Open Message from Shelbourne Board of Management
To all Supporters and Friends
In the words of Frank Sinatra, the end is near and we face our final curtain.
This week marks the end of what can only be described as probably the most difficult season in our history; from the high of this time last year, winning the Championship; to the low of the passing of Ollie. This season will be one we all want to forget. Nevertheless, some good things did happen throughout the season which, hopefully, will give us some level of comfort for the future.
We gave Dermot a budget for players at the start of the season, which was generous in 1st Division terms but which was only a fraction of what we were spending in the Premier Division. In fairness to Dermot, he kept within that budget throughout the year and had he had the opportunity of obtaining the players he signed in June, at the start of the season, he would have made a serious attempt for promotion this year. Together with that budget, a lot of the old debts of Accolade Ltd had to be satisfied, some of which continue to have to be so. Therefore, it was necessary for us to draw down some advances from the developer of Tolka Park to maintain our financial stability throughout the year. We are currently discussing next seasons budget with Dermot and I must put it on the record to you all that we may not be in a position to offer Dermot the same budget that we were giving him this year for next season. With this in mind, peoples expectations must be realistic. Next season is going to be very difficult as only one team will be promoted. There is no playoff situation as three teams are being relegated from the Premier Division.
We all hope that next season we will make a challenge for promotion but I want you all to realise and understand that financial stability within the club is more important in the history of Shelbourne at this stage and that the honour of promotion may have to wait a little longer than we desire.
The problems that Shelbourne FC has accumulated over the past number of years have left us in a very precarious position and even though many measures have been taken this year, I have to emphasise that we are not yet out of the woods. Nevertheless, the Board of Management are determined to find a way for us all to get through this as painlessly as possible.
- Licence Application
I would just like to inform you that Shelbourne FC Ltd completed their licence application on time and this was submitted by close of business on Wednesday 31st October. A word of thanks here to Mr Liam Ward, who is our Licence Administrator, for all his hard work in this process.
- Ground Relocation
I know it sounds tedious and repetitive but Shelbourne FC is still in the process of trying to find a new ground for our club. It was a huge disappointment to the Board of Management that the Home Farm proposition fell through. A lot of work had been put in by the Board but more so by Dermot, who was heavily involved in exploring the acquisition of this site. Nevertheless, for their own reasons, the members of Home Farm Football Club rejected our proposal so we have to move on and we are at present doing feasibility studies on two other grounds but, for legal reasons, I am unable to name them at this stage. As promised previously, as soon as I have any definite word on a ground, I will inform you, but you must understand that some of these processes take time to come to fruition.
The family of Ollie Byrne have specifically asked me to thank you for your outpouring of emotion throughout those dark days of August when Ollie passed away from us. They were deeply moved at your response and especially so at the game versus Limerick 37.
Ollie had faults, there was no doubt about that, but there is not one of us who can stand up and say that we are perfect and would not have done the same had the circumstances been presented to us. But from our association with him has come memories that many of us will never forget and long after the dark days have passed, these memories will forever live in our minds. Though I am angry with Ollie on certain levels, I will always be grateful to him for those memories and thank him for them.
- Christmas Lunch
One of the clubs biggest fund raisers of the year will take place on 17th December at the Regency Hotel, Whitehall. It is our annual corporate Christmas Lunch, and this years guest speaker is Niall Quinn. It is always a great day, which sometimes stretches into a long evening, and I would be most grateful if you could ask or enquire with the company you work for if they would be interested in taking a table at the function. A table of ten costs 1,650 and, of course for companies, is tax deductible. We would of course welcome any individuals who would be interested in attending and this would cost 165 per person. All enquiries should be forwarded either to myself at 8205366 or to John/Ken at the club 8375536.
- Season Tickets
Season tickets are now available at the club for next year. As always, Brian Nathan is your contact here and throughout the close season, these will be available from the club, together with the Weekly Coupons, which Brian also promotes.
These are just some of the ways in which you can help the club financially. As normal, sponsorship packages are available for next season, for example, Match Ball Sponsorship, Match Sponsorship, and Player Sponsorship. In this regard, please contact Niall Fitzmaurice (087 6379121) or John Phelan (086 3072000), who will be only too happy to help you with your requirements.
Finally, a number of ‘thank yous’ are very appropriate:
To my fellow Board of Management members, thank you for all your support and hard work throughout the year. It may not be seen by many and goes unnoticed but without the support of you all we would not have survived this year.
To Dermot, for taking on a job that many people would have refused and some did. You stood up and were counted when it really mattered and you deserve much credit for this.
To our fans who remained with us throughout the year. Your support has been tremendous and appreciated by everyone. There were times throughout the season when it was depressing but you still sang your hearts out, especially away from home; Monaghan comes to mind immediately. Thank you for this; it gives us all a lift.
To the players, we thank you for all your efforts throughout the year. Those of you who were with us at the start and who may not be here now, those of you who are here now and to those of you who will be with us in the future - Thanks very much for everything.
To all our volunteers, from stilesmen to security men, from teamakers to cleaners, every one of you play a huge part in our club and though you may go unnoticed by many, you are very much appreciated by the Board of Management. Thank you very much to you all, too many to name individually, but you all know who you are.
To the taxman, for having patience with us throughout the year.
To our bank manager, for not allowing us an overdraft.
To finish with, as this year comes to an end, let us look to the future and hope first of all that we will be safe and well, have a good Christmas, and look forward with anticipation and excitement to next season. From my point of view, I want to thank you for your support throughout the year. I appreciate your comments and your emails and am only too happy to receive them and take on board your suggestions. It mightnt always seem apparent that we do listen, but we do and continue to do so. Take care, see you all next year.
Joe Casey (email@example.com)
On behalf of the Board of Management, Shelbourne Football Club.