A message from our Chairman

 From the Chairman 

Members, Players and Supporters,

As most would now be aware, the Salisbury United Football Club is about to undertake the biggest change in the club’s history, with the relocation of our entire operation to the Burton Park Football Centre, Waterloo Corner Rd. The move will commence on Sunday the 4th of June, the day after our last game at the current grounds, and will be complete by Friday 30th June. The next senior home game after that will be at the new Steve Jarvis Park, Burton on the 1st July. Junior games and training will continue at the current grounds up until 30th June.

There have been many questions asked since the announcement at the club last Thursday, and the main question is “why?”For those who believe the club is suffering financial difficulties, let me assure you this is far from the truth. The club is traveling well. The main reason is that the club is stagnating with no room to grow, insufficient space for training or playing, no room for women’s teams, and paying out thousands of dollars to other clubs and schools for training venues as we only have one pitch.

Currently our 14 teams train at four different locations throughout the season. Two venues over the summer season (one with no lighting or toilet facilities) and when daylight savings ends we move to grounds with lighting, at an even greater cost to the club. When back at the club, our 11 junior teams share half a pitch for weeknight training, which in itself, is inadequate for the level of football we play.

All this costs the club money (your money) which could otherwise be re-directed back into our own clubs facilities and equipment. For the amount of fees parents pay for their children to play for our club, although one of the lowest in the FFSA, we should at least provide suitable training and playing facilities for these young players to learn our game.

The venue at Burton is relatively new, comprising of 3 full-size floodlit pitches, a large covered grandstand, a function room to seat 200 people, a full industrial kitchen, 6 change rooms, referee room and medical room. This will enable all our teams to train and play in one place all season. We will be able to re-establish our women’s teams and even add to our junior setup. As Michael Carter (CEO, FFSA) put it, the move will transform the Salisbury United Football Club into one of the super clubs of the north.

This decision wasn’t made hastily. The club realised 8 years ago that growth would become a real problem. In 2009 when the Burton complex went out to tender, SUFC put in a strong bid to the Salisbury council, and we truly believed we had a good chance of securing the Burton facility back then. Ultimately the council accepted a bid from FFSA. SUFC went looking at other venues, but with no success. I had many discussions with Bob Bush (the founder of our great club) during this time and he indicated to me on many occasions that if we had to move to survive as a club, then we should move. So when this new opportunity came about – we took it.

The next few weeks will be tough for a lot of people at the club, including myself, and the people that have made the club what it is today. The same people that have done all the hard work at the club over many many years, and there are a lot of us. For most of us, SUFC is our second home. All our kids have grown up here and gone on to play here. We’ve all had our birthdays, engagements, some weddings and even one very important funeral here. There will be lots of stories told in the coming weeks, re-living the great times we’ve had, and there will be lots of tears.

If we stay at our current location, in a not too distant future, this will all become a memory. Something we will only talk about. When we move to the new Steve Jarvis Park, there will still be a Salisbury United. We will talk about the old days and look at the old pictures, but we will have a bright future. One that we can work together on, stand united, grow and succeed.

We need everyone that has had anything to do with our great club to come to the last game, stay afterwards, reminisce and celebrate into the night with current and past players, members and lifelong supporters as we say goodbye to our old clubrooms and send it out in style.

Senior game times on Saturday June 3rd are Under 18s 11am, Reserves 1pm & 1st Team 3pm.

Duncan Burns
SUFC Chairman