I would like to start with the most important thing, it is my sincere hope that this communication finds you and your loved ones safe and well.
When I took over the Presidency from Alan Hutchison in 2018, I knew it would be challenging, but I never envisaged just how challenging it would be. Following the sale of Hampden and our change of status to become a professional football club, I naively thought that the latter part of the Presidency would be concentrated in on the field business, the part which we all enjoy most, the games themselves. The Coronavirus arrived in the country and changed day to day life in the country, the succeeding lockdown, social distancing and range of other restrictions, rightly, transformed the way we lived our lives and an abrupt end to the football season on the 13th March 2020. When you consider the magnitude of the impact of the virus with over 25,000 deaths, an even larger number becoming very ill due to the virus, and many families facing hardship, football almost pales into insignificance. Having said that I feel it is important to provide an update of what is happening at our club.
Lesser Hampden Redevelopment
We delayed the start of the project, for obvious reasons, and whilst plans have been progressing, we haven’t yet awarded the contract, although we have been in detailed discussion with contractors and would hope to mobilise quickly when regulations allow.
With the abrupt end to the season we were all left wondering what might have been, we will never know. Having said that the new players who were introduced showed real improvement on the pitch, and many at the club would have felt that we could have reached a play-off spot. I, like many of you, was looking forward with a little excitement to the remaining games. However, history will record that we finished in 5th place.
We made the decision, as many clubs did, to furlough our players and some of our staff, but decided to top up the additional 20% of pay, the players having just weeks before signed contracts to become the first professional players who played for Queen’s Park.
Well, where to start? As it stands, there is no confirmed date for the new season commencing, there is uncertainty over the makeup of the league structure, and indeed what the ‘new normal’ will look like as it concerns Scottish football.
At the moment we are told the earliest we can commence training is the 10th June, this seems very optimistic to me given the present restrictions, and the risks associated with any lessening of those restrictions. Our football club has a long tradition of treating our footballers well, and the club has a duty of care on all our employees that we look after their well-being, and we will continue to do so.
Behind the scenes the Head Coach is working hard with plans to build a squad which will be competitive in whatever league format is decided by the SPFL members. This task is difficult due to the uncertainty of what the league structure will be and when the beginning of the season actually takes place.
I feel it is important that the club is involved in any discussions in both SPFL and SFA discussions and am pleased that members of the Queen’s Park committee are involved in a variety of working groups to discuss the way the game returns, and indeed how league reconstruction will look.
Discussions are ongoing at this time, I can give my assurances that we will work diligently on behalf of the club, our fellow division 2 clubs, and for the good of the game as a whole.
It seems I have posed more questions than provided answers, but in these deeply uncertain times that is the position we find ourselves in. Rest assured when we do return, and we will, the safety of our players, spectators and staff will be uppermost in our minds. There will be countless challenges ahead for society, but if we pull together and do the right thing football will return.
I’d like to finish as I started, the most important thing at this time is to stay safe and well, if we follow government advice, we will hopefully all be together soon supporting The Spiders in action again.
Queen’s Park Football Club