Chairmans Report – February

It’s been an interesting few weeks as the new year commences, the transfer window opens and club movements cause a few headaches and reasons to laugh.

Recently, some observers have commented that the club is a disorganised, shambolic mess being run into the ground by someone that’s clueless, toxic and cancerous (The Tier 1 coach/parent that called me that, I thank you for the motivation to stick it to you). The truth is that we are far from it and the infrastructure is in place and our internal terrorists have seen a change in attitude and direction to the “Druids Way” and have been watching with baited breath, waiting for us to fail. It’ll be a long wait.

We’ve made a concerted effort to reach out to the local clubs to form working relationships. As with most sports clubs, empirical thinking prevents the respective chairmen from seeing the offer for what it was, honest, open and with good meaning. Instead, our offers were seen as devious which, I’m sad to say, is no more than I expected. So, we moved on and started talks with other open minded and progressive clubs and reached an agreement, announcements coming soon.

Events surrounding the academy have dismayed me immensely. Some people think it’s about them when it’s about the players and the game. They’ve made a lot of noise and been disruptive to the point that it’s making them and the game, locally, a laughing stock.

Suffice to say that we’ve allowed the dogs to bark and now it’s time for the club to roar.

To protect the club, our coaches have release clauses and covenants in their contracts of employment that are designed to prevent them from poaching or tapping up players if they leave. These release clauses are commonplace in football, except in Wales apparently, and so the shock to a local chairman receiving a six figure invoice must be a buttock clenching experience. Four clubs have received invoices from us in January of which two are six-figure amounts and two are five figures. I reached out to the respective clubs to resolve the issues, but they’ve called my bluff, so be it.

We’ve withdrawn the EDS and U19’s from their respective leagues, a huge and costly decision but one that allows us to reset our position. We’ve lost players to local clubs and the heart of the EDS programme has been ripped out. All the hard work put in has been ruined and for nothing, or has it?

I guess the income from the release clauses will make it worthwhile and help rebuild the teams and phases.

There have been a lot of positives over the past few weeks and things are starting to settle down now that we’re marching towards EPPP. I’m still shocked that the FAW haven’t outlined the changes to the public, but that’s their decision and we have to live with it but I think it would help everyone outside of the game to understand the issues the clubs face.

I’m looking forward to a positive March and can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.