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Friday 12 June 2009
What's happening at Kingsmeadow - #4

Terry Brown has been on holiday this week but that hasnít stopped him making progress on signing a player. A midfielder has agreed terms and is expected to sign early next week Ė but a deal is never certain until it is finally signed. Meanwhile, our bid for another midfielder is moving ahead slowly. We are close to an agreement and hope it will be resolved soon, but probably not next week.

Season ticket sales are now in excess of 2,150 and while the rate of applications has decreased they are still rolling in. It became clear early this week that nominations for the Tempest End were so high that all the available spaces would be taken, once unsuccessful seat applicants took their places. Therefore, we have started a waiting list as some people donít get a seat will choose the John Smith stand.

We have had to make a change to the direct debit arrangements. Because we were offering monthly payments, we were caught by the legislation and required a licence from the Office of Fair Trading. Our application has been delayed and so we have had to change our approach. We are allowed, legally, to take payment in four instalments and so we are in the process of writing to fans who completed the direct debit forms to explain the options.

Fans who applied for seats to be paid for by direct debit will keep their place in the queue but until we have completed the seat allocation process we wonít be able to tell them how much they need to pay. We expect to have contacted everyone affected by this change in the next couple of weeks. We are sorry if this creates problems for anyone. In the meantime, we will continue with our application and aim to introduce monthly payments for the 2010-2011 season.

In the stadium, the improved terracing at the Kingston Road End is now complete and ready for use. As we have previously explained, until the new turnstiles are implemented we will need to allocate some or all of the KR end to away fans.

We are also exploring ways of complying with a ground grading requirement that we currently donít meet, namely that the distance between the touchline and the pitchside barrier must be at least 2.25 metres; we fall short on one side of the pitch. One possible solution is to move the touchline closer to the John Smith stand, since the gap at that side is greater than the minimum, but we currently favour replacing the ďA boardsĒ in front of the Paul Strank stand with a barrier that has a smaller width at its base. That will free up the extra 30 cms that we need.

Meanwhile, there are lots of operational matters going on in the background. These include making changes to match day tickets so that areas of the ground are colour coded. At present, the colour of a terrace ticket indicates whether it is for an adult, concession or U16. In future, the type of ticket will be marked on its face. A similar scheme will apply to season ticket books to make it easier to identify which part of the ground they apply to.

And finally, we have now published the first pre-season friendly, which is against Wycombe, and are working on the midweek game that follows immediately after it.