Chairman's Update:Firstly I hope all of you who are travelling to Forest Green on Sunday have a safe journey and enjoy the match. The FA Cup brings an excitement to the game which can’t be copied anywhere else in the world and truly embodies football as our national sport.
As a club we are changing both on and off the field, with a new positive and vibrant feel on the pitch and a big step towards our new stadium, we are the ambitious football club I wanted to build.
Our new Management team, led by Mark, will undoubtedly help mould our football philosophy and professionalism, giving us a solid platform into our new home.
I think we can all see in the short time he has been here that Mark has an infectious way of going about things and we should all support him in what is a long term project here at Scunthorpe Utd.
Performances have improved, individuals have improved and that will continue to happen, enabling us to either move forward with the players we have, or to identify others who we can integrate into the team, including our youth players.
It is an exciting time for the football club and even more so recently with the outline planning permission given to our partners in the new stadium, Lucent's, for their housing and commercial development, Lincolnshire Lakes. This is the platform for the club to initiate its planning application to the council for it’s new stadium. This application has changed over the last six month or so and now is a full application. We have also worked on the tender process at the same time so we can fit into the timescales allotted and hope these go out around the same time as the application, sometime in December. Our hope is that the first spade into the ground will be March/April 2015 with a completion 12 months later.
We shall be having another Consultation/Forum where we can give even more details later this month and yet again you can have your say and gather more information about the project.
To confirm the latest news from the Football League re the All Weather Pitches and to explain our stance, we have to look at the wider picture of football in the country. These types of facilities could be the lifeline for so many clubs and I am not just talking non league here, but league clubs in particular.
These have changed so much over the years and now deliver a far better standard of surface, so much in that Hockey and Rugby can be played on them. Not only that but financially they can bring in huge amounts of revenue which ultimately could ensure that clubs continue to play football, rather than go out of business. It will happen at some stage and these will be accepted into the league, we have to be ready to decide whether the advantages of having a home surface like this out ways the disadvantages of a grass pitch. It costs about £55,000 to lift up and move an AGP and about £150,000 to re lay a grass pitch, so if the league clubs had said yes, but the Premiership/Championship said no, it would have to be re laid if you were promoted to the championship. What we have to consider is there will almost certainly be an advantage to teams who install AGP’s, immediately, rather than those who wait.
However the vote has not been carried and we move on without having to worry about the fans who like and the fans who don't like these surfaces, so the debate continues.............................
So, good luck to Mark, his Management team and the players for Sunday,
Up the Iron,