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Frome Town needs you!

Frome Town Football Club has launched a new fund-raising initiative to drive the club forward to an exciting new era.

The club is looking for individuals and businesses to join the Centurians Club by donating £500 a year; by donating £500 worth of goods or services or by volunteering hours of your time.

This is to ensure the future funding of the club and to help push the club to new levels.

“We are launching our Centurions Club which, we believe, is the most realistic way of protecting what we are building here and allowing us to push on to the next level,” said Gary Collinson, football and operations director at Frome Town Football Club.

“Promotions in 2002, 2009 and 2011 took the club to where it sits proudly today, in the top half of the Southern Premier League, with last season’s 8th place finish being the best in the club’s history.

“There are only around 80 non-league clubs in England above Frome in the football pyramid, a fantastic achievement for a town of this size.

“Our commercial revenue for advertising boards and so on is steady, but still falls short of what we need.

“For £500 a year you have the opportunity to become a member of the Frome Town Centurions Club. This will be an annual commitment for a rolling 12 month period, so individuals or businesses will be able to buy in at any time.

“In return, you will receive an invitation to an annual dinner and a season ticket; but in addition, and more importantly, an invitation to biannual meetings to steer the future direction of the football club. We really want our supporters to buy into this opportunity and help Frome Town FC become the best it can be. The entire board are on this journey as supporters first and foremost and we need your support to achieve our potential.

“We appreciate that £500 is a lot to spend, so there are various options. It can be paid on a monthly basis, or groups can club together to buy one or more memberships and therefore opportunities for a representative to get involved. For anyone who is already contributing at this level and beyond, membership will be automatic, including supporters club representatives. A further option is to donate £500 worth of goods or services, or volunteer hours of your time.

“Frome Town has a long and illustrious history, being formed in 1904 from an amalgamation of local teams and have always played at their current Badgers Hill home. The intervening 113 years have seen plenty of ups and downs, the club almost dropped out of senior football altogether in the 1990s, before the work of a committed and focused team brought things back on track.

“More recent years have seen huge investment off the pitch with the main stand becoming seated, the construction of two new stands, refurbishment of the club house, additional turnstiles and most lately, the installation of new floodlights. Sterling work from our supporters club and the local public, as well as Frome Town Council and Mendip District Council have given us a ground and facilities unrecognisable from 20 years ago, and ensured we are capable of progressing to the next step of the National League.

“Attendances are increasing year on year, up 34% over the last three years, and our work in the community is widely recognised with us being one of the highest ranked Charter Standard Community Clubs, the highest achievable status, in Somerset and offering football for all ages across the board through Frome Town FC, Frome Town Ladies, Frome Town Robins and Frome Town Sports.

“However, we have reached a point where we are in danger of stagnating on the field and when it comes down to it, our primary role is to produce an entertaining product on the football pitch each Saturday.

“It seems that we, as well as everyone else are always looking for money, but the reality is that if Frome wants a football team to be proud of, competing at the highest end of non-league football, then the public and local businesses need to back us.

“The costs of running a competitive side at this level are huge; coach travel is around £12,000 per season, match officials £5,000 as well as kit, footballs, entry fees, FA costs and player wages. Whilst it’s relatively easy to raise money and obtain grants for projects such as ground improvements, the day-to-day expenses are much more difficult. Unlike many clubs at this level, we do not have a wealthy owner willing to invest large sums of money and indeed, this is not something we would necessarily want. Nor do we have large attendances on a regular basis. It is imperative that Frome Town FC remain an integral part of the community and for that we need help.”

Manager Josh Jeffries said, “It is very difficult for the smaller clubs like Frome to compete at this level, against other teams with attendances in the high hundreds or even thousands and big financial backers. Our playing budget is among the lowest in this division, where some teams are even full time, and I support this initiative wholeheartedly. Please get behind the lads, if the money is an obstacle offer your help, and come and watch us play – you may be surprised at what you see.”

Gary Collinson added, “Outside of football our community work encompasses a vast range of activities and organisations from the surrounding area including Frome Day Centre (over 50s friendship & lunch group), Frome Leg Club (ulcer clinic in conjunction with Frome Medical Practice), Frome Players (disabled drama group), Fair Frome (charity for local people in need), Frome Town Council, Farleigh Further Education College, Frome’s Big Christmas.

“All of the above is testament to the commitment of the many supporters and volunteers who engage with our club and its users.

“We have no wish to reduce our community outreach and there are some exciting developments to be announced soon on that front, but we need the first team to become an area of focus as well.”

For more information or details, and to get involved please email Gary Collinson at gary@frometownfc.co.uk or call him on 07595 650414.

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