In keeping with our communication to you all during the lockdown period we would like to continue to provide you with as much information as we can from around the club and the latest on progress towards a League outcome.
The past few weeks have been difficult; however that is the case for the majority of the nation and all of our supporters, staff, sponsors and suppliers. We continue to work hard to prepare for when things finally take a turn for the better.
Due to the nature of our industry, many staff and players have ended their contracts during the lockdown and furlough period. It is never easy nor is there a good time to see contracts come to an end and that is even more difficult during these uncertain times for everyone. All staff and players are being supported and taken care of with the assistance of the various government schemes we have outlined previously.
You will have noted the club’s statement earlier this evening around Kevin Watson departing the club at the conclusion of his contract which expires at the end of May. Kevin and his staff stabilised the club very well after the poor start to the 2019/20 season and obviously it was a tremendous shame the season could not come to its natural conclusion.
At the end of every contract there is a decision to be made on whether the best course of action is to enter into a new deal, or whether the club is better served taking another option.
Opinion is wide and varied in football on any manner of subjects. In the same way managers such as Kevin and all other football managers must make hard and difficult decisions on whether to renew and retain players for the new season, so too must the club make hard and difficult decisions about the management team and staff.
During unprecedented tough times globally and certainly in football, the number one priority for the club is to use process and a thorough approach when making important appointments, to provide a platform and foundation for the future.
Without detracting from the contribution Kevin made to the club having being given the opportunity in October 2019 to step into the role vacated by Garry Hill, the club has made a decision to go in another direction.
An applied and measured process around the selection of the long-term members of the football performance staff at the club is best practice and the right process to follow.
National League and 2019/20 conclusion
On league matters, we are now in the middle of May and still are not any closer to having clarity from the National League on our status for next season or the structure of the league, including how season 2019/20 will be determined. The daily speculation, articles and opinions are as available to you as they are to the club and we know very little more than that.
We have outlined our strong views to the League on a number of occasions on behalf of you our supporters, our players and staff. We trust that the same reasoning around unfairness of promoting one or two clubs over others – with so many points available and no guarantees that any club would be promoted over another – is applied to the even more damaging process of deciding relegation positions with the same mathematics.
The National League is linked to the EFL League Two and the promotion and relegation system is something that everyone believes in. However, it is reasonable to postpone that concept for a season when powers beyond anyone’s control have thwarted the various leagues’ abilities to decide on just, fair, and satisfactory determination on which clubs have earned the right to be promoted and which to retain their status.
Around the club
The Kuflink Stadium pitch has been top dressed and re-seeded in preparation for the eventual return of football and director of football Steve Lovell continues to work on player retention and recruitment within the restrictions and uncertainty the current climate allows.
In closing we send our best wishes to all of our supporters, suppliers and sponsors who have worked selflessly during the lockdown putting themselves and their loved ones at heightened risk in order to serve others and the community.
Up the Fleet!