Boreham Wood FC wish to update our supporters and community by making a positive statement around our survival, our future, our staff and our players.
Wood Chairman Danny Hunter said, “We are, of course, living through an historical crisis and incredibly tough times, so especially on Easter Sunday, I’m reminded how important it is to believe in the meaning of life, the importance of community and why our togetherness will sustain us.
“With that in mind, I can announce to the Wood Army, our town and wider community, that through a whole series of events that have included re-mortgages, tax deferments, multi mortgage and business holidays, further loans and grant applications, plus one amazing gesture from a long standing supporter who wishes to remain nameless, that our club, our academy, our staff, our players and our football club’s immediate future has been secured.
“I’ve worked tirelessly along with my loyal staff on a worst case scenario basis to give you that assurance which means, with or without the present season resuming and with or without any play offs this season, I can announce, that I can underwrite the club’s future until June 30th 2021.
“Even as I write this update, many of our players whether they were on 38- or 44-week contracts, have agreed to those monies being spread equally on their contract amounts until June 30th 2021 to ensure they receive 100% of their monies.
“I’m very proud of how collectively we’ve approached the problems our players and staff are facing and how my Chief Executive Charlie Hunter, my Manager Luke Garrard, and now the dressing room, have dealt with my first priority, that of safety of all, and the long term future of our community football club.
“Through the players intelligence regarding our proposed salary spread, it has meant I’ve kept and will keep them and their families safe, as I have since mid-March and will through April, May, June and beyond.
“My first job in March, during the first wave of this pandemic, was to ensure people’s safety, then ensure they got, if possible, 100% of their salaries. That I hoped to continue, if the players whose contracts expire on April 25th, choose to remain with us, and repay our loyalty and sense of what’s correct in life?
“By most of our players agreeing to spread their wages over this post and pre-season pay runs, it has allowed me to look after our young Wood Army supporters with community offers, look after our wider contractors by paying all or any outstanding bills, whether that be next year’s kit supplier, stewarding costs, plus our transport companies, our cleaning company etc., while agreeing on how next season’s pitch renovations will be done and might look.
“It’s still so important for me to keep disciplined and not to become complacent to keep my staff and our loved ones safe. All the while, I must look forward and envisage what our future together might look like when the recovery begins and with our amazing NHS and the Great British public it will. For me success means my day to day staff and our players are still with us, and my family, club and academy are safe.
“Unfortunately for my ‘Wood Amy’ diehards, I cannot offer anybody further news about how this season might start again, let alone how it might end, as the National League Board’s options are still very much in discussion as they presently cover various polls, first resolution votes, then more votes and of course a million and one self-interest opinions that make the picture so unclear.
“What I can say to the ‘Wood Army’, our town and to our wider community, is whatever way the league and club’s vote, I will, as the long-standing Chairman of your football club, accept their ruling and ensure that we’ll be ready to compete both on and off the field of play.
“What I must also say to our supporters and the wider community, is that football has not been my priority in the months of March and April, as my efforts needed to be concentrated on the life support our club needs, the safety my wider staff needed and thankfully my priorities have in the main now all been achieved.
“That said, because of the way our club has acted toward its staff, and because of the team spirit and togetherness of our dressing room, you will I feel be seeing the likes of Kane Smith, Sorba Thomas, Kabby Tshimanga, Tyrone Marsh, Vice-Captain Tom Champion, Danny Woodards, Adam McDonnell, Piero Mingoia, Club Captain David Stephens, Team Captain Mark Ricketts, Keiran Murtagh, Femi Ilesanmi and Jamal Fyfield, all once again gracing Meadow Park.
“Unfortunately, and surprisingly for me and the Wood Army, we will not be seeing the ageless, irreplaceable Ricky Shakes play competitively again in a Boreham Wood shirt, as he has announced his retirement to Luke Garrard.
“Though that makes me incredibly sad, I do hope to persuade Ricky to perhaps lead us out and give us an hour or so in a future pre-season game… So we can all show our appreciation and to give a special send off to the very last of our Conference South Play Off winners.
“No doubt you’ll all now be asking questions about two or three players not mentioned? I can assure you that Charlie Hunter, Luke Garrard and myself are now going to find a way forward with three or four more key players being spoken to.
“I hope these players have appreciated that we’ve from day 1, kept them and their families safe and didn’t suddenly do that after furloughing was announced, I believe they appreciated we have made 100% salary payments to date during this unprecedented pandemic, and we hope they appreciate that loyalty is a two-way street?
“With ten thousand people in Britain having already lost their lives, with hundreds of thousands more family members now in mourning and with thousands more in hospitals fighting for their lives, football for me still has to be secondary.
“Only time and everyone’s continued self-discipline will help our government restore our way of life and allow our League and our high streets and Schools to open once again for business, but how our season, way of life and how our sporting landscape might look anytime soon – simply nobody knows?
“In the meantime, my job as Chairman of Boreham Wood Football Club is to keep our supporters informed, to show consistent leadership, to work hard for my staff, my community and our club. It is also my job to keep our community club afloat, keep my staff, our players and their families safe, and by paying the wages that allow them to STAY AT HOME, PROTECT THE NHS AND SAVE LIVES, we’re playing our part.”