Witton Albion Juniors News.

Newsletter #3

Hi to all Junior Members (and parents etc).

I’m sure you will be well aware of the second lockdown and the effect it will have on Witton Albion both at senior and junior levels.

At senior level, all the matches scheduled for November have been postponed, and provisionally Witton won’t be playing until after 2nd December.

There are several rumours floating around when we will be playing again, some positive, and some not, so I’ll let you decide which you want to believe. Until we get clearance from the Government, the League Committee, and the Football Association, there won’t be any games at Wincham Park or at any other grounds in our league. Please, let it be positive news, as we’re all ready and raring to go.

Witton were playing particularly well when the lockdown was called. We had beaten Atherton Collieries at home, and then Scarborough away in the FA Trophy. In the next round we have been drawn to play Bamber Bridge at home. On paper, it sounds a winnable match, but nothing can be taken for granted – it’s a cup game, so anything can happen, as it also can in the league, it’s that tight at the top.

Our attendances at home are pretty good on the whole. Only the Basford game was a poorer gate than usual, but if I remember right, it was a shocking day, and rain had been pouring down for hours before and during the game. Not fit for a dog to be out being fair.

Apart from that, attendances have increased every game slowly but surely. One of the main reasons is YOU!!!

Every home game, between 60-100 of you are using your Junior Membership Card, and that’s great, BUT, as always LET’S MAKE IT MORE!!! Please tell your mates at school, and down your street just how much you enjoy watching the games, and get their parents to contact me and they can get their own card/s.

The noise levels are increasing from you, and I can guarantee the players love to hear your encouragement behind the goal.

One important point, while I think on. For future members, if parents don’t want to disclose their home address, it’s ok, it will now be simply voluntarily. We used to ask for addresses previously so we could post out the Membership Cards. Now, we ask you/parents to collect them from the stadium on match days, as it was costing more in postage than it was to get the cards printed.

Similarly, if parents of current members want us to delete addresses, we will see to it immediately, provided parents email me with their full details. If we don’t hear anything, we’ll assume your parents are relaxed about us holding this information, which does, and always will, remain strictly confidential. Nobody sees this apart from me, and that’s how it will continue.

Until the lockdown is officially over or amended, it’s a waste of time talking about future fixtures until we know what’s happening, so I thought while we are waiting, I’d explain how the volunteers all fit in.

When I discuss the volunteers, and what they do, I’m deliberately going to miss out names. I do this to protect myself to be honest, as I’d never forgive myself if I missed out an important volunteer. There are about 80, so I could be excused if I did, but it’s not happening.

I will be talking about the odd few who DO get paid also. This includes the team manager and his own management team (including assistant manager, physio, and kit man). We mustn’t forget the main reason we go to Wincham Park, and that is THE PLAYERS. The Social Club main staff also get paid for all the work they do, which is absolutely essential to the survival and progress of the football club.

Chairman & Board of Directors

In a successful football club at any level from the Premiership down to non-league, there are several “departments” which all work hand in hand to make a winning team both on and off the pitch. It’s no use having a team of superstars on the pitch, and a load of numpties running the club. The same works the other way round too. Everybody has to work together to make it happen, and nobody is either more or less important than anybody else. At Witton Albion, we’re all in it together, and it shows how we all appreciate each other (most of the time!!). Even when members of the club don’t agree with each other, it’s also very healthy. The reason is because both sides of the argument have the same attitude – they want what is best for the club (in their own opinion). OK, let’s start the ball rolling by discussing the Chairman and members of the Board (Directors).

The Chairman is ultimately “the boss”. He is surrounded by a Board of Directors who report directly to him, and they all talk about what they consider needs changing, or a better way of doing things etc. One of the main items is money, and how to get more of it (and ways to save money) so the club and team can keep improving. Even though the Board takes a vote on every matter, usually the Chairman (and particularly a good one) often has the final word on many things, as the Board members normally trust his decisions - but not always.

Perhaps the easiest way to describe how it works is to pretend it’s your family. Your Mum and Dad earn the money to keep you fed, clothed, and living in a warm home. Maybe one parent needs a better car to get to work to keep earning money, the washing machine has gone bust and needs replacing, and you’ve been promised a new laptop or games for your birthday which is coming up soon. They need to balance the money, and decide which is most important to do straight away, and which can wait for a while.

The Chairman and the Board decide stuff like this all the time. The stadium is just like a house – there are always jobs to be done, repairs to be made, new things to buy, and day to day costs like electricity, gas, phone bills and so on.

Also, the Board decide how much the manager and his assistants can pay to players, a little like your parents telling how much “pocket money” you can have each week. Usually, the manager is given a set amount for the season, and he can balance wages, transfer costs in and out over the season – more about that when we talk about the Management and his team.

The Chairman and Board need to consider all financial decisions no matter how small. Ideally, the club can afford the current budget (the amount paid to players and the Management team), can pay all the regular bills and still be able to have some left over for emergencies. That is the theory, but in reality it is sometimes quite different. 2020 has been the Covid year. That has affected Witton (and every other club) badly in terms of money. Several clubs in England have gone bust, and some may never return, but so far Witton are surviving and hoping for a return to normal as soon as possible. You can help by coming to as many games as possible – we NEED you more than ever now when we start up again.

The main ways Witton can earn money is –

a) Attendance at home games (I know you Juniors are free)

b) A good cup run and prize money for each game we win

c) Social Club, tea huts, Junior Snack bar

d) Fund raising in many different ways

e) Donations

f) Buying shares in the club.

The first three of these are not possible at the moment due to lockdown, so the Chairman and the Board have to look at ways of making or saving money in other areas, just so we can exist until we are back to normal again. That is not an easy task.

The strange thing about being a chairman (I was Chairman in a different sport than football), is that when things are going well, the players always get the credit, but when things go wrong, it’s always the chairman’s fault!! You certainly don’t do the job to get loads of praise that’s for sure. But a good Chairman is essential in running a successful club, both on and off the field. I think Witton are lucky in that respect.

In the next section of duties in the club, we’ll cover the Management team, who in effect do get paid, but who would not want that? If we replaced them by volunteers, Witton would be probably playing Sunday League football in no time at all.

I don’t know if you will find this interesting or not, and I would like to know either way.

For now, that’s all, and from the club’s point of view we can’t wait to get going again, and see if we can re-discover the form before lockdown. We are challenging for promotion, and want to go up a league, and with your help WE CAN DO IT!!!

Hope to see you soon at Wincham Park, meanwhile, stick to the rules, take good care of yourselves and your family (it’s a hard time for adults too), and see you soon.