Programme notes from Monday's match against the U's
These programme notes were written by vice chariman, David Wilkinson, for the Colchester United edition of Talk of the Town, which took place on Boxing Day.
Good afternoon everyone and a warm welcome to Kenilworth Road.
Our visitors today are Colchester United, and we welcome the officials, players and supporters from the U’s. Relegated last year they are having a mixed season, however, we look forward to another competitive clash this afternoon.
We hope that you all had a good Christmas and wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
A number of us made the trip to Hillsborough to watch our U18s in the FA Youth Cup against Sheffield Wednesday a couple of weeks ago, and although we were well beaten, the scoreline flattered Wednesday. We created a lot of chances, but couldn’t put them away on the day. We were encouraged by the performance although disappointed that we won’t have the opportunity to see any more of this competition this year. Well done to everyone involved. They continue to do us proud.
Last Saturday we went to Blackpool and saw another tremendous away performance culminating in an impressive victory.
Once again our away support was outstanding and everyone tells us what a difference it makes and how much it helps encourage us all. Nearly 1,100 to Blackpool on the last full Saturday before Christmas is nothing short of amazing. As we’ve all said before, it’s sometimes tough not being in amongst it, but it makes us all proud to see and hear the support.
Whilst on the subject of our wonderful fans, on behalf of the board could I congratulate Mat Davis for helping to save the life of a stranger in a pub in Blackpool last week using CPR. Football supporters are often on the wrong end of bad news stories and it was heartwarming to hear reports of his actions on our way home from the game. He is, I gather, known to two of our directors, Stephen Browne and Bob Curson, having been at the same school.
Although we have a Board meeting every month, where possible, we have four main meetings a year which all directors make an extra effort to attend. These quarterly meetings are in March, June, September and December, dates which coincide with having to make the more important decisions of the year. June, for example, is when the previous season can be reviewed and the coming year’s budget be discussed and approved.
Last week we held our December quarterly. This meeting is planned for us to be able to take stock at the halfway stage of the season, to review financial targets and performance on and off the field.
The Board arranged to meet at the Brache to view progress made on our new training facility. We saw that the changing rooms were almost completed after some significant internal redesign, and are a different level to where we are now. The other buildings, which will house offices, meeting rooms, a canteen, a gym, treatment rooms etc, has had major internal surgery and is not far from being ready to be fitted out.
The pitches are progressing well, but it’s a shame we weren’t able to start sooner as, obviously, the grass has stopped growing now. We are not yet sure when we will be able to move in, but it will be some time in the next few months.
We were all highly impressed with the facility and believe it will hugely improve the environment for the management, coaches and players.
After the walk round the training facilities we retired to our meeting room for the formal agenda.
Nathan was invited to present a status report and give us his thoughts and requirements for the rest of the season. The transfer window opening in January is always a topic and there was concern expressed that it can cause disruption of one kind or another, but we were reassured that none was anticipated and would be handled if it arose.
As you all know Nathan is an amazingly enthusiastic, positive manager and this meeting was just that. He has a great staff and an excellent squad of players and believes that together we can go far. He has been at the Club for almost a year now and in his opinion the project is on track. As a Board we are excited to have Nathan as our manager and believe that he is reestablishing our football identity.
After Nathan left the meeting, Gary updated us on progress with Planning, about which I’m sure you’ll hear plenty in the coming weeks. But I think it is worth mentioning here that with the purchases of Newlands Park and Power Court and the ownership of the Brache, we are now a very significant land owner in Luton. We believe we can and we want to make a difference to not just the football club, but the town, and these deals are a step in that direction.
The meeting ended with Simon presenting his financial report, pointing out variances to the budget addressing concerns and reviewing the cash flows and any funding requirements.
“Believe and you will achieve”
Enjoy the game.
Come On You Hatters.