The purpose of this statement is to provide an update on the Community Club’s progress and challenges.
We understood that when ownership and the licence to play was transferred to the Community Club the road ahead was really going to be tough.
The private owner did not have an effective transition plan just a desire to get rid of football from the development site as fast as he could. Being ejected prematurely from the Camrose before Winklebury was available to us and being cut off abruptly from the sources of revenue that BT Ltd enjoyed, would make things horrendously difficult all round but especially on the playing side.
As a board of volunteers with our commitment and love of the club we took up the challenge on behalf of our true supporters – and remain committed to a vision of a real family club making its community proud from the new Winklebury base.
And tough it has proved playing results have not gone the way we hoped. But this requires more support (rather than less) from fans, volunteers and sponsors willing to come forward to make our dream a reality.
We are working hard to ensure we can get to Winklebury as quickly as possible. We are confident that the planning process – which we don’t control – we require Basron to fund like for like replacement of the lost amenity at the Camrose. And we continue to press for Basron to undertake up front funding to that standard to effect the necessary ground improvements at Winklebury and ease the Camrose planning application.
There is an area within our control which we are committed to tackling now. As a Community Club we cannot tolerate foul and abusive behaviour from a minority of those attending our games. We shall look to ban culprits with the aim of curbing such behaviour and making our games suitable for the vast majority of our fans and their families to attend.
We are also seriously concerned about the bullying, harassment, intimidation and abusive name calling on social media. This is a problem not confined to our club but part of wider trends in Society. We shall be ensuring that appropriate sanctions are applied to identified offenders.
We recognise that football is a game of opinions and do not seek to stop people expressing views in an appropriate way. We appreciate that part of fans having a voice is the ability to comment and express criticism of what happens in their club.
But it is important that we do not tolerate bullying and harassment of individuals and foul abuse.’