Chairman's Autumn Message
Predictions come true
As predicted in my start of the 2014/15 season message, the aspect of expectation over reality has manifestly proved correct.
My fear of playing scheduled mid-week League fixtures at the start of the season, rather than as and when required for catch-up games lost through involvement in other outside fixtures, has given rise to the situation that by week five (i.e. first week in September) all clubs had completed over 25% of the overall League programme. Another negative feature is that by continuing at such pace each club will have completed 50% of the League by 1 November!
The impact of forcing so many mid-week games over such a short period has resulted in a devastating effect on Club revenue income generation. Mid-week games are unattractive to valued match sponsorship as entertainment, enjoyment and hospitality is in conflict with pressing weekday business commitments. Equally affected are the town's business community who on Saturday match days generate a lot of foot-fall - flowing from which clubs such as ours directly benefit through advertising and other related income support. Add to this supporter drop off in attendance given their inability to factor in home and away attendance mid-week through a combination of travel restriction or simply, within a Highland context, working away from home.
The pressure on player performance is palpable. Being part-time with work responsibility and being employed over a wide geographical area, plus if an injury sustained, there is insufficient time to recover given the requirement to perform every 3 to 4 days.
All these issues are real and have this season provoked serious concerns amongst all clubs. The League Management Committee will now seek a more equable solution than that being currently operated. Failure to do so will, in my opinion, severely undermine the SHFL, which is acknowledged as the most competitive and enjoyable to watch League in Scotland.
Having extensively covered the mid-week fixture issue, let me now concentrate on the positives experienced so far this season.
1. The capital upgrade and improvement to Station Park from summer 2011 to 2014 has seen a total investment of a colossal £172,329.
2. Much still remains to be done and the next priority is the provision of a new enclosed spectator area, planned for mid-season 2015 given all the necessary finance can be pulled together. The Club is working closely with the Supporters Group on this project.
3. The exceptional efforts of the Nairn County Supporters Ground Improvement Fund having already contributed £11,500 towards Phase 2 of the stand upgrade and new loudspeaker system, they are now concentrating their fund-raising efforts to inject into the new spectator enclosure. To date the overall total of funds raised is an astonishing £60,000 plus, generated over an 18 month period. Once again a massive thank you to all event organisers and fans
4. The Youth teams entered in the Inverness Summer Street and separate Youth Leagues have again distinguished themselves in glory for the Club. Congratulations are therefore due to Gillian McWilliam, our Head of Youth Development, and her Coaches Ally Munro and Malcolm Shaw, plus all their helpers.
5. Our wide selection of Centenary merchandise now available for sale through the Town Barber's shop (High St), at all home matches, and through our website provides both choice and opportunity to those who wish to commemorate the Centenary. For details refer to our website - www.nairncountyfc.co.uk .
6. To all our volunteers who help on match days, together with those who are involved in pre and post match preparation and repair - without your commitment and help we would be unable to maintain our SFA Club Licence. The Club is both indebted and proud of you.
The above foretaste indicates the vibrancy of our Club and I am sure we will have more to celebrate over the remaining months of our Centenary season.
"County til I die"