May 2011 Chat With Frank
Although it may appear to be quiet at the moment, given there has been very little on the web site, I can assure you that it has been anything but that.
We have presented our appeal against the decision that because the spectator facilities at Pontypool Park were not permanently enclosed we would not be granted an A licence. During the appeal we drew attention to other grounds that were deemed to have adopted acceptable alternative arrangements on match days to prevent unpaid access to the match (the reason for enclosed spectator facilities) and with whom we had bench marked best practice for our solution. We have presented the information contained in our appeal to the Supporters Association last week – but in the meantime are keeping it confidential.
We are still awaiting the decision of that appeal.
In the meantime, we have had to formally apply for inclusion in the new Premiership and have had to provide some more detailed plans covering certain criteria of the A licence to support our application. This is due in by May 31st. It is not an exaggeration to say that this provision of additional information and the appeal has dominated our lives (to the exclusion of just about everything else) for the past two months!!! Before we know it we will back at pre-season (June 23rd).
It is because of this ever-increasing workload that we have told the Supporters Association that we are unable to carry on the work of recruiting new sponsors for next season. With increased work in our main business, we have no time to spear head this area of the rugby club. Many existing sponsors – especially our kit sponsors – have pledged their support for next season, but the drive for match and ball sponsors needs more people.
Therefore, we have asked the Supporters Association to put in place by July 1st a commercial team or committee. We hope you appreciate that while we remain committed to Pontypool RFC, as I said at the meeting at PILCS, it is now time for the great and the good fans to take up the reins and help us attain AND maintain our A licence (if we are successful in getting into the new Premiership, we will need to match fund the WRU grant of £80,000).
This is not a tall order, as we almost rose that much in previous seasons, but it does require commitment from a group of about 10 people to drive this forward. I understand that a meeting has been called for early June to explain in more detail what is required.
We also need to continue the work with TCBC on the grandstand conversion. We still seek a structural engineer to appraise the grandstand as well as an overall project manager to liaise with TCBC. To date, it has gone very quiet, and, as I said at PILCS, this is where you the supporter can now take up and share the workload.
We need to start on site by the beginning of July, so please don’t wait for someone else. If interested speak to your SA reps. We have signed some exciting additions to the squad for next season, but we will not be revealing them just yet (sorry to be so teasing!). Suffice to say, the vast majority of last seasons squad have re-committed and this will strengthen and provide much needed continuity for the team.
James and I are due to meet next week to discuss next season. Obviously, we want to maintain our links with the region and to make it a season to remember for all. Sorry, this update is so brief, but time is limited.
PS Don’t forget your season tickets are on sale now.