By now I am sure you have all seen the FA’s statement that not only has the 2019/20 season terminated, but all results expunged and there will be no promotion or relegation in any of the leagues in Steps 3-6, which includes the BetVictor Isthmian League.
Obviously, we are very pleased that we have retained our status in the BetVictor Premier League. Looking at our own league and others were the same, it would have been very unfair to promote or relegate teams with so many points still to play for. Given how close it was at the bottom in our league, and with so many points still available, it is difficult to see what else they could have done as so much could have happened. Obviously, with a run of games at home against teams around us in the table, we believe we would have avoided relegation anyway. But it is still a relief to see the final ruling when there were other options being considered.
But it would be remiss of us not to thank a number of important people now that the season is over. We never forget that a club like Merstham FC depends hugely upon a small, but extremely dedicated and hard-working group of volunteers, who keep this club ticking over: Mandy and Sarah, who do such a fabulous job with all of our youth teams; Joe Weeks, our website and social media guru; Ian and Jo who do the 101 jobs behind the scenes as well as the gate and tea-bar on matchdays; Andy and Bob, who are so important on match days; Rachel, for organising our board room catering and is renowned for her lemon drizzle cake; Mike who’s helped to run the club shop; Amy & Daisy for keeping our dressing rooms spick and span and Simon and Neil for giving us an excellent playing surface. I could go on and apologies if I’ve left out anyone. This club could not function without each and everyone of you. Thank you.
When he arrived in July, Frank Wilson knew it would be a challenge keeping us up this season. We all knew it. While there were more lows than highs on the field, I think everyone associated with the club has been impressed by Frank’s positive outlook, good humour and how he has embraced the spirit and ethos of this unique club. That meant a lot to everyone. The first team is important to us, but so is the rest of the football club and Frank has very much bought into that. We would also like to thank his coaching staff; Barry, Perry and Andy. We know how hard they have all worked to put a
competitive side out on the field every week, as well as drilling them and keeping them fit during the season.
Talking of the players, we think special thanks ought to go to our skipper James Richmond, who always led by example, and players like Matte Pierson, who had an excellent season between the sticks, Eddie Dines, EJ Mensah, Chace Jacquart, and Omar Folkes, who were all with us from the start. But thank you to all of the players who represented Merstham Football Club this season and hopefully we will see some of them next season.
To our supporters, thank you! It’s been a tough season on the pitch, but we have a loyal group of supporters who always turn out to support the team. We never take that support for granted. We hope to see you all when we resume playing next season.
A big thank you to our sponsors. It is a real battle to bring in sponsorship these days and every football and sports club faces that challenge. We are very grateful therefore to the Whisky Bible for sponsoring our stadium this season and next. We also had financial support from more than 30 local businesses who took part in our shirt sponsor draw and took advertising hoardings around the pitch. Thank you to all those companies. If you work for or run a local business, we hope you might get involved in some way too next season!
We were delighted to partner with the Lucy Rayner Foundation. It is a wonderful local charity and we were proud to wear their logo on our shirts. Another partnership we hope to continue next season.
Finally, thank you to my fellow directors. It’s hard to describe just how much work is involved in the day-to-day running of a football club. This season was particularly challenging, but through it all we have worked incredibly well together and done so with the interests of the club always at the top of list of priorities.
Football is nowhere near the top of anyone’s priorities during the current crisis and may I end by wishing everyone good health and we all hope that the coronavirus passes very soon so that life can return to normal.
Take care everyone.