22 Dec 2018 in General News
A couple of months have passed since I was given the honour of being appointed Chairman of this great club, the cornerstone of Ashington in many respects over the last century.
The last decade has proven a challenge in many ways. During this time there have been many highs, but also significant challenges; none more so than the ones we face today.
Those of you who attended the open meeting in November know that I am committed to building an open, honest, transparent and sustainable club focused on community integration.
Over the last 2 months we have taken significant formative steps towards those goals. Ashington Juniors are an integral part of our club moving forward, and I was delighted to welcome Lynne Bell and Matthew Potts onto the Executive Board in my first week as Chairman, and I was honoured to join the board of Ashington Juniors shortly after. We have also made great strides in streamlining our business including developing a comprehensive football development plan and an ambitious and wide-ranging business plan for the club as a whole. I hope to be able to share these plans with you in the new year. We have also sought to give something back to our community through various fundraising and charitable initiatives, with further projects extending into 2019 and beyond.
However, it is no secret that tough decisions have been taken, and further will be required going forward in order to stabilise the club off the field including overall club direction and finances to allow us to overcome the challenges we face and grow to achieve our goals.
In particular, the budget for the playing staff took a significant reduction in early November. In this regard I would like to place on record my own personal gratitude to Steve Bowey and his players for the commitment, loyalty and dedication they have shown. Regardless of what happens with the future of our club, this squad and management should and will be remembered for sticking by the club during its most difficult period in a generation.
Across the board we are looking to stabilise and grow our reputation in the local community. To this end we are now in tentative discussions with our landlord Advance Northumberland (formerly Arch) on a proposal to resolve a number of outstanding issues. We would like to thank Advance Northumberland for this opportunity, and hope these discussions secure a sustainable future for the Club and working relationship moving forward.
Our club is still ultimately in transition and is far from the finished article. The Directors and board are committed to building a real community asset in the heart of Ashington which is here for many decades to come and we are heading in that direction. The future of our club is in all of our hands and it greatly depends on you; the fans, the local community and the business community. I would encourage the whole of Ashington to join us on this journey, and continue to support Ashington Community Football Club with the loyalty and passion the town is renowned for. There are challenges to come in the new year, but we need to be equipped as best we can and be committed to ensure that our club has a secure and long term future, and you are all part of that.
To everyone involved with Ashington Community Football Club, the fans, the sponsors and our community partners – have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Lets hope 2019 marks a new beginning for Ashington Community Football Club, and we all come together to make it a community asset we can all be proud of.
Brian Shotton, Chairman