As we enter a new month when we had hoped to be allowed to have fans back at Glebe Park, we now know this is not the case, and that we all may find ourselves in this position for some time to come.
At recent League meetings all Clubs decided to commit to the shortened season as the feeling was that we were all too far down the road with our preparations to do anything else.
Whilst the financial consequences of having no fans at the games cannot be underestimated, we feel we have to continue with our plans to ensure that interest in the game is maintained, and that we do everything we can to engage with our support during these most difficult of times. Whilst specific updates will continue, the Management Committee wanted to provide a broad round up of the various activities currently happening at the Club.
RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOLS
The Club has started the season with a new Safety Team in place who have been heavily involved in setting up the ‘Return to Play’ protocols which have been in operation for the pre-season friendlies. Two ‘Red Zones’ have been created to accommodate the home team and away teams. This has resulted in the away team changing in the City Club in the David Will Stand, and the home team using both home and away dressing rooms in the Centre Stand. We’re already finding that the conversion of hospitality space into changing areas is an approach which has been forced upon many clubs. Our Boardroom has also been converted for use as changing facilities for the match officials and the Club has purchased a variety of signage and sanitising equipment to ensure all surfaces are compliant with protocols.
We wish to specifically thank our Sport Scientist Seamus McCafferty who stepped up to take on the role of COVID Officer, assisted by Physio Seb Panczyk, as well as Safety Officers Brian Livie, Stephen Ferguson and Paul Winter, for greatly assisting with this task. We also wish to thank the volunteers who have assisted with stewarding duties at the pre-season friendlies as help and guidance around these new protocols need to be available for everyone entering the stadium.
Manager Mark Wilson, ably assisted by Simon Donnelly, has worked hard to build a new squad. The players have come together well with a strong spirit being established during the pre-season friendly programme. We now have 18 registered players with further negotiations continuing.
It was so disappointing to see Connor Coupe leave the pitch injured after only a few minutes play in a game against Arbroath. We wish Connor a speedy recovery as he may be out for a few weeks.
Congratulations must go out to recent loan signing Connor Barron as he is called up to the Scotland U19 squad for the International friendlies against England. This is great achievement by Connor, albeit a slight blow for the Club, as it’s already clear he will be a significant miss for the BetFred Cup group stage fixtures.
We are extremely grateful to the group of loyal fans who have been working away at Glebe Park carrying out various improvements. The home dugout has been further renovated to create more room for the players with the addition of some striking seats. Thanks to everyone who has helped with these works. The away dressing room showers are also being replaced, with the whole water supply system being overhauled. Thanks to Scott McMillan of Lammonds for all the help and assistance he has provided with this project.
The Club has purchased a new portacabin that is currently being refurbished and will be installed at Glebe Park shortly. The eventual aim is to provide further hospitality facilities when we are permitted to do so. In the short term the additional space will be useful for further changing facilities. In addition, some new pitchside signage has been installed to represent and acknowledge the ongoing support of our key sponsors – as well as some brand new club connections.
LIVE MATCH STREAMING
The Club has invested heavily in a new specialist camera system designed to live stream games. The system has recently been tested and was rolled out for the first time for the pre-season friendly against Raith Rovers on Saturday. We are extremely grateful to Andrew Mudie who has led this project. To get it up and running in such a short period of time has been a magnificent effort on Andrew’s part. We hope the fans will support this initiative as it could make all the difference to the Club seeing out the season. The Hedge TV Live page can be found HERE
The club has also been buoyed by the uptake of new members for the upcoming season – especially in the current climate of uncertainty about the return of fans to matches. Over 50 new supporters have purchased season tickets, once again displaying the support that the club enjoys, both in the town and further afield.
Fans will doubtless be very well aware that, like all other clubs, the financial situation will become increasingly perilous the longer fans are excluded from our stadium. To counteract this as best we can, in addition to the live streaming, every opportunity to generate income will be explored.
To this end, despite an all but empty stadium, pitchside LED advertising will be in place for the Betfred Cup Tie against Dundee United and we’d like to thank the local businesses who have supported this initiative. There will also be a brand new and genuinely exciting competition launched to tie in with the Dundee United clash, details of which will be published very shortly.
