Leamington FC Chairman Jim Scott has admitted that the Brakes are “massively indebted” to its supporters after the ‘Boost Your Club’ scheme raised in excess of the £30,000 target set by the National League North outfit. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to ensure that Leamington’s Community Stadium meets ground grading requirements ahead of the March 2021 cut-off.
In a club statement, Scott said: “We as a club are massively indebted to our fans and those within the wider community who have been able to make a contribution. Whether the amount given is small or large it is all hugely appreciated.
“The additional 250 seats under cover have to be installed by a 31 March 2021 deadline to meet ground grading requirements or otherwise we are automatically relegated from the National League North.”
The £32,475 raised will also be used to support Leamington’s playing budget
The ‘Boost Your Club’ scheme was established to allow fans to raise funds for the club ahead of the Brakes’ 2020/21 National League North campaign. The £32,475 raised will also be used to support manager Paul Holleran’s playing budget, following Leamington’s eighteenth-placed finish last season.
Preparations ahead of the Brakes 2020/21 campaign have ramped-up following the announcement of the National League’s intent to begin the season on 3 October. The National League hopes to start the new season once fans are allowed to return to stadia, although the government’s October target is subject to change.
Following the National League’s inclusion as an “elite sport”, clubs from steps one and two of the non-league pyramid are expected to meet the same guidelines that are applicable in the Premier League and English Football League. Though National League clubs have been afforded some leniency with regards to Covid-19 testing, teams are expected to appoint Covid-19 and medical officers to oversee mitigation policies.
Government rules around streaming mean that such an option cannot take place on a Saturday
– Leamington FC
A club statement said: “The intention is that we will have crowds for that opening day of the season; however these are likely to be limited to a reduced percentage, based on health and safety risk assessments meeting government social distancing guidelines and protocols.
“Additionally, we are looking at ‘streaming options’ to provide live coverage for fans that cannot make games. The current government rules around streaming mean that such an option cannot take place on a Saturday (with a few exceptions) but can be done midweek. The National League and member clubs are currently looking at all the options with no decisions yet made on feasibility or delivery.”
Football consultant Mark Fogarty has also joined the club on a full-time basis
The Brakes have announced a number of signings ahead of the new season, including the returns of captain Jack Edwards, Joe Parker, Josh Martin, Junior English and Jack Lane.
Simeon Maye is the latest player to join Leamington, the midfielder arrives from divisional rivals Brackley Town. Former-Hereford striker Lance Smith and Alvechurch defender Kyle Smith have also been added to Holleran’s squad ahead of the new season.
Football consultant Mark Fogarty has also joined the club on a full-time basis. Fogarty will be responsible for conducting a review into the club’s community, academy and development programmes. Fogarty said: “This is a hard time for all football clubs but also I believe an exciting time at this club with many good people on board pulling in the same direction. I thank the board for their trust in me”.