Special Meeting of Basingstoke Town Community Football Club
At the meeting held last night at the Camrose Clubhouse, the first fully democratic election to the Board of the Community Owned Club took place. The new board will comprise Steve Letch (Chairman), Steve Williams (Secretary), Colin Phillimore (Treasurer), Martin French, Sarah Parsons and Colin Stoker.
Steve Letch and first team manager Terry Brown addressed the meeting. Steve Letch reported that the new community club had responded well to the key task of raising money for the playing budget, for which no provision had been made at the beginning of the season by the club owner.
He said ‘We started with nothing in the pot and have coped well up to this point. But the current rate at which we are raising funds from a variety of sources means we have a big, big fundraising challenge from now until March. We need a minimum of £20,000 to maintain a reasonable squad of players. This would require a tremendous effort. But based on what had been done already and the recent experience of Merthyr Town FC who had raised £18,000 in a week this was achievable’.
In a powerful rallying cry, he called for more people to enrol as members, join the 200 Plus club, commit to boost the budget donations, sell Lucky Sevens match forecasts, support club events and sign up as volunteers. He added that ‘Local companies will soon have the opportunity to be corporate members of the Community Club’. Anyone who wants to sign up to any initiatives or help should contact secretary Steve Williams 01256 770434 /07966921584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manager Terry Brown confirmed that as an economy measure the club had let two non-contract players go. He expected full back Marcus Johnson-Schuster and winger Ashleigh Artwell to be plying their trade elsewhere shortly. He said he understood the financial position and asked everyone to back the board and other long time volunteers engaged in the difficult task of ensuring a successful club. Terry Brown said the ability within the team merited a higher league position as the young squad gained experience.
Terry praised the work of Jason Bristow in coaching the players and running the academy. He said ‘Jason Bristow is ‘Mr Basingstoke’. I won’t be here forever but the club need to keep Jason if we are to move forward’. He also said the proposed move to Winklebury was exciting and the challenge was to engage local people and the wider town with the benefits of a community owned club working for the community.