Friends of Newport County statement
5:12pm Monday 11th March 2013 in Newport County
THE Friends of Newport County supporters’ group, criticised recently by the Newport County board of directors, have extended an olive branch to the club.
The group look to clarify claims they cost the club £5,000 in lost earnings during the Wrexham game and make clear their intentions for how they will contribute to the club.
They also express a clear desire to get around a table and talk, with a meeting with chief executive Dave Boddy planned.
They have released a statement which reads:
The ‘Friends of Newport County’ wish to clarify its position in how it supports the football club in the the light of some recent misguided and regrettable comments in the local press.
The original purpose of constructing the Friends Group was to move away from the cyclical and seemingly never ending “begging bowl” mentality that has underpinned the football club historically and has sought to bail out whatever is the latest and immediate financial crisis it finds itself in with little to no regard to strategic financial provisioning.
This was typified during last season when County nearly lost it’s Conference league status due to the board’s inability to support Justin Edinbrugh with the financial resources to change worsening player performances and consequently league position.
With one foot seemingly back in BS South the County fans responded to the rallying call of Rob Santwris who (with other dedicated fans) managed to provide circa £12k which we all know helped provide the player fund, not only for a magnificent second half of the season but also ultimately to provide County's best ever day out in the FA Trophy Final at the majestic Wembley Stadium.
It is important to underline therefore that FRIENDS is not a new, recently formed Group and has delivered results for the club in the past.
This gave FRIENDS a new impetus and enthusiasm to raise more funds for other such rainy days and become a more organised, but still flexible, autonomous group.
FRIENDS hopes to raise funds for the club, academy and fans’ initiatives without drawing heavily on the club’s infrastructure whilst preserving contingency funds for unforeseen events as well as give fans and local business people an opportunity to have fun in the process!
We are delighted the traditional fans’ groups are galvanised behind the club in securing the club’s tenancy at Rodney Parade. These long established supporters groups are the backbone of the club.
Together with a club that has a BOD with wealthy chairman, experienced business people / investors and Trust representatives, a CEO, general manager, commercial manager, finance team and director of football is now perfectly placed to financially plan for the next 10 years. Average gates are up 82% (and set to rise) and with the sale of Lee Evans things add to this financial stability, which is comforting.
Although the board were made aware of FRIENDS’ intention on two separate occasions to build a financial contingency plan away from the day to day operational supporter fund raising, it appears that there is now a level of confusion, the article calls for player fund raising and yet the supporters group meeting was about supporting the Parade pitch! Although these recent events are unfortunate, we can therefore offer an alternative and a contingency which has been needed in the past and will undoubtedly be needed in the future.
There has also been confusion over the allocation of monies from the Wrexham event and we were very disappointed at the style and timing of recent comments. Much was to do with the event date being changed and re-structured. Our first intention is to establish these lines with the club so they know what they can expect, and when, from any future fund raising, although we are surprised by their urgency.
FRIENDS is delighted to have already generated circa £4k in ticket sales and 5% of fantastic bar sales for the club at this game, as well as Rodney Parade being delighted with food and beverage revenue of over £10k. It also introduced 250 new business people to the fantastic match day facilities we now enjoy and hopefully they will return. At the point of booking there were 6 hospitality places sold in the Bisley Suite who we happily incorporated into our original function and therefore no incremental losses would have been incurred as a result of this function.
FRIENDS are delighted to announce the surplus proceeds of the Wrexham event will be split between the club, academy and also to provide FREE TRAVEL to either Luton or Grimsby for families wishing to support the County on those possibly historic away days.
Details will be openly discussed with the club, academy and supporters’ travel groups. Following this gesture, FRIENDS will resume it’s original intention to continue to raise funds from sporting and non sporting events within the local business community and once again start to build a financial reserve which had it been in operation during the late eighties might have provided for an alternative outcome for our football club.
A meeting is planned between Andrew Morrison from FRIENDS and Dave Boddy and the detail of this working relationship can be agreed at that point.
Maybe now everyone can start to put some smiles on their faces and begin to enjoy what is an incredibly exciting end of season campaign which hopefully will end with County promotion back to the Football League.
Friends of Newport County