Positive comments and support needed..

From the Manager’s office…. Stuart Storer

After a very difficult and challenging season in the step 3 non-league pyramid, I wanted to share a few thoughts with all connected to the football club and those that use the clubs’ facilities too.
I would like to thank the fans for supporting the club during such a difficult season. The vast majority of you have understood the situation at the football club and remained positive. When I took over in December 2013 the football club was on its knees with an extremely negative vibe, it has taken a while to change a culture like this through organisational change, but whole club has a very positive atmosphere now despite our relegation this season. Yes, like all clubs we have the odd ignorant, jealous or bitter fan who thinks they are Pep Guardiola, but these folk are becoming less and less as the club grows, moving forward positively together.
I would also like to thank the Chairman and the Board for their continued support and progress of the football club. There are so many misconceptions about this football club that it really frustrates me, and I feel it is stopping the club move forward faster.
Misconception 1 – all the money made from the pitch is lining the boards’ pockets.
This always makes me cringe as the BUFC constitution is set up as a non-profit making organisation, so not one penny is taken out by the Chairman or any Board members. In fact, the enormous amount of time and effort going into running a football club is phenomenal and these people are good folk who are volunteers, giving a huge amount of their personal time to run the football club gaining no financial reward.
Misconception 2 – all the monies made from the pitch go into the first team budget.
I actually see none of any pitch generated monies for my budget. A good chunk of my first team budget comes from the highly successful football education program that I set up at the oval, via Coventry College. The board in their wisdom are keeping the pitch hire costs at a reasonable rate so that they can be enjoyed by ALL the community. Five years ago, we had just the first team playing at the Oval, now we have all differing age groups of males and females of 25+ Bedworth teams all enjoying the facilities. Just for the cost of a Big Mac meal a week we are all are getting superb facilities, good coaching and a nice place to socialise.
Misconception 3 – the money must be going somewhere then
Yes it is. To run and develop a football club takes up a lot of money. Just like household bills the bigger the property the more it costs. Rent, electric, water, gas etc. The floodlights and their upkeep plus the upkeep of the pitch would stagger you cost wise. Also, the club are saving money annually in a retention fund, so the pitch can be fitted with a new 4G surface when this wears out in about 6/7 years’ time, and that’s not cheap. This shows great foresight in sustainability and the continuation of the club where other clubs are mismanaged. It is quite rare that we make any extra money from the pitch hire as the maintenance of the pitch, paying staff to run the club and paying the bills The odd occasion we have made monies from the pitch hire. These profits have specifically been ring fenced to go back into the club, which has helped us to buy all age groups BUFC kits, having and keeping the Greenbacks ‘brand’ and identity.
The extra costs and improvements around the football club which have happened in the past five years are very evident are generously donated by the Chairman. This is to help build a solid infrastructure and provide other income streams to help the club survive. Such things like a mini bus, extra car parking, the kids grass floodlit pitch, brand new toilets, a classroom, a terrace for the clubhouse, security cameras, a new coaching camera. All these things plus a large donation for the pitch itself. The next imminent project is to revamp the clubhouse and make it a nicer place for social events….ummm, I bet that’s not cheap to do either??
These misconceptions by sceptical users/supporters should now hopefully be laid to rest. Most clubs have a Chairman and Board that are willing to lose vast amounts of money year by year in financing just a first team budget, so they can have their egos stroked, but when they leave, that club falls apart. Our Chairman is thinking about the bigger picture and future longevity in trying to have a self-sustaining community football club that the wider community use. All age groups use the facility, from tots football to the over 50s walking football and all the ages in between. The women’s and girls team are developing fast and disability football is next on the agenda to progress. The Chairman and the Board are creating a place where people enjoy coming to, where the kids get good training facilities good coaching with a sense of belonging. Many other non-league clubs have asked to visit the Oval and meet with the Chairman and Board to see how we are doing things at BUFC and have copied our working model; this a great compliment to what we have achieved already. It’s all about the community and sustainability of our football club for future generations.
After over 25 years of very sparse success on the pitch with the first team, we have now been promoted and relegated three times each in the past seven years. So obviously some progress has been made but not sustained. The issues I have faced again this season, as in other seasons in step 3 are money based. There are lots of teams in close proximity of Bedworth in the new Central Premier League. These teams have much larger budgets and offering more money to players than we can pay and obviously this has hindered our progress. Even with stating this, I still was disappointed as we still should have amassed more points to stay in contention to stay up. Although I was frustrated with this the Board will not jeopardise the football club in any way by forking out money that we do not have. I fully endorse this as many clubs are chasing dreams on the pitch and gambling monies they do not have destroying their particular football club to possibly have a short period of success, but very rarely sustained. The BUFC perception and vision is to build slowly and surely, to maintain good foundations so we have football club for all to enjoy for a very long time.
To help us be successful again next season and sustain things further on the pitch we need to try and generate more funds. If you want to be part of the future development and progress of BUFC sponsors will be welcomed with open arms. Any of you folk knows of anyone wishing to sponsor first team kit, sponsor players, match balls or sponsor games please get in touch with Stuart Roe stadium manager on 07927 686792