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“Making Things Happen”
elcome to CLARETfication! 2, building on the success of Claretfication! 1. Thank you for your comments about our first Supporters’ Club members’ magazine. Degs has worked wonders to bring you this mid-season edition. More evidence of the value for money that your membership subscription brings - in addition to offering what is also a good read!
It feels like it’s been a busy first half to the season with an excellent FA Cup run, we’re still in the FA Trophy, with a visit to the ‘mighty’ FC Halifax still to come. We’re well placed in the BSS League, plus still in the latter stages of the Essex Senior Cup. Happy days to be Claret? Sweet FA, the brain child of Jon Read, ably supported by Callaway Sykes and Tangent Resourcing was a magnificent Supporters’ Club fund raiser based around this seasons FA Cup success. Pledges by both Callaway Sykes and Tangent Resourcing were matched by you the supporter and we have raised a sum in excess £2,000. Money that’s enabled the purchase of a ‘sit-on’ mower for Bob Batchford which, is vital for pitch maintenance and from January 2013 we have been able to introduce the Supporters’ Club VicePresident match day offer. This is where a Supporters’ Club member can put their names forward for the Also in this Issue: remaining home games for season 2012/2013 and enjoy with a guest the benefits of being a Vice Ask Mansell. President, including a match day meal as part of the Adam May talks to Billy package. The Supporters’ Club website has all the Shaw. details. I think you’ll agree this is good use of the Caroline Barker. monies raised this season as everybody benefits not The Chelmsford City just the Football Club but also its supporters.
The Supporters’ Club has been able to sign off the purchase of an electronic scoreboard with the Football Club holding the monies bequeathed by Ian Hart with the Supporters Club matching this from Supporters’ Club funds, helped with £120 donated from a recent Chelmsford City Supporters FC verses Chelmsford City Supporters ‘Old Boys’ friendly. The final bill for the scoreboard is expected to exceed £4,500. The scoreboard will have a temporary site near to the First Aid and PA building. The ultimate aim is to have the scoreboard positioned in the new stand. I hope you enjoy this new addition to the Melbourne Stadium facilities. We thank and remember Ian Hart for his bequest. We are currently selling tickets for a Christmas raffle and this will take place on a home match in January 2013 such is the way the fixtures have fallen of late. This is a first attempt to have a raffle entirely made up of prizes given by the Chelmsford City supporters. Already the Football Club have come forward with a prize along with some donated by Jerry from the Club Shop. It’s hoped that with your help the raffle can be a significant money raiser coming in the New Year when traditionally we are out of most cup competitions. The start of the season had the Supporters Club Committee wanting to concentrate on two ‘major’ income steams for the Football Club, the Football Club’s ‘Top Draw’ Lottery and the ‘12th Man’ Players Fund Initiative. Both these schemes are updated monthly on the Supporters’ Club website.
The Club Lottery has seen the start of new members signing up on standing orders, but more work will be needed to establish this amongst City supporters. A start has been made and we will continue to promote this during the rest of the season. The ‘12th Man’ Initiative, Supporters’ Club Membership scheme is also a standing order scheme, which Supporters give a minimum of £10 per month towards a player’s budget. This has also seen an initial influx of supporters joining and with a little more publicity and information I’m confident we will see a response that will make a difference. I know Supporters have differing views on Player’s Funds and it’s not for all. For those of you that wish to become a ‘12th Man’ will receive an exclusive ‘12th Man’ badge and we will be looking at other incentives as member numbers allow. An article on the background of the ‘12th Man’ Initiative is printed elsewhere in this edition of CLARETfication! A huge thank you for Supporters who have taken up the ‘Top Draw’ Football Club Lottery and/or the ‘12th Man’ as it helps makes our Football Club so much more financially sustainable Coming up in February 2013 is the annual ‘Race Night, an evening enjoyed by all and as always is so well supported by you the fans. It’s a chance to get together and raise monies at the same time. We hope to also bring you a Golf Day in April 2013 held in conjunction with Chelmsford City Youth. This will be exceptional value and will be open to all supporters and their friends. The date and fuller details will be announced in the New Year. The Supporters’ Club continues to work alongside Mansell Wallace and the Football Club board. We will begin in the New Year to have representation at Football Club Board Meetings to help with the communication between supporters and the Football Club board. We welcome all supporters comments and ask that these are directed through the Supporters’ Club website but of course we old fashioned face to face chat never fails. To reinforce the Supporters’ Club Committee on a current issue of Monday Night football the Supporters’ Club are in favour of Monday Night football over Wednesday Night football and we would see it appropriate to wait until the season ends before any permanent change is considered and thereby being able to review the success or failures of it’s introduction during the current season I look forward to the second half of this season and the excitement that this will hopefully generate. Good luck to Glenn and the team for what is to come and we all thank you for the season we have had to so far! This season has already brought us such fun and joy with the FA Cup win against Colchester United making Club history. Promotion is the must for all City supporters and as a Supporters’ Club we will endeavour to play our part both on the terraces, the stands and away from the pitch. Thank you to the Supporters’ Club Committee for their hard work and commitment this season and all other seasons. Some inspired thinking and making things happen. And to you the Claret Army for never stopping supporting. Up the City, Wheel ’Em in! Paul Gorrie Chair Chelmsford City Supporters Club
