City are looking for a new main sponsor! The new season’s famous black and white striped shirt has yet to have a logo added to its front. New Commercial Manager Ian Jones, and Communications and Enterprise Manager Ned Vaught are on the lookout for a national or local company to take advantage of the huge increase in exposure City will receive this season after promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier. The success of Adie Britton and his players on the pitch last season has created a new level of interest in the club and the appointment of Ian and Ned is a reflection of the club’s ambition to grow match day attendances and increase commercial revenue.
Geoff Todd, Chairman of City, said, ‘We have achieved phenomenal success in the last five years with budgets that are a fraction of what our competitors enjoy. Despite our efforts to bridge the gap, we are still underperforming financially compared to other clubs. Last season’s play-off final win has given us the platform we need and we feel this is the right time to invest in both new systems and new people. The appointment of Ian and Ned will create additional income streams and allow us to take full advantage of our new status in the Blue Square Bet Premier.’
Ian Jones arrives at Bath City with an impressive track record in media and publishing sales. Since leaving Bath’s own Future Publishing, he has worked with some of the world’s most famous companies, including Samsung, Sony, and Nintendo. A Bath man born and bred, Ian also comes from a family steeped in football history. His father, Alan Jones, had a successful career as a referee in the old First Division, and was the first official from Somerset to make the top flight. Ian will be in charge of securing additional sponsorship and advertising revenue for the club. This is expected to grow substantially after last season’s promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Ian Jones said, ‘Bath City has a fantastic heritage, but the great news is we are looking towards the future. Any business working together with the club now has an excellent opportunity, as we see an upturn in numbers visiting the ground, and more coverage in the national and local media.’
Ned ‘Nedved’ Vaught, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, has been living in the Bath area for over eleven years. He is already well known to City supporters as the author of the blog Nedved’s Notes, and for being an active member of the Bath City ‘Legion.’ He will now be working full-time for the club, focusing on boosting home match attendances, improving the club’s media profile, and developing new revenue streams on and off the pitch. For the past three-and-a-half years Ned has been the manager at the STA Travel shop at the University of Bath. Ned is planning to use his extensive contacts at the University and local secondary schools to build on one of last season’s most exciting trends – the increasing appeal of Bath City to the young people of Bath. Ned Vaught says, ‘This is my dream job, and I’ve been giddy with excitement ever since Geoff Todd called me to offer me the role. I know personally what a wonderful community of people this football club is. My role is to spread the word, and make sure everyone has a chance to take part in Bath City’s success.’
An excited Geoff Todd said “I’m confident that Ian and Ned will bring us success off the field, and provide the financial platform that is so important if we are going to push ahead with our ambitions. We’ve also got some fantastic supporters and we know if we can add to that support we can make this a much bigger club with a budget to match’.
City have confirmed that their opening pre-season match against last seasons Coca-Cola Championship play-off finalists Cardiff City on Thursday 8 July will kick off at 7pm. They have also published the admission prices for the four home friendlies. The three matches against league opposition – Cardiff, Bristol Rovers and Exeter City – will cost adults £10, concessions £6 and U12’s £2. And the meeting with Blue Square Bet North Gloucester City will be £8, £5 and £2.
When City’s squad returns to begin pre-season training next Tuesday they look to be joined by former midfielder Yan Klukowski and striker Jake Reid. 23-year old Klukowski was a product of City’s youth system, making 14 first team appearances during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, before heading to the US for a four-year football schloarship. He returned to the UK last summer and had spells with Chippenham Town and Larkhall Atheltic, plus trials with Swindon Town and Carlisle United. Reid is a former Team Bath frontman who played for Weymouth last season before joining ex-Blue Square Premier side Salisbury City in March, where he netted three goals in 12 games.
Scott Barlett, who was released from his contract at City last week as he could not commit to the demands of Blue Square Bet Premier football, has joined Blue Square Bet Premier side Forest Green Rovers.
City have reported record season ticket sales as fans clamour to watch the club’s return to the top flight of non-league football with a host of former Football League clubs heading to Twerton Park. Those yet to buy a ticket are reminded that the ‘early bird’ offers end next Wednesday. Click here for full details.
Utility player Scott Bartlett has left City after agreeing to cancel his contract due to work commitments. The 31-year old only joined from Weston Super Mare in February on an 18-month contract but City’s promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier meant he was unable to commit fully to the demands of the top flight in non-league football leading to his release. Bartlett only made four starts and six substitute appearances after he suffered a dislocated shoulder against Braintree Town in March.
City haved added a tenth game to their pre-season campaign with a trip to Paulton Rovers arranged for Tuesday 3 August (ko 7.30pm).
City’s president Frank Entwistle passed away last Sunday aged 95. Mr Entwistle first became a director at the club in 1981, also acting as company secretary. He was credited with turning City’s finances around during that decade, including overseeing the groundshare deal with Bristol Rovers in 1986. After a two-year absence he became chairman in June 1989, taking over from Paul Richards. He was involved in controversy the following summer when City were promoted back to the Vauxhall Conference at the expense of Dover Athletic after they failed to meet the ground criteria. At the time he was vice-president of the Conference but had no involvement in the decision, especially as he was unable to attend any meetings then due to a broken leg. He stepped down from the position at City shortly afterwards and was named club president during the 1990s where he continued to support and help the current board. The thoughts of all connected to the club are with his family and friends.
