199 closure: More from our chair Jim Chappell
January 22, 2018
The brief joint statement that was issued jointly by both the Football and Supporters Clubs announcing that our shop at 199 Two Mile Hill Road, Kingswood, is to close at the end of this season is clearly an historic event in the history of the Supporters Club and it therefore deserves a full explanation to our membership. The closure has been brought about as a result of a review of its commercial operations by the Football Club which, from the end of the season, will be taking all ticket and merchandise sales ‘in house’ by Pirate Leisure and the Suppporters Club will no longer be provided with tickets or official leisurewear to sell on behalf of the Football Club.
The Supporters Club has never received any commission on ticket sales and we made only a small profit from the sale of F.C. merchandise. Consequently the Kingswood shop has been running at a commercial loss for some time; our Auditors highlighted this in a recent report to the Committee. Despite the loss we have kept the shop running as a service to our members and to the Football Club but without tickets and official merchandise to sell the operation will in future be unsustainable.
I must at this point that we on the Executive Committee have always expected the Football Club to take back over all the ticketing and sale of official merchandise at some point in the future as they are clearly not the normal activities of a volunteer support organisation. The S.C. can be rightly proud to have undertaken this business on a full-time basis, exclusively so for many years. I can also say that all discussions between the Executive Committee and the Football Club have been totally amicable throughout but the decision to close was taken unanimously by the Executive Committee alone, albeit of course influenced by the actions of the Football Club.
The Committee is currently undertaking a full review of our on-line activities so that we can sell more memberships and away travel on line. At the same time we will continue our operations at the Memorial Stadium on matchdays and our cabin in the car park will continue to sell the Supporters Club’s own stack of badges, scarves, old programmes etc. The away travel and membership desk will continue to operate in the Clubhouse prior to matches and these will also continue to be sold by the F.C. Staff in Pirate Leisure. Any changes to these operations will be advised to members via our website and in this column in the ‘Pirate’. All of the other S.C. Activities such as the sales of programmes, the 50/50 Draw, Gold Bond and the like will continue unchanged.
The Committee wish to place on record their sincere thanks to our loyal and hardworking shop staff for their years of service to the club. Further details on the shop closure will be made public in due course.