Presidents Message 14-12-15

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Circumstances at Rectory Field mean we have continually been looking at how we can improve the infrastructure at Blackheath FC, in order to give ourselves the financial sustainability and commercial capability that any club needs to ensure, and secure, a successful, long term future.

Ongoing dialogue between BFC and BSC (most recently on 26th November), has resulted in no indications that the Sports Club would acquiesce to our basic request for all, or a large majority of, the bar takings on match days at Rectory Field. This income is every club’s life blood; without it we cannot continue to run as a successful club at National 1, or indeed Championship – a level to which we aspire. As previously reported after the last AGM in July, a sizeable majority agreed that we should seek Championship rugby – why else are we playing? If we did get promoted then Rectory Field creates more difficulties because cricket needs it ideally, at the end of April – Championship matches extend into May – and the first week in September has always been unavailable to the Club.

Recent improvements and developments at Well Hall, not least the splendid playing surface, mean we have, (very nearly), a viable alternative site which will, with further achievable improvements, meet all NCA and RFU ground requirements. The intransigence of the BSC has made consideration of this move to Well Hall more of a reality – perhaps inevitable – and as a result we plan to trial at least 1 home game at Well Hall at the end of this season. This is not a new situation as moving grounds was first mooted in the 90s but such schemes always collapsed because of the failure to find a suitable venue.

The proposed change of venue for the Club has been well thought through, and been public knowledge for some time – indeed it has been discussed at the last 2 AGMs and FAGMS. All our thinking is underpinned by the desire to secure a brighter, more prosperous, future and one where the Club can not only sustain itself, but thrive, in National 1. It should be noted that within the Exec there is still a profound recognition of the historical and sentimental ties to Rectory Field.

If, for some unforeseen reason, Well Hall does not work we still have the Rectory Field which cannot be sold for housing. Regardless of other matters, Rectory Field will still host our Men’s, Women’s, and Age Group sides – who knows, if the financial climate changes, the 1st XV could come back in years ahead.

Try as we might, we cannot get away from the fact that the overriding consideration has to be based on commercial viability and financial stability. (Please see the Financial Summary below.) Members will be very welcome to attend a meeting being called early in the New Year to further discuss and explain the rationale behind the proposed move and will be invited to ask questions in order that we can help clear up any misinformation that may be out there.

The Exec will continue to consider all possibilities, review progress and, whatever path we follow, the underlying thinking will be underpinned by continually asking the question –

“What is best for the future of Blackheath Football Club?”                                                                                                         

                                                                                                              Des Diamond   10.12.15





Blackheath Football Club Limited (BFC) Financial Performance
2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 Projected
£ £ £ £
Profit/(Loss) (13,854) (37,445) (18,971) (12,000)
Impact of move to Well Hall for 2016/17 £
Loss 2015/16 (12,000)
Net profit from bar sales for 15 first team matches 30,000
Use of Well Hall for match day functions 5,250
Forecast contribution for reinvestment in BFC 23,250



BFC continues to operate at a loss primarily reflecting the loss of revenue from donors in 2012/13. Despite our best efforts we have not been able to replace this revenue using the Rectory Field facility.

BFC’s operations encompass more than just the first team and 15 home games a season. We have 500+ children in our youth section, 30+ students in our Academy and thriving Women’s and Men’s teams.     In addition we run a successful leisure, sporting, educational and community business at Well Hall. The development and growth of all these sections are important to the Executive committee and, I would hope, all of our members.

One underlying constant requirement for all of the sections is that BFC operates profitably and the financial records clearly show this has not been the case and continuing to play first team rugby at Rectory Field will not allow us to achieve the latent profitability needed for the stability of BFC.

Rakesh Chhabra (Treasurer BFC) 11.12.15

Tim Brindle


  • derek brown says:

    Rectory Field….. RIP
    Sad but inevitable

  • Brett Sparkes says:

    Can I start by saying thank you to Des for the above comments. Rectory Field is very close to my heart, as i suspect it is to all Club fans but Blackheath FC is closer. The most important thing is that BFC continue and have a strong financial base so that we are around for many seasons to come. I want to be proudly telling other rugby fans that I am a Club fan in 30 or even 40 years time (health allowing) not be a relic from a bygone rugby age.

    See you at Cinderford in the new year.

    Brett ( yes I’m that Club fan from Wiltshire who gets to more away games than home)

  • Reg says:

    This situation seems completely unacceptable. The BSC website suggests that its main principle is undying support for rugby, cricket, tennis and squash, and yet its intransigence seems to cut through Blackheath Rugby’s hamstring. I hope I’m not overstepping the mark in terms of making unwelcome suggestions, but can Blackheath Rugby’s executive board take their planning beyond simply trying to negotiate with an apparently deaf BSC and explore any firmer potential actions? Is it posible to obtain any legal advice on the degree of legal innovation that might be possible to chase commercial possibilities at the Rectory site? Are the RFU fully aware of the constraints currently limiting the growth of Blackheath Rugby at Rectory Field? After all, rugby at Blackheath is properly linked to the establishment of rugby nationally and beyond. It sounds as if despite BSC’s claims to support local sport, they are unable to identify and respect the importance of the role of Blackheath in the development of the game of rugby.

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