St Albans City bosses to be quizzed by fans

SAINTS supporters will have the chance to put their questions to chairman Ian Ridley and manager David Howell next week.

The Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division club will be holding an end-of-season Fans’ Forum in the Saints Bar next Thursday (April 19) from 7.30pm.

Mr Ridley will be in the hot seat for the first half of the evening, before Howell joins in the second half following the first-team training session.

Fans will have the chance to hear analysis on the first year under the new ownership of Lawrence Levy and John McGowan, as well as plans for next season.

In an open letter to supporters on Saturday, Mr Ridley said that he hoped the fans had enjoyed better facilities and an improvement in playing fortunes at Clarence Park as the club works hard to return to the Conference.

Attendances have risen by more than 25 per cent and the club has attracted more sponsorship, but Mr Ridley also pointed out that City are still losing money on a weekly basis and there is plenty of work to do behind the scenes.

He said: “There is no immediate problem, thanks to Lawrence and John’s investment, but my duty as chairman of the club is to put it on a sound financial footing so that in the medium term, it does not have to rely on benefactors.

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“We therefore need to build on this season’s new commercial activities.”

These activities include an end-of-season dinner-dance on May 10 at Sopwell House, featuring former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams, and a golf day in September.

With the help of the Supporters’ Trust, the club will also launch a new lottery called the Saints Snowball, costing �10 a month per entry.

The scheme will feature monthly cash prizes, to be drawn at home games, with the bonus of bumper twice-yearly draws.

Fifty per cent of the takings will go to club funds and the playing budget, 25 per cent to the monthly prize fund and 25 per cent to the twice-yearly draws.

The lottery will be launched at the Fans’ Forum with the first draw in July.

Mr Ridley added: “We realise these are difficult times financially for many people.

“It is why we are trying to keep down the cost of football and all that surrounds it - food, drink, programme, etc - at the Park.

“If you can dig deep, however, it will help us achieve the aim of making the club self-sufficient and fund the highest standard of football possible at St Albans City.

“We guarantee we do not waste money but spend as much as is possible, without overpaying, on the playing budget.

“Thank you for your support this season. We hope we can continue to rely on it.

“Please bring a friend to matches if you can, and also back the new lottery and our other commercial activities.”