News from the SC

October 14, 2008

Stadium will go ahead

The re-vamp of the Memorial Stadium will still go ahead, Supporters Club members were told at the annual general meeting.

Football club chairman Nick Higgs told the meeting “it is not if, but when, but I won’t put the club at financial risk.”

He added: “We have appointed two agents to market the hotel and the student accommodation which are crucial to the scheme going forward. We are still working on the basis that it will go ahead in 2009.

We have addressed all the technical issues and business planning to establish what revenue streams we will get when the stadium is built.

Mr Higgs was asked from the floor during the forum which followed the agm if it was still the case that we cannot remain at the Memorial Stadium while it is rebuilt.

He replied: “We are looking at a number of technical issues and we have established that we do not need to be away for two years. We hope to be able to cut that period down to 12 months. The club is hoping to agree a lease with the Civil Service Club in Muller Road for portacabins where tickets and other items can be purchased, giving us a presence close to the ground while it is redeveloped.”

Lenny Lawrence was asked if the half-time “roasting” could be given before the game as we appear to be a second-half team.

He replied: “We have got into some of the players at training. The first goal in modern day football is vital.”

Lenny was reminded that in a recent Supporters Club forum he had promised sexy football this season. He replied: “We have scored as many goals as anybody and become a potent attacking force, but we become too direct when we are chasing games and that needs to be addressed and we have not been doing enough in our box in particular.”

Asked if more competition could be provided for Steve Phillips (the meeting was before the Crewe game) Lawrence said: “I have no problem with Mike Green as back up for one game, but if it was 10 matches I don’t know.”

He said that Green could go out on loan at some point to get some games and they would look to bring in another keeper who would be willing to sit on the bench.

But Lawrence added; “I know Steve Phillips has taken a lot of stick but he was instrumental in getting us out of Division Two and we need to sort things out in front of the keeper first.”

Earlier during the agm there had been no questions on any of the officers’ reports but under any other business the issue of family tickets for the Blackthorn End was raised. Steve Burns said that they were going to have family tickets in the move to Cheltenham but it was “something we will look at in the New Year.”

Share Scheme chairman David Brain assured members that the board have guaranteed that shares will still be available to the Supporters Club and that he was looking at new incentives to attract more subscribers.

Election result

Jane Browne and Clive Farquhar were re-elected to the committee along with Marc Radford who becomes the new match day chairman. Jim Chappell was returned unopposed as chairman as was David Brain as one of our directors on the football club board. Jim offered his commiserations to Taff Alexander and Pete Collins for their work on the committee.

Ballot details, 3 elected:

J. Browne     79.

C. Farquhar   67.

M. Radford   53.

P. Collins      24.

T. Alexander 19.


From the Chair

It was a big relief to witness the team back to something like their old ways at Colchester after a totally winless September. All the ‘back four’ were excellent and as the game wore on the whole team defended and attacked just like we know they can when on form. A very welcome three points then and no goals conceded in the last two games should set us up nicely for this afternoon’s match against our most frequent opponents from ‘ the Orient’. Considering our recent form it was good to see so many ‘Gasheads’ in the away end at the Weston Homes Community Stadium and I hope the great support given to the team last Saturday will be magnified by many times today.

It was of course another new ground for us to savour last week and very much along the lines of several others in recent years – an incomplete Fitness First Stadium springing initially, at least architecturally, to my mind. Unlike Bournemouth’s surrounding suburban housing and pleasant parkland, the Weston Homes was another set of four more-or-less identical box stands situated in a barren landscape of unfinished roads that look likely to service numerous featureless trading ‘sheds’ when the ‘credit crunch’ is over. On a cold and windy afternoon the four un-connected stands seemed to create a sort of vortex with one corner flag hanging limp whilst the opposite one had to be held by the assistant referee when corners were being taken!

The SC Executive met last Monday evening to confirm the Executive posts and to review the various committee roles following the agm. There are several anomalies that we want to sort out, apart from our usual day-to-day business of running the club, and these will be reported to you through this column and on the website in due course. Thanks to all the members who attended the AGM and to the Board of Directors and team management who also supported the evening with another excellent forum that followed the meeting. It was much appreciated.

Jim Chappell


Support was Superb

 It was an extremely interesting and enjoyable day last Saturday in East Anglia in more ways than one. Finding the Weston Homes Community Stadium was a challenge in itself. Not yet on the sat nav or on too many road signs it came down to stop and ask the locals and they were not that sure either.

 Layer Road holds some very happy memories for a good number of Colchester fans I am sure but as The Football League Chairman Lord Mawhinney said on the pitch before the game “The new stadium is a lot better”. To be fair to him he gave up a family birthday party and came across as being really pleased to be at the game and to officially declare the stadium open.

 It was gracious of him to acknowledge our following faithful towards the end of his speech. He even went so far as to say that he looked forward as the still Chairman of The League to be present at the opening of our new stadium at the Mem.

 The new Mem is designed to be twice as big as Colchester with a price tag that is much more but with a tremendous income potential. Once we are in that position can look forward to a bright and sustainable future. It is that that we are working so hard to achieve and at times it seems against all the odds. Our new chairman Nick Higgs is well experienced in such matters. He is resolute and I have every confidence in him to deliver our dream.

Our supporters were not to be out done or phased by the Colchester occasion. The Weston-super-Mare banner was prominent and our travelling pirate band was quite magnificent as always. The club was represented by Nick Higgs and myself.

 A fine goal soon into the second half and the party belonged to our fans. Located behind our defence, the support was superb. As we went into the final 15 minutes we could really sense that a valuable away win was on the cards. The players were great, the fans were great and the party was over; the three points were in the Pirate’s bag. I know just how much Paul, Lennie and the players appreciate support like that and on behalf of the Football Club and of the Supporters Club thank you. Thank you so very much indeed.

Today we welcome the supporters of Leyton Orient. Our welcome is warm not least because we are always so well received at Brisbane Road. Good to have you with us this afternoon and a very safe journey home after the game.

Ken Masters


3 for 2

We hope that many of you were able to take advantage of the Supporters Club  initiative taken up by the football club of buying tickets for today’s game and the Oldham game which then got you a free ticket for the Southend match on October 25. We hope to in the position to offer further discount schemes in the New Year.

University of the West of England

We would like to extend a warm welcome to any students from UWE especially those attending a Rovers game for the first time. Today is the first of a special six game season ticket for UWE students which we hope you will enjoy and ultimately be converted to becoming a ‘Gashead’. You can purchase match day student ticket for individual games on production of your student Union Card. Prices are as for other concessions (juniors and OAP’s) e.g. £10 for the Blackthorn End or Uplands Terrace. For games that are not all ticket there is an early bird saving of £2 if bought by 5pm on the day before a match. We also thank students at the Threshers Fair who showed a lot of interest in our club and would be interested to hear from any of you on what you thought of your match day experience and maybe publish some views on the Supporters Club Website which can be found at please contact me at [email protected]

Organised Juniors Matchday Parties

Today we welcome Larkhall Athletic U12s, a Bath-based team who play in the Mid Wilts League.  Established in 1914, Larkhall Athletic is a flourishing club with 19 teams between U8 and U18, including three girls teams.  The club also has three men’s teams.





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