July 2016

Club statement and Big Bath City Bid Update (31/7/16)

The Big Bath City Bid have released an update on the progress towards community ownership which is reproduced below. Over recent months, whilst we have been engaged in negotiations with their representatives, the Board has continued to work on a redevelopment project and other fronts to try and ensure the Club is in a better position to hand over control and aid a successful re-launch of the Bid. We wish to reassure employees, supporters and business partners that this will continue while we finalise agreement on the Heads of Terms and the Bid is re-launched. We look forward to the future with hope and optimism that as many people as possible will get behind this proposal and support the Bid to ensure it is successful in the transition to community ownership.

Big Bath City Update

With football returning to Twerton Park, we are pleased to be able to update you on the latest progress towards community ownership. Over the past two months our lawyers have been working on a “Heads of Terms” agreement: a legally binding document between the current majority shareholders and the Supporters Society that will allow us to relaunch the Bid under a new prospectus. We expect this to be agreed within a few weeks. In short, the plan is to relaunch the Bid and use the proceeds to increase the Supporters Society’s stake in the club to over 50%, thus making the Supporters Society, a democratic membership organization, the club’s majority shareholder. All community shareholders will automatically become members of the Supporters Society. If successful, this will be the first phase in a two-phase process towards a financially sustainable community-owned club.

First Phase: A New Board & Redevelopment

During the first phase, it is proposed that a new Board will run the club. The new Board will be a blend of some of the existing board, for their continuity and detailed knowledge about the day to day running of the Club, and the majority of fresh board members with new skills, experience and contacts. The Supporters Society, as the new majority shareholder, will hold the majority of voting positions on the restructured board. Representatives of the existing majority shareholders will take up the remaining voting positions (the exact number and composition will be finalised soon). Non-voting board members may also be appointed to provide expertise and assistance as required. This means that the controlling votes will be held by representatives appointed by and accountable to the Supporters Society, which in turn is democratically accountable to members and community shareholders. In other words, Bath City FC will effectively start to operate as a community-owned club right away. The new Board will then work to complete a partial redevelopment of Twerton Park (i.e. the north car park and stand area). This will release funds to clear all pressing debts, putting the club on a more sustainable footing. It will take some time before these funds can be released. For this reason, the Supporters Society has secured working capital facilities from a group of Bid supporters that will enable the Club to run effectively for an interim period of about 2-3 years, which is the expected amount of time required for a proposed partial redevelopment of the Twerton Park site. These facilities will become available upon the successful completion of the Bid.

Second Phase: conversion to a community benefit society (CBS)

Once the debts are cleared, the Supporters Society will then seek fresh finance, if it is necessary, to buy out the existing shareholders and move to the second phase: converting Bath City FC Ltd itself to a community benefit society (CBS) with a new constitution and a fully-elected Board.

Who will serve on the new Board?

Our shared aim is to make the Board much stronger and to professionalise the whole setup and operation, whilst at the same time building up a large volunteer “army” to create working groups to cover the key functional aspects of the Club. We will also appoint a full time General Manager at the heart of club’s operations. Under the present rules, the Supporters Society’s elected committee has the right to elect Board representatives for a 3-year term. Shane Morgan currently fulfils this role as the Society’s sole representative on the club Board. The Society committee proposes to elect five representatives to the new Board. Subject to FA and regulatory approval, these will be Nick Thompson, Shane Morgan, Nick Blofeld, Sally Harris and Jon Bickley. The Society committee expects to be able to elect at least one further representative in due course. Representatives of the existing majority shareholders are still to be determined.

Next Steps

We are hopeful that announcing our fresh prospectus and structured two-step plan towards full community ownership will attract even more support from the Bath community. Above all, we are very keen to keep all existing pledgers on board and for you to convert your pledges into community shares once we relaunch the prospectus and reopen the Bid in the next few weeks. We are also exploring ways to allow existing shareholders to pledge their shares, or the voting rights attached to them, to the Supporters Society and thus help us get closer to a 50%+1 controlling stake in the club. Thank you again for your patience and commitment to the club. The road has been longer than we first anticipated, but we are all still very excited about creating a genuine, traditional, but community-owned and run football club, in a great sporting city. Please do come back with any questions and we’ll set up an appropriate forum to answer them.

