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As the coronavirus emergency continues to affect us all, COLFC’s community operation remains focused upon providing support to the isolated and vulnerable. Working with donations from members, supporters and sponsors, our Purple Pantry Food Union continues to provide weekly food parcels delivered by our team of volunteer drivers. In addition, we have begun a fund to purchase PPE for care home workers and other workers left scandalously short of these essential items. The first purchase will be made this week and our volunteers will then distribute PPE to workers in need. To date, Purple Pantry fund raising now stands at £3200, with individual contributions of £500 and £100 topping up many smaller, but equally as valued, donations.
While football is no longer part of our weekly routine, the AGM is an essential part of the club’s operations. With restrictions on gatherings quite rightly still in place, COLFC’s AGM moved online, with a combination on online votes and discussions held via Zoom. It’s fair to say that the technology worked well, with members staying online for over an hour after the conclusion of the formal business of the meeting to discuss all things purple.
In the election of members to the board of directors, three retiring directors (Paul Manning, Peter Furmedge and Cathy Long) were re-elected to the board for a further three-year term. The fourth retiring director, Peter Manning, was not seeking re-election and will be standing down from his role as Club Secretary. Peter received many well deserved words of gratitude from those members present. In addition, Gary Walthew was also elected to the board. Gary oversees the club’s fundraising efforts, in particular Pingo and Last Partisan Standing – both of which have continued to generate much needed revenue during this unscheduled close season. Matchgoing supporters will know Gary as one of our regular Golden Goal sellers.
A full report from the AGM will be circulated to members in due course and further online Zoom meetings are planned. The technology is relatively straight forward and accessible to anyone with a smart phone, laptop or tablet. Once the app is installed it is simply a case of clicking the link in your invitation email and the rest will take care of itself. If you need any help with this, one of the club geeks will be available to help.
While we still have absolutely no idea about when football at our level will resume, planning for pre-season has continued. Following on from the announcement of a pre-season friendly with FC United of Manchester at their Broadhurst Park community stadium, we are now able to announce further fixtures that will give supporters some good football to look forward to. COLFC will once again be playing 1874 Northwich, another community owned club. We are awaiting confirmation if this will again be for the NWCFL Champions Challenge Cup, which would make this game the third cup final in three meetings between the clubs and our third Champions Cup Final in four years.
In addition, a match has been agreed with St Helens Town, another club that supporters will be familiar with from our days in the NWCFL. St Helens Town have an illustrious history – winning the FA Vase in 1987, being the legendary Bert Trautman’s first senior club, and being ever present in the NWCFL top division from its formation in 1982 until relegation, courtesy of an injury time equaliser, in 2015. Ordinarily we would be looking forward to a pleasant summer’s evening at this match, but who knows? This could be a mid-winter “big coats” game!
In other match related news, the FA competitions, from County FA senior cups, to the Vase, Trophy and FA Cup itself, remain suspended rather than cancelled. This means that there is still an intention to complete the Liverpool FA Senior Cup, which includes our postponed semi-final against Bootle and a potential final against either Tranmere Rovers or Southport. Also, despite the league season being null and void, this means that our victory against Everton remains on the record. We will keep members updated with any developments as we remain in the hunt for our first ever Senior Cup.
While such football talk will hopefully provide a welcome distraction from events surrounding the coronavirus, and the government’s ongoing refusal to drop the subliminal (and not so subliminal) “nudge” messaging in favour of clear and honest information and instructions, we remain deep in a crisis in which England’s death toll is emerging as Europe’s worst. As such, we continue to urge you to continue to look after yourselves and your loved ones by following the strictest guidance on social distancing and the isolation of our vulnerable elders, those with disabilities and those with health conditions.
Hopefully, we will soon be able to see the beginning of the end of the current crisis. In the meantime please watch out for our updates and help us to spread the word through sharing our messages on your social media.
COLFC sends solidarity and support to the essential workers that are keeping us afloat through this crisis and fully supports the conditions laid down by the National Education Union and the RMT union to enable a return to work only when it is safe to do so.
COLFC Board of Directors