Welcome to tonight’s game against Torquay United. All being well, it will be our first home game since the 5th January, after the late postponement due to the frozen pitch when we were due to play Barnet.

Torquay, under the irrepressible Gary Johnson, are having a brilliant season and sit at the top of the table, with every chance of achieving automatic promotion.

It’s also a huge pleasure to especially welcome back Danny Wright who was a brilliant servant to the club and someone for whom I have the greatest respect.

As I mentioned in my last notes, a look at the league table tells only part of the story and doesn’t reflect the significant imbalance between our games played at home and away - we now have five home games in hand!

Based on our impressive results at home this season, we should be optimistic that we can pick up a healthy points haul and move into the play-off positions. Tonight will be a significant test of these ambitions.

Since my last notes, the continuation of the season has been clarified, at least for now, and the National League will continue and the North and South will not.

These are undoubtedly complex issues to resolve but I would like to place on the record this club’s thanks to the Board of the National League in trying to look after the interests of the whole league and to finding an equitable solution. Whilst I do not necessarily agree with the Board on every issue, I do not doubt the integrity and professionalism with which they try to serve the best interests of the League, in a largely no-win situation.

For me, the root fault remains with the government in moving its position and withdrawing its support for the continuation of grant funding whilst the National League is ‘behind closed doors’.

Had we known at the outset of the season that this support would be withdrawn after three months, then I don’t believe the season would have started.

Clubs are now in the worst of all worlds and I still hope the government will reverse its position.

The decision to continue the season now brings a new set of problems. Dover have already indicated that they will not complete the season without further financial support, and it is likely other clubs will follow.

Whilst I have sympathy for this position, I do not think any club can unilaterally decide not to fulfil fixtures and, accordingly, I think there have to be proportionate penalties for such clubs. Otherwise, they are gaining a financial advantage in a season where there is no longer relegation, and they are also negatively impacting the integrity of the competition for the remaining clubs.

In the bigger picture, this is the third season I have been Chairman of your club. After the amazing exploits in 2018/19, last season was a missed opportunity as Covid forced the early conclusion and now this season is similarly being disrupted. Whilst we still have much to play for, I can’t wait to get back to a normal season - let’s hope this is in 2021/22! And dare we dream that we might be in the EFL!

The impact of Covid has caused all of us to reappraise our priorities.

For me, it has reinforced my focus on the importance of supporting the local community and reenergised our ambition to make Moors a best-in-class community focused charitable foundation and community-based football club.

I make no apology for repeating some of my previous notes as it is imperative the whole club gets behind the Moors 4’s and our desire to raise £1m for a new community centre.

So here goes again!

Our plan is now to accelerate the expansion of our charitable activities, through the Solihull Moors Foundation, both from the stadium and within the local community and schools.

We are launching an ambitious and exciting plan to raise £1m by June to build a new community and education hub at the ground.

The building will be a purpose designed two-storey c1500 square metre community and education centre within the footprint of the football stadium.

The fundraise will also enable the Foundation to put in place people and resources to operate the centre, develop our on-site education and expand our community outreach and schools’ programmes within the framework of a sustainable financial platform for the next three to five years.

The centrepiece of the fundraising will be the Moors 4’s event in June this year.

Please click HERE for more information but, most of all, let’s all commit to contributing to raising the £1m and to expending every effort to promote the event and encourage everyone to give generously to a fantastic project which really will make a positive contribution to our local community.

Everyone at the club is participating - staff, players, directors and shareholders. Let’s make it a mass participation event and raise the £1m!

We can and will be a best-in-class community football club!

Finally, I’m conscious in these unprecedented times we can’t have the normal fans fora. In the meantime, I’m very happy to address any specific questions that you have - please email Luke Turner (luke.turner@solihullmoorsfc.co.uk) and I will address in my future programme notes.

Best wishes,

Darryl