I write these notes after catching my breath following a thoroughly pulsating game on Saturday. We don’t tend to celebrate draws but this was an exception to the rule. Whatever camp you were in there could be no doubt that the game was a great advert for non-league football.
FC United will feel hard done by. However, their players, staff and supporters were fantastic. Many thanks to all of them. Our players quite typically never gave up and Carl modestly put it down to luck. Have none of it! His tactical change was brave. Substitute Tom Owens came on and gave Will Jones more support and Kyle Sambor‘s explosive introduction led to two goals and an assist in an excellent cameo performance of only 25 minutes. The gate of 933 was our biggest since April 2015 when we played the same opposition. This pushes our average this season up to 390. It would be great if we could maintain this level of support!
Included in that gate were 98 boys and girls from Witton Albion Juniors FC together with Weaverham and Hartford Juniors and others. Their presence not only means gates are creeping up but created a fantastic atmosphere. We are generating Wittoners of the future! My sincere thanks to Alan Jackson. The increase in attendance means also that gate receipts are improved and I will be meeting with Carl and Gary this week about strengthening the team further.
The Social Club continues to do exceptionally well and those of you who attended the Sportsman’s Dinner were impressed with Barry Fry as a speaker and the feedback was extremely positive. My special thanks to Rob Sproston and Jim Powell for their assistance on the night. It was noticeable that a significant number of local businesses were there to support us. We are extremely grateful!
The last 3 months figures from Social Club gross sales and other rental income from people using the facility is on target for a projected annual figure of £170,000. Whilst there are wages, costs and deductions to be made from this figure the future is looking very positive in this area.
On the issue of sponsorship, the club has entered into an arrangement with Playmaker to provide player data in games for all our teams from the first team down to the youth team. This equipment and service which is provided gratis is normally obtained at a cost of £11,000.00 plus VAT! My personal thanks to Scott Redhead of Playmaker and to Mike Patterson for making this happen.
We have further secured a travel partner in NJT and we will be providing details in due course of how booking a holiday with this company provides a further income stream to us. We continue to pay as we go and move in the right direction. The business is starting to run itself.
I am now very pleased to announce that we have put pen to paper with a two-year extension to our groundshare with Northwich Victoria FC taking us to the end of the 2021-2 season. Subject to League approval. I personally have never had any wish to see the demise of a club with their history and the income provided through rental and just as importantly the labour in carrying out works around the grounds.
This work under the direction of Peter Robinson, Alan Spruce and Colin Jump means that the stadium is in the best condition that it has been for many years. We sailed through our recent Ground inspection. My personal thanks to Brian Turner and the staff of Northwich Victoria for their assistance in the negotiations. They are happy to be at Wincham Park and we are happy to have them.
It will be noted from Social Media that Witton Albion Elite starts shortly. This initiative provides one to one or small group specialist coaching for children from 7 to 18. Contact the club for further details or look out on social media as to how to apply. This will further increase income.
Finally, in relation to Witton Albion in the Community and the CRY Screening of the 3rd November we screened 109 young adults with two being referred with heart abnormalities. This initiative together with Heart Start saves lives. Many thanks to all involved but especially Deborah Dixon, Brian Cross and Jackie Beasant who made this such a success on the day.