I thought it was time the club updated you all on the recent goings on.
It has proved difficult to compose a release due to the speed things have been changing. I will start with the club’s decision on the various scenarios of reconstruction.
Once the SPFL board decided that null and void was not an option to end the season the club’s board were of the opinion that we should maintain the stability of 12-10-10-10 to allow us to prepare a budget for the new season. Every proposition was making it more difficult so we were pleased when the decision for status quo was made.
However, that did not last long and it could still be changed if Hearts win their appeal so we have made little progress in trying to sort a budget for the manager.
We are probably in a better state than many of our competitors as we have 12 signed players for the season which was a great decision at the time, considering our outstanding form prior to the lockdown.
It is probably the best opportunity we have had for sometime to progress in the playoffs but it was not to be. However, do not let anything take away the terrific performances we put in before 13 March.
Many of you will be wondering when we will start playing football, well after Monday’s meeting it looks as though the Betfred Cup will commence early October and then a shortened League programme of 27 games starting late October.
The club will make every effort to enter that programme which should be achievable if the control of the virus continues to improve.
Testing is a major concern, not just the affordability but the accessibility which will take a lot of organising. The James Anderson donation to all the clubs will help with the costs (£50 per test twice a week) but how we sort all the players to gain access to a test machine will take some arranging.
That dilemma may be alleviated slightly if the testing is reduced to once per week or even stopped.
Moreover, the most generous offer from Roy McGregor at Ross County to share their machine will also help.
I have no update as to when we can expect fans to be allowed into the ground. I am sure you are all aware that will be a decision for central government and whilst there remains any risk to the population it will not happen.
However, we should be upbeat with the introduction in England of 1m social distancing, the opening of pubs, theatres, cinemas, libraries, museums, theme parks and zoos all of which will mean crowds gathering in areas smaller than football stadiums.
Whilst we mainly think about the return of first team football please spare a thought for our community, youth academy players and coaches. They are an integral part of Elgin City and I hope they are all staying fit and healthy ready for the return of their involvement in what is a very important part of our organisation.
Our own fundraising is ongoing with the sale of our merchandise, the JustGiving page and numerous donations from fans, who wish to remain anonymous, continuing to improve the bank balance.
There is still the opportunity to have your name on your very own brick at Borough Briggs through our Buy a Brick scheme and our new strip looks fantastic & is available to pre-order now.
Like many other organisations the governments furlough scheme has been crucial to our ability to continue to trade.
Another success story has been the rejuvenation of the City Saver scheme which has seen the membership grow over the last couple of months. It was a big decision to transfer the registration on line but thanks to Keiran that has proved to be the way to go.
Now we are just awaiting the release of our new web site which is just undergoing the final touches. It should be out in July. I have to thank everyone for their support to the Club in this unprecedented position we find ourselves it has been fantastic and greatly appreciated.
I hope you are all aware of the progress in the creation of a synthetic sports facility on Lesser Borough Briggs. It is progressing really well and should get the go ahead to break turf once the court respond to the Community Asset Transfer paperwork.
Elgin sports Community Trust have done a fantastic job, I hope Elgin City will get the opportunity to use the facility as I can imagine it is going to be really popular. Local resident and keen ECFC supporter Dave Allen deserves all the accolades for putting the whole process together and achieving this. A guy who has a very important and busy role at RAF Lossiemouth but has still found the time to set up the trust and sort the CAT both of which were massive tasks. If you ever get the chance to meet him just say thanks, he deserves that.
The runway maintenance contractor at RAF Lossiemouth, Volker Fitzpatrick (Andy Reynolds and Keith Maplethorpe) also deserve credit for taking on the installation work. All of whom have been well supported with design and architecture by Malcolm Clapperton (MAC consulting (Scotland) Ltd) and Simon Nesbitt (Mott McDonald Ltd). A wonderful team effort that will produce an excellent facility for the whole community.
Our very own latest project (Cecil’s Shed) is progressing really well. It is an excellent building housing all our pitch maintenance equipment with the addition of a gents toilet facility plus a unisex accessible facility.
This will make for more enjoyable experience for the many away supporters who will no longer have to troop around the stadium to relieve themselves and also stop the over watering of the ground to the side of the enclosure.
Once again this is another project that has been accomplished with the assistance of far too many volunteers to mention (I will not try as I usually miss someone). Furthermore, the investment in the installation of the sprinkler system is proving its worth as the pitch looks magnificent.
I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate our goalkeeper, Thomas McHale for being voted the best keeper in League 2. A well deserved award as he has been superb during the season. Well done Thomas.
I would like to end by thanking all our supporters for their generosity during this terrible period and ask everyone to consider joining the City Saver scheme or buy a brick for whom ever you like but whatever you do, please stay safe, give thanks to the NHS and prepare for a fantastic season whenever it starts.