The United We Stand 2020 scheme was launched at the end of August as a cri de coeur to our marvellous supporters, a plea for help to fill some of the huge financial gap caused by Covid-19.
The response from our fans to this request has been simply magnificent, indeed humbling. To have so far raised over £42,000 from 490 supporters is just tremendous. Every SUFC Board Member extends his and her heartfelt thanks to every single person who has donated to the scheme. Every penny raised is helping us to navigate through the current troubled times.
The United We Stand 2020 lapel pins and the list of contributors on the website have very much become a lasting symbol of the times we are currently living through and define what our special club is all about. Never more have we demonstrated how much we really are “in it together”. Superb.
There have been some really heart-warming back stories attached to so many of the donations: whether you were the boy who decided to spend his pocket money on the scheme; the person who totted up how much he would have spent at games and at the bar had he been allowed in the stadium and decided to donate that sum; the lady who calculated how much she had saved by not going out so much or away on holiday during Lockdown and put that sum into the scheme in recognition of how important the “Sutton family” was to her; the guys who donated back their winnings from other club schemes; the multitude of people who put aside a monthly sum to help and set up standing orders accordingly; those who live far away but for whom Sutton United is still an important part of their lives ( we've had donations from thirteen different countries across the world!); or whether you are one of so many, many people who just put their hands in their pocket to help despite themselves having less disposable income as a result of this pandemic; whatever the story behind your donation we salute and thank you all. Wear that badge of honour with considerable pride!
The first of the five weekly prize draws took place last Saturday - congratulations to Peter Mitchell, our first winner, who chose a replica away shirt. The remaining four weekly draws will take place over the coming four Saturdays.
Details of the Government financial support package to National League Clubs covering the next three months have now been presented to all its members - the sum granted is designed to help clubs replace the myriad of lost income sources caused by having to play matches behind closed doors. This news has obviously been very gratefully received by Sutton United and will be a tremendous help to our operation for the next quarter.
Our club now relies on income coming in through a multitude of activities other than just via match day revenue of course, most of which have been seriously curtailed for the foreseeable future and the current restrictions in place just further highlight that problem. We are therefore very mindful that there will still be much work to do and a gap to fill to enable the club to continue its terrific progress over the past few seasons. That is why the United We Stand 2020 initiative is so important to the club at this time and further demonstrates how our supporters are very much the lifeblood of the club.
The scheme remains open for donations to anyone still wanting to become a part of it; let's see if we can get all 500 limited edition pin badges out there and proudly worn - just ten to go to get to that figure!
The team has made an excellent start to the new National League season on the pitch too which, of course, is great news. However; we are all very much missing our wonderful supporters - here's hoping it won't be too long before we are all back together, cheering on the team in the stadium when circumstances allow. That is what this club is all about.
Thank you very much to Jason Reynolds and to Phil Tattersall for running the United We Stand 2020 scheme so passionately (and for also donating Amazon fire tablets as additional prizes); thanks also to Steve Grant for putting together such a user-friendly web booking page and to Martin Feltham for the creative socials campaign.
Keep supporting, keep safe and we look forward to seeing you “back home” at Gander Green Lane very soon. Thank you again. United We Stand.