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The future ?

By geemickey8/9 09:40Tue Sep 8 09:40:45 2020

Views: 332

In a borough the size of Harrow, does anyone wonder why the club rarely attracts a crowd in excess of 200 ?

Surely that is well below break-even level for the club ?

People cite changed local demographics, but plenty of Asian lads like and play football. They show no interest.

Shortage of vital volunteers to make ideas 'happen' may be a problem - but what is done to attract volunteers ?

No doubt there are numerous causes of low-level interest - others will have their own ideas.

How long can the club go on relying on the financial generosity of a diminishing number of (ageing) committed people ?

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Re: The future ?

By harrowred (RedHarrow)8/9 11:31Tue Sep 8 11:31:06 2020In response to The future ?Top of thread

Views: 279

I have thought about this before. I’ve thought about how there is over 250K people in the Borough of Harrow. We struggle to attract 0.1% of those people. We’re also right on the border of Ealing and Hillingdon. There’s plenty of potential fans.

I think partly it’s a lack of knowledge. If the ground was in Harrow Town centre and people passed it on trains and buses all day long then that would automatically spike people’s intrigue.

I think it’s mainly due to a lack of community interactions. I say this in terms of community coaching, there are no youth teams, no in school coaching/links. That’s where Wealdstone win the battle. I know this would be a huge commitment for the club to start up but in the long run it may well bear fruit.

If you had 10 youth teams from u8-U18, that would put the club name out around the Borough on Sunday mornings. It would also mean probably 150-200 youth players signed. They could all be given a free season ticket as part of joining a team. If they then wanted to go, they’d more than likely be taken by an accompanying paying adult. Plus we all know kids want drinks and food when they go to a match. More money into the tea bar. They could be given club training kit to wear around town.

If the club hired some sports coaches and branded it Harrow Borough in the Community and sent them into schools to do some after school or lunchtime coaching links would be made. Earlsmead Primary would be a great start. Any child that attended an after school club could be given a free season ticket. Speciality Saturday morning coaching sessions could take place on the Earlsmead pitch. £5 a head. Lots of ways to engage.

However this would take a monumental effort to start up and maintain. It could lead to nowhere, but it could also be the start of something to help the club.

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Re: The future ?

By Boro Loyal8/9 11:45Tue Sep 8 11:45:54 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 291

As a FA coach myself I believe that your idea is fantastic, definitely something for the club to think about. Having a youth set up would be brilliant as it would put the club out there in the community as well as possibly bringing in first team players for the future. By offering a academy we could even get local businesses to sponsor them which will bring money into the club, providing a new revenue stream. Top work mate

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Re: The future ?

By harrowred (RedHarrow)8/9 13:11Tue Sep 8 13:11:13 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 265

Another idea could be a youth tournament held at Earlsmead. You could set up 4 pitches (1/4 of the main pitch each) and host a 6 a side tournament in each corner for different age ranges. Most youth football tournaments at Wealdstone, Ruislip Rangers, St Josephs etc cost between £30-40 to enter a team. You could definitely have 4 groups of 5 Or 6 teams playing group games followed by knockout rounds. Have the bar and tea bar open. It’s last probably 3 hours depending how you ran it but would probably bring in a decent chunk of revenue and also open peoples eyes to the facilities and club in the area.

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Re: The future ?

By Boro Loyal8/9 13:31Tue Sep 8 13:31:42 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 263

Another great shout! Wouldn't mind us getting into women's football too, that side of the sport is going really fast so we must capitalize on the opportunity.

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Re: The future ?

By harrowexcile8/9 10:35Tue Sep 8 10:35:05 2020In response to The future ?Top of thread

Views: 266

Hi. I was very interested in reading this thread from geemickey. I used to live on the corner of Carlton Avenue/Earlsmead and was therefore a regular supporter of Harrow Town (as the were in those days) and also a member of the social club. I'm sure that the following was a lot more in those days. Now I have to rely on reading the reports on this website and can see exactly the point that geemickey is making. It must be very disappointing for those people who put in a lot of time and effort into the club.

Tony

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Re: The future ?

