Our chief executive Jason Turner has provided an update on several club matters.
Firstly, I hope all our supporters and their families have managed to stay safe and well since my last update in October.
At that time, we were entering a ‘firebreak’ process at the club after withdrawing from the Emirates FA Cup and postponing two league matches due to a Covid case in our camp.
As we all know, the pandemic has since caused more disruption to our season but, with the overall picture now looking a little brighter, I’m pleased to say that our preparations to welcome supporters back to Meadow Lane have moved up a notch in recent weeks.
The government’s roadmap out of lockdown means there’s a chance we could welcome up to 4,000 people to our match against Weymouth on Saturday 22 May, our final home fixture of the season. While nothing is set in stone and we ask fans to remain cautiously optimistic, we sincerely hope that everything goes according to plan between now and then so that we can finally see some of you again.
2019-20 season ticket holders, hospitality, Lifeline and OSA members will be at the forefront of our thoughts when it comes to ticket allocations for the Weymouth match. The same will apply for the Buildbase FA Trophy final should we progress against Hornchurch next weekend, with the FA recently confirming that a limited number of spectators will be permitted at Wembley.
I’m sure you’ll all agree that our decision not to go on sale with 2020-21 season tickets has proven to be justified. We are already giving thought to next season’s package for 2019-20 renewals and new purchasers and look forward to sharing the details in due course.
When supporters do eventually return to Meadow Lane, we will be doing all we can to provide a safe environment. On that note, during the pandemic many retailers have encouraged customers to use debit cards rather than cash wherever possible in order to minimise the risk of transmission and we are considering following suit.
Not only would the elimination of cash transactions assist in safeguarding your health, it would speed up transaction processing, giving you a more efficient service, while also saving the club the costs of cash counting, handling and security, and reducing bank charges and insurance premiums.
If you feel that such a step would adversely affect your enjoyment of a visit to Meadow Lane, we would be very interested to hear your views. Please use the below form to get in touch or, alternatively, call our supporter liaison officer, Alice Kelk, on 0115 955 7241.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our local MP, Lilian Greenwood, for her wonderful support of the club in recent months. We were very disappointed with the distribution of the National Lottery funding, as well as the offer of loans instead of grants earlier this year, and Lilian lobbied strongly on our behalf. Her backing is hugely appreciated.
It was also brilliant to see our charitable arm, FITC, successfully rebrand to the Notts County Foundation recently. To find out more about their magnificent work, including the Covid testing centre at Portland Leisure Centre, please click here.
Turning to on-the-field matters, I must extend my congratulations to our Under 18s staff and players after they secured the league title recently. This is a magnificent achievement in very trying circumstances and everyone at the club is proud of their efforts.
I can also confirm that we have strongly put forward our case for Elisha Sam’s incredible goal against Oxford City to be nominated for this year’s Puskas award. The goal has been viewed nearly 4million times on our social media channels, wowing football fans across the globe. Fingers crossed Elisha gets the recognition he deserves for such an extraordinary finish.
Finally, as you may already have seen, we’ve made a big addition to our administrative team with the acquisition of six-month-old cockapoo Mr Socks, who has taken on the role of club dog. Socks’ boundless enthusiasm has already won the hearts of all our staff and players and we’re looking forward to having him as part of our team for many years to come!
He and I will be spending our Sunday evening hopefully toasting three points against Yeovil and enjoying the return of Line of Duty, starring our very own Vicky McClure. Break a leg, Vicky!
Thank you all for your continued support of the club.