Firstly, may I welcome the directors, club officials and supporters from Forest Green and I hope they had a good journey.
Unfortunately for us the game at Swindon was called off an hour before kick-off due to high winds and safety issues. This is not an ideal situation for travelling fans, but I don’t know what we could have done in the circumstances. The only real positive out of the game being called off would have been the four injured players who were not available then, but are fit for today's match.
Russ and his team now have until the end of the season to integrate and establish our younger players, and that is our priority. I am confident that these lads have what it takes, so we do not see this as a risk, just an opportunity.
On the stadium/apartment update, we can confirm we have signed all the relevant documents and agreed terms with the council via the 106 and expect that back, signed by the council, shortly. I know this seems a continuous moan and groan about the council but this is our livelihood and future financial safety that is involved, so we will continue to drive the message home that we have been treated unfairly, until we get those answers and why this has happened.
You wanted me to update you regularly and keep in touch with the fans and this is what I have always done, unfortunately not all updates are good ones and I can hear your frustrations. However, we shouldn’t just accept things when they are clearly wrong, we should always question.
Not everyone understands the planning system, but we do and to be in and around week 80, for a simple outline application with no objections from the public, is embarrassing and unacceptable. That is 67 weeks after the 13-week period allowed and 54 weeks – yes, over a year - beyond the maximum allowed to determine the application. This has financially stretched us to the limit, delayed our building work and potential income streams and could have been even more damaging to the future of the club. Just to put it in context, it took 71 weeks for a full application for the Hinkley Power Station, which is a little more expensive and complicated than our simple outline application!