Adam May talks to City Programme Editor and Publisher Billy Shaw in another of his ‘Sometimes it’s not about the team on the pitch’ articles…………….. What experience do you have in producing and writing programmes? I first got involved in Non-League at the age of 14 when I was a work experience reporter at the Harlow Star. My first Non-League game to report on was a 2-2 draw between Harlow and Uxbridge in the old Southern League Division One East. I remember it being on a reasonably cold midweek! I reported on Harlow games for a couple of years, but when I finished at the newspaper I was asked to come on board as Press Officer at Harlow FC. I enjoyed several happy years there, and after a while I took over the programme editorship when the long-term incumbent Phil decided to step down. We were lucky to have a good deal with a colour printing company based in Leeds – their prices were very cheap so we were one of the first clubs in the Ryman League to go ‘full colour’ with the programmes. I wrote all the copies and decided what would go on what page, and then I sent it all to the Leeds-based companies who designed and printed it. I was also selling some ad space too. I have been involved at other Ryman League Clubs since but I was never involved with the programme production. What sort of problems are you faced with when producing the match day programme? It all runs fairly smoothly, but the first issue of the season is always a nightmare as you have to start from scratch. It took me about four weeks to do the Welling United edition this season! That includes laying out all the advertisements, and because some companies don’t provide artwork it can sometimes mean creating the advert myself. I will be the first to admit that I am a journalist – not a designer – so laying out pages in a tidy and professional manner is something that I’m learning as I go along. Here at Chelmsford City we’re lucky in the sense that we have lots of people contributing columns and updates from various sections of the Football Club and those guys from the City Supporters’ Club. The Manager, the Chairman, the Ladies Team, the City Reserves, and the Apprentices – they all have columns and contributors. Invariably you can never be sure of the word count each week, so making text fit into certain shaped boxes can sometimes be tricky. It soon became apparent that it is best to keep the same font and font size throughout the programme, so I found that creating three columns on every page instead of two allows for more space to be utilized on the page and more words to be kept in. Sometimes you have to trim a line or two of text out to make it fit on the page. What is your typical schedule when producing the programme? The print deadline for a Saturday edition is the close of play on a Wednesday night. Work on the programme for a Saturday game usually starts on the previous Monday, and takes up most of the Tuesday and Wednesday. The earliest bits are normally things like match reports and stats pages, although you have to be careful because any midweek games on a Tuesday not involving Chelmsford City
will alter the League tables, so in that instance the tables have to be included on a Wednesday. David Selby sends his Clarets Connections piece through in good time, which in turn is forwarded to Trevor Smith who has an image archive of loads of ex-Chelmsford players from down the years. That spread is then laid out when the pictures have been received. The Ladies Team match reports normally reach me on a Monday night, while Chris Evans sends through his regular player interview on Tuesday afternoons, so those pages are normally done on a Tuesday, while the Supporters’ Club columns, as well as those of Glenn Pennyfather and Football Club Chairman Mansell Wallace come in on Wednesdays. The final pages are uploaded to our printers, ‘The Printing Place’ FTP drop site at around 10pm on Wednesday evenings. They begin work on printing it in the early hours of Thursday. For a Monday night game, all pages have to be with the printers on a Sunday evening. Have there been any funny moments where things maybe didn't go to plan? I can’t remember too many howlers in programme production, other than the odd page number not actually reflecting the number of the page and odd- shaped faces in the early editions of the programme this season. Although I’m sure there will be one or two errors that nobody has told me about yet! What made you want to produce the Chelmsford City programme? I had a call in the summer from City’s Commercial Manager, Mick Hooker who I have known for a few years. He told me that City needed a Programme Editor for the new season and asked if I was interested. I had seen last year’s programme and knew that it would be a ‘herculean’ task to carry on that sterling work. As I already knew Chris Evans the Chelmsford City Press Officer as well so it seemed like a good progression to join a higher ranked club. I came to meet the guys here at Chelmsford City and they were very welcoming – although I am under a bit of pressure as the City programme has won countless awards for the last few years so I know we need to maintain that high standard! What sort of feedback have you received? On the whole we have had some good feedback. We took on board comments from all quarters after the first few editions, and even now I’m still making some tweaks here and there. As mentioned, it was soon pointed out that we should have the same font and text size throughout. Another problem we had at the beginning was the distortion of some images, but this has also been sorted now. Some people have asked why there are so many adverts in a cluster together – this is a technicality of the print process and is unavoidable. Because most of the advert pages are pre-printed for every five or six games, the way the programme pages are physically put together by the print machinery means that most of the ads have to be together. We started off the season with a giant photo across the centre spread, but I personally feel that those two pages could be put to better use, so I decided to move the Clarets Connections article to the centre spread, as I think this is a nice feature and a bit of a brainteaser to enjoy.
