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Interviews

CHAIRMAN KELVIN THOMAS ON REPORTS OF A FOOTBALL REGULATOR, THE HARROGATE POSTPONEMENT, JOSH TOMLINSON, JANUARY, COMMUNITY AWARDS AND MORE

An update from the Chairman

13 December 2022

Interviews

CHAIRMAN KELVIN THOMAS ON REPORTS OF A FOOTBALL REGULATOR, THE HARROGATE POSTPONEMENT, JOSH TOMLINSON, JANUARY, COMMUNITY AWARDS AND MORE

An update from the Chairman

13 December 2022

We caught up with Chairman Kelvin Thomas earlier this week to discuss a range of subjects.

Among the topics up for debate were reports of an independent football regulator, the Harrogate Town postponement and current cold weather, Josh Tomlinson's professional contract, the club store, the Carlisle United game, community engagement and more:

INDEPENDENT FOOTBALL REGULATOR

"It was interesting to read reports over the weekend about a football regulator. We have been very consistent in our support for a regulator and we know there has been progress, we have kept in touch with the EFL and it seems there is a lot of backing. My hope is the Premier League come to the table and have a discussion with the EFL.

"The issues are no one's fault. The Premier League has been very successful, a lot of money has come in to the Premier League and that has created football inflation that has filtered in to the EFL. While it is not the Premier League's fault, they can help us solve the issue and we as clubs in the EFL also have to look downwards as well and see what we can do to help those clubs below the EFL. I think the independent regulator is good news for the whole game.

"If you can have one body that can oversee everything that has to be good for the game. If you can solve the financial issues in football I believe the regulator might not be as busy as many people think as they are at the heart of most of the issues.

"We are quite fortunate here. We think we are a well run club and we have the backing of our fans but not all clubs are as fortunate and hopefully this will help."

HARROGATE CALL OFF

"It was very cold on Saturday morning and it is always frustrating to have a game called off. The team had stayed up in the area overnight and we were ready. I spoke to Jon Brady who was at the pitch inspection and he said while most of the pitch was playable there were areas of the surface that were not and he reluctantly had to agree with the decision of the referee. I thought Harrogate did a decent job, they made every effort and kept people informed and hopefully the decision was made early enough to either stop people travelling or to stop them getting too far in to their journeys.

"We have a cold forecast here this week. The pitch is fine as we speak, the covers have been on here for a week or so and the pitch is playable at the moment. The covers are coming off for a few hours during the day to allow the pitch to breathe but the groundstaff are the experts, they will get the covers back on in good time and they know what is best to do. The issue might be that if we get some of the overnight temperatures that are forecast later this week then any covers might struggle to cope with that but we will do all we can to get the game on. We will see how the week develops but we are fine as it stands."

JOSH TOMLINSON'S LONG TERM PROFESSIONAL CONTRACT

"Josh Tomlinson is a player we are delighted to see sign a long term professional contract. I have watched the youth team closely and he has trained with the first team and he doesn't look out of place. He is still developing and improving and he has worked hard to get to this point. It was a proud day for the family last week when he signed his contract. Signing this contract doesn't mean he is going straight in to the first team, he might have a spell or two out on loan to help his development but this is great news for the club.

"His progress shows the pathway we have at the club. The stat is that only 0.3% of players who start out at an academy make it through to a professional contract but our record is above that and Josh is a real success story and it is very positive for us."

PLANNING FOR JANUARY

"We are in a good place ahead of the January transfer window. I think our squad is in good shape and quite settled. I think we are looking to add two or three players rather than the five or six we might have added in previous Januarys and that is a good sign. We have planned and prepared and we are ready. No matter how much planning you do it might be that some clubs don't let players out until the last day of the window but that's the business and how it works. From some of our conversations clubs have already said they won't even make a decision on certain players until January arrives but we are as far on in our planning and preparation as we can be. We will see what happens but we are working to get the best players in to support the group we already have.

CLUB STORE

"The club store is back open after a very busy time for the staff and that is great news. It was a very difficult time and James, Wendy and the team did very well getting us back open. This affected eleven clubs and we all came together to find a solution and we are back to Wendy and her staff working in there looking after supporters at this very busy time of year."

CARLISLE UNITED GAME DEDICATED TO MORE THAN FOOTBALL AWARD

"I am looking forward to Saturday. We will be presenting the More Than Football Award to the supporters at half time and we are inviting a lot of the people involved in the work of the scheme down to enjoy the day with us. It will be good to share that with the community.

"I wasn't here for the Tranmere game but someone I know who is a Tranmere fan came to the game and he told me what a good feeling there was around the stadium and how much of a community feel we have. He said it was a very positive day and that is very natural for us and I truly believe we are one of the leading community clubs in the country. You don't get national and European awards for no reason, the whole club buys in to this and that is very important. The players are very much part of that, they are making their Christmas visits later this week and we will do whatever we can to help the community, not just at this time of year but all year round."

ON THE JUDICIAL REVIEW

"The Judicial Review will be held next year. Both sides have the next week or so to submit their evidence and we don't expect any update until the new year."


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