Shrewsbury Town Football Club CEO Brian Caldwell sat down with Salop to provide updates on some big questions fans have been asking.
On next season’s kits:
“We’ve been talking to Umbro on a daily basis and trying to resolve the kit issues. I’m not going to lie to you there have been delays because of factories in China closing down through COVID, but as soon as we’re able to launch the strips, we will. We chose the kits back in October/November last year and obviously, we were keen to make them bespoke kits – which we’ve got – so hopefully it’s worth the wait. As soon as we know more details like dates or just any more information, we’ll put that out.”
“The players fly out on Saturday 2nd July and come back on the 9th. They’re out there for a week, staying near Valencia. They’ve got a game on that Wednesday [6th July] evening which is in Benidorm. We’re hoping to announce that as soon as possible but we’re also tying that in with another friendly we have at home on the 15th [July], and we’re just waiting on the other club to confirm the announcement on that so we can announce the two friendlies. There will be a game in Spain on Wednesday at 19:00 at night in the Benidorm area.”
Brian also confirmed that fans will be able to attend the fixture in Benidorm, Spain. It will be played at Hotel Meliá Villiatana, Wednesday 6th July, 19:00 kick-off.
On the pathway from the academy to the first team:
“It’s massively important and the work David Longwell and all his staff have put in is starting to bear fruit. Players are coming through and getting contracts which is so important to a club like Shrewsbury – to make our own [players]. We’ve seen the likes of Tom Bloxham do well last season, and he’s just a kid really at 18 years of age but he’s burst onto the first-team scene and it’s really important that we have as many players from our own academy coming through as possible.”
“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. I did a bit of an analysis on Saturday and League One seems to be really slow at the moment. 30-odd players have signed in League One which is an average of 1.3 per club and is remarkably slow, but 140 have left League One clubs since the end of last season. I think there’s going to be a lot of business done between now and the start of the season. There’s a lot going on just now as Steve [Cotterill] and Keith [Burt] are never off the phone with each other or targets or agents. There’s a couple of things on the go just now that have progressed a lot in the last 24 hours but it’s an ever-changing market and we need to make sure we get these over the line.”
On the 2022/23 fixtures:
“[There are] some good, some bad. Every game in League One is tough and there are some big teams in League One. We’ve got Derby [County] and Ipswich [Town] in the same week in August and we’re away at Plymouth [Argyle] and Portsmouth in the same week; these are tough schedules. The last home game of the season against Sheffield Wednesday will be a cracker. We start at Morecambe, and I think they might still be smarting from the 5-0 so we’ll hopefully go there and get off to a good start.”
On the new ticketing system:
“We’re hoping to go live with our new ticketing system with Advanced Ticketing who are formerly Talent, and we’re hoping to go live with that on the 1st of July following the expiry of the Ticketmaster contract. We’ve got ticket access control at each turnstile which has been installed over the close season. That was done by SkiData and it means that anyone with a season ticket card, ticket, print-at-home ticket, or digital ticket on their phone can just come to the turnstile, scan their ticket and it’ll automatically release the turnstile for entry. The new ticketing system is a lot more user-friendly and is much easier to use so hopefully, people like it when they come to use it.”
On the season ticket sales:
“We’re slightly ahead of this time last year, we’re over 3,000. I haven’t got the exact number today but we’re still selling them and there are still people buying them and I think as we go through the last week of June and through July, I’m sure we’ll still sell more. Our average crowd last year was 6,200 which is up on the year before which is brilliant and we’re very appreciative of that, but we need to turn more of our fans into season ticket holders.”
On the ownership situation:
“It’s business as usual, the chairman is still the majority shareholder and if there was anything to say, we would. There was some media speculation months ago about certain things happening but don’t always believe everything in the papers! The chairman is still in here every day, and he’s still involved in the club, and he will be until he doesn’t want that anymore but where he’s at just now, he’s still enjoying being a part of the club. He’s committed his full life to this club and long may that continue.”