Green Army update – June 2023

Hello all and welcome to the first proper Green Army update for a little while.

Firstly, I hope you’ve been enjoying the summer so far and the break from the football. After the stress of last season (especially those last few weeks) it’s been well fucking needed. Alas that night out (monumental piss up) after the Hereford game feels like a lifetime ago now.

As for what we’ve been up to in the meantime, generally speaking a lot of drinking and a lot of graft both ‘day job’ related and Green Army related, which we’ll get into a little bit later on. As for the rest of the lads, it’s mostly been a summer of seeking therapy and questioning our life choices after another disappointing season, mixed in with a fair bit of heavy drinking. Though, not for Mr Liam Henderson, who appears to be trying to go on a shagging spree this summer. Presumably before the rest of his hair falls out. As you can see from the below messages, he’s a reet charmer. I’ve no idea how any woman could say no to him.

As you can see his ‘pulling spree’ is going… well. The ‘highlight’ of the non-season happened only recently as Hendy went round a birds house on Friday night after Sam Fender, but the dumb fuck went for a Fabio’s kebab beforehand. Naturally, with it being Fabio’s bait, he was needing to shit it out immediately. So he ends up ganning for a shit at the lasses house but he’s ‘so desperate’ for it, he didn’t bother turning the light on in the bog. As he puts it, he ‘exploded al owa the bog’ but of course in the dark, he didn’t see he left shit stains all over the bowl, which she then found later on. Needless to say, they won’t be seeing each other again…probably.

Anyway, enough about Mr shit stains. You’d have seen of course over the summer that Bishop Stortford have been hoyed into the National League North and have winged like absolute fuck about it, despite them being the 24th most Northerly team across the North and South. Of course, the club and the fans have taken this news all very well, and we’ve made a lot of new friends down South!

Thankfully though we’re moving out of that weird ‘non season’ period and pre-season will be with us before we know it. We’ve got a fair bit to cover for this update, so let’s start with the supporter survey results for 2023, starting off with the admission fees and season tickets prices.

I think it’s fair to say most of us knew or at least expected admission prices to be up this season. We’d been charging £12 for 6 years and really, the prices should have increased slowly within that time period to match our competitors in the National League North. Over the past few years, the Executive Committee has not wanted to increase admission prices due to Covid-19, recessions, the cost-of-living crisis, Brexit and other general incompetency from our Tory overloads.

For me however, this was simply just kicking the can down the road. Over the last few years, it’s been impossible to really be confident in an upturn in the economy, so not increasing prices at a slow rate like our counterparts in this league was poorly thought out, as we’ve now had to lump up the admission prices by 20% in one go which isn’t a great look. Especially after our results and performances at home over the last 4 years.

As for the season tickets, I believe for general admission we’re due to have the 5th most expensive season tickets in the league (at the time of writing as not everyone’s season ticket information is out yet) with a saving of only £1.53. Which by the graph below (don’t ask about the maths I’m not smart enough to word it properly) will also mean our season tickets will be the worst for value in the league.

Worst of all was the communication surrounding the explanation behind the price increase with the only explanation given being ‘Unfortunately, due to the cost of operating a club at this level, it has now become necessary to increase admission prices for the 2023/24 season’. No clarity on if the club will be using the money to help increase the playing budget to compete at this level of football or for other bills etc. The pay monthly scheme is a step in the right direction, but the way it’s been put together was perhaps a tad rushed.

Next up, the catering. Plain and simple, it was slaughtered. And rightly so. We all know it’s shit and needed getting shot of a longtime ago. In fact, in my brief time away from Green Army the bloke who ran the now old burger van messaged me on Facebook, suggesting Green Army were lying about him putting hotdogs in burger buns and implying ‘liars cost people their business’ so aye, make of that what you will.

Thankfully though, I believe the club will have some good news to share on the catering front in the near future, but I don’t know all the details on that one, so I’ll leave it to the club to communicate, eventually.

