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Club News

A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

23 November 2015

It has been a busy couple of weeks for the club, both on and off the pitch.

Firstly we have been continuing with our search to strengthen the squad, and we do have some irons in the fire.

The arrival of Paris Cowan–Hall, who has joined us on an initial month’s loan from Millwall, is a great start but we are still seeking to add to our striking options.

We hope to be able to give you more positive news on that soon.

Additionally, Billy Bodin has now agreed a contract until the end of the season, which is a boost for us all as he has impressed everyone recently.

We are always looking to support Darrell in his needs but as you all know, finding the right players who are willing to come here and buy into what Darrell is trying to do is not easy.

We must ensure that we spend our money wisely and ensure the players we bring in will strengthen the current squad and give Darrell more options.

But not only do we need to identify a willing player, but also a willing Club, and that can often be difficult too.

We have another busy run of games coming up over the festive period, and so many games in a short space of time stretches even the biggest of squads.

The win over Carlisle ended our home hoodoo, and although we lost at Crawley we are still within touching distance of the play-offs, with a game in hand on most other clubs.

We have had some up-and-downs over the last two or three weeks, but the team haven’t played badly in many of the games, even though the results have gone against us.

Those of you who are able to follow the team away from home have probably seen the best of us so far this season.

I personally found the FA Cup game one of the most frustrating I have ever watched.

I also felt that we were by far the better side at Southend, and the luck didn’t go with us, to get our just rewards.

It was nice to hear Phil Brown praising us the following morning on Talk Sport.

We would also like to say the support you gave Darrell and the players during the sticky run of winless home games was immense, and we all thank you for that.

Stick with us, and I am sure we will end up where we want to be come May.

Off the pitch we were delighted the judge agreed that our appeal was to be expedited and the date we were given was earlier than we expected.

It is certainly much better than waiting at the back of the queue till 2017.

We are all working very hard behind the scenes with our lawyers to get everything in place to get this over the line so we can start building the UWE Stadium at the earliest opportunity.

It is vital to the club’s long-term future that we win this case, and we are all quietly confident the result will go our way.

I am sure you are all aware there has once again been lots of unfounded rumours of new investments and buy-outs of the club.

The truth is that over the last 2 years we have been approached by around 12 potential investors in the club.

Recent history has shown how boards of directors who sell to the first bidder who waves a chunky cheque in their faces have left their clubs in the wrong hands.

We wouldn’t consider selling to someone who within weeks of taking over changes the club’s kit to red and white and renames us Bristol Pirates.

With our fan base and planning permission for a 22,000 seat stadium on the outskirts of the city, the club is potentially an attractive proposition for investors.

When word gets around that you are looking for investment, you are bound to have people contacting you.

But investors who have money to buy the club but can only fund the Club to keep it running for three or four years simply isn’t going to work for the long-term future of the Club.

I get a lot of stick for repeatedly saying I will only sell if the right investor comes along, who can demonstrate the ability and ambition to take our club forward.

I am a supporter of the club, and myself and the board will do what we believe to be in the Club’s best interest.

Fans stop me all the time and ask me if there is any news on new signings or on new investment.

I feel like I disappoint them when I tell them there is nothing to report at the moment, but rest assured if and when we have news on either front we will inform you.

It is also worth bearing in mind quite frequently when new investors begin talks with clubs both sides sign a confidentiality agreement forbidding either party from publicly discussing the talks.

As I have said before we have had many talks with potential investors which have never got past first base.

We don’t want to raise supporters’ expectations before any deal is done, and sometimes when news leaks out it results in the buyers being approached by countless other clubs who are also looking for a cash injection.

I would also like to give Nick Day a mention here. I felt his speech before the Carlisle game was respectful, moving and defiant.

I think his words were a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in the Paris attacks and they also summed up well how I think we are all feeling right now about this tragic event.

All the best, Nick


 

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