CEO Michael Dunford's latest programme notes
Although clubs cannot make any permanent transfers now until January 1, the emergency loan window opened on Monday and I would expect to be using it to strengthen the squad in the coming weeks.
We don’t have a bottomless pit, but we all share the manager’s aim to improve our playing resources. If he can identify and acquire a couple of experienced players the board will do their utmost to support him. Last Monday Connor Essam was released from his contract and we’d like to wish him all the best for the future.
It was good to make progress in the JPT with the 2-0 victory over Cambridge United. Financially, the benefits of competing in the competition don’t become evident until the later rounds and Tuesday’s attendance was very similar to two years ago at this stage against Gillingham. A gate of 1252 meant we will only break even on hosting the game bearing in mind the expenses involved.
Personally, I’d like to see the early rounds of the competition staged as part of pre-season, especially as it’s regionalised. It’s an issue that will be discussed at the next Football League meeting in Walsall on September 25. I know a number of clubs feel the same and there is an appetite to see if playing the early rounds in pre-season could work. It would certainly bring a competitive edge to the build-up to a new season.
The club are keen to embrace as many sections of our fan base as possible and the Crawley Town community at large so I’m delighted to say that a supporters club aimed specifically aimed at fans with disabilities will be launched with an inaugural meeting on Thursday October 2 in Reds Bar, with hopefully manager John Gregory and a couple of players in attendance.
From that, we hope there will be sufficient interest to create their own committee to organise social events throughout the year. It’s not restricted to people in receipt of medium or higher-level disability allowance. It is open to any supporter with a disability. In Chris Cheshire and our Supporters Liaison Officer Barbara Robinson, we have two very strong supporters of this initiative and we are aware that some of our staunchest supporters are disabled.
Unusually, we have three Saturday home games this month as well as last Tuesday’s JPT tie, which puts a strain on supporters’ pockets.
We are continuing to roll out initiatives that we hope can increase our gates and today we launch ‘Bring A Friend.’ This is specifically aimed at supporters who come
regularly to our home games.
We are asking them to bring a friend or relative who has never come to a game here at Checkatrade.com Stadium. Every time you do, you will receive entry into a draw at the end of December with a first prize of £500 with several other prizes also up for grabs. All the details are on the ticket page of our website.
Later this month, we will be reluanching our Family Section with reduced price tickets into Block H of the East Stand. Junior Reds members will be able buy a seat for £3 and an accompanying adult £15 and we will also be introducing a special Family Ticket, whereby a family group can make a significant saving on normal matchday prices.
We are aware that some initiatives are more successful than others but if we could increase our regular home attendance by even 200 it would make a big difference to ensuring we can sustain League One football at Crawley Town.
Remember we are at home again on Saturday to newly promoted Fleetwood Town. They are likely to have one of our former players, Jamie Proctor, in their squad which should add a little extra spice to the occasion.
Be proud to be a Red!