Board reflect on the season and give some insight in the club
STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD
As relegation back to League 2 is all but a mathematical certainty, we as the custodians of the club feel it is time to look back and acknowledge some of the mistakes that have been made and try to explain some common misconceptions.
We as the Board wish to apologise to our loyal home and away supporters for this season in terms of results and performances. They have been unacceptable, but as supporters ourselves it hurts us just as much!
The main problem was definitely a very poor close season when many of the transfer targets didn't come off and consequently left us with a small squad with the result that we were over reliant upon the loan system. We should have interrogated more strongly why so many transfers fell through at the last hurdle. It should, however, be noted that we as the Board were never comfortable with the heavy reliance upon the loan system and share the same widespread view that this has contributed to our position. In fact, we have had 20 loans and 39 players used in total which has made team building and consistency virtually impossible. We should also dispel the common miss-notion that loans are a cheap option ... they are not!
There have also been some concerns voiced that we have not 'invested enough' or 'backed' the management sufficiently to compete in League One; there are many 'bigger' clubs in League One that we realistically can't compete with financially, however from the player wage spending protocol tables supplied to all clubs by the Football League we were approximately 16th this season and sixth in our last season in League 2. We believe that we have supplied competitive budgets to cement ourselves as a League One Club with aspirations of the play-offs. There would have been funds available if the right player was available but we remind our fans that transfer fees are not the only form of investment and at this level player wages are the unseen investment. We have in fact posted significant losses in the last three seasons in pursuit of these aims, however our mantra is long term sustainability of the club and these losses came from our reserves.
I'm sure that we all agree that one of the few positives this season has been the performance of our homegrown players and this will form part of our strategy for the future.
Indeed we are undertaking a root and branch review of our entire footballing structure. Recruitment at all levels will be made with extensive due diligence and profiling and a playing style will be engendered throughout the club with the aim to create a winning mentality at all levels!
We also reiterate that we are constantly looking to strengthen the Board and actively seeking new investment.
Once again we apologise for the season and reassure our supporters that we as a Board have reviewed the mistakes made. Going forward we will continue to deliver competitive budgets that will not jeopardise the long term survival of our proud and historic club.