Friday, April 17, 2009

The Continuing Saga of Ebbsfleet United: An Update

You've all been clamoring for politely asking about the fortunes of Conference Blue Square Premier club Ebbsfleet United, so here is your latest update. After losing 4-2 on aggregate over 2 legs to Stevenage Borough in the FA Trophy Semi-Finals and falling out of the Setanta Shield on a 1-0 loss to Forest Green Rovers (also in the Semi-Final), Ebbsfleet have only league matches on which to focus.

After going 3-1-3 in the month of April (including another loss to Stevenage Borough), Ebbsfleet find themselves in 16th place on 51 points. This total has them all but assured of survival in the Conference, and keeps alive the dream of progressing up the tiers next year.

More importantly than their results on the pitch, however, are the efforts of the owner/supporters to keep the club afloat. Of the initial 32,000 investors approximately 10,000 have renewed their membership at £35. However, of those there appear to only be approximately 1,500 who are active within the day-to-day activities of the club. These members vote on various petitions presented on the website and have made several decisions which directly affect the finances of the club.

Recent votes from the club members have included changing ticket prices for specific matches (i.e. charging a little more for high-profile matches, while reducing prices for others so that the local supporters can attend as many matches as possible), offering live streams of matches for international members (with many of these sponsored by club members in order to avoid charging for streaming), and changing kit suppliers for next year.

However, amidst all of these cost-cutting measures, the club leadership is looking to build a new stadium, despite opposition from the local and county councils. This is a controversial decision, particularly given that many of the local supporters seem to enjoy the current grounds, Stonebridge Road, very much.

Given that Ebbsfleet are out of all cup competitions and almost assured of staying up in the league, it would appear that there will be no significant changes (good or bad) to the current financial situation. Perhaps the Kent County Council and Gravesham Council have the right idea, as this really doesn't seem to be an ideal time for large-scale construction projects for a new pitch. The club should focus on the small-scale construction project of building a team that will advance out of Conference footy next season.


Spectator said...

I guess I should feel guilty about not renewing, but instead I decided to become a member of the Exeter City supporters trust. So there.

The Fan's Attic said...

You know what we have been clamoring for? NORWICHOMON!!!

Eladio said...

Norwichomon...UF's answer to "Chinese Democracy". By the time it gets released, it'll be so outdated that all anyone will do shake their head in bemusement.