Trio sign as new season fast approaches (30/7/16)

Following City’s exciting 4-4 draw at Torquay United, bringing the curtain down on their pre-season campaign, three further players signed for the club, Dan Bowman, Shaquille Hunter and Andrew Elcock. The 2016-17 season will be Bowman’s fourth at Twerton Park, having come through the Bath City Academy at Bath Unviersity. Birmingham-born winger Hunter began his career with Bristol Rovers and also had spells with Mangotsfield United and Bristol City. Midfielder Elcock is a former Plymouth Argyle youngster, where he worked under City manager Gary Owers and was a teammate of last night’s two-goal star Josh Hutchinson.

City end pre-season with eight goal thriller (29/7/16)

City completed their pre-season campaign with a great fightback against Torquay United at Plainmoor this evening, coming from 4-1 down to draw the game 4-4. City had taken the lead on 18 minutes when Andy Watkins headed Dan Bowman’s cross back across goal for George Rigg to apply the finishing touch. This was no more than City deserved as they took the game to the higher division team but two goals in the closing stages of the half saw them go into the interval behind. First Gerring rose highest to head home a 41st minute corner then two minutes later Sparkes latched onto a long clearance by keeper Moore to slot past Steve Phillips. And within nine minutes of the restart another corner was headed home by Verma to make it 3-1. Suddenly the home side were looking dangerous with every attack and on 63 minutes Chaney netted a fourth for Kevin Nicholson’s side. It looked like damage limitation for City now but great work near the byline by Nick McCootie set up Josh Hutchinson to pull a goal back in the 67th minute. The same pair then combined three minutes later, McCootie dummying Naby Diallo’s pass to send Hutchinson clear and he rounded Moore before rolling the ball into the net. And just another three minutes had passed when City completed the comeback, Hutchinson turning provider with a cross that McCootie turned home. That was it for the goalscoring leaving both sides to reflect on a remarkable game ahead of the start of the 2016-17 season in eight days time.

Artus injury overshadows Robins defeat (26/7/16)

City lost their penultimate pre-season friendly by a single goal to Bristol City at Twerton Park this evening but it was a serious looking arm injury suffered by midfield lynchpin Frankie Artus which will be of greater concern with the start of the 2016-17 season less than two weeks away. Artus fell akwardly early in the second half and after lengthy treatment was helped off the pitch with his left arm carefully supported by the Robins physio. The game itself was decided by a 27th minute wonder strike from Reid, firing a 30-yard effort into the top corner of the goal. City had fielded Robin’s young keeper Wollacott between the posts in the first half and, though he stood no chance with the goal, he made a number of fine stops to deny his teammates. City’s best chance came early in the contest when Andy Watkins was denied by a fine double save from O’Leary. Understandably after Artus’ injury the game never really really got going again although the Championship side played some neat possession football and, with seven minutes left, won a penalty after Ron Huth was adjudged to have tripped Andrews, however Steve Phillips dived to his left to save Freeman’s weak effort.

Watkins on target in Oxford friendly draw (23/7/16)

Andy Watkins’ composed finish 13 minutes from time earned City a deserved draw against a young Oxford United side at Twerton Park this afternoon. He struck 11 minutes after Roberts had given the U’s the lead in another good workout for City with the start of the 2016-17 season now just two weeks away. City shaded a well-contested first half, Stuart Fleetwood shooting across goal from a narrow angle after Stevens had blocked his first effort and Jack Batten forcing another great stop from the keeper with a close-range header. Oxford’s no.1 continued to keep his side in the game after the break, pushing Fleetwood’s free-kick over the bar early in the second half, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 66 minutes when Roberts got goalside of the City backline to slide the ball under Steve Phillips. Stevens was called into action again momments later to keep out Watkins’ low shot before producing his best save of the game, tipping Eilan Gordon’s shot onto the bar. However, he was finally beaten in the 77th minute after Watkins’ turned his marker then calmed rolled a shot into the net. City finished the game strongly and should have been awarded a penalty when Watkins was wiped out in the box by Tuttle but remarkably the referee took no action and, despite several more promising positions, they couldn’t find a winning goal.

City complete their home pre-season campaign on Tuesday evening with a game against Bristol City (ko 7.45pm).

And before the game City completed another signing with midfielder Lee Marshall putting pen to paper on a deal for the 2016-17 season.