By Terence8/9 12:39Tue Sep 8 12:39:12 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 272

Hello Tony Harrowexile Hope Things Are Good Out West!
Yes Interesting What You Say When I First Watched Boro in 1975 Going With Dad We Could See The Top Of The Floodlights From a Top Floor Bedroom In Our House In South Ruislip and Dad Said He Thought It Maybe Brentford!
But Luckily He Found Out From a Work Colleague at Eastern Carpets That It Was Harrow Borough!
To Be Honest Even When Had The Glory Days Of 83-84 Apart From Telford Semi When We Had Over 2000 For That 2nd Leg 350-400 Was The Usual Crowd.
I Was Told Off The Record That 300 is Like a Break Even Figure.
To Attract Fans You Need a Winning Team On The Pitch.
Nothing Succeeds Like Success.
Youth Set Ups and Alike Take a Big Effort Timewise and Possibly Financially.
One Idea Ive Put Forward To a Director Would Be To Have Naming Rights To The Stadium Keeping Earlsmead Name Part Of It That Would Be a Start.
But You Need To Get a Culture Of Winning On and Off The Pitch Market Better Yes In The Old Days We Had The Harrow Observer Of Course Doing That With Reports. Possibly Now Make Use Of Internet.
Our Website Not The Best Maybe An Area To Look Into.
Im Not a Marketing Expert But I Can Paint Houses!
Also Engage More With The Ethnic Communities In Harrow Maybe Do This With Harrow Council.
Im An Ethnic Myself Being One Of The London Irish!

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Re: The future ?

By geemickey8/9 15:14Tue Sep 8 15:14:52 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 248

I wanted to start a debate and it seems to be working !

It is already clear there is no shortage of good ideas - just a scarcity of people to implement them.

Which comes first - the ideas or the volunteers ? Definitely the volunteers - so how do we recruit them ?

At a club which I follow, I know of people who used to do jobs for the club but they were shown so little
appreciation, or even thanks, that they stopped. They are being won back now.
That is not the case at Harrow. I believe the club highly values its volunteer helpers but there are just too few of 'em.

Writing cheques is all very well and necessary but it may not be sustainable.

Something needs to change, maybe starting with volunteer recruitment - the more you have the less will be the
time & work burden on each of them.

Edited by geemickey at 15:16:24 on 8th September 2020

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Re: The future ?

By Terence8/9 16:11Tue Sep 8 16:11:45 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 247

Hello GeeMickey Thanks For Your Contribution.
I Suppose in This Fast Moving "Modern World"
It's Really Finding Time To Volunteer and Do Some Good.
I Know Our Hard Working Matchday Stewards Do An Excellent Job.
The Guy On The Gate And The Fella Selling Programmes.Those In The Bar and Food On The Ground.
Numerous People Help Simon, Tony & Alan Come To Mind Giving So Much To The Club Arranging Fund Raisers Selling 50/50 Tickets & in Alan's Case The Excellent Supporters Trips Ive Been Lucky To Be On.
But This Is What Our Great Forum Is For. Debate!!!

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Re: The future ?

By geemickey8/9 18:55Tue Sep 8 18:55:53 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 245

The off-field team at Harrow do a great job Terence. Of course they do. Most non-league clubs seem to have a small band of committed supporters, usually of a certain age.

Week in and week out the games couldn't go ahead without them but the issue is more one of where do you find the additional helpers to pursue some of the good ideas that are generated to build attendances, improve the match experience, raise the profile of the club etc. There is often too much hay on too few pitchforks.

By the way Terence, you could save yourself a few seconds each post by not pressing the 'capitals' key for almost every word ! That would also save the readers some seconds by making the posts easier to read. How about it ?

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Re: The future ?

By Terence8/9 22:29Tue Sep 8 22:29:37 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 241

Sorry Gee-Mickey Love My Capitals.
Maybe Give Them Up For Lent!
Yes The Next Generation Of Volunteers A Good Question Indeed.
I Shall Think On That!

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Re: The future ?

By The Majors Hat8/9 20:44Tue Sep 8 20:44:37 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 257

This season is the ideal time to get more people through the door.
I know of season ticket holders from QPR, Brentford, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham who are looking at attending non league games for their live football fix.

Boro need to put themselves 'out there'.
I believe geemickey is a Chesham fan - you only have to look at their twitter feed to see what can be done.
New signings are revealed over a series of tweets. New kit pictures. Managers updates. Fixtures advertised regularly.

Unfortunately we seem very behind the times when it comes to putting the club in the shop window.
For a couple of years in a row now my mate has been enquiring about a replica shirt for his 13 year old son. Given his details at the 'club shop' window and been told that some were being ordered and he would be contacted when they were in.
Obviously not heard a peep from anyone - even to say that there would be no shirts.

Increase the online presence over the next few months and we will attract more people into the ground.
Update the website regularly - there are still articles from 2014 on there.
Send emails to all those on the club database asking about kit sponsorship. It wouldn't take much to persuade me to sponsor a players kit.
We should be getting 300 a week nor 130!

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Re: The future ?

By harrowred (RedHarrow)8/9 20:30Tue Sep 8 20:30:19 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 255

Agreed.

I would be willing to help out.

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Re: The future ?

By geemickey13/9 09:26Sun Sep 13 09:26:07 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 196

It's a pity this thread seems to be dying so quickly, although one offer of help in general, one possible sponsorship offer
and an offer of help with IT have presented, which is all good and very welcome.

