Club President Wael Al Qadi updates supporters in his latest open letter...
It has been three months since my last letter and I was keen to write to you again before we head into our final eight games of what has been a very strange and difficult season.
For a variety of reasons, our ambitions for this season have not been fulfilled. Undoubtedly, mistakes have been made which have caused us to underachieve on the pitch. I am extremely disappointed we have not made the progress we had expected prior to the start of the season. As owner and President, I have to take full responsibility for that. However, I can assure you that our focus and ambitions have not wavered and my commitment remains as strong as ever to bring the success that this club deserves and is considerably overdue. We will learn from our mistakes and be stronger as a result.
Following on from Paul’s departure, it was imperative we recruited an ambitious and determined manager to lead the club forward and so we sought to explore all options to find someone that would best fit the club and our strategy.
We held several discussions with Joey in advance of his appointment and we were all incredibly impressed with his knowledge of the game and his passion for our project. We were left in no doubt that he has all the attributes to galvanise the players, the fanbase and (as he says) ‘Get the Mem Rocking’ with an attractive style of winning football.
He instantly understood the club’s family and community ethos and has actively engaged with our Community Trust from the first day he arrived with us. He has already been out to visit NHS workers via club partner Cadbury and there are plenty of additional activities planned.
On the pitch, things haven’t gone our way so far. Our last few matches have seen spirited performances but failure to convert opportunities, individual errors leading to goals against, injuries to key players and some poor decisions from the officials have left us in a perilous position in the league. Whilst we remain positive we can win enough games to remain in the division, we are under no illusion that relegation to League 2 is a possibility. I have no doubt that Joey, his coaching staff and the players will do everything they can to put the points on the board that we need to stay up.
Looking forward to the summer, planning has already started to improve the balance in the squad and to do all we can to ensure that we are stronger and fully prepared to take on whatever challenge we face next season.
To help achieve that goal, progress also continues at the training ground with the roof now completed and the reservoir taking shape. The reservoir will be used to store our own natural water resources to irrigate the pitches moving forward. The team is currently making use of the pitches and gym area and I am looking forward to seeing this site continue to develop after we complete phase one.
Also at the training ground, we will shortly see the installation of the board containing the names of all of the season ticket holders for the current season. This is just a small token of our appreciation because without your continued support, getting through this season would have been so much more difficult.
Moving forward, over the coming weeks information on season tickets for next season will be released. We have been working through the lockdown on our ticketing systems to make significant improvements for next season. More information will be released on this in due course.
Over the course of the season, I have been incredibly touched by the support that we have continued to have despite all of the challenges that this pandemic has brought us. Back in September, when the season began, we were working under the assumption (as many of you were) that fans would be readmitted in October. Needless to say, that didn’t materialise and it’s now over 12 months since we last welcomed you to the Mem.
We continue to miss your presence on a match day and I have no doubt that we have suffered on the pitch without the roar of the Gasheads cheering on the players. Off the pitch we still have very limited income, however, I remain committed to funding the club through the pandemic and beyond - at present we estimate that the net cost of this will surpass £3 million.
This season has been really tough for us all, both on and off the pitch and my sincerest condolences to all those who have lost a loved one during this awful year. Hopefully, by sticking together we will get through this and will soon return to some form of normality. Thanks again for all of your continued support – I remain truly touched and grateful to have such an incredible fanbase behind us.