City run out 2-0 winners in Shortwood friendly (19/7/16)

City ran out 2-0 winners in their latest pre-season match this evening against Shortwood United. City rested a number of first team players but new signing Marvin Morgan made his first appearance for the Romans. Joe Salman opened the scoring for City on 75 minutes, heading home an Andy Watkins cross, before Henry Spalding made it 2-0 in stoppage time, following up Josh Hutchinson’s shot that had been blocked on the line. City’s line-up was: Steve Phillips, Pierce Mitchell, Jordan Williams, Nathan Summers, Jack Batten, Andrew Elcock, Andy Watkins, Lee Marshall, Nick McCootie, Marvin Morgan, Zack Kotowica. Subs: Dan Ball, Josh Hutchinson, Manny Monthe, Joe Salman, Henry Spalding, Jake Owers.

City continue their build-up to the 2016-17 on Saturday when Oxford United visit Twerton Park (ko 3pm). Admission for the match is match which is Adults £6/Concessions £4/Under-16 £1.

Morgan the fashionable choice in loan deal (19/7/16)

City have boosted their attacking options with a season long loan signing of forward Marvin Morgan from Havant & Waterlooville.The Manchester born 31-year old has previously played for Yeading, Woking, Aldershot Town, Shrewsbury Town and Plymouth Argyle, and spent a loan period with Wealdstone last season. Morgan also set up and runs his own fashion label, Fresh Ego Kid.

Monthe and Hutchinson put pen to paper (18/7/16)

City are pleased to annouce that two further players, striker Josh Hutchinson and defender Manny Monthe, have committed themselves to the club for the 2016-17 season. 20-year old Hutchinson made seven appearances from the bench during the closing stages of last season, having previously worked with manager Gary Owers whilst at Plymouth Argyle, and Monthe brings considerable National League South experience to the club having previously played for Havant & Waterlooville and Hayes & Yeading United. News on further signings will appear on the website in the coming days.

Supporters travelling to tomorrow night’s friendly at Shortwood United should note that kick off is 7.30pm not 7.45pm as previously stated on the website.

City’s U18 side will face a short trip to Odd Down in the FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round. The tie will be played during the week commencing 5 September with the winners facing either Bishop Sutton or Portishead Town at home in the next round.

Late double sees City slip to Robins defeat (16/7/16)

Two Cheltenham Town goals in the final ten minutes condemned City to a second successive pre-season defeat against Football League opposition at Twerton Park this afternoon. City had frustrated the current Vanarama National League champions for long periods of the game before their quality told in the closing stages. Neither side could get a hold of the game in a forgettable first half, two uncharacteristic poor clearances from Steve Phillips giving City a couple of nervous moments, whilst Jack Batten, Stuart Fleetwood and Shaquille Hunter all found promising early positions but failed to capitalise. The half ended with Morgan-Smith’s header drifting just over the bar and, following half a dozen changes at the break, the Robins enjoyed their best spell of the game during the opening exchanges of the second period. City dealt well with this greater threat and long-range shots from substitutes Andrew Ellington and Manny Monthe finally saw them register efforts on goal. However, it was the visitors who were increasingly creating openings and on 80 minutes Wright got behind the City defence before lobbing the ball over Phillips. And then in the 90th minute Rowe’s corner was headed home from close range by Hall to make it 2-0 to the Robins.

City have received a bye in the 1st Round of the 2016-17 Somerset Premier Cup.

Water Aid charity match at Twerton Park (14/7/16)

A charity match between Wessex Water and Bristol Water is taking place at Twerton Park on Sunday 24 July with all proceeds going to Water Aid. The event starts at 11.30am with pre-match entertainment before the game kicks off at 1pm. Admission is £3 for adults and £2 for seniors. Full further information contact Paul Delves on 07867 383941 or 07827 254544 or e-mail paul.delves@wessexwater.co.uk. You can donate to Water Aid directly at www.justgiving.com/Paul-Delves4/.

Rovers edge out City in pre-season clash (12/7/16)

A 69th minute header from James Clarke was all that separated City from Sky Bet League One Bristol Rovers in a closely fought pre-season friendly at a damp Twerton Park this evening. A crowd of over 1100 braved the drizzle and saw City match the Pirates for much of the contest in another useful workout for Gary Owers’ side. The visitors started off brightly, although it was the Romans who were almost gifted an early breakthrough following a scuffed clearance by ex-City keeper Puddy but Nick McCootie couldn’t get his shot on target. As the half progressed City began to impose themselves more on the game, with McCootie a constant threat. He fashioned their best chance during the latter stages of the half, cutting inside two defenders only for Puddy to block his initial shot then the big no.10 could only blast the rebound over. Rovers finished the half on top again but found City’s defence in resilient form and, with regular changes to both line-ups, the second period rarely lived up to the first 45 minutes. However, with just over 20 minutes left the deadlock was broken, Clarke looping a header from a corner into the net. Both sides saw half chances come and go after this but Rovers saw the game out to inflict a first pre-season defeat on City.

