It is a privilege to release this New Year message as the new Co-op Chair, especially with County so well placed in League Two. I would like to thank Pete Towey, the outgoing Chair and Caz Burt, our former Independent Secretary, who have both been long standing Co-op stalwarts with over 10 years of service each. They can be proud of their achievements. We welcome Cath Shanley, our new Independent Secretary and Ed Chadwick on to the new board.
The Co-op can look back on an exciting year. We have completed a two-year project to commission and fundraise £55,000 for a statue of our legendary former manager, Danny Bergara. Award winning sculpture Hannah Stewart was appointed in June 2022 with work commencing that September. The statue was unveiled on 8th May 2023 at our final league game of the season against Hartlepool, by the Uruguayan Ambassador, César Rodríguez Zavalla.
We are very proud to have honoured Danny and are delighted by how well the statue has been received by the Bergara family and the County fanbase. The Co-op would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has supported the fundraising effort for the statue.
It has been wonderful to support the local community, with the County support responding magnificently to our appeal for donations of food and toiletries for the Chelwood Food Bank against Wrexham and donations for the Wellspring homeless charity and resource centre against Sutton United, with over £1,000 collected.
Sponsorship of the Community Foundation Flag Bearer scheme has been extended into a second year. This initiative enables 16 members of a junior football club and 2 coaches to attend each home game, welcome the County team onto the pitch and watch the game from the Together Stand. As well as helping the Club build the fanbase, the Co-op receives exposure with our logo on the scoreboard and announcements over the tannoy.
The priority of the new Co-op board as we go into 2024 is to increase the membership of the Co-op by 40% and we have set an initial target of 350 members, by the end of the year. It is vital to ensure that the Co-op is more representative of the County fanbase, to provide us with a stronger voice when talking to the Club.
To help achieve our objective of increasing membership numbers, the Co-op will be focusing on a series of events, a consultation exercise, incentives to join the Co-op and the launch of a new marketing communications strategy.
A meeting with the County directors is planned for Monday 29th January, questions can be submitted via email - email@example.com before noon on Wednesday 24 January and a full report will be provided.
On Wednesday 31st January, we are joined by County legends Oshor Williams and Tommy Sword at Stockport Gin on St Petersgate. Prices are £5 for Co-op members and £10 for non-members. Book your tickets at https://www.stockport-gin.com/pages/stockport-county-supporters-night. Further events with Tony Dinning and Danny Lloyd are planned, with many more to be scheduled.
Membership is £12 for adults, £3 for 16 to 25 year olds and just £1 for under 16’s. If you are not a member, please join the Co-op: https://webcollect.org.uk/coop/subscription
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all County fans and their family a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
Dave Marchbank – Co-op Chair