Other parts of the survey mentioned the PA system which again, is supposedly getting looked at this season, the toilets in Croft Park and the ground in general just being a little bit scruffy in places. For me the bogs at the Plessey End needed condemned yonks ago. I wouldn’t even wish needing to taking a shit in them on my worst enemy. It’s that bad even Hendy won’t have a cheeky key in them.

*Not an actual image of the bogs but it’s not a million miles off

Other parts of Croft Park simply just need a bit of clean, for example we’ve had bird shite encrusted on the railings at the Croftway end for the last 2 years and seemingly nobody has made an attempt to wash it off, which is just strange. One thing I have seen a lot recently is club’s doing specific ‘volunteer days’ on select Saturdays over the last few weeks, where they invite supporters in to do some work around the ground over the summer, with some giving away free tickets and other bits.

The feedback for the Clubhouse was pretty similar to last year, though the pints seem to be much less of an issue. That being said busy ques for pints at half time and big games was issue that was brought up. Comments about the screen came up a fair bit as well, which personally I’d like to see replaced ASAP.

I’ve gone on about the survey for long enough now and covered most of the big talking parts, bar the feedback the club received in regards to communication with supporters and how the club is being ran in general.

A quick look at the survey shows you that those who completed it are massively dissatisfied with the way the club communicates with supporters, with more updates on what’s happening behind the scenes and why certain decisions are made. That of course is just a brief summary of supporter’s feelings and frustrations. Essentially though, the club needs to improve it’s communication and openness with supporters.

I have been told though that an official response will come from the club in relation to the survey, when that will be or what said statement will contain though is a mystery right now.

Now though, onto some Green Army news!

Firstly, we’ll start with a few plans we’ve got going into this season. You’ve probably already seen the update but for our Player of the Month votes, we’ll be using Google Forms now to collate votes which gives everyone a chance to vote instead of just twitter users. As well as that, the player who wins the vote will now get a small award (plus some alcohol if we can afford it) and we’ll be making a £50 donation to a charity of their choice.

A few of the lads have suggested we should try and get the POTM award sponsored to offset costs, which we’ll definitely look into in the near future. If you are interested in helping us out with this, by all means email with any questions.

Congratulations are also in order for Mr Jay Goulding who won our FPL league for the 2022/23 season, winning £140 in the process! Ebdale was dominating the league for many Months, but went full on Arsenal at end and collapsed, conceding the league to Jay on the last day of the season.

As for our membership sales they’ve got pretty well so far. Not quite hit the 50 mark yet but we’ve still got plenty of time for that. As for the pricing this year we did briefly consider charging a bit more this year but ultimately, we decided £20 was a good value for what you get as a member, which is what we aim for. Membership cards are now out in the post by the way. Apologies for the delay but graft has a tendency to get in the way of things now and then.

Still plenty of time to get signed up to this year’s membership scheme –

At present we’ve probably got a little under £600 in the bank at the moment, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t much when we have membership prizes to pay for, POTM donations and other adhoc bits we need to cover. So in an effort to subsidise away travel as best we can next season we’ll have to push the boat out and put some graft in to fundraise across the summer and beyond, as sadly I’m expecting most coaches to cost well over a grand this coming season.

If anyone out there is in a position where they’d like to make a contribution to away travel or discuss any kind of sponsorship stuff with us, by all means hit us up as when you think about it, who else would you rather have representing your brand?

In the near future we’ll also be looking to do a survey in relation to the football club’s 1899 club fundraising scheme, as it’s something that many feel is underutilised and really could do with a change. Especially when you look at what rival clubs around us are doing to raise funds.

Lastly, we do have a few irons in the fire at the moment which we’ll hopefully get to share with everyone soon. We’ll have that podcast which I’ve been putting off sorting for weeks, discussing my time as a club official and everything that’s happened over the summer as well, which I promise we’ll do eventually

Anyway, that’s enough for now! Hope you enjoy the rest of the time off from the footy and I’m sure we’ll all have a good catch up/knee’s up over the pre-season.

Lots of love,

Dan xoxo