16-17 Season Tickets available to collect (11/7/16)

2016-17 Season Tickets are now available to collect from the club office before any of the remaining pre-season friendlies, including tomorrow night’s meeting with Bristol Rovers, or league match. And if you have not aleady purchased one you still can from the office on a match day.

A reminder that admissions prices for City remaining friendlies are adults £8, concessions £6 & U16’s £2 apart from the Oxford United XI match which is £6/£4/£1.

Guide for Rovers fans visiting Twerton Park (10/7/16)

Although many Bristol Rovers supporters will be very well acquainted with Twerton Park, having seen their club share the ground for ten years between 1986 and 1996, younger Gasheads may be less familiar with City’s home. So, here is a guide to finding Twerton Park ahead of the pre-season game on Tuesday 12 July (ko 7.45pm).

Bath City Football Club is located in the western suburbs with excellent walking, cycling and public transport links. We are keen to encourage fans to leave their cars at home where possible, to help reduce carbon emissions and local congestion, and promote healthier ways of travelling.

By Car:
From the M4:
Exit Junction 18 onto the A46 (South) signposted Bath. After 8.1 miles take the slip road to the Round About and turn right onto A4 signposted to Bath. Follow the London Road for 1 mile and Turn Left into Cleveland Place following signs marked “Through Traffic”. Follow signs for A36 East for 2.8 miles. At the Traffic Lights by McDonalds on the Lower Bristol Road, turn Left under the railway bridge into Twerton High Street. Twerton Park is 0.2 miles on your Left.
From the East (Bristol):
Leave Bristol on the A4 Bath Road towards Keynsham and Bath. At the end of the dual carriageway on the outskirts of Bath take the right fork at the Traffic Lights signposted A36 onto Lower Bristol Road. After 1.1 miles, at the Traffic Lights by McDonalds on the Lower Bristol Road, turn Right under the railway bridge into Twerton High Street. Twerton Park is 0.2 miles on your Left.

Please note that there is limited on-site parking at Twerton Park and limited residential parking available locally.

By Bus:
From Bath City Centre / Bath Spa (rail)
The main Bath bus-station is a 2 minute walk from Bath Spa rail station. Exit the station by the (main) front exit and walk straight ahead along Dorchester Street. It is also possible to catch the No.5 bus from outside Green Park station. The No 5 bus leaves every 10 minutes from Bay 16) and takes approx. 23 minutes to get to Twerton Park.

1803 – 1826 / 1813 – 1836 / 1823 – 1844 / 1833 – 1854 / 1845 – 1906 / 1857 – 1917 / 1909 – 1927 / 1921 – 1939Return:
2131 – 2155 / 2134 – 2201

By Rail:

Twerton Park is 0.8 miles (15 minute walk) from Oldfield Park Station or 1.9 miles from Bath Spa station. Approx travel time from Bristol Temple Meads is 11 minutes, the fare is £7.30.

Outbound (to Bath Spa):
1800 – 1811 / 1804 – 1821 (calling at Oldfield Park) / 1822 – 1834 / 1830 – 1841 / 1852 – 1909 (calling at Oldfield Park) / 1923 – 1934Return (from Bath Spa):
2138 – 2148 / 2151 – 2206 / 2215 – 2228 / 2225 – 2243 (calls at Oldfield Park 2238) / 2236 – 2248

By Taxi:
From Bath Spa: 1.9 miles / approx. duration 10 mins / approx. fare £11
From Bristol Temple Meads: 10.5 miles / approx. duration 25 mins / approx. fare £33

Sodbury hold City in second friendly (6/7/16)

City’s second pre-season outing ended in a 1-1 draw with Toolstation Western League side Chipping Sodbury FC at The Ridings this evening. The Romans got off to a perfect start when Jack Batten turned home a third minute corner but ten minutes later Sims stabbed home an equaliser after Mackie’s header had come back off the bar. Andy Watkins and Stuart Fleetwood both had the ball in the net during the first half only for close offside decisions to keep the scores level. The second half was even more one-sided as City’s camped in the hosts half but the wall of black and white shirts kept them at bay. Sodbury keeper Hale produced a number of excellent blocks, the pick from a Josh Hutchinson header in the final ten minutes, and on several occasions the ball pinged around the home side’s box but wouldn’t drop to a City player.

