It has been exactly a month since my last update and, whilst there is a lot going on behind the scenes, for much of the time it does feel a bit like one step forward and half a step backwards!
The Club Board’s core business priority is constant… getting competitive First Team football back up and running and the following reflects change/progress from last month’s update.
|Scotland’s progress towards the “new normal” is becoming more encouraging as each week passes and understandably this has given rise to an increased confidence that football can return.||The Scottish Premiership kicks off this weekend against a backcloth of increasingly good news in Scotland with regards to Covid- 19 infections and a reduction in the number of deaths.
|I am confident that our SPFL2 programme will commence mid-October, with the Betfred Cup a likely prelude, kicking off at the beginning of the month. This being the case, pre-season training will start at the beginning of September.||
Betfred Cup Group Stage Match Days – Tues 6, Sat 13, Tues 13 October & Tues 10, Sat 14 November.
SPFL2 kicks off Saturday 17 October and FIXTURES WILL BE MADE PUBLIC @2:00 P.M. TOMORROW (29 JULY).
|Will Coronavirus testing remain a requirement?||The Covid-19 Testing requirement for players was increased last week from once to twice, following positive test results for 7 St Mirren backroom staff. 6 of these results were subsequently proved to be false positives but it remains to be seen if this outcome will be reflected in a reversion back to once. Testing is as much of a challenge for part time Clubs for practical reasons, as it is financial.
|Will we be playing behind closed doors or will we see a relaxation of legislation that will allow supporters to return under strict social distancing conditions?||There is currently no indication that supporters will be allowed to return any time soon. As things stand, we are focussing our plans on matches being behind closed doors but will be ready to act should this position change.
|We are in dialogue with Active Stirling regarding Forthbank Stadium. The challenge of creating and maintaining a bio-secure environment, with or without spectators, is considerable and we haven’t closed our mind to the possibility of playing at a hub venue, particularly if legislation dictates matches will initially be played behind closed doors and the sharing of costs, with no incoming revenue, makes commercial sense.||I am delighted to be in a position to advise that the Club Board has taken the decision to play all home matches at Forthbank Stadium. This was not an easy decision to reach but following in-depth discussions with Active Stirling and Alloa Athletic (re the possibility of playing and also training at the Indodrill Stadium, at least during any “behind closed doors” phase), on balance – with the necessary assurances in place re the ”state of readiness” of Forthbank – we considered it was safe and of course, appropriate to remain “at home”.
|Recruitment of players and backroom staff||In early July, Kevin added former Airdrieonians midfielder, Kurtis Roberts and since then we have been in a “holding pattern”. With the recent addition of three former YD U/18s to the senior squad, we are close to competing the squad but watch this space for one or two more additions in the coming weeks!
|The Club Board is ready and willing to answer any questions you may have on this or any matter relevant to Stirling Albion. With our office telephone still under lockdown, please email us in the first instance at email@example.com with a contact number and the nature of your enquiry and someone will get back to you without delay.||No change!|
In other news…
- SAFC Snoods selling like hot cakes!
- The new and much improved SAFC Online Shop is up and running https://shop.stirlingalbionfc.co.uk/ (Snoods on sale!)
- Update re Season Tickets for 2020/21 in the next week or so (following tomorrow’s announcement of SPFL2 Fixtures
- Plans being laid for live streaming in the event of matches being played behind closed doors
- £300 sent to The Gambinos 11 July. £200 going across this weekend.
In closing, on behalf of the Club Board, I would like to make public Stirling Albion’s heartfelt gratitude to Mike Mulraney, Chairman Alloa Athletic and his Board colleagues. With challenges to overcome in respect of playing at Forthbank Stadium for the forthcoming season, it was of huge comfort to know that our close neighbours were ready, willing, and able to assist should those challenges have proved to be unsurmountable.
Stay Safe and fingers crossed for more good news in the weeks ahead.
28 July 2020