Firstly, a huge thank you to all the supporters who travelled to Maidenhead and Hanwell and got behind our new management team. As Scott said in his post-match interview, your support means so much to the team but also to the club too.
We appreciate that news hasn’t been forthcoming from us - this is certainly not due to lack of activity behind the scenes. To put our supporters’ minds at rest, the club is debt-free and players will continue to be paid in full next week.
However, the football club - just like every other business in the country - is operating against the backdrop of a cost of living crisis, resulting in lower than anticipated attendances as supporters rightly prioritise their spending.
Our season ticket sales have declined 44% from pre-pandemic levels when we reached the National League South play-offs, following year-on-year growth since 2013, whilst matchday attendances have dropped 12% from last season.
In addition to this, we started the season having lost our primary home shirt sponsor, who withdrew their sponsorship at short notice leaving us with a shortfall which we have only recently been able to replace with our new partnership with Verus Group.
In order to guarantee the club’s future, difficult decisions may need to be made to protect its financial stability.
It has been suggested by some that our budgeting may include runs in the FA competitions - this is categorically untrue as this income can never be guaranteed.
In the current economic climate we do not feel it is appropriate to ask supporters to contribute via crowdfunding or donations, so this really only leaves external investment and/or increasing our matchday revenue.
Over the summer the club engaged in discussions with two parties regarding potential investment and ownership opportunities, but these ended unsuccessfully. We are currently exploring further opportunities and should these end positively we will of course inform you, but this may take time to come to fruition and we hope you will appreciate the necessary sensitivity around these discussions.
The alternative is to reduce our outgoings, which we appreciate will not be a popular route.
The board are all supporters of the club and have its very best interests at heart. We will not jeopardise the long-term future of the club for the short-term, but at the same time we do not want to be putting the club into a position whereby it cannot continue to compete at Step 2.
Whilst we work behind the scenes on the bigger picture - which include discussions with our landlord Slough Borough Council in relation to the facilities and our profit sharing agreement at Arbour Park - we would ask all supporters to come to our home matches, get behind the team and make as much noise at home as you do away. It is incredible to hear and it gives the players a huge lift.
If you have any contacts with local businesses, your employers, friends and others, please mention to them match sponsorship, advertising boards and the various other sponsorship opportunities we offer, including our ever popular 500 Club. Encourage your friends and family to come to Arbour Park with you - increasing our attendances is a joint effort. Even 100 more people through the gate would make a big difference to our matchday income. We have posters and fliers available and would welcome help in distributing these in and around Slough.
We need your help, support and positivity to fill Arbour Park with faces new and old.
We look forward to seeing as many supporters as possible getting behind Scott, Lee and the team at our upcoming home matches, and encourage you to take advantage of the many offers in place during the World Cup - Mini Saver tickets, discounts for Premier League and EFL season ticket holders, and free entry for Under 16s.
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