We continue to make good progress at Whatman Way - thanks to a combination of good weather and the hard work of the Gallagher team. There are now a number of significant target dates we are working towards with 14th July the intended first match against Charlton.
The installation of the floodlight masts is the beginning of a programme that is working to another target date which is the 18th April, when works starts on the laying of the 3g surface.
Before this can happen the framework on the stand must be completed and the terraces must have been installed. We are about to order the pitch perimeter barrier which must also be in place prior to the 3g installation. The work in getting everything in place is enormous but each time I visit the site I am encouraged by the supporters who are also watching the progress.
I want to make a personal request regarding the foul and abusive language at some matches of a small number of our fans. I want the club to be a place where children and grandchildren can attend matches and not have to listen to some supporters using the F word as part of their way of abusing the referee and players and including it in their chants.
As an example the chant to the Whitstable supporters of “you can stick your oysters up your arse“ was OK as it was a bit crude but amusing whereas “you can stick your f---ing oysters up your arse” is not acceptable.
When a player or referee is subjected to direct abuse that includes the f word I do not want children or indeed anyone to have to listen to that type abusive language. I accept it is a passionate game and emotions can become inflamed but there are alternatives to abusive swearing.
There has been some debate recently about the club rewarding the loyal fans in terms of tickets for the friendlies and season ticket distribution.
I will take this opportunity to make the club’s position very clear as I feel that it has been those same supporters who saved Maidstone United Football Club, so it will be those supporters who will get priority and preference for the pre-season friendlies and season tickets.
Somehow the club has managed to retain hundreds of loyal supporters despite all the false dawns and the indignities of not having a team that plays its football in the town that it represents. I would not have become involved but for the fans' dedication and loyalty.
If there is ever a discussion about who saved the football club from extinction there is absolutely no doubt in my mind. It was saved by the commitment and loyalty of a few hundred supporters.