I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Bees fans a very Happy New Year.
I hope many of you will be able to make the trip to Bristol today and cheer on the team as we seek three points in our first game of 2020. We were delighted to sell out the away end and that so many fans took up the offer of free travel to the game, hangovers and result permitting, I hope you enjoy the day.
This is a year that will be an historic one for the Club, perhaps the most important in our history, whatever happens on the pitch, but Thomas Frank and the players also have an opportunity to achieve something magical in 2020 and you, as fans, can do your bit.
It has been a fantastic first half of the season on and off the pitch. I am sure we will all remember the West London derby wins and the fantastic victory against Luton Town as well as the comeback against Millwall and a brilliant performance against West Bromwich Albion. Your attendance in record numbers is greatly appreciated and I’m confident the ‘sold out’ signs will become a regular feature over the coming months. We have had lots to be proud of since August and I am sure there are some great days to come before we say goodbye to Griffin Park for the last time, and it is that farewell to our historic home that is occupying my thoughts as we enter 2020.
I am sure we can each remember the first time we came to Griffin Park. For some it will be recent, and Griffin Park will look very similar. Others will remember the Royal Oak End, terraces on the New Road, the old Paddock and before the Ealing Road terrace had a roof. Each person has their memories and I will cherish mine of trips to Griffin Park with my family and friends.
But it is what is coming up in 2020 that is most exciting. We have an amazing new stadium that is very close to completion - we should be getting the keys in the early part of the year and we can then really ramp up preparations for our move. We will announce soon when fans can get inside the new stadium for the first time. Until then, we will continue to keep you up-to-date with our progress.
Commercially we are making significant strides with both existing partners and new ones; all are excited to be on the journey with us and our commercial team are talking to others that want to be involved, which is great news. Greater commercial growth means greater investment in our playing squad - something that is key to helping finance our Premier League ambitions.
The most important thing, however, is that we will be starting to sell Season Tickets for our first season in the new stadium over the coming weeks. Premium Seats and Premium Season Tickets have been on sale – and still are – but the bulk of seats will go on sale from next Monday. We have been through an exhaustive process to get ready for this and the team in the Reservation Centre are waiting for fans to come in. We truly want all our existing season ticket holders to have a seamless move to the new stadium, therefore I encourage you all to go in person if you can, it will be a great experience and the closest you can get to going inside before we get the keys.
While selling tickets for our new stadium will occupy a lot of our time, we will not take eyes off the ball in regard to giving Griffin Park the best possible send-off. This has been discussed at our focus groups and ideas are being collated. We want to give all fans the chance to remember Griffin Park and will be announcing more details very soon.
There will be lots going on in 2020 and I truly hope it will be a year to remember for us all.
Come on you Bees!