You asked and he answered! Questions were put to Mansell Wallace via the Chelmsford City Supporters’ Club website and here are his answers.
(I have tried to group Mansell’s answers in response to your questions in the most logical way I could so as to not appear as being repetitive – Degs)
Stadium and Club Infrastructure Q - How realistic does he think a move away from Melbourne Park to a purpose-built ground occurring in the next few years is? A - I am always willing to talk to anybody who may be able to assist us with an alternative to Melbourne Park but that unfortunately is where it looks like we will be forced to stay for the foreseeable future. Q - It's good news on the electronic scoreboard. Any ideas when it will be installed? A - I have a meeting the manufacturer at Melbourne Park to place the order and discuss the installation. Q - How are the clubs plans for a new stadium coming along? A - Phase 1 is imminent and has already been approved. The Athletics Centre will have a new level added to it to accommodate a new stand for the future. The hammer cage will move to the Park and a 3G pitch will be provided. Phase 2 will only happen when we get promoted as we will require a 4000 capacity ground. This will involve the construction of the 1200-seater stand on to the now extended Athletics Centre and various other ground improvements required by League. Extra turnstiles will be needed to aid segregation, an alternative exit route, Directors seating and hospitality area closer to the pitch etc. These have received a planning brief but will not go ahead until they are required.
Mansell Personal Q - If he knew before he joined the Board what he knows now about the pressures (time, finance, sanity) of being involved would he have done so? A - I was quite happy to join the Football Club Board but the Chairmanship was thrust upon me in reality, due to circumstances. There is no point in looking back because I am where I am and I do enjoy the involvement in the Club and team in all honesty. It certainly takes up more time than I ever imagined as there is always things that need to be addressed. Q - Where does he hope, and where does he expect, City to be in five years' time? A - I expect City to be a strong Conference Premiership side. There is a big difference in the standard and the budget between Conference Premiership and Conference South and an even bigger gap between the Conference Premiership and the Football League. We need to be playing in a single purpose stadium with gates in excess of 4000 to even consider it! Q - What have been the best and worse moments since joining the Board? A - Best moments have been our FA Cup runs and promotion from the Ryman League. Worst moments are having to justify decisions continually to the Messageboard users, especially when my own personal integrity was questioned over the FA Cup money for last season. Q - Who has been the best player since to have played since he joined the Board? A - This has to be Dave Rainford. Q - Who has been the most unfairly under-rated player to have played since he joined the Board? A - Probably Mark Haines who has been patiently waiting to be given a chance and now is he able to prove his worth. Q - What are your aspirations for the club in the years to come? A - Financial stability has to be number one followed closely by the desire to clear our inherited debt. Some supporters are saying we should only use the FA Cup money to pay off our debts and not put back into the playing budget. The people saying that are sadly deluded and obviously have never run a business or a Football Club. If times are hard the last thing you should sacrifice is the advertising budget as it is obviously already insufficient and should be increased. It is similar with a Football team; our greatest advertising feature is our performance on the park and the media attention that a successful team attracts. If we were to start with a very small budget that we knew we could afford the standard of players would not be very high and we would lose games and support would fall off too. The budget would then have to be cut further and we would lose more
games which would mean even more supporters would desert us. We would not have any Cup money to use as we would probably lose the first game in each Competition! Without the FA Cup money and with reduced gates and the bills and loans still to pay we would spiral down to a position in the Ryman League we could never recover from. I am not prepared to risk putting us in that position. We set a budget that will allow us to attract better players that will win games and keep the crowds coming as the football is attractive to watch. It also gives us a greater chance of winning Cup games and money which will further assist the playing budget and allow us to pay all the bills and debt repayments. A successful FA Cup run also gives us an opportunity to have an away game with a Premier League club which would wipe out all our debts, without that we will be re-paying them for the next 20 years. After the Cup runs we will review our position with regards to the remainder of the season. Q - What is the hardest thing that you have to deal with regularly? A - People on the Messageboard talking about Football Club business as if they knew what they were talking about and spouting conjecture as fact. People on the Messageboard constantly questioning every decision the Football Club board makes (even when it can be shown that they actually contradict themselves), just so they can have a pop at the Club. Before anyone suggests it, I donâ€™t read it! Q - How long have you been supporting City? A - On and off for 43 years. Q - What was the first game you attended? A - FA Cup game against Crystal Palace away 1959. Q - Why did you want to become a Football Club board director? A - I thought that the Board could do with some further professional help and obviously finance.
Promotion/Players/Management Team Q - Is it still our aim for promotion to the Blue Square Premier? A - We cannot consider anything else but promotion. We need the bigger gates and sponsorship money it would bring in. All outgoings other than playing budget would remain the same but income would be greater. Q - Where do you expect City to finish this season? A - Within the Play-offs.
