Following the teams’ encouraging performance in the 3-2 defeat at Shildon last Wednesday, the lads followed it up with a battling performance against Consett at Heritage Park on Saturday. Playing with ten men for much of the game the players showed grit and determination to get something out of the game and we were rewarded with Shaun Ryder’s goal at the end of the game. So, it’s a big well done to all the squad.
I’ve no doubt the big talking point if whether Ibby Hassan should have been sent off. From where I was sitting it certainly looked as if contact was made and we haven’t yet seen the referee’s report but one must assume that Ibby was sent of ‘for denying a goal scoring opportunity’. Looking at the laws of the game the following points must be considered by the referee to determine the sending off offence:
- distance between the offence and the goal
- general direction of the play
- likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
- location and number of defenders
Have a look at the highlights of the game on our You Tube Channel and see what you think!
Our Manager, Colin Myers, said in today’s Northern Echo “I believe that the tide is turning now. The players showed a lot of spirit and togetherness in the second half. And when those qualities come through, then results will come our way. We’re not having much luck though, we need to get some wins on the board”
I would agree with Colin’s sentiments. Colin has been working very hard behind the scenes to bring in new players to strengthen and improve the squad. The Board have made funds available to Colin in this quest and he had talks with a couple of players recently who in the end chose to go to other Clubs. As Colin said at the Question and Answer session we held recently it is not a good time to look for new players especially when Clubs are wanting to hold on to players whilst they are in a good position in the league and are also in the Cup Competitions.
At our last couple of Shareholders meetings, I spoke of the aims of the Board to increase the playing budget year or year to take us to a higher level. As you know, last season we invested nearly all the FA Cup prize money on our playing budget; unfortunately, we don’t have that this year. To increase our budget, we have to increase the revenue the Club receives from our commercial activities and the use of our facilities. This year we have already seen an increase in sponsorship and advertising thanks to the great work of our Commercial Director, Dave Mills, we have Middlesbrough Under 23’s playing at HP and we are now seeing an increase in bookings for our function room through meetings and party events.
As you know the Colin Rowell bequest cannot be used for the playing squad budget but has to be used for ground improvements and we are fortunate that this fund has given us the opportunity to invest in our function room. When Heritage Park was built funds were very tight and the furniture, which was second-hand, was donated. It is now showing signs of being worn and to cater for functions of 80 to 100 we have to use three different types of chair which doesn’t really look good. Our new furniture should be delivered this week and this will make a huge difference to people using the function room and when ‘selling’ our function room for events.
We have also invested in a catering service unit which is not only beneficial for proving a quality catering service at events but is also a necessity when ensuring food safety by keeping food at the correct storage and service temperatures.
We have also used the bequest funding to purchase a new ‘catering hut’. Built and equipped by a local supplier, the catering hut will enable us to increase the revenue we receive of match days. We will hopefully be receiving the catering hut very shortly.
We have so much to be grateful to Colin Rowell for and the Board have decided to name the function room the ‘Colin Rowell Function Suite’ in honour and appreciation of Colin. We will hold a ‘naming ceremony’ with more details to follow.
In closing, I would like to pass on the Club’s condolences to the family of Dennis Cowey, a lifelong supporter who died last week.