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20 Jan 2022 : Chairman's Update - Week 52

A year of updates

With this being update number 52, that makes a whole year of Chairman's Updates. It's been a very busy year, we've made some great progress and made some mistakes, I feel we have learned lessons from all our mistakes and issues and the club is in a much better place now. We won't be resting on our laurels though and we will be doing everything we can to make the club even better.

Men's Team

It was a disappointing defeat against City of Liverpool in Ellesmere Port, the lads gave it their all, but it just wasn't to be. We are still in the play off places and the dynamic at the top of the table has changed again with Workington taking over from Marine at the summit.

We now have two very tough away games coming up. First up is Ramsbottom on Saturday which is always a tough place to go, followed by our rearranged fixture at Colne on the Tuesday. They are both going to be real tests with wins cementing our place in the play offs and I'm sure the lads will be right up for it.

Development Team

New manager Dean Vian took charge of his first game along with Gibbo on Sunday and it was a tough game to start with as they travelled to table toppers 1874 Northwich U21 and were just edged out by 1 goal to nil. There are definite signs of improvement with the team and I'm confident they'll do enough to stay in the higher league. The development team isn't really about wins and is more about performances and developing talent for the first team and Dean is the perfect coach to take that on.

Their next game is away at Stalybridge Celtic U21s at St Damian's RC Science College in Ashton-Under-Lyne (OL6 8BH) on Sunday 23rd January at 2pm.

ESPFA Academy

Ste Chaney's Academy team took on Brighouse Town at the APEC Taxis Stadium and ran out 3-0 winners, that continues their 100% start to the season. Their next game is against Skelmersdale United in the North Cup at the APEC Taxis Stadium on Thursday 3rd February at 12pm.

In other Academy news, the ESPFA academy have relocated their classroom and training activities away from the APEC Taxis Stadium. This was following discussions between the club and the ESPFA in regards to maintaining the pitch and avoiding excessive use. I would like to thank the ESPFA for their understanding and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone. They will still be representing Runcorn Linnets and playing all home games at the APEC Taxis Stadium.

Board Appointments

As many of you will have seen, our newly elected board members Jack Walsh, Brendan Connolly and Paul Riley officially took up their Directorships by attending their first Trust Board meeting. At the same meeting we appointed Kel Hoose as Treasurer and co-opted him onto the board along with Paul Eastup. It's great to be able to add such expertise and experience to the board and I'm absolutely delighted that Paul has agreed to return as I was very sorry to see him go in the first place.

I believe we now have the strongest board in the club's history, and we will now be concentrating on taking the club forward.

AGM Update

Some progress has been made with processing the club accounts, Paul Eastup has worked really hard with them and should be in a position to send them over to our Accountants by the end of the month. We have stayed in contact with the Football Supporters Association throughout and Kel Hoose has been in contact with the Financial Conduct Authority about extending the deadline for submission of the accounts with the annual return and we are confident that this will be granted.

We anticipate that we will be able to hold the AGM before the end of March and will update everyone once we are able to confirm a date. I would once again like to apologise for the delay in holding the AGM and thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Thank you for reading.

Dave Jones

Runcorn Linnets FC - Chairman

18 Jan 2022 : Club chairman and deputy re-elected by Trust Board

Last night's meeting of the Trust Board at Runcorn Linnets FC saw the reappointments of three club officials for another 12 months.

Dave Jones and Peter Cartledge, continue as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively - both re-elected unopposed as part of the annual review of roles.

Meanwhile, Dave Bettley stays as Trust secretary at the invitation of the Board.

Two existing external co-options were extended for another year - Nick Woods from the Junior Executive Committee continues as junior liaison officer while James Sidwell is reappointed in his financial role.

The Board also confirmed the appointments of two new externally co-opted members.

Kel Hoose returns to thie Board as treasurer, succeeding Dave Jones in this position, while club vice-president and former club secretary/vice-chairman Paul Eastup is co-opted as part of the finance team.

The three new Board members successful in the recent elections - Bren Connolly, Paul Riley and Jack Walsh - attended the first meeting since taking up their directorships.

All new board members were welcomed and wished every success.

An update was given on the processing of club accounts for the delayed Annual General Meeting.

Some progress has been made with this. The club has continued discussions with the Football Supporters Association (FSA) and remains confident that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will agree to extend the deadline for submission of accounts with the Annual Return.

The club is still working towards arranging the 2021 AGM and liaising with club accountants Burton Beavan.

We would now anticipate that the meeting will be in mid to late March.

The Board will, of course, further update Trust members in due course and thanks everyone for their patience and understanding in this matter.

13 Jan 2022 : Chairman's Update - Week 51

Men's Team

We continued our recent good form with a comprehensive 7-0 win over Kendal Town at the APEC on Saturday. It was a brilliant performance that was a culmination of all the hard work Calum and his team have put in over the last few months and I think you could see it coming with the performances we've put in recently.

