Notts County chairman Ray Trew has moved to thank fans for their input at Wednesday evening’s Fans’ Forum in the Meadow Lane Sports Bar.
Unable to attend the evening in person, due to business commitments abroad, Mr Trew appeared via video link on a big screen in the MLSB, but the connection was not what we would have hoped for ahead of the event.
As such, some answers were not heard clearly and a later attempt to make contact via phone proved equally difficult to convey a clear message from the chairman.
Mr Trew therefore contacted the media team on Wednesday evening to give his summary on the night and the board’s ambitions for the club, passing on the following message: “Firstly I would just like to thank the 222 supporters who attended the fans’ forum on Wednesday evening, as well as all of those who contributed via email, Facebook and Twitter to what I felt was a positive and productive evening.
“I must apologise that the video connection that we established for me to join in proceedings wasn’t to the standard that we had hoped for, but I am glad that I was at least able to listen in on proceedings for the most part.
“One question that was asked on the night was about the board’s ambition for the club. The first thing to stress on this is that I remain 100% committed to Notts County, I am an ambitious man and I will always strive for the very best in everything that I do, I want Notts County to reflect that.
“However, I do need to highlight that, at present, the club is running at a loss. It is taking a significant level of investment, from myself, to keep us on an even keel,” he added.
“As I said on the night, I am not looking for a pat on the back for this, I am merely looking for a dose of realism amongst some of the disillusioned supporters who expect immediate results year after year.
“We would all like to see the club get promoted every year, to win trophies and to be successful, but that doesn’t come easy. It takes everyone associated at the club to be pulling in the same direction.
“Make no mistake, I am fully aware that, without the supporters, there is no club, I appreciate that and I would like to once again thank every single supporter who has bought a ticket, made a purchase in the club shop or supported us commercially at any level during my tenure at Meadow Lane, your input has been invaluable.
“My point though is that we need more of this support if we are to achieve our shared goals of moving the club forwards.
“I don’t think that anyone has been hiding away from the fact that this season has been a disappointing one and has certainly fallen short of the high hopes that we had going into the campaign, but this has only made us more determined to put things right, to make this a brief dip rather than the acceptable level.
“Unfortunately, even when things aren’t going as we would like on the pitch, bills still have to be paid, the club still needs to be funded and dwindling attendances, whilst understandable, do not help the club progress.
“At the risk of sounding clichéd, we are all in this together, this is our football club, our Notts County.
“Whilst I have been happy to support the club financially to the level that we have reached over the past three years, I do not have a bottomless pit of money to throw at this and the club cannot expect to grow if we don’t have the backing of the most important element, you, the fans.
“We have tried to make our ticketing as affordable as possible, whilst striving for a competitive budget for Chris Kiwomya to work with next season, but I do acknowledge that football is an expensive sport to follow, particularly in the current financial climate.
“For those that can afford to show their support through purchasing season tickets, your backing will make a massive difference to the ambition that the club are able to pursue next season, but equally those that can no longer afford the initial outlay, but who will still come along as often as possible throughout the season, your support is also key and I thank each and every one of you.
“It is our responsibility, as a board, as a team, to produce the kind of football that provides value for money for that investment, year-on-year, week-on-week, and in Chris I believe we have installed a manager with not only a desire to provide that, but the understanding and nous to deliver it next year, once he has had an opportunity to shape his squad.
“What we cannot afford, as a club, is for fans to give up on us. Only the club will suffer if supporters stop coming and, ultimately, we will be back in the kind of situation that the club found themselves in just a few short years ago.
“We are doing all that we can to ensure that this doesn’t happen, but there are no easy fixes, we have to call upon your faith in us, as a board, in the manager and in the team, to put this season behind us, regroup and get ready for the new campaign ahead.
“I suppose I should finish with my traditional ending, as it seems most fitting. Onwards and upwards.”