8 December 2023
Though it has only been a matter of weeks since I last penned an update to you all, a lot of things have been going on behind the scenes, and it’s been a very busy time for us in January at the Football Club.
Many of you will have seen the speculation regarding the future of our Manager, Andy Woodman. Andy was approached by League One Gillingham, which we made clear to supporters, and a formal offer was eventually made to him. Regardless of their position in the league, receiving such an offer from a higher-placed Club is both flattering and difficult to turn away, but, as we all know this is exactly what Andy decided to do. I think rather than being a reflection on Gillingham, this is a reflection of us and how far we’ve come. It’s also an indication of our ambition and what we want to achieve here. I am delighted Andy has chosen to remain with us.
In January, we have further invested in and bolstered our squad with the addition of six new players. Scott Wagstaff, Ellery Balcombe, Luke Dreher, Connor Parsons, Mason Bloomfield and Ben Margetson have all come on board to give Andy further options for the crucial upcoming months, and I’m sure you join me in welcoming them all to Hayes Lane. We have a busy time ahead with regard to fixtures, and I know we will need the extra bodies to give us the best possible chance in all of our matches.
We’ve now passed the halfway point of the season, and I think we can all be very pleased with where the team are in the table at the moment. Sitting in 4th place, it’s been a great start to 2022 so far, which is testament to the hard work of a lot of people at the Football Club. I for one am very much looking forward to seeing what the team can achieve throughout the remainder of the season.
Moving away from the First Team, many of you will be aware that our new bar & kitchen is getting closer to its completion. Not only will this be a wonderful supporters’ bar on a matchday, but beyond that, it will be an operation in itself, open every day of the week to the general public, and another step towards my aim of making this Football Club self-sustainable.
I’d like to thank those of you who took the time to provide us with your feedback, and of course, I respect the strongly held views in relation to the merit behind wanting a football related name.
Given the need to also appeal to an audience outside of our supporter base, it was vital that we looked beyond our own footballing world and consulted and engaged with the wider community. The original shortlist shared with supporters came as a result of extensive market research and brainstorming sessions with a wide and diverse demographic.
‘Broomfields’ was by far the most popular option chosen by supporters. The name is a historic reference to the sprigs of broom, which is an emblem of the town and a feature of our Club crest. It refers to fields or pastures around Bromley where broom previously grew, and with all of this in mind, I’m pleased to confirm this will be the name for our new Bar & Kitchen.
As mentioned in my previous update, our off-field team have now moved out of the Portakabins and into the all-new, purpose-built offices. I know some of those who are helping contribute to the ‘Ravens Supporters Board’ initiative have had a tour of the new space, having held recent meetings in the new boardroom. We have created a people-focussed, team environment, where staff have access to all of what they need within one building. We are delighted to have taken this step, and everyone is very pleased to have moved across!
Sadly, given all the changes, location of personnel and the failure to keep him outside of prohibited areas in order to maintain food safety and hygiene standards, the difficult decision has been made to find a new, loving home for our beloved club cat, Gareth. In making this decision we have given a lot of consideration to Gareth’s welfare and the need to establish a new home in a similar environment to which he is used to as soon as possible, and I’d like to thank Beckenham Town for assisting us with this so far.
Prior to my last update, we had over 3700 in the Stadium for our Boxing Day clash with Southend United, and just prior to this one, we had over 3600 for our match against Notts County. I’d like to thank you for your support during this time, as it really does make the world of difference to the team. Our work continues, as we look to welcome more supporters through the door, and we all hope you will join us next Tuesday as we welcome Stockport County to Hayes Lane.
I’m pleased to confirm that our next Fans’ Forum will take place on Monday 28th February, starting at 7pm. I felt that the last forum was very productive and some interesting discussions were held; it was certainly great to hear from those who attended and meet some of you for the first time. I am very much looking forward to our next meeting.
Details for how to book your place at the next Fans Forum will be communicated with supporters shortly.