Q - What impact do you expect to happen on the current playerâ€™s squad and the Management Team if promotion is not achieved? A - We would analyse why we did not achieve it and take corrective measures the following season. Q - Do expect Chelmsford City to be in the Blue Square South next year as there has been speculation as if we do not get promoted we might end up in the Blue Square North? A - Looking at the current candidates for promotion and demotion it would be unlikely that we would be the most Northerly team. Q - What are the clubs plans if/when we get promoted to Blue Square Premier, will we go full time, will the Management Team in position go full time etc.? A - We would probably phase it in with a greater reliance on full-time young professional players being released from the academies of Premier/Championship Clubs. These youngsters would be happier playing full time for us at that level and it would not cost us too much. We could hopefully develop them for a future sell-on also. Some of our existing squad would wish to go full time but others would not due to their careers. Q - As Chairman would you buy or loan Ricky Holmes back to Chelmsford if Barnet would let us and Ricky would accept it? A - I spoke to Rickyâ€™s Dad a little while ago and whilst I think he would be an asset to our Club I think that at the end of the season his aspirations will be at a higher level than us.
So what is the '12th Man'? The ‘12th Man Initiative’ is one of the most exciting initiatives to be ever undertaken by Chelmsford City Supporters' Club. You could see this as being a revival of the very successful Football Club 'pool' run by the Supporters' Club in the 50's and 60's. The '12th Man' Fund has the potential to further galvanise the relationship between Chelmsford City Football Club, its supporters near and far, and the wider community, which we represent. The City players and the Management Team often talk about the supporters as being the '12th Man’ of the team – the backing that we give them and the atmosphere we generate is worth an extra player. A key aim of this fund is to provide further recognition of this contribution. In order to do this, we would like the Football Club to agree to retire the number 12 shirt, thereby acknowledging that the supporters of Chelmsford City are the team’s '12th Man', and we, the Chelmsford City Supporters' Club, intend to use this as our symbol. The Football Club have agreed to do this from season 2013/2014. So what is the 12th Man Initiative ('The Fund')? -The '12th Man' Initiative is a Fund set up by Chelmsford City Supporters' Club, in co-operation with Chelmsford City Football Club, to help pay for new players. It is a supporters’ initiative to enable supporters to make a direct contribution to improving the quality of the team we all watch on the pitch by donating regular affordable amounts to the Fund. The Fund can then be used at the Management Team's discretion to strengthen the squad. This might mean paying all or part of a loan player’s wages, funding a loan signing, or paying the transfer fee (or part of it) for a player the Football Club couldn’t otherwise afford. However the money is used, you can be assured your contribution is going directly to improving the team! How will it work? Your contributions will be paid over to the Football Club at each calendar month. Usually one-twelfth of the total amount pledged in any one year e.g. if £60k is pledged, £5k would be handed over each month. The Supporters' Club Committee have no involvement as and when the Management Team identifies a player they believe will improve the quality of the squad. The responsibility of how the funds provided by the Fund is left to the discretion of the Football Club Chairman and other Football Club main board members. The Fund will not pay money to agents, lawyers or any ‘third parties’ involved in any deal. NB: Rest assured the amount payable each month will never exceed the amount available in the Fund itself. Who runs this Fund? - The Fund will be managed by the '12th Man' Fund Committee of the Chelmsford City Supporters' Club. So do I get a say in which players are signed? - No, the purpose of the scheme is to improve the squad, not provide a "fans' veto" over players. It is the Management Team's job to decide, which players should be signed and it is not the intention of the Fund to undermine this. The scheme would
be unworkable if everyone had a say in new signings - we'd never agree and end up signing no-one! Take Ebbsfleet as a prime example! Will it work? - Can this Fund make a difference? Just ask the fans of Wrexham, Oxford United, Kidderminster Harriers, Airdrie, Doncaster Rovers...... How do I know my money won't be wasted? - Fans or businesses wanting to put money into their local football club have sometimes held back for fear that their money may ‘disappear into a black hole’ - e.g. being used to pay off old debts or, at some clubs, disappearing into ‘advisers' fees’. For those fans who would rather their money went directly into improving the playing squad, the Fund provides this guarantee - all money donated is explicitly ring-fenced for improving the team, not for paying off the taxman or club owners! Why shouldn't I just give money to the Club? - We are keen for you to do just that, help in any way you can - please do! We appreciate too that many fans already invest heavily in season tickets and match day tickets. The Fund is not intended to put people off participating in other Supporters Club's fundraising ventures, nor is it intended to compete with the Football Club's many sponsorship schemes. Instead the Fund is designed for those 'supporters' who would not normally donate money to the Football Club but who would welcome the opportunity to help improve the team. So what do I get out of it? - Well, obviously, we hope the main thing we'll all get out of it will be better players, a better team, better performances and better results! But for those of you for whom that's not enough (!). Any 'supporter' contributing to the Fund will:
Automatically becomes a full member of the Supporters' Club. Be given a '12th Man' lapel badge. be allowed a 'free' match day meal for a maximum of four contributors at every home game subject to a draw of names and a minimum of 10 contributors per one match day meal. Be invited to a special ‘thank you’ evening each Christmas and at the end of each season.
