Chairman gives an update on the 2017/18 playing squad and much more
First things first, I would like to apologise for the delay in getting this message out to supporters. I’m sure you can appreciate that it has been a very busy few weeks for the Football Club.Our day in the sun at Wembley was only three weeks ago, but a lot has happened in those three weeks and John, Steve and myself have been working hard to assemble a squad for the 2017/18 season.The downside to the fantastic achievement of reaching a Wembley Final in May was that we were four weeks behind the rest of the division, when it came to making announcements about the playing staff. I can understand how this is frustrating for supporters, particularly as a number of players left in quick succession.We are all disappointed to see Chris Holroyd, Neill Byrne, Ollie Norburn, John McCombe and Andy Halls decide to decline the new contracts offered to them. Each player had different reasons for moving on and of course we thank them for their contribution to the Club and wish them well.But we have to look forward and as I say the recruitment process is well underway and I am pleased to be able give you an update now.Firstly, we are delighted to announce that John Askey has agreed a new contract with the Football Club. John's loyalty to the Club, in a number of roles, is unrivalled and we continue to progress under his leadership. So we are delighted to see him agree a new rolling contract.We are also very pleased to announce the first of our new signings - right-back Jared Hodgkiss and forward Scott Wilson. I can announce that George Pilkington has signed a new contract whilst David Fitzpatrick has agreed a contract for next season.Talks are on-going with a number of other players, but discussions and negotiations of this nature take time, so please bear with us and we hope to bring you further news next week and thereafter, as contracts are signed.Of course it is imperative for the long-term sustainability of the Football Club that we manage the Club's finances, including our player recruitment process in a responsible way. We can only spend what we receive through gate revenue and commercial activities.It was fantastic to hear that our support numbered 7,698 at the FA Trophy Final. It would make a huge difference to the Club's finances if even only a quarter of that number were at every home game. This shows that the fan base is there, so please come and support your Club as if we are at Wembley every week - the Moss Rose is a lot closer!Away from matters on the pitch, there have also been a few changes behind the scenes at the Football Club. Helen and Paul Bona who have successfully run the Club's hospitality section have decided to move on to pastures new, whilst Colin Brooks has opted to step aside from his role as kit-man.We wish all three of them well for the future and thank them for their hard work for the Club. We are actively looking to fill these important positions in readiness for the new season.More positively, the Club is delighted to welcome Martyn Irvine as our Youth Engagement Officer, Martyn's objective is to grow the fan base for the future by engaging with children and teenagers in the area and getting them involved at the Club via coaching, school visits, hosting events at the Club and of course supporting the team on match days. This is an important new role and we are committed to making it a success.Finally, Barrie Darcey has decided to take a break from the operational side of the business. Barrie has been a key part of the team at the Moss Rose for many years and so it will be sad to see him leave and strange for him not to be actively involved at the Football Club on a daily basis, but hopefully we will see him playing a part again sometime in the future.I look forward to meeting a number of you from the Silkmen Supporters Trust next week and for those of you that can't attend on Monday I look forward to seeing you on 15th July for our first home pre-season friendly against Derby County.