Yarmouth Town chief’s survival mission

Yarmouth Town FC chairman Colin Jones has released the following statement detailing the latest news of recent behind the scenes changes at the club.

“I stated at the beginning of the season that the club needed to make every effort to raise its own revenue streams and not rely on any individual to fund it. A big part of my remit this season was to improve the infrastructure of the club and I feel we are working towards this goal in difficult economic times. With the acquisition of new people who are committed, united and above all, competent at their designated roles the club can then raise revenues and reduce wasteful costs with the aim of paying all creditors and ultimately improving the playing budget with the view of increasing the likelihood of on-the-pitch success.

In addition to a new commercial manager in Nigel Grimmer and fundraising manager in Brian Howard we are also to the cusp of appointing someone with the aim of increasing our community involvement, matchday experiences and attendance figures, whilst we are also advertising for someone to make the most of the opportunities our clubhouse facilities have to offer the club.

My number one priority, now and always, will be the survival of this football club and I can ensure that myself and the committee are working hard to put this club on the most solid foundations as we can. I could have got involved with any club and started from zero and been in a better position than the club was in when I became chairman, we had debts, we had no commercial team, no real revenue streams, few programme adverts, no advertising boards and a bad reputation with businesses in the area with both payment and with service.

I am working hard to improve both the quantity and quality of our links with local businesses, this will be our hardest season as we need to rebuild reputations and I feel that we are slowly changing the attitudes towards the football club in a commercial sense. But as the season progresses I hope it will be evident that we will have more advertising and sponsorship at the club and I feel Nigel is already proving to be a strong asset for the club.

May I also announce that we are now in partnership with Blackwell Print and Marketing. Blackwell will be supplying our matchday programmes for us and also catering for all our printing requirements for this season for no charge and I am very grateful to Keith for ageeing to do this for us. We, as a club rely on the gererousity of Keith of Blackwell Print and Lloyd of the Star Hotel - who supply all our post match food for visiting teams for first team, reserves and under 18’s this season at no cost to the club - and its the attitude and willingness of local businessesmen like Keith and Lloyd that will ensure this club flourishes in time.

On the pitch, I feel sorry for Mike as the fixture list has proved to be a baptism of fire for any new manager in this league, playing Brantham twice, Dereham away and Mildenhall away in your first five league fixtures really doesn’t ease him into the job. Many will look at the results and feel the team is failing but I challenge anyone who hasn’t been to any of the matches to ask anyone that has been at all those matches and ask whether the results have been fair and whether there have been positives from those games and a different picture may be painted than the scorelines have suggested. Mike is working incredibly hard to turn things around and I am confident he will. I can see exactly what he’s trying to do and anyone who questions his appointment at this stage really is ill informed on football matters and is incredibly short-sighted. It takes time to change the culture of a team, especially with no opportunity to train and this is another of my main aims in the short-term, to find training facilities up to the standard that our players deserve. It is with regret that Lowestoft Town have recalled Joe Clark from his loan spell at the club due to an injury crisis at Crown Meadow, I thank Gary Keyzor for allowing Joe to join us in the first place and Joe himself for his efforts for the team whilst he was here.

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There’s a strong field of negativity surrounding the club, I guess our league position could be the reason behind that, but I also feel there’s a lot of naivity around what we are doing at the club, perhaps this is my fault for not feeling the need to publicise the positives that we have done. Yes, our budget is not the largest in the league, but it is in fact double the budget per match compared to the second half of last season and we have paid the players their expenses within 7 days of every match they’ve played this season, the only exceptions being those who have left before we’ve had a chance to give them their money. We also have been paying the same rate for all cup games as league matches, something very few clubs do in this league, but it’s something I felt we should do as a club to thank our loyal players. On top of this we also plan to provide minibus transport to over half of our away games in the league, yet again, something many clubs do not provide for their players. Within a few weeks all five teams within the club will also have new kits for this season (under 13’s and under 18’s kits have been delayed, first team, reserves and under 15’s already have their kits in place) all of the same design, this is the first time the club has done this and I think it is an extra touch that is easily ignored.

Our major creditors currently are ones outstanding from before I arrived in my current role. We are in regular negotiations with them also and we are thankful for their patience and understanding of why they have not been paid at present. We are also in major renegotiations with GYBC over whether a better deal can be arranged mutually over The Wellesley, both parties agree that the current agreement is outdated and needs bringing in line with the needs of a 21st century football club. Our newest committee recruit John Barnden will be a big asset to the club during these negotiations and continues my aim of getting specialist personnel involved with the club who will be able to move the club forward, which I’m sure we would all like to see.

Nobody is more committed than myself in making Great Yarmouth Town FC succeed, I am dedicating my life to the club and will continue to do so while I’m still wanted by the members of this football club. I was voted in unanimously and so I am confident the club committee have full faith in the direction I am steering the club in the long-term. Those on the outside may not be seeing the positives at the club at the moment but I’m hoping it will be obvious before too long. This season, as I’ve said before, will be the most difficult, and it is certainly proving to be at present but I am confident that we are in the early stages of building a club the Borough can be proud of. A building doesn’t look much when the foundations are being laid but I’m sure soon enough the building plan will being to take shape.

I urge patience and faith in what we are trying to achieve here.”