With the cessation of all grassroots football, the club suspended all football provision from the 12th March onward.
The Coronavirus pandemic has meant a premature end to our Men's and Women's XIs, training sessions, Wednesday Night Kickabouts, and social events. The club would like to thank everyone who has participated in the 2019-20 season and hopes that, once this crisis has abated, everyone who has been involved in the club will be keen to return once more.
There are three areas to examine that are relevant to our players, supporters, and volunteers.
1. The Leagues and County FAs - The Football Association initially directed individual leagues to decide if and when they would suspend play, despite having already suspended the professional levels of the game. This was a disappointingly short-sighted approach creating inconsistency across the game. Nonetheless, the leagues we compete in - the Surrey South Eastern Combination and Greater London Women's Football League - and the County FAs we affiliate to - the Amateur Football Alliance and London FA - were decisive in their decisions to suspend competitions and provide the club with clear guidance and sources of further support. To them, we would like to pass on our thanks. The resulting PPG calculations, widely employed fairly across numerous leagues, meant that;
a. The Men's 1st XI finished 5th in Junior Division 1, a record high league position, and the first time the club have won the majority of their games since 2014-15!
b. The Men's 2nd XI finished 10th. As the 1sts had just 2 games left, it is likely that 5 of the 7 remaining fixtures for the 2s would have had unusually strong teams taking to the field so, arguably, may have finished higher had the season concluded normally.
c. Whilst the GLWFL have not updated their tables yet, a PPG calculation shows that The Women's 1st XI would have finished 3rd - an awesome accomplishment, having finished bottom or second bottom ever since entering the league in 2016.
2. Financial Implications - The club operates, mainly, on the generosity of our players. Their eagerness to play means we can fund all of our expenses and have more to donate to charity or reinvest where necessary. A rough calculation, based on a lack of football until the end of June, means that Wanderers will lose over £3,120 net income. The club are fortunate that the facilities we hire have also suspended operations and so there is no further outgoings but that loss of income means the potential to invest in our own facility or contribute even more to our charitable partners, CALM, has taken an irreplaceable hit. We can only apologise to those recipients who will miss out and hope to work with them closely in the future to remedy this as best we can. As for the club itself, we are eager and ready to resume whenever we are given the opportunity to do so.
3. Current Activities & Future Plans - With the lack of football, the club are keeping active in other ways;
a. We recently had our first Zoom committee meeting for the Men's XIs which allowed us to discuss improvements for next season,
b. Volunteers Mark and Jamie recently filled in holes and repaired parts of the pitch at Virgo Fidelis to ensure that it is playable as soon as the 2021-22 season starts (see picture),
c. We have announced a kit partnership with Hope + Glory Sportswear and will be unveiling the new designs on Monday 20th April (with a bonus reveal on Tuesday 21st...)
d. We are welcoming applicants for our Volunteer Commercial Officer role, which is the first role in the club that is eligible for performance related pay
e. Our End of Season Awards will be run remotely with trophies sent to recipients over the next few weeks and an full awards reveal planned in May,
f. A draft events calendar is being circulated between the teams to give us all something to look forward to, featuring a return of the Summer Tour, FIFA Competition, and more,
g. Working closely with Footballkitbox, we are getting rare and match worn Wanderers kit out to their subscribers and discussing further plans on how we can work together in the future, as well as building our new WFC Supporters' Club. I will be contacting those new members of the club in the next few weeks and offering to send out some of their benefits via post.
h. We are participating in several social media challenges and online games so keep an eye out on our social media channels.
We hope all of you stay safe, look after yourselves and your loved ones, and will join us as soon as possible in our shared love of football.
Mark Wilson Club Secretary