Posted: 04.06.20 at 18:45 by The Editor
Ashby Ivanhoe FC chairman Stuart Bonser says the club have used the suspension of football due to the Coronavirus lockdown to make progress even quicker than planned.
The Lower Packington Road-based club this week confirmed their status as a Community Interest Company.
Ivanhoe have also brought new faces to the club as they aim to achieve their immediate ambitions.
Stuart admits Ivanhoe would have put their plans into place this year - but says they used have used the break productively.
New turnstiles have been installed recently.
Stuart admits there are bigger concerns at the moment with the pandemic that has hit so many people.
But he says Ivanhoe have not stopped working during the past 10 weeks.
He said: “We are making positive inroads, we have plans in place to hopefully purchase the ground and develop into the wider community.
“There’s been a demand for more teams this year. Again it’s on the increase.
“It’s testament to all the people involved you’ve got the passion they have to want to continue to drive the football club forward.
“Especially when you’ve got an outlet that involves a lot of children and families from the area, For social reasons and health reasons as well.
“But the more people that move into the town, the more they will be looking for their children to have something to do.
“This break has given us plenty of time to move projects that we were moving before, but we’ve had significantly more time to focus people’s energy and make it happen quicker.”
Stuart adds the development has not stopped despite the lack of action on the field.
He said: “There will be more announcements to follow, we are blessed in that we’ve got volunteers putting their hands up to do stuff and it has been set up a Community Interest Company which is there to broaden community involvement and get more people associated with the club, whether that be as a supporter, player or from a social perspective.
“But the flip side of this wanting to move forwards is it everyone else is on lockdown. The grants that we were able to tap into, have all of a sudden shut down.
“We are having to work a little bit harder to put these plans in place, but the business plan we’ve got in place supports the purchase and redevelopment of the ground.
“We are being careful about the word development, because people might think we are building things, but we’re not.”
He feels Ivanhoe have a lot to contribute to the area.
And he added: “It’s a really positive thing for the town, Ashby is blessed with a lot of good sports clubs, there are lots of things for people to do, so the move the more we can improve our facilities the better.
“We have put a formal offer in to buy the ground and we’re just waiting now for a decision on that.
“We are making plans and hoping that the season will start again when it normally does, we are trying to book friendlies and organise games as best we can.
“It’s been one of those seasons that you couldn’t write, it was one of the wettest winters on record so we could hardly play with numerous games getting cancelled.
“I know that the sun has been out, and nobody can play because of the virus, but there are more important things than football.”