Good afternoon, Iron fans. Well it’s nearly here! The start of the new season is just around the corner.
The anticipation levels will be bubbling at 5.20pm on Saturday in front of a TV audience and let’s hope BT Sport are frequent visitors to GP. My hope is we have 3,000 fans in the stadium, waving flags, banging drums and cheering us on to success. 3,000 tells me we are winning, we are listening and engaging. 2,000 tells me I’m not…
So our first game in the NL live on a worldwide stage. Do we want to portray ourselves as a club that listens? YES. Do we aspire to be a Community Hub and have a clear vision, with engagement across all age groups, genders and race? YES. Are we proud of our club, our town and our team? YES!
We are trying to create a real bond with our supporters. History tells me we can be a powerful force and voice, directing forward momentum at Scunthorpe United.
After a thorough review of our security measures at the stadium, myself, stadium manager Phil Jacklin and the board are delight to announce IPM Group as our new security partner, along with our own stewards. We hope to improve our matchday experience for supporters and maintain a listening ear that our actions are a consequence of discussion and understanding.
A great response to my Community Champions post has led to some healthy chat amongst our wide and diverse fan base resulting in a number of ideas and objectives that I’m looking to launch. I would like to reach out to key workers and forces personnel with a discounted ticket offer for all our home games this season, taking effect after tomorrow's game against Yeovil. It's an offer which will also be available to those on benefits (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). They are small steps I know but we're looking towards building our fan base. I’m asking for help and appealing to our supporters and supporters' groups to assist with the work and effort me, the staff and volunteers are putting in to turn our fortunes around. Many of you have endorsed our efforts while some are happy to sit on their hands! We are ALL-IN here at GP - give us a chance , an opportunity to prove we can achieve and progress on and off the pitch.
As you are probably aware, we have tried to re-establish our relationship with the Scunthorpe Telegraph, offering access all areas, with myself, Keith and the players contributing to weekly updates. Unfortunately, the Telegraph editor has decided not to offer us the same terms as Grimsby Town obtained last season in the NL. Editor Jamie Macaskill told us: “Unfortunately we will not be committing at this stage to any formal partnership on access and matchday coverage for Scunthorpe United. This follows a review of the potential audience for matchdays and availability of staff and supporting resources to cover the games.” Interesting, eh?
Commercially, we are progressing well. Shirt sales and season tickets have been excellent throughout the summer, Josh has done a fantastic job and hopefully we can announce a new staff addition to the department very soon. The club shop and ticket office will open until 6.30pm on Tuesday next week (August 9th) to accommodate our fans. This has been tried before so we need footfall for us to extend throughout the season. We appreciate some supporters work 9am until 5pm so we will trial extended hours and review.
I’d also like to propose a monthly business event here at GP, starting in September with a Breakfast Club meeting on Thursday 22nd September to share good practice and ideas. I want business leaders to step forward and engage with us to build stronger links. Further details to follow (contact email@example.com). I’m scheduling a coffee morning in mid-September and hopefully a Fans' Forum organised and chaired independently in early September.
Just to be clear, I will only update when appropriate on any potential takeover. Mr Swann, I’m sure, will keep you informed through the relevant channels on any further developments. He has openly discussed this with Iron-Bru recently, so I have no more to add.
On Saturday, we hope to provide a proper matchday experience for you, our loyal fans. “Music in the Marquee” with the excellent Mark Donaldson live outside the Iron Bar, a beer tent, face painters and food outlets including 'Time and Plaice' fish and chips and Sheridan's Ices. There will also be a Q&A in the restaurant with club legend and academy manager Tony Daws, along with Wembley winner Steve Housham and first team scout Paul Lemon giving some insight into their careers and roles. Heroes of the past Martyn Woolford, Chris Hope and Dave Mirfin will be exclusive for restaurant guests in the near future.
The academy youngsters will parade proudly around the pitch prior to kick-off supported by parents and coaching staff in the ground. The pitch is in great condition, so credit to Nath, Gaz, Josh and Reg. The ground is in pristine condition, managed by Phil, his staff and our volunteers who have worked so hard this summer to deliver another one of my objectives.
Club secretary Adam Grice is leaving the club after this Saturday's game. Gricey is a great lad and we wish him well in the future. His knowledge and understanding is first class. Adam will always be welcome at GP and as a personal friend a few beers will be raised to celebrate his time at SUFC. I wish Chris Mumby and James Moody the very best in stepping up and equally know that they’ll smash it!
The focus is now firmly on Yeovil and the start of a new adventure in the National League, bang the drum! Stamp your feet! You make a difference! So be loud and proud - it's our club and our town so let’s show the world we are UNITED as Scunthorpe United, with flags flying, claret and blue through and through, and hopefully three points!