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Club Talk

Sun, 5th Jul 2020 5:49pm

Clyde director Gordon Nisbet has spoken to the official website this weekend, for an update on various activities and fundraising initiatives happening at the club.

Gordon started by saying that although it had been a difficult time for the club, many positives have still emerged:-

“Normally, the close season gives you a little respite and, to be honest, an opportunity to enjoy a well-earned break, along with the chance to recharge your batteries for the season that lay ahead. As the ‘Glesga’ saying goes, that went well ‘oot the windae’ from March onwards.

“Our immediate fundraising situation demanded a rethink and, thankfully, with regards to both our weekly lottery and Bully Wee Fund draws, we managed to organise and complete both initiatives, without suffering any core financial impact. However, we did suffer the financial loss of other fundraisers - our Annual Golf Day and the End of Season Awards event. 

“The latter of which gave us an opportunity to present a virtual Awards Event - hopefully our one and only. By all accounts it found favour within our support, which was pleasing and reward for the shed load of work that went into it, especially from our media guys.

“That brings me on nicely to the roles of our four recently appointed Associate Directors, David Alexander, Ian Fitzpatrick, Charlie Lowrie and Craig Downs, all of whom have been extremely active in their designated remits. As a club we are already reaping the benefits of their introduction, with new strip sponsors secured, an additional eye on governance matters, marketing input and new initiatives launched on an increased level. 

“This is all clear evidence that the structure unveiled and recently expanded on by vice chair, Gordon Thomson is taking fine shape. It is only correct that we look to the future in order that all potential changes will appear seamless.”

Gordon also focussed on the various initiatives launched in recent weeks, with supporters rallying round to help the club both now and looking forward to the delayed 2020-21 campaign.

“The launch of ‘Your Club - Be part of it’, has certainly caught the imagination of the Bully Wee faithful. This triple-phase initiative included club ownership, 1877 Rewards donations packages and culminated with the sales of the innovative digital Season Card, a concept superbly tailored for us by the aforementioned David Alexander.

“All three components have a target element attached to them, but the early signs are extremely promising and will be reported on in more detail in the coming weeks ahead.

“I touched on the word donations and it would be totally remiss of the club not to acknowledge their heartfelt thanks for the kind expressions of financial backing, freely afforded by our supporters since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. This donations appeal was encouraged by the fanbase - contrary to comments of ‘out comes the begging bowl’ - so all concerned should be proud of themselves for creating such an important cash boost to the club coffers.”

Gordon continued by confirming that two existing and popular income-generating schemes would soon be restarting for the 2020-21 period:-

“Our two constant fundraisers, the weekly Lottery and the Bully Wee Fund draw, will be back on the scene in the coming weeks. 

“Following discussions with our committed lottery agents, on the back of the announcement on the ease of the lockdown, our first draw back will now be on Wednesday 29th July 2020 instead of the intended 8th July. 

“Given the current challenges out there at the moment, this may prove a testing time for the lottery, but even as it approaches its 17th anniversary it still remains popular, plus it's an initiative that does not solely rely on the same Clyde fan-based well. 

“Whereas the Bully Wee Fund, was very much aimed with the Clyde fan in mind. It launched two years ago as the 200 Fund, with 18 draws only at every home league game, but it quickly grew in popularity and the request to move to an all year round initiative with 26 draws saw the scheme rebranded as the Bully Wee Fund and once again it proved successful.

“However, I come back to the ‘same well’ issue. We are so conscious of this, that we find ourselves actually trying to avoid doing projects that would attract the negative jibes, which if you think about it, is just plain ridiculous. We have always sought to provide fair benefit to the support with any fundraising initiative launched.

“The 2020-21 Bully Wee Fund is one fine example. We had planned to return to the original format, based twofold on our limited resources but importantly that it would reduce the financial burden on our supporters. Alas, a curtailed league programme would totally neuter that plan, therefore we have decided to run with the same 26 draw format as last season. We should be launching details on this in the next few days and I hope everyone will respect this decision. With everyone's help, it will enjoy the same fantastic level of support of the previous two seasons.”

As announced by the SPFL on Thursday, League 1 clubs have voted in favour of a 27-match season, starting on October. Gordon explained why Clyde had backed the proposal:-

“As a board, we were unanimously agreed in voting for the proposal. With the Championship already agreeing to the same start date and format, it was the only viable option for a restart and we simply couldn’t consider not playing, given the likelihood of that route resulting in relegation for 2021-22. So, although it will be an enormous challenge to be ready for competitive action in October, as a club we had no reasonable alternative. Notwithstanding that we all want to see the team back in action as soon as possible, so we’re doing everything we can to be ready.

“I was also personally delighted that as a club we stayed on message throughout the reconstruction debacle, with complete transparency on every statement issued. Will this subject matter raise its ugly head again? I certainly would not bet against it. All the more reason that we find the proper resources to help equip Danny and his team to be above any line drawn in any future reconstruction proposals.”

To conclude, Gordon gave an update on the Clyde Community Foundation:-

“I will take this opportunity to reinforce the important benefit of having a charitable arm linked to the club. The Foundation has worked tirelessly over the years in many community-based projects including our ever-growing community football. It is this often understated and sometimes even maligned work, that has helped the club secure a £50k award share from the James Anderson donation - much needed funds indeed.

“We have advocated for years that football clubs, need to have a wider focus than just 90 minutes on a Saturday and thankfully the Foundation successfully helps us achieve that. So well done to Community Development Manager, Tom Elliott and his invaluable group of volunteers.

“Covid-19 has indeed wreaked havoc and from a Clyde FC perspective, one of the saddest parts for me was to hear of the cancellation of the EPFA Champions Cup 2020 in Switzerland. One of our Powerchair teams, Clyde Alba were due to represent Scotland at the event next month, but for the correct safety reasons the event has been cancelled. Hopefully, the event can be re-scheduled, and the team are afforded the opportunity they so richly deserve, then we can all do our bit to help banish their major disappointment.”