Bulldogs News

TON PENTRE AFC: AN IMPORTANT LETTER TO OUR SUPPORTERS

An open letter to all club supporters

A PDF version of this letter can be dowloaded here.

Dear Club Supporter,

Ton Pentre AFC are the most successful football club in the history of the South Wales valleys. Welsh League Champions a record 13 times. The past remains in the past, however the future ambition is huge and we need community support to, firstly, survive and then to push forwards and achieve the next level goals we have set ourselves.

In 2016 Ton Pentre AFC became a Community Benefit Society. This means that the football club and its assets are wholly-owned by its supporters. This is a model that is becoming widely recognised across the UK – well known examples being FC United of Manchester, AFC Wimbledon and Chester FC. Ton Pentre AFC are proud to be the first supporter owned club incorporated in Wales. Anyone can become a member and own one annual share. It’s a democratic, accountable and transparent set up.

Our dedicated board are not large in number and additional volunteer support is urgently needed. We have published a 5 year plan to develop all aspects of the club, the ultimate goal being to achieve a return to the Welsh Premier League and, once there, qualify to represent Rhondda Cynon Taff in European competitions once again. Ton Pentre AFC stand alone as the only football club in RCT who have ever represented our region in the top tier and in European competition. If you are interested the 5 year plan can be downloaded here.

Off the field the new board have brought the club a long way. In 2016 the club invested a five figure sum to upgrade the existing floodlights in order to host a live televised match on S4C versus Bangor City in the Welsh Cup. This year we have already financed and built an extension to the spectator stand and installed emergency lighting. This summer we are investing a further five figure sum to improve the drainage and playing surface. All this hard work has resulted in the club achieving a Tier 2 licence from the Welsh FA and secured our place one step away from the Welsh Premier League. 2019 will see a renewed period of change in Welsh domestic football as the league pyramid structure is streamlined and our division is rebranded to a more recognisable term, the Championship. The Welsh FA have exciting plans to promote and develop this new structure and it is critical to our future that RCT and Ton Pentre retains a presence.

The infrastructure investment outlined above has come at a cost. The football club is solvent, it is NOT in debt but cash reserves are now limited. To keep the club competing at the highest level in Wales our plea is that you support us with a volunteer or financial pledge for next season and beyond. There are various options available to you as an individual or as a business. The current board are stretched – we run senior football and a successful youth (U19) side. It’s not over dramatic to say that without additional community support stepping forward the future of the whole club could be at risk with the loss of only one or two volunteers.

Individual – Could you volunteer? We have a range of roles from light touch to intensive that could match your availability. Maybe start small and see how you feel (match day support, playing field or general maintenance, match programme contributor, commercial/sponsorship manager, chairperson, the list is endless and we’d appreciate you sharing the load). Maybe you are a student and voluntary work could supplement your CV or college application? It’s hugely rewarding to give something back and help others. If your time is limited, you could simply support us financially by becoming a member of the community benefit society. Membership packages start from £10 per year (U16’s are free).

Business/Corporate – It is important to recognise our exceptional social media presence and note how coverage is at an all-time high. In addition to helping support a key community asset your company could be getting its message in front of thousands of potential customers. There is a range of potential packages to suit all business sizes or needs. Please see overleaf for more details.

MEMBERSHIP/SHARE OWNERSHIP SCHEME

JUNIOR BULLDOGS (U16’S) FREE

SQUAD MEMBER £10
1 annual share & membership card
The right to vote at AGM and stand for a board position
Discounts to club social events & discounts at the matchday canteen

STAR PLAYER £100
Squad member benefits PLUS 1 year season ticket
Club enamel badge & mug

CLUB LEGEND £1000
Star player benefits PLUS lifetime membership, lifetime season ticket
& a named plaque on a seat at Ynys Park

To become a member click here for more.

****
SEASON TICKETS – Adult / Concessions £50/£30
ENTRANCE FEE – Adult / Concession / U16’s £5/£3/free

For the avoidance of doubt Ton Pentre AFC football club is a self-financing body. Ton Pentre AFC Social Club (the clubhouse) and Ton Pentre & District Recreation Association (commonly referred to as the Community Centre/Boys & Girls Club) are each separate legal entities with their own volunteers, their own board structures and independent business objectives. Direct support for one is not direct support for all.

The ties between each body are strong, all volunteers talk together regularly as we share use of several facilities – for example, Ynys Park field and the changing rooms in the clubhouse. In our view, if the community is better served by a leaner structure (Together Stronger) then we are open to exploring that idea further.

CURRENT TON PENTRE AFC BOARD

Chairman: Position Vacant
General Secretary: Christopher Jones
Finance Officer: Tony Evans
Partnership Manager: Gary Matuszczyk
Player Registrations: Paul Rogers
Head of Football Development: Graham Bassett
Community Benefit Society Secretary: Matthew Green
Memberships Manager: Tim Banks
Commercial Manager: Position Vacant
Media / Digital Manager: Position Vacant

Board Members:

Gaynor Dowling
Andrew Dowling
Derek Holvey

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2 Comments on TON PENTRE AFC: AN IMPORTANT LETTER TO OUR SUPPORTERS

  1. Ywain Shakespeare // July 8, 2018 at 10:50 pm // Reply

    Why haven’t the club invested in a 4G pitch? Surely this should be considered not only to improve the surface BUT as a source of income?
    You only have to look at Pentre Park and Cambrians ground -who make anything from £20-27 per hour for just half a pitch! It would be a huge significant step for the community to have a better playing surface all together.

    In my view a complete physical over haul is needed to the site – a fresh dynamic approach must be taken. This requires a steady income which would be in place if the pitch itself was upgraded. You could even set up a six a side league these guys are paying £3 a player just to play a game and run 3/4 days a week for hours. You need to present yourselves as ambitious on the field as well as off, it goes along way when a player plays in a top facility which currently in my honest opinion Ynys Park is lacking. But it has the basis, the history it’s more than a lick of paint needed. It’s from top to toe a fresh approach; ladies sides, holiday clubs, modern facility. Otherwise the unfortunate issue is closer than you might care to think.

    I watch a lot of league action I’ve been to some great grounds the area just needs that fresh facility to take pride in.

  2. Tony Evans // July 8, 2018 at 11:16 pm // Reply

    A 4G pitch would cost in excess of £100k. Money that the club simply doesn’t have. The other pitches you mention were laid by RCT Council, not via private funds. It’s worth recognising that another all weather surface in such close proximity to the others would be a business risk. Note the indoor Sports Yard complex in Treorchy was privately funded and has already closed once/ changed owners. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sound idea, but as of today we need ideas that generate new income not new expenditure. I’m all for ladies clubs, walking football etc, with more volunteers to lead these projects I’m sure we could get them off the ground. Thanks for your input, please feel to join us or feed in other ideas

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