Can local businesses get involved? - Unfortunately not. We have no wish to have any detrimental impact on the Football Club's own fundraising ventures, schemes, sponsorships or advertising opportunities designed with the needs of local small businesses in mind.
Are City’s crowds big enough to enable them to compete with the ‘big boys’?
an Chelmsford City attract the size of crowds that could eventually lead to Football League status? That is a question that has no doubt been discussed around the public houses of Chelmsford and its outlying districts many times over the years. It is certainly a question that I have discussed with many people over the last fifty years or so. The old amateur club had difficulty in attracting sufficient numbers and this is one of the reasons why the decision to embrace professionalism was eventually taken in 1938. There were two amateur clubs in the town, Chelmsford F.C. and Hoffmann’s Athletic, with both clubs vying to be the top club in the town. Hoffmann’s were a works side but they were by no means the lesser side, in fact when the clubs met in the 1937-1938 F.A. Amateur Cup they triumphed 4-0. Chelmsford F.C. could not attract the crowds to allow them to move up in status. They did reach the Athenian League but their stay there was short lived, and it must have been frustrating for the club’s officials to be in the position that they were. When moves to embrace professionalism were first mooted in the early 1930’s by Freddie Langton he had a strong opponent in Percy MacDonald, the Secretary of Hoffmann’s Athletic, who argued that the relatively small market town of Chelmsford was just not big enough to support a professional club and the increased expenditure that this would involve. Their argument continued in the local paper for some time with both providing estimates to back up their point of view. Ironically Mr. MacDonald joined the Board of Chelmsford City after the war, although his stay was short lived and he resigned following a disagreement with the Club’s Vice Chairman Freddie Langton! The new Club was born in 1938 with the stated ambition of achieving Football League status. Of course the Second World War put paid to any impetus that the 1938-1939 F.A. Cup run may have started and the first real chance to gain entry to the ‘elite’ came in 1950 when the Football league expended from 88 clubs to 92. Two places would be available for northern clubs and another two for southern clubs, the front runners amongst the latter being Gillingham, Colchester United, Chelmsford City and Merthyr Tydfil. Gillingham and Merthyr had previously been in the League whilst Colchester had gained national publicity with F.A. Cup runs in the previous seasons. Frankly though what led to Gillingham and Colchester getting the nod was their higher gates, demonstrating, at a time when gate income was a club’s major income stream, their ability to survive in the full time game. In 1947, for example, City was averaging around 4,500 for their games whilst Colchester United had that many members in their Supporters Club. There was an often repeated statement around that time that City’s gates needed to be topping 6,000 if they were to reach their goal of League membership. Their attempts to attract crowds of this size had led to a policy, and an expensive one at that, of signing big name players, such as Frank Soo, Cecil MacCormack and the like. The blow of not getting into the Football League in 1950 was too much to swallow and the Club fell into decline with all thoughts of advancement being put to one side as survival became the name of the game. By 1958-1959 attendances were averaging just 2,275 for league games. In 1960 Peterborough United replaced Gateshead and whilst City’s average crowd had increased to 2,996 they could not match what Peterborough were attracting having won the Midland League for the previous five seasons. John Coward’s appointment as City’s
Chairman led to interest in the Club being revived and a re-introduction of the ‘Football League here we come’ mantra. In 1960-1961 the average for home league games had increased to 4,438, but the following season it dipped to 4,033 which was unfortunate as Accrington Stanley gave up the ghost part way through the season leaving a vacancy in the Football League. The fact that Oxford United had won the Southern League two seasons in a row and averaged 4,433 for their league games that season won them the day and City had to struggle on. What is colloquially known as the ‘Bobby Mason Affair’ put paid to City applying for League status for the next few years although to be fair the ‘old boys network’ would probably have prevented the Club getting in anyway. When Cambridge United were elected to replace Bradford Park Avenue in 1970 they became the first club to gain admission by polling more votes than an existing Football League club, as previously, since the war, elected clubs had replaced those that had gone out of business or when the League expanded its numbers. City’s gates had dropped steadily and by the time Cambridge had been elected they stood at just 2,099. The so called ‘merger’ or ‘amalgamation’ with Brentwood Town in 1970 led to another revival, and the re-introduction once more of that mantra, and when the Club won the Southern League championship in 1971-1972 crowds had increased to 3,158, ironically this was higher than when the League had been won in 1968 when the average was 2,840. That year, 1972, Hereford United was elected to replace Barrow despite finishing as runners up to City. Their, now legendary, F.A. Cup win over Newcastle United and an average home crowd approaching 5,000 won it for Hereford. By the time Wimbledon got into the league, replacing Workington, in 1977 City’s crowds were down to 1,029, this figure being boosted by the signing of Jimmy Greaves, and City were relegated for the first time ever. Since that date football has changed completely. The formation of what is now the Football Conference in 1979 led to just one application per year for membership of the Football League, the Conference champions, and in 1987 the champions gained automatic promotion to the League and in 2003 two clubs gained automatic promotion. So are, or were, City’s crowds big enough to enable them to compete with the ‘big boys’? Certainly prior to 1970 City were always the bridesmaids in that however good their case was there was always somebody getting bigger crowds. Since that date, of course, crowds haven’t