A Message From Club Chairman Shahid Azeem

This is the first regular update you will be receiving about the development work we hope to undertake in and around the ground. As work progresses, you can expect regular updates from the Club.

This year marks a decade since I became Chairman of the Shots, and it seems fitting that we’re marking the passing of a decade with some big opportunities that will determine the future of the club. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been probably the hardest task I have ever faced. Football clubs at our level live hand to mouth, and it is always a delicate balancing act.

Looking back at where we were back in 2012: on the verge of liquidation, treading water with another short term lease and riven with internal turmoil. We faced major health and safety issues and significant football debts to be paid and under company voluntary arrangements. I don’t think any of us will ever forget where we were – and we shouldn’t. We can’t afford to go back there.

We all want success and you, the fans, deserve it. When we took over, as a board, we set three objectives for our 100th anniversary in 2026: a debt free club, development completed and football league status. Delivering two of those things will, I hope, be a source of pride for everyone who cares about this club.

We are pretty proud of where we are now (albeit room for improvement on the pitch!) . There’s lots of hard work to be done, definitely, but getting the club on a stable financial footing has been key. We need to find new sources of income to keep moving forward.

We head into 2023 in positive shape. We have a long-term lease for the Club, a clear vision for investment and a development partner committed to helping us safeguard the Club’s future.

We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Wates Partnerships. Wates will be sponsoring our match against Dagenham & Redbridge on 10 January, and they will be talking to fans over the coming months to get your views about what we need from our ground, proposals for around the stadium and how we really can rise together to set the club up for long-term success. We’ve already appointed delivery partners who have been undertaking technical surveys and gathering information to inform the formal planning application. We will be updating you regularly about how things are progressing and letting you know how you can be involved.

We have some big games coming up over the festive period, including back to back local derbies which are always hard fought. We will all be cheering Ross and the team on. And I hope together that we can shape an exciting future for our club into the new year and beyond.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and up the Shots!

Very best wishes,