With the dust settled on a disappointing end to Season 20-21, the focus of attention has turned firmly to looking forward to Season 21-22. Indeed, despite no football being played, the close season is arguably the busiest time of the year from an operational perspective. The following headline information will hopefully provide a useful insight into some of the “key” happenings but as ever, please don’t hesitate to contact me, in the first instance via the Club email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to discuss any of the points raised or indeed anything else (Binos’ related!) that is on your mind.
The Club Office and Shop remain exiled from Forthbank. The Office is managed remotely by working from home and the Shop is still located at Colin Rowley’s business premises in Springkerse. With The Peak back up and running, Active Stirling are also looking to get Forthbank re-opened in the near future and I’m confident that, subject to the inevitable Covid-related Health and Safety issues being addressed, we can be back home well in advance of the start of next season.
SUPPORTERS LIAISON DIRECTOR
I am delighted to be able to confirm that, with immediate effect, John Daly, is taking on this role and, without delay, he will be seeking to recruit a Supporters Liaison Officer from our fan base to work alongside him. Volunteers play an essential role at every lower league club but most crucially at those that are fans owned and very soon John will be reaching out to seek volunteers for a number of essential tasks, including on match days.
FIRST TEAM & REPLICA KIT
As previously intimated, with our major sponsor, Prudential, rebranding, we took the decision to replace both home and away kits for season 21/22 (Read about that here). The Commercial Team is close to finalising the back of shirt & sleeve sponsors and I hope to be in a position to reveal mock-ups of the “finished articles” before the end of this month.
FIRST TEAM SQUAD 2021-22
Most of the announcements regarding the players leaving the Club have been made and discussions continue between Kevin Rutkiewicz and those yet to be revealed. Two new signings have been announced – Ray Grant and Martin McNiff – and Kevin and his backroom staff are working tirelessly to bring in a number of other quality additions to add to those already recruited / retained from last season.
THE RETURN OF SPECTATORS
With Scottish Government announcing that fans can return to stadiums, albeit in limited numbers, we are actively addressing the considerable number of challenges this will inevitably pose. The SFA are producing a “Return of Spectators” Protocol document but this isn’t likely to be released until after the next planned “Lockdown Easing” on 7 June, when hopefully most of Scotland will be moved to Level 1. The biggest practical challenge we face is the continuing requirement to socially distance all changing facilities, including providing entirely separate accommodation for the Home, Away and Officials personnel which currently at Forthbank takes 6 of the 8 Turnstiles in the home and away stands out of use!
Approval has been given for Live Streaming of matches to continue throughout season 21/22 and we are looking at how best we can make use of this facility to provide our own supporters and those of our opponents with “access” to watching matches live at Forthbank that they are unable or allowed to attend in person.
SEASON TICKETS 2021/22
The Commercial Team is working on this with a view to getting an announcement out to allow sales to get underway. With the certainty that the numbers allowed within Forthbank are likely to be restricted, at least at the outset, season ticket holders will be given priority access in the first instance.
PLEASE KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR FURTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS ON ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MORE ON THE WEBSITE, TWITTER AND FACEBOOK!!