been as vital as other income streams increased in importance. What of today? Well now you can get into the League on results alone, although you need the appropriate facilities of course, so the size of your gates is less important. Without the gates meeting your financial commitments are harder to meet though so other areas of fundraising, whether it is sponsorship, commercial income or general fundraising need to be explored. Local population is higher, much higher in fact, than it was when City and Colchester were rivals in the Southern League. The expansion in housing in the town from the last 1950’s onwards has boosted City’s potential market although a lot of those who have moved into the area often have links to London clubs. My answer to the initial question that I posed is that City’s crowds ought to be high enough to support a Football League club. Why they haven’t been or currently aren’t, is a discussion that could go on for a long time! Dave Selby aka ‘The Chelmsford City Historian’
Brindo: Lets Put Ourselves on the Map! Chris Evans has a chat with Richard Brindley about all things Claret
Former Norwich City youngster Richard Brindley has urged his team mates to bring success to Melbourne and put the club and its players on the map. The Clarets have been lauded by national media through their extended FA Cup run which came to an end at Crawley Town in front of 1,096 away fans having already disposed of Colchester United. Right-back Brindley, who joined in pre-season, has reinforced that league honours have always been the priority, and there would be side benefits for the young players if they succeeded. "Although I'm still young I've been playing football for a long time and I just want to win things now," he said. And, heeding advice from his Manager that team success will put players in a shop window, he continued: "I know if I help the club gain success it will help me as well. We need to have a successful team to get the scouts down and watch us, because we definitely have a lot of players in this team who could play at a higher level." On the 3-0 Crawley loss, where City played for almost an hour with ten men he added: "It was just one of those matches where nothing went our way. We were so unlucky with the sending off and we couldn't compete after that because we were just pinned in. At half time Glenn said to us that we should just go out and play and I think even the more experienced players in our team learned something from the game." Brindley originally joined Norwich at the age of nine, eventually breaking into the Youth Team in September 2009 and scoring against Aston Villa as a substitute. He'd moved up to their academy as a scholar in June of that year and he arrived at Chelmsford over the summer upon his release from Carrow Road. "I first spent a season playing with my local youth team, and one of the dads knew a scout at Norwich," he recalled. "I was scoring loads of goals so he said 'you've got to come and have a look at this kid'! I was lucky that I had the support of my family and I had some very good coaches who had faith in me. It was a good experience, and it wasn't easy. I just played football and didn't worry about academies and all that stuff. Then I'd taken it step by step and didn't realise that suddenly I was training with the First Team!" "When I was released I got a lot of support from people like Grant Holt and Anthony Pilkington who told me that they made it by rising up through the leagues, and so could I. There were other clubs interested in me but they could only offer me reserve team football. I felt like I needed to be playing amongst more mature players in a first team in order to progress rather than with young players my own age."
"At Chelmsford I've come to a club with great staff and players who are right behind me. I'm one of the youngest players in the squad but it doesn't come across like that, and I've fitted right in. The Colchester game was the first time I'd ever really played in that sort of atmosphere and rivalry before, and it was so good to win." "Colchester made no excuses and they said we were the better team on the day - you couldn't see the difference in leagues between the teams. It's great how we all motivate each other and you could see the talent we have in the team. It just goes to show the potential we have in the squad and in the club." Rains: Time for the Clarets to Get Greedy! Popular midfielder David Rainford is revelling in his new role as Player/Assistant Manager at Chelmsford City and he’s urged his team mates to “get greedy” in their bid for Blue Square Bet South glory. The Clarets have been competing on several fronts recently, including the FA Cup, the Trophy and the Essex Senior Cup. Rains explained how FA Cup success has heightened what was already a buzzing squad. “We’re in really good form at the moment, and you have to acknowledge what’s going well to help you improve,” explained Rainford, who assumed his current position over the summer having been skipper at Melbourne Stadium for a number of seasons. “We have a good squad, we always have done, but this season it feels like we’ve got options and we can rotate players and fit them into three or four different formations.” “With all that’s been going on, the back-to-back league wins against Staines Town and AFC Hornchurch were massive. We’d had ding-dongs with East Thurrock United, and the replay was getting on for one and a half games on its own. The Colchester match took care of itself. In those two league games it was vital we stayed in touch at the top of the table and got greedy. We don’t want Colchester to be our season’s highlight.” Since becoming Player/Assistant, David’s function within the team has become more prominent. But, as he points out, he’s always tried to offer vocal guidance on and off the field: “It was in my personality as Captain that I was always very opinionated anyway. I wasn’t involved in the dynamics of training, but I always had a voice. Now I’m enjoying being involved in tactics, and I’m learning all the time.” “Glenn has shown me a lot of things that, as a player, you don’t get to consider. He never stops working whether he’s at a match or training or not. It was kind of a natural progression for me, and the good start we’ve had has helped to bed me in. I’m delighted with the option the club gave me because Chelmsford City is my club now. I’ve made more appearances for City than at any other club, and I’m really happy here.”
