Since midway through last season, all fans will be aware that we have had increasing crowds; indeed a few matches with very large crowds. Having substantial attendances is obviously something all clubs want but it does mean that they have to be managed and everybody needs to be safe. That requires a substantial amount of time, effort, resource and cost to plan and to deliver for each match, even more when we have a big fixture.
Because we are classed as a stadium as opposed to just a sports ground like many other smaller clubs, the Emergency Planning Office at Worcestershire County Council takes a lot of interest in what we do and monitors us heavily. If we do not plan and deliver safety and security for matches to a required legal standard then they can stop games going ahead or even close the ground. Clearly something we do not even want to remotely consider.
Most safety matters are fairly routine and are effectively dealt with but the one issue we need to address is stewarding. For most matches our regular stewards are generally sufficient though a few more would be helpful but if we have a big match then we need more, quite a few more.
To that end, we are again putting out an appeal to fans to volunteer to help us as stewards. As an incentive we are now offering the following package to anybody who carries out that role on match days:
Free entry to matches
Buffet lunch before the match
Vouchers for hot or cold drinks at the two snack bars during the match
A meal after the match in the players’ lounge with a free drink.
At last year’s FA Vase matches many fans criticised us for hiring outside stewards but if we do not have enough volunteers then we will have to do that again at a cost that will reduce the amount we can then spend on players, the pitch, stadium improvements, etc.
Anybody interested, please contact me Phil Baker via email firstname.lastname@example.org and my mobile phone 07956 646993.