With the early finishing transfer window and the need to get players into and out of the club, I find my first message being written two games into the season and on the day we play Doncaster in the cup this evening.
It has been a very busy and productive time for the club and we would like to wish all the players moving on a successful career, and thank them for their efforts whilst at the Iron. We have moved 15 players on and signed 10 new players, which undoubtedly creates a competitive squad, but also a challenge to integrate all these players. These initial games are almost an extension to our pre-season, and Nick and Andy have taken this on board knowing that these games bring very different challenges, so expect changes and just have a little patience whilst this is happening.
What we have seen immediately is a character and drive from all the players, experienced and not, as we rebuild and develop towards a competitive squad for the season ahead. The victory at Coventry and the point against Walsall proves this division will be as unpredictable as ever and we will endeavour to give our all, both on and off the field, here at the football club.
I want this opportunity to wish Nick, Andy and the rest of the football staff all the best for the season, and all the fans safe journeys and hopefully a push toward the play-offs once more.
As always, we try to improve the matchday experience and this year have partnered up with VCP, who have now taken over the running of the catering points, restaurants and bars. This is an area which we have struggled with and the addition of a partner who already services the football industry will ensure we at least try and make this profitable and serviceable. There will be teething problems and you will see prices have gone up in certain areas, but they will be the first price increases in five years, and inevitable if we are to provide food and beverages going forward.
Please contact the club and VCP if you find there are issues we need to address and we can then hopefully improve our offering as we go forward.
The stadium plans are going well and I can update on that progress when we have the planning completed sometime at the end of October this year. Most of you will have seen the design work and, although frustrated at not being able to build on the Lakes project, we intend to build a stadium and infrastructure you will all be proud of. We continue to be in legal dispute with regards the previous Lakes project and, again at the end of October, we may well be able to say a little more regards our situation. However, no works have started as planned, and as per statements by certain parties in the local and national press.
There will come a time when all this has to be made public and if that takes years, then so be it. It's public money and we all have a right to the facts and the way this club has been treated over this matter.
On another legal matter, we release the following statement regarding The Scunthorpe Telegraph situation:
'Scunthorpe United Football Club wishes to address with its fans and interested parties why the Scunthorpe Telegraph are currently unable to obtain first-hand information and material about SUFC, and the Club’s positive start to the season. The Club and the company which owns and operates the Scunthorpe Telegraph, Reach PLC, are currently in a legal dispute concerning various anonymous posts made online against the Club and its owners the Swann family by users called ‘lucathedog’,‘lucathedog1’ and various others. The Club has retained its lawyers to seek disclosure of the anonymous posters details which the Club, and the Swann family, consider to be offensive and unlawful. At the time of writing, Reach PLC and the Club have been unable to reach a co-operative position in respect of settling this issue, which remains in the hands of the Club’s lawyers. Until this issue is compromised the Scunthorpe Telegraph and other connected publications will continue to not be permitted entry into official SUFC press conferences or SUFC home matches.
The Club will continue, if so advised, to work with Reach PLC to try and conclude this issue in a co-operative manner.’
What I would like to ask any fan or person who actually wants to make a statement about me, my family or the football club is please get your facts checked, and if you go to print not having those facts, be prepared for a letter from our legal team. We have not pursued anyone in court since we have taken over the club but it has cost us thousands in legal fees to protect ourselves, money that could have gone into the club. It can't go on like that and we will have a zero tolerance if it continues.
I have always made myself available to anyone who wants to talk to me about the club or its business