04 Jun 2020 by John Edwards

Business as usual for busy Alty board!

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*Zoom boom ... this is how board meetings have looked during lockdown, as Alty's directors tune in to work their way through another busy agenda.

Work practices and procedures have been severely disrupted during the coronavirus crisis, but it has been business as usual, with just one or two concessions to lockdown guidelines, for Altrincham FC’s busy board of directors.

It has been a case of boardzoom rather than boardroom for debating the issues of the day, but Alty’s decision-makers have otherwise been able to plough on as normal with the task of helping shape future planning, both on and off the pitch.

These are exciting times to be an Alty fan, with so much happening in relation to all aspects of the club, from the way Phil Parkinson’s team have brought success to The J.Davidson Stadium in such exhilarating fashion to far-reaching, ambitious plans to transform the ground.

We all know it’s the free-flowing football that makes Parky’s side look good, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to match it with a kit that's equally easy on the eye. With that in mind, we pulled together key people from various departments of the club to form a special kit committee and tasked them with devising a look that will be a fit for Phil’s high-achieving squad.

The upshot of their deliberations is that the club are now close to finalising a new home kit for the next two seasons. A launch date is dependent on the manufacturers SKkits’ factory reopening, but the club are hopeful of being able to unveil the new kit in the coming weeks and launch it in early July, all being well.

One of many recent Alty success stories has been the Patrons’ Scheme, and it seems to be going from strength to strength, judging by the growing numbers. At the last count, earlier this week, more than 180 had signed up and parted with £50 to be known as an Altrincham FC Patron and to benefit from the various incentives for providing such invaluable support.

It’s comfortably the best tally the club have ever had at this juncture, and there’s an international look to the latest Patrons list, with overseas fans from Austria, USA, New Zealand and Switzerland putting their names forward and joining those a little closer to home.

The board’s response to the latest evidence that Alty fans have few equals for digging deep and supporting their club was as follows: ‘Thanks to all those who have signed up already. We know the circumstances have meant that most people have had to use the online club shop or online banking to become a Patron this year – something they may not be so familiar with - but we are grateful that so many of you have taken the time to sign up and support the club.

‘There is still plenty of uncertainty as to when football will resume, but we are doing everything in our power to ensure we can provide Phil with a competitive playing budget for when things do pick back up. Your support via the Patrons’ Scheme will help us achieve that.’

Of course, there’s always room for more, so if you are interested in becoming a Patron, please visit https://altrinchamfconlineshop.co.uk/shop/ols/products/altrincham-fc-patron

In between the regular zoom meetings, there have been countless calls and emails between individual directors over specific projects they are concerned with. The stadium redevelopment plan is one of the key initiatives commanding most attention, and a new section on the club's official website will be created shortly to house all the relevant information and ensure supporters are kept up to speed.

As recently reported on the website, after being bowled over by the generosity of Alty fans who exceeded all expectations with their response to the club’s appeal for help in the absence of match day income, it was felt by the board that the time was right to switch the fundraising spotlight to the ongoing quest for investment.

Progress has been made, and we will soon be launching a couple of initiatives to welcome investment into the club at various levels. Stay tuned for more details as and when we are able to release them.

On the financial planning front, director Mike Adams has been crunching the numbers and providing the rest of the board with excellent support, so we are fully aware of the impact this whole situation is having on the club.

Budgeting and forecasting is incredibly difficult right now, but we’re building various scenarios to understand how things may work further down the line.

As a final summary of the work that has been going on behind the scenes at board level, joint-chairman Bill Waterson said: ‘This pause in football – while it may be unwelcome from an on-field perspective – has enabled us to focus on strategy and projects which we often do not get the time for during the season. Our efforts have all been focused on that and naturally on minimising the risks and fall-out from the coronavirus on the club.’

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