I hope that you, like me, are enjoying the warm afterglow of Saturday afternoon and, for those of you who stayed on for the Awards, Saturday evening. It was a very special day and Hendon is a very special football club. I don't think I've ever felt more nervous at a Hendon match and the final whistle was the sweetest sound I've ever heard!
Although we're now officially in the close season, the hard work required to prepare for 2017/18 has already begun. Here's a reminder of what Gary said here on the website earlier today:
"For a manager the end of one season is not the end of the work. Yes, we can take a week or two off, but that is all. The hard work of preparation for next season begins now and to avoid the difficulties of the last nine months a settled squad is paramount."
Not having a settled squad was the biggest problem faced by Gary last season. Players of the calibre of Niko Muir, Karl Oliyide, Alfie Young and Spencer McCall were lured away by other clubs because they were not on contract. They were not on contract because we could not afford to put them on contract. The only player who was on contract last season was Ollie Sprague and, when he left for Billericay, the transfer fee that we received enabled Gary to sign the players who helped ensure our great escape. If a player is not on contract, we don't receive a penny when they leave.
The biggest challenge faced by the Board each season is to put together a budget that allows Gary the chance to be competitive. Let's face it - we all enjoyed 2014/15 a whole lot more than 2015/16 or 2016/17. If we are going to be competitive on the field, then we need to pull out all the stops off the field to ensure that Gary is able to build that settled squad and compete next season.
Hendon Football Club is a fans-owned football club. That means that if you join the Trust, and pay your Â£10 a year subscription, then you own as much of the club as anyone else. I'll write later on in the close season about Trust membership but, for now, I want to ask you to consider sponsoring a player, a match ball, a match, a programme or a seat in the McCann stand for next season.
I would never ask anyone to pay more into Hendon than they can afford to pay but I would ask every Hendon supporter to do what they can to help Gary put together a squad that can compete in what is likely to be a very strong Premier Division next season.
The Trust Board will meet shortly to confirm sponsorship prices for next season but, until we do, we're giving you the opportunity to commit to one or more sponsorships at last season's prices which are:
- programme sponsorship for Â£30
- McCann Stand seat sponsorship for Â£50
- matchball sponsorship for Â£80
- match sponsorship for Â£150
- player sponsorship for Â£90 for home kit, Â£60 for away kit or Â£120 for both kits.
If we were able to get all players, programmes, seats, matchballs and matches sponsored for next season, that would bring around Â£15,000 into the club - that translates into around Â£400 a week across a 37 week season and that could enable Gary to get some of our key players signed on contract for next season.
The Board will be sitting down with Gary shortly to discuss next season's budget and it would be great if we could do so knowing that we've already managed to secure Â£7,500 of next season's sponsorship.
If you are able to support the club in this way, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what or who you would like to sponsor and we'll do our very best to accommodate you. We'll operate on a "first come, first served" basis and we'll be giving last season's player sponsors first refusal to sponsor the same players next season.
I look forward to hearing from you.
SIMON LAWRENCE - Chairman - Hendon Football Club