Terry Casey and Oliver Ash have offered thanks to the supporters and business partners of Maidstone United for their extraordinary support in the three months since the new Gallagher Stadium opened.
Businesses have come forward to support the club through advertising, room hire and sponsorship packages, while the support from fans has exceeded all expectations.
Oliver Ash said: ” We are seeing crowds nearly twice the level we expected, a mixture of the faithful regulars who have given their loyal support for years and hundreds of new supporters, young and old, who are discovering the delights of being a Maidstone United follower. The club says a big thank you to all the supporters who have made the Gallagher Stadium their home ground and for their loyalty.”
The early matches have already shown how attractive the new stadium is. Fans say there is a really good feel to the place, as soon as you get through the turnstiles you feel a real buzz, part of being an enthusiastic crowd enjoying first class facilities unrivaled at non-league level. However, the club accept there are some teething problems which need attention.
“We are effectively launching a sports events and entertainment business from scratch and learning as we go.” says Ash.” Some of the design decisions on the stadium have turned out well, like the Vice Presidents’ suite; others perhaps less so. We’ve found it tough dealing with the rush at the bar in the Spitfire Lounge on match day and we’re going to sort that out so there are more supply points available. It was a traffic jam of thirsty fans at the Hythe game and we’re sorry about that. One or two items in the club shop have sold out. Please be patient with us as we strive to get everything functioning like clock-work”.
Ash also asked for patience with the team performances: “We all want to win every game and play like Barcelona but it doesn’t always work out like that. There are opponents who work hard to spoil our play and occasionally we don’t fire on all cylinders. However we are committed to achieve success and Terry, Bill and I are aiming to be in the Conference within three to five years. So please stick with the team and keep giving them your vocal support.”
Terry Casey also paid tribute to the business supporters. “Local companies have rallied round and it’s only the start. If we want to ensure the club goes forward sustainably we have to get even more businesses involved. We are only just starting to get the message out, underlining all the ways in which the club can help businesses, by giving them exposure and offering services and facilities second to none.”
The club is looking to get involved even more in Maidstone community activities, such as good health initiatives, which can take place at the stadium and has a team working on putting this in place. The club’s community teams are in regular action on the 3G pitch and the clubhouse is now a functioning home to most of our teams as well as the academy pupils.
” Maidstone United now has a good image attached to it,” says Casey, ” providing immense good to the local community by its very existence, and this is attractive to those firms who attach themselves to us as partners. Already our Premium Partners such as Gallagher, Britelite, Express Taxis, Heritage Designer Homes Ltd, Shepherd Neame and Brookline Coaches provide massive financial support. We are going to recognise this by erecting a board at the ground to present the names of all our business partners publicly.”