Let's face it :

The 'target market' potential supporters for Harrow Borough do not read this forum.
They probably don't know a Borough supporter.
If they read local papers at all they sadly won't find much coverage of H.B.F.C.
They may not even know the club exists !

Whether we like it or not, the way to spread the word these days is via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp etc.
Many clubs are alive to this and exploit the social media well.

In my view, it would be an effective initiative to pay someone a modest weekly sum, eg. £40 per week, to handle social media communications solely as directed by nominated officials of the Club. The likely candidate would probably be under 25 and perhaps even still at college or Uni.
If I were a student I'd rather do that than deliver newspapers on cold frosty mornings !!

How about it HBFC - is it worth considering at Board or VP level ?

What do others think ?

Edited by geemickey at 09:26:36 on 13th September 2020
Edited by geemickey at 09:27:45 on 13th September 2020

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Re: The future ?

By Earlsmead part-timer13/9 10:45Sun Sep 13 10:45:02 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 194

It is in my view a difficult one this one.

I'm only a fan who's looking in from the outside and has helped out a little for a time when I used to live in the local area.
But I know (as has been mentioned) the club officials and volunteers IMO do a great job in keeping the club going and moving forward.

I agree also the physical position of the club ground doesn't help.
It's tucked away and you wouldn't know its there.
I remember and couple of years ago having to buy some milk in the local corner shop on the way home from a match in Eastcote Lane and the shop owner saw my Harrow Borough FC scarf and said he'd lived in Harrow over 10 years and didn't know the club was just around the corner!
When I said you should try it out he just shrugged his shoulders and said I'm not interested in football !
Perhaps a few signs on match day and before (if the council allow it) saying 'next match against' on the local main roads might help to actually let people know we are there. Especially if they can bring the kids along for free.
Local clubs around my area do that.

I actually think our online presence compared to other clubs of our standing isn't too bad. I'm thinking of Hendon, Hayes and Yeading, Hillingdon Borough etc here. Obviously Wealdstone are the gold standard and what every club non league club at our level would like to aspire to.
Harrowboroscores does a great job on twitter updating every match in real time and the website is kept up to date as well with match reports, pictures etc and features always up to date and relevant IMO.
Google Harrow Borough FC and a lot of good stuff comes up.

But at the end of the day I think to bring in bigger crowds you've got to be successful on the the pitch consistently. Not just for a season but for a few seasons.
You've got to win cups, have good runs in the FA Cup and Trophy, get promoted. When was Boro's last promotion (not championship winning team 1984) , over 40 years ago?

No one is ever attracted to a team that struggles more than its successful and winning teams always will attract fans (provided there's no lock down!)

That's my "two cents worth" anyway.

As always "C'mon on U Reds!"

Edited by Earlsmead part-timer at 10:49:16 on 13th September 2020

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Re: The future ?

By geemickey23/9 08:43Wed Sep 23 08:43:17 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 122

Suddenly, its now not a matter of volunteers, money-raising ideas, ticket sales promotion & social media presence etc.

Sadly, for Harrow Borough and all clubs at this level, the issue has now moved from 'micro' to 'macro' level with the very existence of clubs and leagues below the billionaires' Premier League facing a crisis of unimagined proportions. Covid-19 and the management of our response to it has swept every other worry aside.

If 'non-league' is allowed to continue with restricted crowds maybe the leagues can finish when they finish rather than by the end of May but, to put it mildly, the future doesn't look too bright at the moment.

On the other hand, the optimists will say that with no other live football available, we may see gates of over 300 back at Earlsmead, which would be very welcome.

Edited by geemickey at 09:26:22 on 23rd September 2020

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Re: The future ?

By T & G23/9 10:02Wed Sep 23 10:02:41 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 144

I have been a Harrow fan since the early/mid 90's and haven't been to half as many games as I probably should have for various reasons over the years. I won't go into all of them reasons now but I did feel let down by the club at various stages. I have been a season ticket holder at a professional club for the last 24 years, I won't be going there anytime soon so have planned to visit the Boro' more. I hope others will do the same, we need the money now more than ever!

I do think the club need some younger blood to try and offer another angle, I know the committee and volunteers do a great job and I hope this doesn't come across critical because it isn't intended that way.

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Re: The future ?

By Earlsmead part-timer23/9 16:43Wed Sep 23 16:43:37 2020In response to Re: The future ?Top of thread

Views: 127

The last six months must have been a nightmare for all non league clubs.
I just hope that at our level we and the other clubs in the Southern and Isthmian etc can continue with what restrictions we've got in place.

For the NLS, NLN and the National itself it must be much worse.
With the prospect of no fans for six months, unless they get more help it won't just be Macclesfield being wound up.

Edited by Earlsmead part-timer at 16:45:01 on 23rd September 2020

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