Saturday 16 May

We hope that this weekly update finds you and your family well as we look forward to some warm and sunny weather over this weekend and coming days after some very chilly nights last week.

Last weekend saw the VE Day commemorations and some good things happened across the town with seemingly lots of people making the most of the occasion.  Our Saints Community Project was busy – more on this next time.  But thanks go to the National League Trust for a further, welcome grant of £5,000 to support the project’s activities.  Without the generous support of the Trust and our other partners we could not reach out to so many people across our Brackley and district community.  A Covid-19 Crisis Grant of £500 from “Tesco bags” has been a big help – many thanks to everyone at Tesco for your support.

On the football front, another week has passed without apparent further progress over the way the National League season will be ended.  Decisions for our league appear to be dependent on decisions made by the EFL and in turn the Premier League as promotion and relegation issues all have knock-on effects to those divisions above and below.  We will continue to keep you updated.

The Bundesliga in Germany starts up this weekend so there is a first flicker of hope that football will return in the weeks and months ahead.

This week Assistant Manager, Mark Noon, has his own personal message for supporters:
“I hope everyone is keeping safe in these challenging times. I guess if we can take anything from this, the goodwill, kindness and compassion people have shown at the club, in the community and across the nation has been great to see. Obviously there are more important things than football at the moment, but that doesn’t stop us missing it. All the players and staff will be looking forward to getting going again when it is deemed appropriate to do so. As everyone knows, when this will be is very uncertain, but we have to try to plan for various eventualities to make sure we are ready and competitive when we start up again.  It’s been good to stay in touch with the players over the past few weeks. They have been setting themselves various fitness challenges to make the most of their daily exercise including 3km, 5km, 10km runs and ‘the Jimmy Armson’ 100 burpee challenge. There have been some very competitive scores and some question marks over some of the claimed performances! So I’m sure they will be ready to hit the ground running when we return. Most importantly until then, take care of yourselves and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.”

At St James Park works continue to prepare for the demolition and then re-build of the clubhouse.  The new clubhouse will include facilities for hosting guests from visiting clubs – a requirement of the league.  The new clubhouse will require an additional entry and exit point including access for club guests and this will require some reconfiguration of the existing stand adjacent to the old tunnel.  The old tunnel will remain but we will need to move the press box.  While this is to be finalised, it seems likely it will be re-located to the area by the current PA box.  We will look to upgrade this facility to meet the requirements of Step 1.

On the subject of media coverage, part of the continuing development of the ground includes moving the media tower back and later re-locating the roof structure currently in front of the old clubhouse to the far side behind the media tower.

We have improved facilities for players, supporters and visitors at St James Park over recent seasons, step by step, as we can afford to do it and in line with league ground grading requirements for our level and Step 1.  This work will continue alongside the redevelopment of the clubhouse and continues to be an outward expression of the club’s ambitions.

There will be plenty more news to bring you about the clubhouse build and other matters as the weeks go by but for now, until next Saturday - stay safe, stay well.

BTFC Board