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Update from Jason Turner

19 August 2016

Notts County chief executive Jason Turner has provided his latest update on a number of club matters.

Well the new season has finally arrived and, at the time of writing, the team are on their way to Hartlepool for the first of back-to-back away games against unbeaten opposition. Let’s hope that we will be celebrating our first league win of the season and three points tomorrow evening.

I felt that our most recent performance against Plymouth on Tuesday deserved so much more, and if we can carry on tomorrow where we left off, I’m sure we’ll all be happy come the final whistle.

Since my last update, two players have joined us on loan until January. Vadaine Oliver has signed from York City, and Louis Laing has returned to the club for a second spell, this time from Motherwell. I understand that Louis was a very popular player during his last loan spell here, and he was only too delighted to rejoin us when the opportunity arose. Both players are very welcome at Meadow Lane.

Rhys Sharpe has left the club to pursue his career elsewhere and we wish him well for the future. Montel Gibson and Yohan Rutty-Smith have joined Romulus for a short period to get a taste of first-team football, and this can only aid their development. I’m sure there will be more comings and goings before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Our agreement to train at Arnold Town expired during the summer and the first team and scholars trained at Nottingham Trent University during pre-season. I am delighted that we concluded an arrangement with Ruddington Parish Council to train at Elms Park, Ruddington, from the beginning of August. I am now working with the council to develop a long-term partnership of mutual benefit, and cannot thank them enough for their help and support to date. The football staff and players are thoroughly enjoying their new base, where the facilities and staff are first class.

We entertain Chesterfield at Meadow Lane next Tuesday at 1.30pm in a friendly reserve fixture, and our Central League Cup fixtures have also been confirmed this week. Further details can be found here. Season ticket holders can of course watch all home reserve/development fixtures for free upon production of their season ticket card.

You will be aware of my frustration at the lack of replica shirts in the club shop from my previous updates and, while it is of no consolation, I have spoken to a number of other clubs who are experiencing the same issues. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and the latest update I have received from our kit supplier is that our home shirts will be air-freighted to the club by the end of the month. This is a further delay on the mid-August date previously advised, but I am now hopeful that there will be no further hold ups. The away shirt will follow shortly thereafter.

We committed to offering first priority to season ticket holders to purchase the home shirt ahead of general sale and as soon as we have a confirmed arrival date we will announce details of a special club shop open evening, with some first-team players in attendance. I have already started the process of looking at our kit supplier options for following seasons as our current contract expires at the end of this campaign. I will ensure that the club is not in this situation again.

One thing you will have noticed this season is the new design of letters and numbers, which sees the continuation of PCUK’s Man of Men logo on all back-of-shirt kit numbers. It is an EFL requirement that all clubs must wear the new letters and numbers for all competitions. Unfortunately, the new style is somewhat smaller and less bold to that of previous seasons and does not blend well on our home shirts. I understand the frustrations of some supporters who find it difficult to make out the names of the players but we have no other option than to use these letters. We will work with our new kit supplier to guarantee a better option for future seasons.

Due to the delay in kit supply, we have yet to undertake our official photo call, but this has now been arranged for late next week, and images will be available shortly thereafter on our website and in a forthcoming matchday programme.

It is encouraging that, although the season has now started, we are still selling season tickets on a daily basis. Numbers are comparable to last season, and this support is hugely appreciated by everyone at the club. The situation of Zebra Finance not being in a position to support the club this season has been far from ideal, but I am already working with them to reintroduce this facility for next year.  I fully appreciate the value of this service to a number of our supporters.

In the week leading up to the start of the season I personally carried out full stadium inspections. I noticed that the seating areas were in a poor state and flagged this problem immediately. I was informed that the cleaning of seats is left as close to the game as possible to avoid them getting dirty again, and totally understand the rationale behind this. However, having received feedback from our opening fixtures, I have once again walked around the ground and, whilst there is an improvement compared to the time of my last inspection, further cleaning is required to bring these areas up to my expected standards and those that are acceptable to you.  I have tasked our Head of Operations with rectifying this issue before our next home match, and have every confidence that his team will deliver.

We will be announcing our ‘Bring a Friend’ matches next week when season ticket holders can choose one of four fixtures during the season where they can exchange their voucher, included in their season ticket packs, for a ticket to bring a family member or friend to a league match at Meadow Lane. Full details with terms and conditions will be announced on the website, across our social media platforms and by email to all season ticket holders.

Thank you for your continued support. You Pies!

Jason Turner

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