The win put us firmly in the play-off positions and I think we'll have a good idea of where we are at the end of this month. It's certainly an exciting time to be a Linnets fan.

Next, we travel to Ellesmere Port to take on City of Liverpool and considering the thrilling 3-3 draw at home last year, it should be a cracker.

Linnets Ladies

The Ladies returned to action at the APEC Taxis Stadium against Alder FC Women with a 2-2 draw. This draw ended a tough run of league defeats so hopefully is a sign that the team is heading in the right direction. I took in some of Toddy's training session this week and I was very impressed by the effort they were putting in.

Next up for the Ladies is another home game against Didsbury FC Ladies on Sunday 23rd January at 2pm.

Development Team

We have appointed Dean Vian as Development Team manager for the rest of the season. Dean has a good pedigree as a coach, having worked with Chester Women and the Chester Academy and he was recommended by Calum, so there will be a good working relationship between them. Gibbo will work with Dean for a while to ensure there is a good handover period.

Gibbo is handing over a very good crop of young players and I'm excited to see what Dean can do with them.

Following the Christmas break their next game is against 1874 Northwich U21 on Sunday 16th January at Moss Farm Leisure Complex and kicks off at 4pm.

ESPFA Academy Team

The Academy team returned from their Christmas break and showed no signs of any rustiness as Ste Chaney's lads ran out 10-2 winners against Witton Albion on Thursday. That now makes it seven wins out of seven to start the league season as well as another win in the cup. It has been a remarkable start for the lads and hopefully it will continue.

Their next game is at the APEC Taxis Stadium on Thursday 20th January at 12pm against Brighouse Town. The gates will be open and anyone is welcome to attend and cheer the lads on.

Thank you for reading.

Dave Jones

Runcorn Linnets FC - Chairman

06 Jan 2022 : Chairman's Update - Week 50

Let me begin by wishing you all a very Happy New Year, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, I know I enjoyed New Year's Day!

Men's Team

On New Year's Day the lads recovered from going a goal down in the very first minute against 1874 Northwich, with a goal from Lloyd Marsh-Hughes to take us in level at half time and a late beauty from the brilliant Iwan Murray after 1874 went down to 10 men. It was a hard fought but deserved win, which took us in to the play off positions and was a great way to follow up wins over Widnes and Prescot Cables. Nine points out of nine is a tremendous return under any circumstances but given how short of players we have been and the lack of training, Calum and the lads have been amazing.

We followed up our New Year's Day win with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Winsford in the Cheshire Senior Cup. I think you can see from the team that Calum named that he is serious about the Cheshire Senior Cup, and it is a cup I would love to see us win.

Linnets Ladies

After a long break, the Ladies are finally back in action when they take on Alder FC Women at the APEC Taxis Stadium on Sunday 9th January at 2pm. It's free entry for all and it would be good to see as many of you there as possible.

Joe Young

As you've already probably seen by now Joe Young has returned to Wolves. I think Joe has been exceptional for us in recent months and I hope that we have helped in his development. Wolves have recalled him as his initial loan expired and despite our best efforts to keep him, they have other plans for him. I would like to thank Wolves for allowing Joe to join the Linnets and trusting us to look after him.

Good luck for the future Joe.

Fan Behaviour

Let me start by saying I am absolutely delighted at not only the increase in attendances but the improvement in the atmosphere both home and away. It is something we've wanted to improve for a long time, and I know Calum and the lads absolutely love the support.

That being said, I have to say I am concerned at the recent use at pyrotechnics. People may think they are harmless and help generate an atmosphere but if things go wrong, they can cause serious injury. It is quite simply illegal to take them into a football stadium and there can be serious repercussions for those who do so and for the club they support.

Anyone found with a smoke bomb, flare or any other prohibited items in the APEC Taxis Stadium will be removed from the ground and banned indefinitely.

I do not want to ban anybody from watching the Linnets, however it is my job to protect the image of this football club and that is exactly what I will do. We want the fans to create an atmosphere to cheer the lads on, but it must be done safely and be respectful of fellow fans.

Thank you for reading.

Dave Jones

Runcorn Linnets FC - Chairman

02 Jan 2022 : Match Safety Statement

Our support this season, both home and away, has been incredible, thankyou. As you are most probably aware, we are seeing an increase in the use of flares / smoke bombs and fireworks (Pyrotechnics) across football, at all levels of the pyramid. Additionally, the Club have been advised that there are video's and photographs circulating online which appear to show the use of pyrotechnics at Runcorn Linnets matches.

To ensure the safety of all supporters visiting the APEC Taxis Stadium, please see some guidance below from the FA and Sports Ground Safety Agency (SGSA) regarding the use of pyrotechnics at football matches in England.

Pyrotechnics are illegal at football grounds.

Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985. Any person committing such an offence faces arrest and can expect the Court to make a Football Banning Order.

The Club could also be fined as a result.

Thank you again for your amazing support this season and a Happy New Year.

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