Anthony Cook Interview Adam May catches up with Clarets winger Anthony Cook ‘Cookie’, exclusively for CLARETfication! 2. After your lengthy lay-off from action last season, how does it feel to be back competing for a starting place? Anthony Cook: I’ve been out for about 20 months all in all, and to get back on the pitch I love it! I think being out for that amount of time gives you a chance to look at different things that when you are playing you might not be able to see. It’s brilliant to be back playing, and I’m mentally very strong, so I always knew that I’d be ready to play and that I’d know when it was right to come back, now it’s the right time and I’m happy to be back. How do you feel the squad is shaping up now that we have played a few games? Anthony Cook: It’s a very strong squad, and when someone gets injured or suspended we can replace them with players that are equally as good, and we have 22/23 players now, with two ‘keepers this year as well. So it’s looking good and we’re gelling well and understanding how other players play, so it’s all positive stuff! Do the crowd have a big impact in matches? Anthony Cook: Yeah they do, especially when we are at home and you hear the crowd. Personally, when they are saying my name it makes me want to do well and play even better. I love playing for the club as it is and the fans have stood by me and I try to give my all when I’m on the pitch. When the players hear the fans getting hyped up we get hyped up ourselves and it also makes every player push that much more. Have there been any teams that you have been impressed with in the league so far? Anthony Cook: I thought when we played Welling they were good against us but we weren’t really at our best that day. We lost to Dorchester and I feel that they weren’t the best team we have come up against and on the day we were very poor. No one is going to run away with the league this year, everyone seems to be beating everyone we’ve got a very good chance this year and we’ve kept the spine of the squad and we are doing really well this year. At the start of the season the team moved training camps to Basildon, how are the facilities helping the squad?
Anthony Cook: Yeah that has really helped as we have had more space and are able to do everything we want to work on so it’s going really well down there. Having plenty of time has helped as well. Now this is a question I think every Chelmsford City fan wants to know the answer to. Did you mean to score your goal against Bromley? Anthony Cook: Of course I didn’t [laughs] it was a cross. I ran around doing skills with the ball, I tried to cross it to the back stick and my dad said if you put it into the danger area you never know if something will happen, and it found the top corner! So, there we go! Finally, do you have any hobbies outside of football? Anthony Cook: I like to enjoy myself with my friends, I have a lot of siblings so when I’m with them I watch football and I like the odd night out and a bit of a dance as you can see in my celebrations! I like to play a bit of FIFA as everyone does, I’ve also got three jobs so I’m very busy. I like my hobbies but I get the excitement of coming training and playing on a Saturday or midweek under the floodlights.
David Bridges Interview - Adam May talks to David Bridges about how he is finding life at Chelmsford City. How are you settling in at Chelmsford City? - It was frustrating when I first arrived; I picked up two silly injuries. One was from picking up a little girl and the other was form a pot hole on the pitch! But once I got going I’ve really enjoyed it. What attracted you to come to Chelmsford? - I’ve been full time for ten or eleven years now, I had a horrible year last year. I left Stevenage to go to Kettering and the club went downhill rapidly. One of my best mates Adam Tann said to me “come and play part time and you’ll enjoy it and will love the game again” and in fairness he’s right. Do you think your experience of winning the Conference North, Conference National, the League 2 play-offs and also getting an England ‘C’ cap can help Chelmsford achieve promotion? – I hope so, the manager said you’ve got to come in and show your experience and leadership, and I really hope I can impose that on others around me. I have learnt over the years about having a winning mentality and I’d to think I can help with those that haven’t as yet and really help us get over the line and not falling short. Have you set yourself any personal targets for the season?It’s funny really because I’ve always been an attacking midfielder so I’d go on and get goals and I’ve come to Chelmsford and am playing in a different role. My normal targets are scoring goals and now I’m thinking more defensively and to be honest, I’ve come here to win the league and that’s my only goal. Who was your football hero growing up? - I loved Paul Gascoigne, I just remember Bryan Robson. I also liked Paul Scholes and Roy Keane as I was a Manchester United fan as a kid so I was looking at those players really. Do you have any hobbies outside of football? - I like to play Golf, I play a lot with Tanny and I’m yet to see what the Chelmsford boys have got! Once the games stop coming in mid-week I’ll be able to have a look and see who does what!
