From The Chair

At times Bournemouth have played some excellent football at home as well as on their travels, although I suspect that the travelling fans have not been treated quite so frequently as those who watch back home. But just recently injuries and suspensions have left Sean bereft of too many choices on who to play. Many might argue that we need a bigger squad, and if conditions were different I would agree, but while we have a debt to clear, a brand new stadium to pay for (not to mention the fourth side to build at some point), I think a bigger squad is a luxury which will remain a distant dream.

It was interesting attending the Football Clubs AGM just before the December. AFCB lost just over £700,000 in the year ending May 31st, which leaves them with a zero bank balance with which to work with. The loss comes after we made a profit of a little over £100,000 during the previous year. So why the loss you may ask? We were down £400,000 on gate receipts and the same again on transfers - the last money received was for the transfer of Ovendale. When asked, Chairman Mr Swaisland did say that there was a strong possibility that we would have to sell a player before the end of the Clubs current financial year (31st May, 2002).

The message seems clear - we need to attend home matches in numbers (need to average 5000) as well as buy AFCB merchandise and visit the Cherry tree pub (when it reopens) to assist the Club. I just hope that the football is of sufficient quality (with the right results) to keep the higher crowds coming back to every home match for the rest of the season.

All said and done though, I get the distinct impression that the worst of the storm may have past. There may be difficult moments to deal with, but with Mr Kaye (Commercial Director) saying that they had already taken bookings for Christmas 2002 Parties as well as a wedding booked for Summer 2003, then it is clear that the future is rosy. But the new facilities do need to be exploited for all their worth to generate maximum revenue such that the 'traditional' revenues are not solely relied upon. To coin a phrase, the futures bright, the futures RED AND BLACK!!

Cheers, Andy Burton