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U's face challenges on and off the pitch

22 February 2021

Colchester United owner and Chairman Robbie Cowling has issued the following:

I hope everyone is keeping safe and I assume a good number of you have already been vaccinated. It does look like we may finally be on our way out of this pandemic.

I have tried to write regular updates during this year to keep you all informed of the finances because when the pandemic first took hold, it was really uncertain how clubs were going to survive. Thankfully, the EFL haven’t lost a single club so far and I think the EFL Board have to be congratulated on the way they have achieved that so far.

Colchester United, like most other clubs, did not imagine we would still be playing games behind closed doors for this long so we will almost all need some more help to get through the rest of the season. Colchester United are investigating the monitored loans and I will keep you updated if that is a course we need to take.

My previous updates have only touched on football matters because up until now, I think everyone would agree that the pandemic crisis and what was happening off the pitch was far more significant than what was happening on the pitch. However, following a terrible run of results, we are slipping down the league and naturally everyone is nervous about us getting dragged into the relegation battle.

We do of course have a reasonable cushion at this moment but a few of the teams below us will get their act together over the remainder of the season and it’s important that we do that too. To make it clear, I am absolutely aware of how serious all of the situations we are currently facing are.

I knew this would be a challenging season because of the steps I took to reduce the playing budget. I continued to brace myself for a tough season even when it started well with us being around the top of the league. We could tell from the statistics of those early games that we were getting more points out of the games than we had deserved and we knew the results would not continue unless we improved our performances.

We can now see that the performances have improved but clearly the results have not and we are currently getting less from games than we deserve. However, we are very confident that as long as we keep improving our performances, then the results will follow.

Personally, it’s a dream to own the football club and I can assure you all that these challenges are massively more painful for me than for anyone else. I have invested every day of the last sixteen years in the club and millions of pounds in the facilities and the academy.

All of that time and money will be wasted if we were to lose this fight against the financial challenges of the pandemic, or to be relegated and to not then bounce back again. Please rest assured that I’m doing everything I can to make sure that we do get through this season, both on and off the pitch.

Up the U's


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