I write today to wish all my fellow Bromley supporters a very Happy New Year and every success for 2022.
As I reflect on 2021, it’s fair to say that this past year has been a very challenging one for the Football Club and the way we operate, both internally as a business and outwardly towards the supporters. My role as Chairman of the Football Club is new to me, and I have learnt much on the job, but certainly did not expect to have a pandemic to operate through. I can be open and say that has taken a far greater financial toll than I imagined, and certainly hadn’t planned for.
As supporters, you have experienced a distance between yourself, the Club and the players. When I got involved with Bromley Football Club, I most certainly enjoyed the bond between the supporter and the player, but with COVID, we have all had to hide away! Players have to be protected from all possibilities of catching the virus and ensure the player and staff bubbles stay as secure as possible.
Our shirt supplier (Puma) suffered equally through the pandemic which has also affected our own merchandise and sales profoundly, and in addition, has put a strain on our playing kits throughout all sections of the Club.
As we move forward into 2022, I very much hope that many of these challenges will fade away and that the Club can return to more normality and be a closer unit to the supporter. This year we will bring further changes and development to the Club, which I hope in time will serve the club better into the future. As I have always maintained, my vision and focus is for the business of the Football Club to be sustainable and be able to continue to grow.
In January, the back office staff, along with the team management and support staff, will move into their new purpose built offices, which are on the west side in the South Stand. This area will house all aspects of running the Football Club, and all aspects in preparation and support of the First Team. Our works don’t stop there, and during the course of the coming months I hope the following developments are completed;
- Both West Side turnstiles completed and fully operational
- New Football Club formal reception with club shop
- Club shop to be fully stocked with a selection of Bromley FC merchandise
- New supporters’ bar and kitchen, to serve matchday and all week
- New outdoor bar area to serve match day and all week
On the pitch, as we hit the half way point, we sit fifth in the league. I am sure you all join me by saying how happy we are with that. I think that credit must go to Andy and his team on and off the pitch for the work they have done in always fulfilling a fixture. Throughout the season so far, nearly all of our playing squad has had COVID at some stage and the back office team, whose staffing numbers have also been impacted throughout this period, have had to nurse people through their individual training levels, getting them into a condition to be able to play upon their return.
I have noted many clubs, far bigger than us, with superior squad numbers and budgets that have failed to get their games on. I think it is a credit to Bromley Football Club that we always find a way to play the game, rather than a reason not to. I am proud of this and well done to all playing and back room staff on this achievement to date.
I must finish by thanking our supporters. I was delighted to see so many people venture out on Boxing Day to come and support Andy and his team as we welcomed a modern-day league-record crowd of over 3,750 to Hayes Lane. I’ve equally enjoyed meeting supporters on the terraces at away games and witnessing first-hand our growing travelling support.
I hope 2022 holds for us all what we wish for, both on and off the pitch.