The latest from Bristol Rovers Chairman, Nick Higgs!The preparations are complete and we look forward to the new season with renewed optimism, so glad to be back in the Football League after a one year sojourn in The Conference.
Football supporters across the country will be thinking that this is the season when their side can really make an impact, no matter what level they are playing at. For me, that's the beauty of the game; so many people, all with a shared passion, all wanting the very best for the side they support.
I, along with every other Bristol Rovers supporter, am no different and I have followed our pre-season progress with a renewed enthusiasm following last season's fantastic achievement.
Thanks to the efforts of Darrell and his staff, and the players themselves, I think you will have to go a long way to find a fitter squad in League Two this season.
The camaraderie and team spirit within this group of players remains as it was last season and I know they are looking forward to the new campaign.
Some of those players will get their first taste of League football today and I wish them well as they begin the next phase of their careers.
Others will be making their senior debut for Bristol Rovers, either today or over the coming weeks, and I am thinking here of our new signings, James Clarke, Cristian Montano, Billy Bodin and Jeffrey Monakana who, along with Chris Lines, have arrived to bolster our squad.
We have also faced disappointment over the summer, as a High Court judgement ruled in favour of Sainsbury's over the decision as to whether or not they should purchase the Memorial Stadium, which would have allowed us to move to a new complex at UWE.
Of course, we have since been given leave to appeal that judgment which, we feel, further demonstrates the complexity of this case and the fact that the initial decision in favour of Sainsbury's was far from clear cut, since it was given by the original case judge.
The club considers that this decision further vindicates its decision to take action to compel Sainsbury's to complete purchase of the Memorial Stadium site.
The case remains very much in the balance and the judge felt it should be considered further by the Court of Appeal.
It is clear from the judgment that the single argument relied upon by Sainsbury’s to justify their refusal to complete were incorrect, and were not accepted by the judge. The trial also revealed that Sainsbury’s had not kept the club informed of its actions and intentions from a very early stage. I expect to comment more on this in the future.
We will keep you informed of any developments in the case, but in the meantime it's back to business this afternoon as we take on Northampton Town and I know that you will all be backing Darrell and the side to the hilt.