Swindon programme notes
January 1, 2000
£55,000 cheque tonight
Tonight the Supporters Club chairman, Jim Chappell, and Share Scheme Chairman, David Brain, are presenting the Football Club Chairman, Ron Craig, with a cheque for £55,000 and in return will receive 20,000 shares.
This will give us a real chance of reaching £¾m in total when the current scheme expires in December 2008. I would like to place on record my thanks to everyone who has contributed to the share scheme and those who have helped to make it a success through promoting this Supporters Club scheme. The Supporters Club has traditionally raised money to donate to the football club and we are now looking at new ways to help our club and at the same time maintain our share holding in the club which allows us to have two directors on the main board. This latest presentation brings the Supporters Club total holding as at the 5th April 2008 to £734,578 which is 329,510 shares and represents 9.74% of the issued share capital in Bristol Rovers 1883 Ltd.
Tonight is the culmination of the fund raising efforts of the Supporters Club since it was asked by the board to promote a scheme that would not only raise funds but give the fans some equity in our football club. The then Supporters Club Vice Chairman and Board Associate Director Steve Burns introduced the Share Scheme and Roger Cooper became its inspirational Chairman. Today with the scheme in its last year we can all see what a resounding success it has been. By the time the scheme completes its 6 years next December it will have raised over £¾M, given the Supporters Club two full directors and helped save us from the Conference most notably by the transfer deadline signing of Andy ‘Rambo’ Rammell.
It’s not too late to join the share scheme and have your name on the ‘roll of honour’ which is to be displayed in the supporter’s bar of the rebuilt memorial Stadium. Get you name added to those who have helped our club at the time it was needed most.
For individuals weekly membership of the scheme begins at less than the price of a pint of beer. There are four different ordinary levels and a corporate level. These options are:
Bronze Option – £10.83 per month
Silver Option – £21.67 per month
Gold Option – £43.34 per month
Platinum Option – £83.34 per month
Corporate Option – £100.00 per month
If you would like to join or introduce someone else please contact Clare McDonagh at Pirate Leisure on (0117) 952 4001 [email protected] If you would simply like to now more about the scheme then please contact me:- [email protected]
The current membership at the end of March 2008 stands at:-
The total monthly income is £5,530
From the Chair
I knew it would happen when I had a ‘bit of a go’ at the team following the defeat at Bournemouth that made it eleven games without a win; an excellent performance and all three points at promotion chasing Walsall! Rovers were clearly the better side in an exciting game of attacking football that was very reminiscent of last season’s League 2 encounter at the Bescot Stadium both in terms of weather and performance and it virtually assured our safety in the higher division. Hopefully survival was completely guaranteed with a home win over struggling Gillingham last Saturday.
Tonight we should be presenting the Football Club with a cheque for £55,000, which sum has come out of the Supporters Club’s general fund in much the same way as we used to do on a regular basis before we took over all the ticket sales and club merchandising, the profits from which we hand over internally. Whilst the Share Scheme is not involved in this particular piece of funding the Football Club has agreed to provide us in return with shares equivalent to those we have been purchasing from the scheme. This we hope will give us a boost towards reaching our target of £750,000 invested by the Share Scheme into the Football Club before the scheme expires in December. What a fantastic achievement that will be for the scheme devised by Steve Burns six years ago when the team was in the basement division and in severe danger of dropping out of the League altogether. How much better things are today with Rovers cementing promotion to League 1 and about to embark on the building of a brand new state of the art stadium in just a couple of months! Whilst the Share Scheme has been a fantastic success so too has another of Steve’s ideas, albeit involving lesser sums of money but which has been vital in providing improved facilities here at what we can easily forget was a very basic old style rugby ground when Rovers moved in! I am referring of course to the 50/50 Draw, which was set up to help fund whatever needed to be upgraded for the benefit of our long-suffering supporters. Such things as covering the rain-swept Clubhouse Terrace and Family Enclosure, the superb new floodlights, (remember how gloomy it was here before!), improving the always troublesome public address system etc etc. In a way the 50/50 Draw reaches a natural conclusion before the Share Scheme as, from the end of this season, there should be no longer be any need for us to help pay for improvements to facilities. For the next two seasons our temporary landlords, wherever they may be, will automatically be providing the facilities and when we move back to Horfield there should of course be no need to make any improvements! The Executive Committee has backed my idea that we do however continue with the 50/50 Draw, which has become so popular with fans over the last decade or so. What we want to do is to use the draw to provide additional funding for the Rovers’ Youth Scheme.
Tonight’s clash will now certainly lack the intensity of last season’s dramatic home win in the corresponding fixture that was settled by as fine a goal as you could see anywhere in the Premier League. However, the honour of ‘Best in the West’ will likely fall on the victors tonight so get behind those boys in blue!
Up the Pirates!
Not surprisingly, apart from the first few days of the month leading up to the West Brom FA Cup match, March has been fairly quiet from a commercial point of view. Sales at our Pirate Leisure and Kingswood outlets were a fraction of the figures for the corresponding time last year, though that obviously owed to the build up to our visit to The Millennium last March. That said, we are still up between 30% and 40% year to date which is very pleasing.
We are now focussing on running stocks down to a level manageable for when we move out of The Mem and, to this end, Steve Burns and his staff and volunteers will be arranging “end of season” sales. More details will follow on our website and matchday programmes in due course.
Talking of the website, I’m pleased to announce that Peter Gibson (husband of Alison from Pirate Leisure) has recently agreed to assist with development and content matters. His experience, along with continuing guidance and help from our resident expert Ben Ede, will help keep things fresh and I know they are already working on a number of new projects as well. As always, if you have any newsworthy articles for submission, please get in touch.
Last Monday saw the Commercial Committee meet and, as expected, most of the discussions centred on next season and the logistical challenges that will be faced. As you would expect, it is a little frustrating not being able to make firm plans for the retail outlets and members facilities next season at this stage but we appreciate that, until the stadium build tenders come in and the process moves forward, we have to be patient. However, this doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting on our hands and initial plans and timelines have been discussed which are vital when you take into consideration lead times for re-locating telecoms and I.T. networks for example.
Last but not least, Steve Burns has confirmed that next season’s new home shirt will be launched at the Fun Day during the close season – further details, date (and venue!) to be announced in due course.
Enjoy the game!
Good evening to all at the Memorial Stadium for tonight’s fixture with our Wiltshire neighbours; a sincere warm welcome to Town supporters. The uncertainties surrounding the County Ground this season has attracted a good deal of sympathy for Robin’s fans. Enjoy a safe and good evening with us. We wish you a trouble free journey home and all good wishes for the financial future of your football club.
At Rovers we have always enjoyed a good level of support from the West Wiltshire Towns. We also enjoy strong support in North East Somerset and very high if not quite comprehensive support in Mid and South Gloucestershire. The branch of our Supporters club in Weston to the south west is exemplar in terms of what we can do all around our patch.
I make an appeal once more to fans in our areas of support to come forward and help us to form or reinstate additional branches. If you live for example in Paulton, Melksham, Yate, Wooton or close by, please come on board.
Our season is not yet over. We want to finish as strongly as we can as we prepare for 2008/9.
Come on you Pirates.
Youngsters in final
The Bristol Rovers Supporters Club under 11 team play Warmley Rangers in the Hanham Minor League under-11 Cup Final at The Creek, Manor Farm’s ground on the Portway on Sunday, April 27, kick-off 11am.
Don’t forget that if you have travelled with the Supporters Club to at least 18 away matches this season then you are entitled to free travel for our last away game at Leyton Orient on Saturday, May 3rd but you must book in advance.