Mossley call on local community to help improve Seel Park
Tuesday 13th June 2017 @ 14:40 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Mossley Football Club is calling on the local community to help improve Seel Park.

Having missed out on a £50,000 bursary courtesy of the Buildbase Renovation Programme, the club is now relying on the help of local groups, individuals and businesses to give Seel Park a much-needed revamp.

The Lilywhites progressed to the final stage of the competition, which was open to all clubs competing in the FA Vase and FA Trophy competitions, but fell just short despite giving an impassioned speech to a panel of adjudicators at Wembley Stadium in April.

Cleethorpes Town and Hanwell Town were the winners of the competition, and both clubs will now share the £100k product bursary for club improvements.

Having missed out on a life-changing amount of money, Mossley will now have to redirect their efforts into galvanising the local community to help with their mission.

Matthew Hayton, a new committee member at the club, is hoping for a big response. Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “The Buildbase bursary would have gone towards improving the changing rooms at Seel Park, which need to be done to meet league regulations.

“We’re having to think about things a bit differently now. We’re looking towards local businesses to either donate materials, time or skills in order to help us achieve it ourselves.

“We already have some plans on how we can make improvements to the changing rooms.”

With average home crowds of 158 last season – the second lowest in the Evo-Stik First Division North – the task of motivating the local community isn’t particularly easy.

However, having been a regular face at Seel Park since he was eight years old, Matthew feels compelled to give the club a helping hand. He said: “I’ve been watching Mossley for a long time, and it got to the point last season where I could see things not quite going right on the field, but I also saw the same off the field as well.

Peter Band, alongside Lloyd Morrison, will take control of the Lilywhites for a fifth campaign.

“I just wanted to make a difference basically, along with a number of other people.”

Although frustrations forced him to act, Matthew reiterated just how important the volunteers are at the club.

In fact, he considers them the lifeblood of Mossley. “You can never get frustrated with the amount of effort the volunteers put in, but I just wanted to help out in some way” he said.

“No matter how good or bad it ever got on the pitch, I was never frustrated about things off the pitch particularly.

“My frustration stems from trying to get people out of the pub, off the sofa and into the ground to watch some real, live football.

“There’s a group of us now who want to help those that have been doing it for years, and the more people who get involved with our aim, the more the club will prosper.”

The three representatives from Mossley, who pitched their idea at Wembley Stadium in April.

In a bid to spread their image to a wider community, the club has become far more active on social media lately.

Matthew is one of the volunteers spearheading this drive. He said: “We’re becoming more prominent on social media, so we’re making a bigger effort to use our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“We’re trying to do things beyond football, such as using the club house and hosting cup finals at the end of the season.”

Mossley also provide their facilities to various groups throughout the week.

What’s more, the club is open to hosting various functions throughout year – whether that be weddings, birthdays or christenings.

Although the club is currently looking at different ways to raise revenue, Matthew maintained the belief that, in order for the club to prosper, average crowds will need to increase next season. He said: “Ultimately, the more people that come through the gates next season, the better we will be financially.

“We need the average crowds to increase – and hopefully that will happen with some of the ticket initiatives we’ve launched – but we also need people to donate their time to help out with maintenance at Seel Park.

“General clean-ups range from weeding, digging and filling in holes, to actual pitch work.

“If it’s feasible, we’re thinking of opening the club shop. At the moment it’s used for a different purpose, although in the past it was a really good shop.

“Every pound really does make a difference, and the team will benefit from it.”

The club’s ticket prices for the forthcoming season

As far as ticket pricing goes, children up to the age of 16 can gain entry free of charge, while students (16-18) can get a season ticket for £25.

Those who take advantage of the early bird season ticket offer, which ends on Saturday 1 July, can gain free entry to all the pre-season friendlies in the forthcoming months.

Matthew is hoping that the promotional package will be met with a huge uptake in interest.

This, he says, will give the club a solid footing ahead of the 2017/18 season. He added: “Match sponsorship is looking good for next season, but we need to have every level of sponsorship filled out each match.

“It costs from £15 for our most basic match advertisement in the programme, all the way up to sponsoring the game at about £35 per person.

“What you get for that price is pretty good value. It includes a meal, a free bar, a signed ball, and you also get to meet the players.”

The club has also secured sponsorship for next season, prompting a message of thanks from Matthew. “We’ve just got our main club sponsor on board for next season, Warmco Properties, and they’ve just signed up for another year which is massive for us.

“They’re the main club sponsor, so they have shirt sponsorship, signage around the ground, and match day sponsorship as well.

“On behalf of the club, I’d like to say a massive thank you for their continued support.”

Those interested in helping the club, either through volunteering or making a donation, should contact Matthew on the following email address: [email protected]