**Urgent Support Needed for Ashington AFC!**
Since 1883, Ashington AFC, proudly nestled in the hometown of footballing legends such as Sir Bobby Charlton, Jack Charlton, Jackie Milburn, and Jimmy Adamson, has been a beacon of pride and heritage in our community. From the days of being a Football League club to our recent promotion, it has a storied and colourful history.
Firstly, our deepest gratitude goes to our existing sponsors, devoted season ticket holders, regular match attendees, and each of you who have purchased pitch squares. A special shoutout to those who also backed our 'Build the Budget' scheme, raising almost £8,500 over the course of the season.
In April, when we earned our promotion, our club swiftly moved into preparation mode for the upcoming season. This included setting bold revenue targets and determining the necessary funds to uphold our squad, implement crucial ground improvements, and cover increasing travel expenses.
In the last six months, our small yet immensely dedicated group of volunteers has tirelessly pursued our objectives. Unfortunately, the current economic landscape has presented numerous hurdles, resulting in many closed doors and a lack of responses. Despite these challenges, we remain optimistic and continue to persevere in our efforts.
It's important to note that our club does not have the luxury of a wealthy benefactor. Instead, we rely heavily on the tireless work of our volunteers, the kindness of our generous sponsors, and the unwavering support of our fans. We are a non-profit organisation, which means that we have no shareholders and all funds raised by the club are reinvested.
In addition to the above, our club facilities are often lauded by visitors as the best in the league, but they alone come with rapidly rising costs. In the past year alone, we've seen utility and insurance costs soar by over 120%.
What do we do for our Community?
On the positive side of what we offer, the club supports and promotes local food banks and various charities. It champions the cause of the vulnerable in our community.
Beyond football, Ashington AFC stands as a communal sanctuary where individuals find a voice, combat loneliness, and come together to be united. Where else in Ashington is there a gathering of over 500 people every other week, bonded by a shared spirit?
Here's where your support becomes paramount:
1. **Pitch Enclosure**: A fully enclosed fence around the pitch is a mandatory requirement at Step 4, the level at which we are currently competing.
2. **Rotating Turnstiles**: To provide seamless and safe access for supporters, two rotating turnstiles are also a necessity for Step 4.
3. **Away Game Travel**: With our promotion, we face longer journeys for away games. We seek sponsorship or funding to assist in transport expenses for our remaining away matches.
4. **Floodlight Upgrade**: By upgrading our 15-year-old floodlights to LED, we will significantly decrease both our energy costs and carbon footprint. The current lights are outdated, prohibitive to maintain, and due for replacement.
5. ** Grounds Equipment**: Our volunteer groundsman works wonders with the resources at hand, but our equipment is desperately in need of an upgrade to facilitate his efforts.
Although some may suggest cutting player expenses, we operate on a modest playing budget for our level and area. Our achievements on the field, driven by a collective commitment, have enhanced our match attendance, experience, and revenue. Without this revenue and support, our club could not function.
It's evident that we, a small but very passionate team of volunteers, have been working tirelessly to ensure the club's success and longevity. Our dedication to our club knows no bounds, with even our first team manager foregoing payment for the betterment of Ashington AFC.
For those willing to rally behind us, we're offering a range of rewards, from acknowledgements to team shirts to lifetime season tickets to hospitality to sponsorship opportunities.
Let's come together, ensuring that Ashington AFC continues to thrive and instilling pride, passion, and belief into this community.
#AshingtonAFC #UnityIsStrength #BackYourLocalClub