In You We Trustâ€Ś. People ask me who is my club and I always reply "Chelmsford City", they then ask me again "Yeah, but who's your MAIN club?" and I reply again "I only have one club, Chelmsford City". For many it's an odd concept, why just support a Non-League team? As I spent many an early year strapped to the back of the New Writtle Street stands in my baby-bouncer Chelmsford City was always going to be the only club for me. Over the years that association has taken me on many FA Cup adventures, to Billericay and Maldon and back and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've just written an article for a newspaper on Chelmsford City's home at Melbourne Park and how I think; at this moment in time I wouldn't have us anywhere else. Watching clubs go to the wall every season, with the ground sold from underneath them, I genuinely believe the Clarets are in the strongest position they have been in for decades. In Mansell Wallace, the club have a Chairman who wants to do things right and has an all-important healthy relationship with the council. I know we have to justify playing at an Athletics track, but so what Melbourne gives us is security of tenure and a ground within chimney pots. On the pitch things look rosy, although I'd love to know what the club's five-year plan is as I think now is the time to maintain the momentum on and off the turf and inject "value" for the supporters. Not financial value, but rather by making people loved, and in turn loves their club. Communication is the key and I'd love to see a Supporters Trust established and with direct involvement in the day to day running of the club, not only making everyone genuinely involved, but also this opens avenues for more funding and support. It's something we often discuss on the show and in the Non-League Paper; if every club were open and communicated with the fans, most problems could be resolved. This is something I know has always been close to the likes of Mansell's heart. "Many minds one heart" let's make sure 2013 is the year of making that motto count. Up the City, wheel 'Em in!
Our Mission Statement: “To support and promote Chelmsford City Football Club and to serve our members’ interests.” This was our mission statement at the very start - and even today this hasn't changed. We are a non-profitmaking, membership-based organisation with several roles. It's run by a committee, the members of which are elected on an annual basis by the membership. We have a long history of supporting the main club, and our goals include: raising funds for Chelmsford City FC; raising awareness of the Football Club in the local community; providing a ‘mouthpiece’ for the supporters; providing a ‘line of communication’ between the supporters and the Football Club. These days it is sponsorship which provides a large part of City's income, but we still have a vital role to play in financing several recent projects which, many of which are vital for the day-to-day running of the club. These include raising funds for the players' tunnel, the covered terracing, lights for training, dishwashers for the bar, a lawnmower, pitch spiking equipment…… What's Our History? -The Supporters’ Club of Chelmsford City will forever be fondly remembered as the ones who pitched up at Birmingham City FC for that famous FA Cup Fourth Round game with a wheelbarrow full of footballs - hence the call "Wheel 'Em in!" Our origins, although well before this date, were quaintly encapsulated by this image, which we still hold dear nearly 75 years later. It's an image of a bunch of people who've fought to get what they want, and are proud to be wearing the claret. After all, we haven't had it easy over the years! We've been unable to establish when the idea of the Supporters’ Club was first thought of, but it was certainly in existence in the early 1930s.There was definitely a Supporters’ Club in existence prior to Chelmsford City Football Club being formed in 1938 - and there's every possibility that our origins date back to 1928, when Chelmsford Football Club was formed (i.e. the old ‘amateur’ club), as old newspaper archives indicate that they had a Supporters’ Club then. Following the War, we took on the responsibility for completing the concreting of the terracing at New Writtle Street, and this required a substantial amount of funding. To achieve this, we organised various social events which were popular in those pre-television days. We soon went from strength to strength, with branches opening in Maldon, Braintree and Witham amongst other places, something which seems unbelievable these days for a non-league team. As our funds built up during the 1950s we purchased club houses, which were used to accommodate players signed by the Football Club who didn't already live locally. Eventually, as the John Coward-led push for Football League status gained momentum, these houses were 'gifted' to the Football Club to augment the stock of properties that they already owned. It was also in the late 1950s that our function changed. We acted as more of a 'Social Club' which would give supporters the chance to socialise together and, therefore, bind them to the Football Club. Surplus funds would be donated to the Football Club, whose main source of income was still gate money. We played a big part in City's revival in the late 1950s and early 60s by establishing a very successful weekly fundraising 'pool' which helped the Football Club's finances enormously and assisted to put the Clarets back on the map in Southern League terms. With the attendances that City was getting in the 1960s, our membership thrived. When gates slumped in the late 1970s, and through the 1980s, income from this source waned and our role changed again. We provided more of a matchday role, helping with personnel and running the half time draw competition - still a vital role in what was a difficult time for the club. This hasn't changed today. Annual membership in 1938 was 'two bob' - that's two shillings or ten pence in today's money - and, for that, you got a badge and a say at Supporters’ Club meetings. In 2012, you pay £5.00 for full membership (the badge is an extra £3.00 now). Supporters' Club membership was good value then.... and it's sensational value now!