I have as most of you know been the Chairman of Boreham Wood Football Club for over seventeen years and of course I am very proud of what we have all achieved together..
However I do have a heartfelt message for our very loyal home supporters, who after three promotions still only number around 250.. I also have a message for my loyal, dedicated and hugely overworked staff and lastly I have a message to my often forgotten but incredibly loyal sponsors, council and councillors, who have remained with myself and Boreham Wood Football Club, through the pain of our relegations and of course the joy of our promotions..
My message is a simple one and I hope it will demonstrate to you all, that as a club our glass really is half full and is certainly not one that is half empty..
In any season as a non-league football club, you will have troubles to overcome, especially if you are in a relegation battle.. As in life when your struggling, your troubles do seem to multiply as pressure, a lack of confidence and an anxiousness build..
This it appears is one of those seasons for us but that is when calmness and leadership is required.. After last season’s promotion our struggles are perhaps more prevalent than normal this season. As we are far and away the smallest club playing presently in the National League and of course with the smallest support base by some way..
So simply to be a part of this league, is I feel an incredible achievement but one that we want to continue with and we certainly do not want to become one season wonders.. Of course to achieve three promotions in the last decade, is an achievement everyone can be proud of. As it was only made possible due to all the people and bodies that I have mentioned above..
However I do feel that my management team and our dressing room are perhaps feeling the pressure at this moment in time far more, especially when we are playing at home.. So I would like to share with you my thoughts on the reasons why..
When we play at home it’s clearly a difficult environment for our players, as they know by the attendance figures, that we lack the overall town and surrounding areas support towards its home town club.. We have in truth just 250 or so regular home supporters to try and compete and play in a full time National League and that is one of the clubs biggest problems that we are trying to overcome.. It is also clear to me when we play at home, that our 250 loyal supporters or the ‘Wood Army’ as they are called, are more than doing their best to create an atmosphere but that is very difficult for them when our ground holds in excess of 4,000..
The fact is, we normally have more away fans, who are more vocal than our home supporters inside Meadow Park on a match day..
That is not a complaint just a fact of footballing life here at Meadow Park.. My position has always been not to moan about it but I do now have to highlight it.. It is in my humble opinion affecting the players, as they do seem nervous when playing at their home ground..
It is also a fact that the ‘Wood Army’ do seem to be far more vocal away from home and this could be a factor on why our away record is better than our home record?? So I am asking our regular supporters to manage their expectation of what can be achieved over the next thirteen league games.
It’s not a complicated scenario, we are going in search of 18 points or more for survival, in the thirteen remaining league games and we don’t care how or where we get the points from as long as we succeed.. We may lose more than we win but as we go the length and breadth of the country, my message to everyone is simple.. My manager, our dressing room and our 250 supporters must remain totally united no matter what setbacks we face and trust me in the games ahead we will face them.
If we can do that and we need too, we will I’m convinced survive and prosper.. For anyone to divide us now after a defeat or two, is the surest way to seal our fate.. I know how these pressure battles go and how a relegation feels..
I also know what it takes to deal with the pressures ahead and how to succeed in staying up and I need the club to remain positive from top to bottom.. We are a club who in our 68 year history, had never played at any National League level before. As such we are learning a million lessons on just how difficult it is but we are learning and we will be better for the experience..
That said and very much for the record.. If we did go down our club will not implode, it will not fall apart like many of the clubs in and around us.. At BWFC I’ve ensured that there are no financial pressures on the club If we do got relegated and as your Chairman you need to know that..
We are I believe very well run and we are a financially secure football club built from the bottom up.. Should we go down we will do so with a fight but absolutely no debt, as I have covered any potential losses personally and they will not suddenly appear as directors loans on a balance sheet in the future of that I can promise you..
So I’m asking you for your complete and utter support at each and every remaining game. No matter what the result, no matter what the performance and I know how hard that is going to be..
The reality is that recently at both Grimsby and Braintree you got good performances but against Kidderminster and Torquay you got performances that were very poor..
That my friends is why we love and we hate football in equal measure.. So if we can all remain “never too high and never too low” it will not allow anybody to divide us in the coming months and that can only help our chances of survival..
As the proud Chairman of BWFC for the last seventeen seasons, I’ve dealt with both the highest highs and lowest lows. So I’m experienced enough and ugly enough to deal with whatever gets thrown at me and strong enough to keep moving this club forward..
My manager, his staff and our dressing room, don’t all have that longevity or experience in their locker and will need your full support both home and away over the next thirteen league games, so all I ask is that you give it to them..
To achieve survival this season with just 250 home supporters, would in reality be a footballing miracle, especially after losing 8 of our first 11 games.. That miracle though is we believe more than achievable and that Is exactly what I’m expecting Luke Garrard and his men to give us.. With your help, with your belief and with your support, I know we can defy the odds and prove the doubters wrong but let’s ensure we do it the Boreham Wood way..
No club is ever any good if it is divided and I’m lucky that I’ve rarely had to deal with division in my time here. The ‘Wood Army’ and my staff are a loyal bunch, who I know view outsiders with suspicion but we also know that our strengths have been in accepting that we are a small club, a club often written off but always a united club, always a united town who know and rely on each other..
As a Chairman I love the underdog tag and I love my town.. We are loyal to each other, we back our own and in adversity we defend our club and our towns working class values. That to me is the perfect way to tackle any relegation battle but especially how we tackle this one..
So I’m asking you to forget the opinions from a few of our new brand of supporter, who it appears have been with us two minutes and love to put themselves up on a soapbox, as your unofficial spokesmen..
In truth they do seem to have a different opinion every week, dependant on the amount they’ve drunk, what the result is and what players parent, they have been having a drink with that day.. Anyway it’s never about an individual it has to be about a togetherness.
So let’s keep it simple, we are Boreham Wood Football Club and our strength is unity, it’s trust and it’s about each other. We have come a long, long way together, with just 250 home supporters, with my loyal staff, with our loyal sponsors and with a very supportive council..
We have always had each other’s backs, I now ask you to back the dressing room with all you’ve got and if we stay united, our journey will continue forward and we will secure survival..