The Glebe Park Lottery, which was launched in July, continues to contribute funds and establish itself as our online offering to replace the Glebe Gamble. Within the next few weeks, we’ll also launch the ticket-purchase option to participate, allowing former Glebe Gamble players to purchase tickets from a variety of outlets around the town and participate in the weekly draw in the more customary manner. News on this will follow soon.
COMMERCIAL: SPONSORSHIP & HOSPITALITY
A new commercial group has been formed to have a specific focus on our Hospitality and Sponsorship activities. Leading this initiative is Arlene Wood and enquiries can be sent to her now via firstname.lastname@example.org. With the squad now coming together, opportunities currently exist for our ever-popular player sponsorship. Supporters are encouraged to explore the full range of alternative ways to support Brechin City – and retain the feeling that it’s your club whether you’re based locally or not – by making contact with Arlene.
The new strips will be launched shortly with the home kit being used for the first time on Wednesday night in the Cup Tie against Dundee Utd. At this point can we once again thank our main sponsor Glencadam Distillery for standing with us during these times and continuing their sponsorship for a further season, as have JJKS and Chase De Vere. Each of these companies fully understand the difficulties we face, and wish to support the Club and help us meet the challenges that lie ahead. The strips can be purchased online through the Supporters Club at the following - HERE
or direct from the Pendle Club Shop HERE
AND SO TO THE FUTURE
The Club is without doubt going through a period of change, something that we all understand is necessary if we are to improve our fortunes both on and off the pitch. Fresh faces have brought some new ideas and enthusiasm to the Management Committee – although that is to take nothing away from the current members who are all fulfilling their roles in the most testing of conditions. The pandemic is teaching us all how to go about our business differently and many tried and tested procedures have had to be adapted for this far from normal way of managing football.
The Club has a vision to:
• Compete at the highest level of the part time game.
• Improve the infrastructure at Glebe Park – particularly the hospitality facilities, and make a visit to the ground a more comfortable experience for fans
• Strengthen and develop community relationships with the aid of the Supporters Club and Brechin Community Football Trust.
In order to meet these objectives, the Club ownership structure must change. As discussed at the AGM, and with the members agreement, the Incorporation Group continue to advance the procedural and legal elements of this project with the aim of bringing this back to the members for a final decision in the Spring.
Thank you, to all of you who have stuck with us throughout this challenging period. Our supporters are the bedrock of our club and the level of loyalty and commitment you have shown will never be forgotten.
We are hugely grateful to all of you who dug deep to generously contribute towards last season’s Fighting Fund. We are keen (with your permission) to show our appreciation for your support by posting your name on a new Thank You page on our website.
We will shortly be issuing a letter / email to all donors, with further information and requesting your consent to post your name on the Thank You page.
2020/21 MOVING ON UP FUND
Whilst the financial position of the club has improved, we are keen to ensure that we are able to support Mark Wilson in bringing in high calibre new players, to help us get back up to where we belong.
We would also like to ask anyone else who is willing to pledge either a monthly payment or a lump sum amount towards our “2020/21 Moving On Up Fund” to contact Kevin Mackie 07710 504 555 in the first instance for further details. Any amount will always be greatly appreciated and we will recognise all people who pledge with a mention on our "Thank-you" page on the website.
As with last season’s “Fighting Fund”, all donations will go into a separate bank account that will be audited jointly by individuals from the committee and supporters and be used solely for the purpose of maintaining and strengthening the squad.
We will continue to use GoCardless to allow donations to be collected by direct debit. You can choose either a single lump sum payment or a recurring monthly payment, by completing the form below.
Alternatively, you can pay into the account directly using the following details:
BCFC Development Account
We hope to update our supporters early 2021 with some exciting plans and vision for the Club that is currently being worked on.
We once again would ask you to add your own individual support to the Club, either through the live match streaming or purchasing club merchandise, sponsoring players, matchballs etc. If we all stick together, we will see this through and come out the other end with a stronger Club.
Hopefully we will be able to welcome everyone back to Glebe Park in the not too distant future. In the meantime, please stay safe, look after each other and – through live streaming – enjoy watching this brand new Brechin City team our Manager has pulled together.