CEO outlines need for financial review
HERE ARE CHIEF EXECUTIVE MICHAEL DUNFORD'S PROGRAMME NOTES FROM LAST SATURDAY'S POSTPONED GAME AGAINST STEVENAGE.
Postponed games have been an issue not only for us, but for a lot of other clubs in our division this season and unfortunately it is a situation out of our control. It means we’ve now got a backlog of fixtures.
It’s not an ideal situation for our supporters having two home games in a week because we know some of you won’t be able to afford to come to both matches. We very much appreciate your support and we want you to know that your hard earned money is protected by the club and put to good use.
We’re carrying out a full review of all areas of expenditure at the moment and although we run a pretty tight ship to survive in this division and prosper, which hopefully we will over the coming years, we need to ensure that every penny we make and every penny spent is put to the best possible use.
It’s not unusual for a football club or indeed any business to undertake a financial review. We’re looking at every aspect of our operation to ensure we get value for our money.
For instance, we’re challenging all the suppliers who provide goods to us to ensure we get the best possible value. We’re ensuring there is no wastage because at the end of the day we’re only a support act to the team and what really matters in the eyes of most supporters is what happens on the pitch.
We don’t want to have flesh on the bone. We want to run a professional and lean off-the-field organisation that can support a League One team and hopefully a Championship club in the future. On average gates of 3,300 that’s not easy and makes it even more of a necessity to ensure every penny we spend is spent wisely. It is still a tough time for any business and football is certainly not immune to the current economic situation.
There are difficult decisions to be made but we will continue to act in the best interest of your club so our supporters have the confidence of knowing that we’re not going to get ourselves into financial trouble - that simply won’t be allowed. The reality is on one of the smallest average gates in the league we can only afford so much and why should we expect investors or benefactors to support us all the time? If there’s spare money then we expect it to be invested into the core business, which is providing a winning and entertaining football team.
From a supporters’ point of view there will be very little noticeable difference but one change implemented from today is that the Stevenage fans will only be in the Checkatrade.com East Stand. It makes no sense to open up the terracing for visitors when we’re expecting less than 500 travelling fans. This will save us a considerable amount in stewarding costs over the season.
I’m certain that our visitors know all about careful budgeting as they are a club of similar size to ourselves. I’m confident our club has a healthy future financially. True, we don’t have pots of money but there’s a lot of pride in achieving something when you know you’ve worked very hard for it.
You can do your bit by coming regularly and bringing along friends and family, knowing that every penny you spend isn’t for personal gain but invested in running a professional club in League One with aspirations of one day playing in the Championship.
Be Proud to be a Red!
LOOK OUT FOR A TWO-PART VIDEO WITH MICHAEL DUNFORD, WHO WILL TALK MORE ABOUT THE FINANCIAL REVIEW, ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL ON TUESDAY.