City have captured a second player from Salisbury City with Luke Ruddick making the switch to Twerton Park. The 20-year old left-back will join former teammate Danny Webb after leaving the Whites who were thrown out of the Blue Square Bet Premier for financial issues last week. Ruddick began his career as a trainee with Brentford before a brief spell at Hampton & Richmond Borough preceded his time with Salisbury. He made over 50 appearances during two seasons in Wiltshire and can also play in midfield.
Jim Rollo has been named in the Blue Square South team of the year at the Football Conference AGM on Saturday. The line-up was choosen by representatives of all Blue Square South clubs and is a fitting reward for the 34-year old defender who reached the milestone of 400 games during City’s promotion winning campaign. Not surprisingly Newport County players featured strongly with six inclusions and the full team was:
Glyn Thompson (Newport County), Paul Bignot (Newport County), Oliver Schulz (Dover Athletic), Gary Warren (Newport County), Jim Rollo (Bath City), Danny Rose (Newport County), Peter Adeniyi (Eastleigh), Harry Arter (Woking), Craig Reid (Newport County), George Purcell (Braintree Town), Wayne Turk (Newport County).
City have invited Gordon Rieck and Luke Cummings to join the club for a trial when they return for pre-season training on June 29. 6’2 centre-back Rieck, who began his career at Southend United as a trainee, spent time last season with German Second Division side St Pauli but has returned to this country to study at the University of Bath. Cummings is a right-sided midfielder who was released by Caridff City last month.
City will face last season’s FA Cup conquerors Forest Green Rovers in the Blue Square Bet Premier next season after they were reprieved from relegation by Salisbury City’s demotion to the Southern League. The Whites appeal against the decision was dismissed by the FA today handing City the chance to gain revenge for the 2-1 defeat that denied them a place in the 3rd Round.
The draw for the 2010-11 Somerset Premier Cup has paired City with Western League Premier Division side Radstock Town. The 1st Round tie will take place at Southfields the week commencing October 4 with the winners facing a home game with Street in the 2nd Round.
City will feature in the Lions of Bath project after former director Ken Loach made his mark on one of three lions sponsored by Andrews Estate Agents. The lions, part of the project which is a pride of 100 individually decorated life size lion sculptures which will take up residence around the city of Bath over the summer, were unveiled at Twerton Park and the world renowed film director painted a City emblem within one of the heart frames designed by Keynsham artist, Justina Benson. The public art event will raise money for local charities and be an attraction for local people and visitors alike. Further details can be found at www.lionsofbath.com.
The 2010-11 City home and away shirts are now available to pre-order from the clubs new official football teamwear specialist, Samba Soccer. The new Joma design is a classic black and white stripe which this year features a new collar and a large number panel on the back, while the away shirt is another new Joma creation for 2010 in blazing red with white detail. To complement the replica shirts, Samba Soccer also offers replica shorts and socks as well as assembling a superb collection of official Bath City training and leisure products. Visit Samba Soccer to see the new range. Continuing the relationship with the renowned Spanish brand, the club hope to build on the improving fortunes of the team as they embark upon a return to the summit of the non-league pyramid. The style and quality of the two replica designs is of a very high standard and features a fabric technology which keeps the body dry and cool by absorbing sweat and moisture away from the skin, through the material and into the air.
Samba Soccer spokesperson, Rob Boyd commented, “We are delighted to be involved with Bath City FC and to be able to provide the official team kit for the exciting return to the Blue Square Bet Premier League. The unique quality of Joma products are first class and they are perfectly suited to a club playing in the top level of the non-league structure. Joma have representation in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa this summer with Honduras wearing the distinctive latin brand while Joma is also worn by regular Champions League contenders Sevilla. So the reputation of the brand is likely to grow and we hope Bath City fans enjoy the quality and distinction of the products we have to offer.” Managing Director, Paul Williams added, “We are pleased to continue our association with the Joma brand and are looking forward to working with Samba Soccer in developing the range of kit and leisure wear we can offer to our supporters.”
City will begin their build-up to the 2010-11 Blue Square Bet Premier season against Cardiff City after adding a clash with the NPower Championship side to their pre-season schedule. The Bluebirds will head to Twerton Park on Thursday 8 July (ko tbc) to open City’s summer campaign. Dave Jones’ side narrowly missed out on becoming the first Welsh side to play in the Premier League, losing 3-2 to Blackpool in the Championship play-off final at Wembley last month.
City have snapped up midfielder Marc Canham from fellow Blue Square Bet Premier side Hayes & Yeading United. The 27-year old will be very familiar with Twerton Park having made over 200 appearances for City’s former tenants Team Bath during five years with the now extinct club. Having began his career with Colchester United then AFC Bournemouth, he played 38 times for United last season but was released after turning down the chance to go full-time.
Two more of City’s current squad have agreed terms for the 2010-11 season, with Lewis Hogg and Gethin Jones shaking hands on new deals, leaving just Jim Rollo, Darren Edwards, Adie Harris and Kaid Mohamed to commit themselves.
City have published their pre-season schedule with Twerton Park clashes with NPower League 1 sides Bristol Rovers and Exeter City the stand-out games. The Pirates will visit their former home on Wednesday 14 July before the Grecian travel up from Devon six days later. City will also face Blue Square North side Gloucester City at home (23/7) and make trips to Mangotsfield United (16/7), Almondsbury (17/7), Worcester City (27/7), Bideford (31/7) and Weston Super Mare (7/8). They also hope to arrange a further friendly with another league club on either 3 or 4 August. Full a full list of the fixtures click on the Results and Fixtures link above.