How good are we now?
A few home games ago I was wandering across the Theatre End en route to the magnificent Holvey’s Tea Bar to make my life worthwhile by buying a cob & chips with curry sauce. As usual at Penydarren Park there were the usual chats, nods and banter on the way but what united most of the talk was the health of the club and to be honest the negative outlook of a few of my fellow Martyrs.
Now it’s no secret that we’ve faced a few challenges over the years with a couple of proper financial wobbles even as recent as a year or so ago. Our reputation as a fan-owned club has taken a bit of a battering as the source of our financial woes were our own decisions. There aren’t enough pages in this fanzine to list all of the crazy avenues that we’ve driven our club down over the past ten years. Lessons have had to be learned of course.
We’re no different to hundreds of semi-professional clubs all over this island in that we’re operating in a very challenging entertainment market with new customers, i.e. fans, reluctant to invest in a small club when there is so much competition for their disposable income in a 24 hour world.
None of this should be any surprise to Merthyr fans so the apparent cynicism to the fact that the club is not in any real danger was disappointing to say the least.
Not that we can ever relax. The price for a good future for our club must be eternal vigilance.
However the fact remains that to this uninformed observer the club seems to be working well with a small volunteer workforce ensuring that the calendar of bookings for events is busier than previous seasons. The Sunday lunches must surely be operating to its maximum as Webley’s is rammed with punters every week which is a credit to everyone involved.
The playing budget is much reduced and we’re at a considerable disadvantage to other clubs in our league but at last we’re back to living within our means which means that we may not pay a lot but we pay every week.
The weekly Soccalot draw still operates successfully with a dedicated band of workers who take their role very seriously; have you tried to escape Phil Mack on an away trip?
There is always more to do of course but when the club is ticking over nicely off the field then we should acknowledge that and not allow clueless numpties from outside to talk down our achievements. Every week we save this club and every week we start again.