Colchester United Owner and Chairman Robbie Cowling has issued the following statement:
So today sees the start of Lockdown Two. When we went into the first lockdown, (which lasted three months), it was sunny March, we were heading into summer and the schools were all closed down too.
We are now in cold November, heading towards winter and the kids are all mixing at school every day. For those reasons, I don’t personally think this lockdown will be any shorter than the last one.
The good news this time around is that elite sports are allowed to continue. Hopefully, that will extend to our scholars and our U23s because our academy is their place of study where they are undertaking their education, and to get locked down again could cost some of them their careers.
The bad news is we won’t be getting supporters back into our stadium any day soon so the costs will continue at full rate whilst the income is still stopped in its tracks. It now looks more than likely that some clubs will go to the wall unless something is done to help us out.
The Government has helped every other sector that has been effected by the decisions it has made, but still refuses to help football clubs. It would appear that we will have to lose a few clubs before any help is going to be offered.
Part of the Solution
Despite what I have said above, Colchester United will put its issues to one side and do what it did during the first lockdown when we chose to be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.
We have great assets that can really help out and we want to put them to use. Our community team started a brilliant outreach project in March and that will continue and be ramped up if necessary. As the weeks pass, I will also be urging our staff and players to get back in touch with the old and the vulnerable who may have spent a long time alone because we witnessed how much it helped the last time we did this.
If our stadium can benefit the NHS again then its doors will be open to them.
Loyal Supporter Tokens
One area where we have been allowed to help ourselves is with the iFollow product which streams our games, and I must say that our club really appreciates the support you have been giving to us via this product.
As promised, we have been allocating Loyal Supporter tokens to everyone that has purchased an iFollow Match Pass or has qualified for one as a Match Permit holder.
From this Friday morning, the dashboard on your colutickets.com account will be updated to show you how many tokens you have earnt.
This is how we distribute the tokens:
1. A colutickets.com account holder may have purchased more than one seasonal match permit and when we are allowed to re-open our stadium for matches they could purchase more than a single Multi Match or Single Match Permit. For example the account holder could be a Mum or a Dad who has purchased four permits for their family.
2. Loyal Supporter tokens are allocated to email addresses so where an account holder has purchased multiple permits they may have supplied email addresses for each of the permit users in which case the tokens will be allocated to each permit holder.
3. Alternatively they may have only provided names for the other users but no email addresses for them. In which case we will allocate all tokens to the email address of the user that purchased the permits.
4. Another scenario is where some email addresses have been provided but some haven’t. In this case, one permit per game will be allocated to those for whom an email address is provided and all other tokens will be allocated to the email address of the user that purchased the permits.
Just before Christmas, we will reveal the three shirt designs we will have short-listed for the big vote-off to decide which of those shirts we will wear against Southend United on the April 20th 2021.
That vote will take place throughout January and replicas will be available in February. Remember, money can’t buy that shirt, nor any of the Loyal Supporter merchandise that only Loyal Supporter tokens can buy. Hopefully we can be back in the stadium cheering on the team by April 20th 2021.
The Season so Far
Considering the changes we made in the summer to cope with the pandemic and the decision we made to change our first team coach, I think we have started the season well.
Steve, Hayden and the team should be congratulated and especially for the performance against Stevenage on Tuesday which was outstanding. Jevani’s perfect hat trick in that game was actually even better than that because the goal he had chalked off was onside so he actually scored four goals.
Having played ten games our win, loss, draw results are 4-4-2 and this is one of those times when I will have to agree that 4-4-2 is better than 4-3-3.
We have an important FA Cup game on Saturday and you can watch the game via the BBC Red Button service. It would be great to have a decent cup run but these games have a habit of tripping us up so we will need another good performance to progress through the first round.
Hopefully Jevani will be taking home another match-ball and starting a collection. No pressure JB.
I will also be cheering on Maldon & Tiptree on Sunday, where Wayne Brown continues to perform miracles.
We have Andre Hassanally, Sam Cornish and Billy Cracknell on loan there and I’m hoping they will be playing some part in their game against Morecambe. That game is also on the BBC.
And finally, I must also take this opportunity to thank and promote our sponsors who have been so loyal and so patient with us. They themselves have been impacted by the coronavirus but have stayed loyal to our club and I urge anyone who needs any of their services to consider them first.
Up the U's