We are all desperate to return to some sort of normality after some of the most stressful and anxious times we will ever experience.
Whilst to some football is just a sport, to many people it is much more than just a game. For millions of football supporters attending a game and supporting their team will be a massive step towards the new normal.
Maidstone United is, and will always be, a club deeply committed to the community it represents and the closure of the Gallagher has meant that thousands of people have not been able to gather to watch or play the game that they love.
We are working hard to get all elements of the business operating, as the club is suffering from the complete shutdown of all our income streams.
The most high profile of all our activities is of course the first team which drives the whole business model.
If the first team is doing well we find recruiting academy students is more successful, we find our player development squad numbers increase and, of course, we get bigger crowds through the gates.
On the flip side if we don’t get things right on the pitch, then financially and emotionally life can be dire.
Our three seasons in the National League were a struggle and I also felt last season was a great disappointment.
Despite the difficulties of the last four seasons, we have always made sure that the business is profitable and viable.
We will continue to take a sensible approach to how we run the club and are prudent about the money we spend.
One of the first decisions we have made is regarding the playing budget for the 20/21 season because our retention and recruitment will not progress unless we have a financial framework to work with.
We have contacted players we feel could be right for the team, initially to establish their thoughts about whether they would prefer to train three mornings or two evenings a week.
Our findings were clear in that the majority of the players we spoke to wanted to train three mornings.
There was no evidence that this would force the playing budget upwards but it was evident that the players we wanted were ambitious and wanted to make football their main source of income.
For Maidstone United to continue this training regime is a major statement of our intention to get back to the National League. Whilst our three seasons were difficult, we learned a lot and will not make the same mistakes.
The playing budget will be less than last season but because of the uncertainty around crowd numbers and start dates, we will try to be flexible and keep some funds in reserve.
In addition to the five contracted players, we are in advanced negotiations with a further four of last season’s squad.
We are keen to avoid signing the journeyman players who drift from club to club without really committing to Maidstone United, so our campaign will concentrate on more local players.
There are a substantial number of players that are of interest to us but making sure we make good signings has never been more important.
We know from telephone calls to hundreds of our supporters how vital the football club is to many people so we will ensure that we will be ready for the new season, whenever it starts. Thank you for your continued support.