scoring three excellent goals and playing confidently and we hope to continue the trend. Much as I try to stay away from football team comments I thought the two lads up front worked their socks off as they replaced our two injured big lads and that Will Lancaster looked as good in midfield as he does in the back line, but the team effort was excellent across the board and the crowd support was extremely loud and pleasing for the lads too.

At that last game we paid tribute to the late David Bruce who spent a long lifetime supporting Avenue home and away as well as supporting the club with his time and money too. A kind gentleman whose presence will be sorely missed. Farewell and thank you David.

We held a Fans Forum prior to the last home game and heard from Martin Knight and Gareth Roberts about plans for the first team’s development and the football club’s future. Gareth has been able to spend a week in the area and has held many meetings that aim to progress the club’s financial fortunes. Given that Mark and Danny also spend time after games to talk with fans we have a very well-informed set of supporters.

Our double header with our West Bowling rugby league club colleagues saw two victories on the same day and West Bowling now take on Lock Lane in the next round of the RL Challenge Cup. We also had a record day on ancilliary income as we had a function in the evening as well as the two sporting matches. It was a good test of the versatility of the stadium and thanks must go to all the staff and volunteers who made it a success.

Away from Horsfall we see the Premier League offering a show of strength against Man City to try and demonstrate that they can regulate football without the need of an independent regulator. Time will tell, but I think we know that the financial fortunes for any clubs outside of the PL lays with an independent regime for all football leagues.

At Horsfall imminent work is scheduled to upgrade the gents’ toilet next to the programme shop, which is long overdue, though we have improved the Pavilion toilets and have new ones in the Hospitality Suite as well as facilities in the clubhouse. It’s all a bit of a change from the old Canterbury Avenue brick wall pissoir some of us may recall.

We are still working with installers to get the lux level from the new floodlights more evenly spread across the pitch, but the improvement is giving us more effective lighting and with LED lights, cheaper running costs.