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Biddlecombe celebrates a year in charge
ONE year on and Weymouth FC appears to be moving in the right direction under the stewardship of Nigel Biddlecombe.
Since taking over the reins of the club from George Rolls just 12 months ago, the lifelong fan and club chairman has not only overseen the historic move to community ownership but also helped deliver improved results on the pitch alongside a hardworking board of directors and a committed squad and management team.
The Terras currently sit in the last play-off spot in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division having already surpassed the points total for the whole of last season.
However, there is still a lot of hard work to be done both on and off the pitch if the progress is to continue.
Commenting on the current status of the club in his first annual statement, Biddlecombe told Echo-sport: “Almost everything is going to plan and it is at this stage the board won’t lose sight of the controlled ambition of a planned recovery for this club as we near the 125th anniversary.
“We have had some bad luck with the weather, which has cost the club a lot of money since the turn of the year.
“The volunteers worked hard to get the Christmas games on but losing the Leamington and Frome matches has cost the club in the region of £10,000 in gate receipts, as well as fundraising and hospitality, food and bar takings.
“Upon taking over we quickly discovered we had inherited a significant figure in outstanding liabilities.
“In our first year we have managed the club’s financial affairs well with creditors being paid, promises delivered and a stable squad of players. To ensure we finish the season on a sound financial footing, we need the fans’ support as we move into the final part of the season.
“The best way the fans can help is to come along to support the first team and reserves at home games. However, there are 50p shares available and hospitality packages, as well as sponsorship.
“The sponsorship works on a 12-month rolling contract, so if you sign-up to an advertising board now your renewal will be the same time next year. The club does need a small amount of help to ensure we move into next season with more money in the bank to build up a reserve.”
The Weymouth FC Supporters Association and the Wessex Fantasy are continuing to assist the club along with its loyal band of volunteers, and as always Biddlecombe is hugely grateful for their continued support.
He went on to add: “The board would like to publicly thank the WFC Supporters Association for its support and help in our first season.
“They are taking on an increasing amount of the club’s workload, which eases the pressure on the WFC board, and at the same time they continue to increase their shareholding through fundraising.
“Also, the Wessex Fantasy Football is continuing to raise funds, giving support to the playing budget, and we are expecting an exciting update from that within the next 48 hours.
“Both the WFCSA and Wessex Fantasy have raised a lot of money this season along with the travel club, whose terrific efforts have meant that the club has not had to find any funds for the cost of our team’s coach travel.
“The board would also like to thank all the many volunteers, who have provided their assistance this season without receiving a penny in return.
“Another exciting prospect we have to look forward to is the ‘Legends’ sportsman’s dinner, which is being organised by the commercial and community team in conjunction with the WFCSA.
“This event has now completely sold out and is on course to raise some much-needed funds to help the club over the close season.
“We are all looking forward to the evening as well as catching up with everybody who has agreed to attend.
“Back to the playing front, we hope to build on this season and still have a chance of the play-offs. If this happens it will be a huge bonus.
“We need your continued support and trust as we seek to rebuild the club. Finally, it would be remiss of me not to say thank you to our sponsors, both old and new, for your support this season.”
If you would like to purchase shares in the club, make a donation or find out more about sponsorship opportunities, then contact the club on 785558.