Huddersfield programme notes
March 23, 2008
From The Chair
A happy Easter to one and all! From our side let’s hope that this holiday weekend rounds off a better week than the previous seven days were for us Rovers’ supporters.
The West Brom cup tie was a great game, another full house with a fantastic atmosphere and that everyone connected with Rovers, both on and off the field, gave a great account of themselves. It was never a ‘5-1’ defeat and the match turned on that ‘offside’ goal – perhaps the only blemish on a fine refereeing display by Mark Clattenburg who is surely one of the best officials in the English game today.
It’s all down to his interpretation of the daft offside rules that apply today and watching ‘Match of the Day’ last Saturday proved the point when an exactly similar situation was given correctly, (who knows?), the opposite way.
Last Wednesday was definitely a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’.I understand that only two thirds of our season ticket holders bothered to turn up, (which perhaps suggests it was not only pressure on the pocket), and less than a thousand paid cash at the turnstiles!
This is cause for concern bearing in mind we should be playing home games 40 miles away next season when there is every likelihood the likes of Man United and Arsenal will be frequenting the city on a regular basis. Incentives for attracting larger numbers to home games are one of several general items discussed by the Supporters Club Executive Committee recently and our Commercial Chairman Clive Farquhar forwarded a list of suggestions for Manager Steve Burns to take up with the Football Club. However, reduced prices are not as simple a thing as you might think with Season Ticket Holders already having put their money ‘up front’ and with at least two of the remaining home games already being ‘all ticket’ affairs.
It seemed like a case of two points dropped to Northampton but considering the Cobblers’ recent run and their subsequent disposal of runaway leaders Swansea last Saturday then perhaps it was actually a point gained. At least we witnessed a goal from a Rovers’ striker when Sean Rigg tucked away his first goal of the season. No such luck at Cheltenham when the non-stop abuse of Steve Brooker drew its seemingly inevitable conclusion and the City loanee nodded home. Give the present Rovers squad a good pitch to play on and it really is a delight, some of the passing especially out of defence was superb but we just couldn’t find the net again. Apart from ‘Dizzie’s last ditch winner at Millwall we seem completely incapable of completing a ‘double’ so perhaps it’s a good thing we are facing a Terrier’s team not in that category today thanks to our narrow defeat at Huddersfield last December!
Finally, two faces most unusually missing at Whaddon Road were Jean and Ralph Shaw – stewards on Coach 1 to every away game and both helpers here on match days. Jean was taken into hospital for tests last Thursday week but is now on the mend. Get well soon Jean!
Important Stadium News
There has been a change of date for the city council planning committee meeting that will debate the football club’s revised scheme for the redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium.
It will now be held on Wednesday, April 2nd starting 6pm at the Council House, College Green. This is a public meeting and fans can and are encouraged to attend and listen to the debate.
There is no doubt that your support, in January 2007, helped us gain planning consent. Fans added to the lively debate and the behavior of supporters was exemplary against some untrue statements made by opponents to the scheme. One councilor actually claimed that 5-6 games a week were played at the Memorial Stadium. Opponents Horfield ROSE will again be out in force trying to influence the elected councilors and we need to demonstrate our support for the proposals. It is important to realise that this application is to assess, what we believe, are relatively minor changes to the scheme. We already have an approved planning permission that can not be taken away.
This application is about changes to improve the scheme both in terms of efficient use and maximisation of the space on the site as well as improving facilities for you the fans.
Fans can find the latest news in the stadium regeneration section of the clubs official website.
Fans can also view the application on the council’s planning website
Good afternoon and a specially warm welcome to the supporters of Huddersfield Town, thank you for travelling to be with us today and a safe journey home after the game.
Only formed in 1908, the Terriers made up for lost ground in the twenties and thirties with no less than three top flight championships and a further three runners up finishes to their credit . Add to this a FA Cup win and four beaten finalists’ appearances over the same period; an Arsenal or Manchester United in their day you might say.
But life was average to say the least for Terrier’s fans in the second half of the century but along came a new stadium in 1994 and with it marked a revival. It is interesting that a corresponding Auto Glass Trophy runners up success also helped to spark the upturn in fortune at the time.
I never had the pleasure of visiting the old Leeds Road ground but I have been to the new one a couple of times and this season I took a particular interest. The stadium is about the same size in capacity comparison as the one we are planning to build here at the Mem. It was good to get measure of the build and to assess what it does for the football club and the supporters. I am pretty much convinced that new stadiums add tremendously to the experience of watching professional football and serve to attract families and with that a new generation of fans.
There are many examples how of new stadium or regenerated sites add significant thrust to the hopes and aspirations of clubs that enjoy them. Take Plymouth and Hull who are doing well in the Championship and the likes of Swansea who may well soon join them. Ron Craig has again stated where we want to be and I reiterate again, a Championship Football Club in a Championship Stadium is what we are working so hard to bring to the supporters of Bristol Rovers. It is a realistic and achievable ambition. We certainly want that position; our Board Members are fans too, it is a shared ambition and one that we can all help to bring about.
To maintain our momentum on the playing side whilst we are away from Horfield is it imperative that we maintain a good level of support for homes games. We will be sharing incentive schemes for season ticket purchase and travel with the Football Club over the coming days and weeks.
I believe it vital that we strengthen our Supporters Club network also. With no central base as such we will need to network and meet around the patch. The work done by our Weston Super Mare branch is a fine example to follow. I can see similar braches in North East Somerset, West Wiltshire and Mid Gloucestershire. I am keen to get the wheels in motion in this regard so if you live in those areas and you are able to help then please contact me at the stadium.
Membership now reopened
The Supporters Club are again now accepting applications for membership. This means that any applications that have been received over the past few weeks will now be processed.
With there still being a chance that we will make the end of season play-offs, and the ticketing arrangements that go with that scenario, there is still a great incentive to join.
Applications can be processed in person at Pirate Leisure or Kingswood or by post using the application forms found on our website..
Last Quiz Night
The next General Knowledge Quiz is to held on Thursday 10 April at 7.45 in the Bristol Room. This promises to be the last General Knowledge quiz in the old stadium before the developments and we are looking for a large turnout of teams to support the occasion.
The quiz is open to everyone and we are hoping a few local celebs will take part..
Entry is only £1 per person, with a maximum of 5 in a team. The money raised from this quiz will go to the Share Scheme and who knows, your £1 entry fee or £1 for the raffle, could be the £750,000th pound raised since the scheme began.
During Rovers period away from Bristol, the social committee we are looking for suitable venues within the city to hold various events. Don’t forget it is the clubs 125th birthday later in the year and we are looking to organise a few anniversary events, such as a Bristol Rovers quiz. More details will be announced nearer the time.