Fredag kveld kom den glade meldingen fra Worksop Town om at den engelske klubben har klart å samle inn de 30.000 pundene som Peter Whitehead hadde satt som betingelse for at han skulle ta over klubben. Beskjeden ble gitt under en «Legend’s night» i klubbhuset, der mange av klubbens supportere var samlet for å høre tre tidligere spillere fortelle om sin tid i klubben.
Vi har ikke fått oppgitt den endelige summen klubben klarte å samle inn, men Worksop Town FC vil komme med en oppdatering om dette i løpet av helga.
Klubbens fotograf Mike Holmes sendte dette svaret til Kjell Åvendal på messenger sent fredag kveld:
«Dont know exact amount yet, but it is a brilliant effort all round and we know who our friends are. Thank you so much for your help in pushing us forward. What fantastic news!! UTT.»
Klubbhistoriker John Stocks, som ledet gårsdagens samling i klubbhuset, kommer med følgende ord til EIKs supportere:
«Can you say a big thank you from all of us, and say that we will never forget their kindness.»
Av totalsummen kommer over 33.000 norske kroner fra vår «Brothers in Arms» skjerfkampanje, som ble satt i gang for to uker siden. Vi har sendt rundt 29.000 kroner over fra Norge, mens noe over 4.000 kroner kommer fra engelske fans som har støttet kampanjen via Workshop Towns Steve Jarvis. Det beløpet kan bli ennå litt høyere i og med at flere engelske fans har ytret ønske om å kjøpe skjerfet som følger kampanjen, etter at de så bilde av det lagt ut på Twitter i går.
Worksop Town skal etter planen i aksjon borte mot Stamford i ettermiddag. På grunn av mye regn i England skal det være en inspeksjon av banen klokka 10:45 norsk tid før det endelig bestemmes om kampen kan gå som planlagt. Etter gårsdagens gode nyheter regner man med at en stor skare med supportere vil følge «tigrene» ned til Leicestershire dersom kampen får «go ahead».
Kampanjeleder Kjell Åvendal vil nok en gang rette en STOR TAKK til alle som har bidratt i kampanjen.
Han gjør også oppmerksom på at skjerfene blir satt i produksjon over helga, og at de vil komme til Norge i slutten av mars dersom det ikke blir trøbbel med reising på grunn av coronaviruset.
OPPDATERING LØRDAG ETTERMIDDAG
Her er hva Worksop Towns nye styreformann Peter Whitehead skrev til supporterne tidligere i dag:
Announcement from Pete Whitehead
My grateful thanks go to everyone associated with the club and in particular Max Ross, Keith Ilett, Lance Hardy, Mick Lowery, Roger Mills and Devon Cash for their unbelievable support over the past four weeks in our fund-raising campaign aimed at securing the future of the club. I would also like to pay tribute to the wider football community who have helped to keep the club alive. People such as Peter Crouch, Jeff Stelling, Chris Waddle and Footy accumulators for promoting the campaign. There have been many more showing tremendous support including our Tiger brothers from Norway.
As most of you are aware, club President, Keith Ilett approached me for help back in November. At that stage we were unsure of the exact position of the club’s finances, so I implemented a few business control procedures and by mid-December the picture became clear. It revealed that the club’s debts were circa £80k and with a number of legal issues pending we had to act quickly and settle the critically urgent debts via an injection of cash from myself together with assistance from Keith Ilett and the Supporters “trust”. Following on from this, we set in train the now familiar fundraising campaigns to try and save the club.
So, here we are at the beginning of March and I am very pleased to say that we have reached the fundraising target and will therefore be able to settle immediate outstanding debts thus staving off catastrophe. In addition, I am pleased for those of our creditors who, having supplied goods and services in good faith, will be paid in full after being so patient. The total has just crept over the £45k mark.
Donations above and beyond our target, rest assured, will go towards a handful of newly discovered outstanding items and those pre-season fees and expenses which will help to secure our position and status in the Northern Premier League. Rest assured, all money will be spent wisely.
We have won the main battle and can now concentrate on a brighter future but there are still battles ahead. There are a few very important matters to progress before things are finally settled. One of which is a key meeting with senior people at Bassetlaw District Council in a few days. The outcome of this and other critical meetings will be communicated to you all as and when we are able.
As promised at the start of the campaign a roll of honour will be produced and ALL individuals and organisations that have donated £100 or more will be recognised with their name on it. It will be proudly displayed in a prominent position in the clubhouse.
On another note and just to reassure you all, I don’t intend to forget how the club got into this mess and am committed to supporting the police fully with their investigation in partnership with Terry Bonser who I would like to thank for his tireless work and commitment helping me put the case forward.
In addition, I have decided that the club should form a relationship with Bluebell Wood Hospice which is very close to the hearts of my family. My wonderfully supportive wife, Maureen, and I will be personally donating £2,000 on behalf of the club to this cause in recognition of the wonderful work they do and will continue to support this charity from time to time via the odd bucket collection.
Over the weekend, we will have collated the Roll of honour list for those who supported the President’s Fund with their £100. You will be able to check for your name from the list which will be in alphabetical order to assist easy discovery. Of course, if you think you’ve been missed, report to Keith Ilett straight away but by Friday at the very latest..
Among other important matters coming to fruition is the finalisation of the stadium sponsor and associated branding. We hope to have something by Monday for you to have a look at. Speaking of branding, I have been working with my designer on a new club badge to herald in a fresh new positive era, leaving the old one behind, although we will never forget our 2018/2019 performance on the pitch. The new design may be available for unveiling over the next few days.
Once again thank you for your support and I really hope that everyone can now look forward and enjoy watching and cheering on your favourite team. Up the tigers !!