Get involved with creating the future for Wealdstone FC
As part of the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday (27 Jan) Chairman Howard Krais set the vision for the future of the club.
What follows below is a an extract of what was said along with the slides that Howard talked to, this is your opportunity to see and understand how the club are looking to move forward, what we want to do, and how you could be part of the team in making this come to fruition.
We are a unique Club. With about every other non league club around us struggling to survive we continue to progress on and off the field – and without the luxury of a big financial backer. We’ve achieved so much over the past ten years and have much to be proud about.
But what about the future? What will the next ten years have in store for us? There are many compelling reasons why this is the right time to be thinking about the direction we want Wealdstone FC to travel in.
If nothing else, when you take the football club and the social club together we are a business with a turnover well in advance of half a million pounds. The growing size of our operation demands an ever increasing level of professionalism and organisation. We are far more than just a part-time non-league club with a small core of support.
We now play at the 6th level of English football, one league below what is fast becoming a proper professional league. Do we want to be there in the future? Or higher? The trouble with football is that if you don’t want to win every match you play then why bother – but winning many more football matches has consequences we need to be able to be ready for.
Then consider the potential we have at the Club. Well over 600 players every week play under the Wealdstone name; be it 1st team, youth or ladies. Wealdstone Youth alone has 550 players across 31 teams ranging from under 7 to under 18, supported by 64 managers and coaches. We are on the way to becoming the youth club of choice for aspiring local talent but we can do so much more by creating a proper pathway to the first team, continually improving facilities and coaching standards, and crucially creating a ‘One Wealdstone’ culture.
As more people use the site, match attendances grow and we continue to look for ways to increase use of the social club the future is bright. But there are plenty of challenges too, such as vastly improving income generation and our commercial performance, establishing proper marketing expertise around the Club, having a joined up and exciting digital presence or looking across the whole site as we take important decisions about where to spend our money. Oh yes, and we need to conclude on the lease at some point in the near future.
You might ask at this point couldn’t we just carry on as we are?
The answer is of course we could but as a volunteer led organisation, with a set-up that has done an amazing job taking us from years of groundsharing to where we are now continuing in the way we currently operate will only take us so far.
Every successful business (including every successful football club) needs to realise that what made them successful today is not what will make them successful tomorrow. Adapting to a super fast changing world is critical. Running an effective day to day operation is important, but only maintains the status quo. To really transform and be ready for the future we will need to set out on a clear journey, building and executing on a plan with clear outcomes defined, and then be ready for change – which is never easy.
Increasingly today, all organisations with ambition to grow and progress – however big or small – need to understand their purpose, their destination and the course they are taking to get there. Without this it is difficult to know whether we are taking the right decisions or even heading in the right direction.
We kicked off this work last June at a meeting attended by many people from around the Club. Working with the outputs from that meeting, and with fantastic support in particular from Darren Linden, a specialist in this field, we have worked quietly away through the following months before starting to share more recently – leading to the presentation at this week’s AGM (slides are available with this article).
The future of the Club is for everyone who cares about Wealdstone FC to have a stake in. It is our future. Over the next few weeks I will be arranging meetings with many different groups and individuals from around the Club as want to contribute. If you would like to be part of one of these meetings and offer your input please let me know. My contact details are below or speak to me at a match.
My ‘ask’ of people is to consider what Wealdstone FC you want to see in the future. And think big – don’t be constrained because there is no reason we can’t achieve whatever it is we want. We are one of the very first fans owned and run clubs. This is our club and therefore our future so please come and listen, make your views known and get involved with helping to shape Wealdstone FC in the future.