City’s next pre-season outing sees Bristol Rovers visit Twerton Park on Tuesday 12 July (ko 7.45pm).

2016-17 National League South fixtures (6/7/16)

The 2016-17 Vanarama National League South fixtures have been released and City will open the season with their longest trip to Margate on Saturday 6 August. Their opening home game is three days later when Weston Super Mare visit Twerton Park. The Christmas/New Year period sees league newcomers Hungerford Town the opposition, at home on Boxing Day and away on New Years Day. City finish their campaign against Welling United at Twerton Park on Saturday 29 April. For the full fixtures click on the Results/Fixtures link above.

City adopt Genesis Trust as new season charity (4/7/16)

Genesis Trust is delighted to be have been chosen by Bath City FC as its charity for the 2016/17 season. Commercial Executive Bob Chester said, “The club is regularly approached to help raise money for various charities and a few years ago decided to concentrate on just one charity each season. We are really pleased to be supporting Genesis over the coming months and will work closely with them to help raise funds whenever possible. We know the charity is celebrating 21 years of supporting vulnerable people in Bath and the club are keen to support their various projects around the city. In the past the club has supported other local charities – the Forever Friends Appeal at the RUH and Dorothy House Hospice.”

CEO of Genesis, Paul Solly said, “Genesis is a local community action charity and it is wonderful to have the support of such a grass-roots organisation as Bath City FC. This is a very important year for Genesis, particularly as we are fundraising to develop our new premises at Walcot Street. We are very grateful for their support.”

Bath City FC will start fund raising for Genesis Trust by having bucket collections at two high profile pre-season friendlies at Twerton Park – firstly against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday 12th July and then against Bristol City on 26th July. Bob added, “The club will also be supporting Genesis Trust via their Community Day, which this season will held in the autumn – the date to be decided once the fixture list is announced.”

Premier show from City in pre-season opener (2/7/16)

City opened their 2016 pre-season campaign in impressive style this afternoon at Twerton Park with a 4-0 win over Scottish Premier Division side Partick Thistle. City’s starting XI included nine of their ten signed on players, alongside trialists Manny Monthe – who faced the Romans for Hayes & Yeading United in penultimate game of last season – and ex-Swindon Town midfielder Lee Marshall. The early exchanges were largely confined to the middle of the park, with neither side able to gain the upper hand. On 20 minutes a misplaced backpass by Jack Batten rolled against the foot of the post with Steve Phillips stranded, then the keeper saw his attempted clearance from a George Rigg pass charged down by Azeez but recovered to deny the striker a shot on goal. The game looked to be heading into the interval goalless but on 45 minutes Nick McCootie got goalside of his marker and was tripped in the box. Billy Murphy stepped up to fire home the penalty kick. Within two minutes of the restart City doubled their lead, McCootie rising highest to head home a Murphy corner. On 65 minutes City made it 3-0, substitue Shaquille Hunter making space before unleashing a stunning 25 yard shot into the net via the underside of the bar. And three minutes later the impressive Josh Hutchinson – on for Stuart Fleetwood after he suffered an early facial injury – raced down on goal and, although his shot was blocked by the Jags keeper Cullen, the ball rebounded into the net via a backtracking defender.

BBC Local Radio in National League agreement (1/7/16)

The BBC Local Radio stations across England and Wales have signed an agreement with the National League to provide coverage of the leagues’ matches until 2020. The National League has 68 member clubs in three divisions, known as the National League, National League North and the National League South.

Welcoming today’s announcement Jason Horton, BBC Head of Sport for England said: “Today’s deal with the National League demonstrates the BBC local radio stations commitment to bring sports fans across England and Wales all the sporting action from their area. So whether you’re tuning in to BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s coverage of Lincoln City, listening to BBC Radio Solent reporting on Eastleigh or following one of the other 66 clubs across The National League we’ll be bringing you the latest action.”

Brian Barwick, Chairman at The National League said: “The National League is pleased to confirm our existing partnership has been extended until 2020. This will permit continuing stadium access with match commentary, thus complementing the excellent support given generally by BBC Local Radio stations covering all 68 member clubs and their local communities”.