12thoct05

Wednesday 12th October 2005

Gravesend & Northfleet looking to drum up more support


With the team performing so promisingly following the conversion to full-time football, Gravesend & Northfleet officials are somewhat surprised as to why gates are down on recent seasons, reports www.gnfc.co.uk

The fall in gates seems to be affecting most football clubs but the Kent club are looking at other factors that may be having an impact and looking at ways to redress them.

"I cannot understand where the missing 250 or so fans have gone," said club secretary Roly Edwards.

"It is true that admission prices are up and the use of the Northfleet End has been restricted, but can these fully explain the shortfall?

"Whilst the price increases seem large in percentage terms it is £2 and £1 at the end of the day and that doesn't buy much nowadays.

"The Northfleet End was fully closed at the end of last season and didn't markedly effect our gates then.

"It is certainly not performances on the pitch as we are playing attractive football as well as having realistic ambitions of getting in the play-offs. It may be a combination of many factors but this current team definitely deserves more support".

Chairman Brian Kilcullen, explained the reasons for the Northfleet End taking longer to complete than hoped.

"We have received a grant towards the work but it is contingent upon incorporating some design changes that need to be approved by the Safety Authorities and extending our lease on the football ground.

"We are very close to finalising both matters but these things have taken longer than we would have hoped".

With regard to increasing gates, Kilcullen said:  "We discussed it at length at our board meeting this week and will be bringing out some new initiatives very soon.

"We are also recruiting a replacement for Chris Baker as Community Development Officer and looking to add to our commercial team at the club.

"These roles are both very important in helping us to boost interest and profile. A meeting is also scheduled with the Supporters Trust to examine more ways of bringing in the fans".

Frank Walter, the newly appointed managing director, added: "One of my first major objectives is to look at the area of gates as it is obviously one of the major income streams.

"The atmosphere last Saturday was getting back to the way it used to be I believe and we want to take it even higher".

Meanwhile, the Nationwide Conference club have made representations to various relevant parties to ensure the full name of the football club continues to be used.

Kilcullen added: "Increasingly we have seen it shortened to 'Gravesend & N' and now we are even seeing just 'Gravesend'.

"We are very proud of a name that goes back to 1946. We are also proud that in addition to both Gravesend and Northfleet we also represent the rest of the Borough of Gravesham.

"We hope to continue to be a club that the Borough can be proud of and call its own".

"We have made contact with several parties and the media to ask that they ensure the full name is used".

Tamworth v Gravesend & Northfleet
Nationwide Conference
Saturday 15th October 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm




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