In these ever changing and difficult times I hope that you are well and healthy?
It has been a couple of months since my last newsletter and I felt that this would be a good time to bring you up to date with events in and around Bayview.
The country’s public health issues regarding Covid-19 have meant that we have had to do a lot of work around the stadium to allow competitive football to resume at Bayview. Our volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure that we are as Covid-19 compliant as we can possibly be under the guidance of our Covid-19 officer John Donaldson. I cannot praise them all highly enough, but my sincere thanks go to John as the paperwork involved has been massive. We have received many excellent comments from the clubs that have used our facilities so far this season and they have all been very grateful for the safe environment we have given them to use for access & changing facilities on match days.
As point of interest, those eagle-eyed viewers of this week’s game against Dumbarton will notice that the home & away changing facilities will be swapped with East Fife using the upstairs lounge and Dumbarton using the existing home & away dressing rooms. This is being done at the request of the players & management team who would prefer to have everyone in one room as the lounge permits.
Still on stadium improvements you will have noticed that our new LED floodlights have now been installed. There are still some final adjustments to be made to the positioning of each light, but these will prove to be energy efficient & long-life units which will help with the financial running of the stadium.
The league has not started as we would have hoped with two defeats and a draw, but it is early days yet. Hopefully, we will start climbing the league table soon and the Dumbarton game would be a good time to begin.
On the playing side we have been hampered with team selection due to the unavailability of key players due to injury and suspension. Saturday at Falkirk saw the second of Danny Denholm’s two match ban while Ross Dunlop, Ryan Wallace and Aaron Dunsmore returned to the squad following injury, awaiting a family member's test results, and suspension, respectively. That leaves us with Danny Swanson as our only injury worry now. He has been feeling a niggle in his groin and is to undergo a scan, but it is not expected to be a long-term injury.
The return to competitive football has also seen the full launch of our EFtv live streaming service and for the first time we can stream to viewers within the U.K. & Ireland. I understand that there have been a couple of issues with the streams, but I would ask you to bear with us on this. EFtv is run by a team of volunteers who are doing their utmost to provide the best service possible. The issues at the start of the Montrose game, I am told, were due to trying to stream in too high a quality. I believe this was resolved after 15 minutes and that the stream for the rest of the game was excellent and I thank all the EFtv team for their efforts. We are currently awaiting delivery of a new 4K camera and are in the process of installing a dedicated broadband service to provide a more stable and reliable connection, both of which should improve the end users viewing quality.
Whilst discussing this I think it would be wrong if I did not address the matter of pricing of the match streams. As a board we decided on £12.50 for a few reasons, but mainly out of deference to our season ticket holders. Our ST holders purchased full price tickets during the close season out of loyalty and support for the Club. It was the Board’s feeling that to charge any less than the rate per match on a full priced season ticket would be wrong. I have also heard suggestions of having a ‘virtual season ticket’ for live streaming but this is not permitted under the SPFL broadcasting regulations for domestic viewers.
I have to stress that the money raised from these live stream is the only regular income the Club will receive until fans are allowed back into stadia in Scotland and is essential to the long term stability of East Fife Football Club. Whilst we are currently on a stable footing, with ongoing expenses such as staff wages and stadium maintenance costs it, that situation could change in a short space of time. I would urge as many of you as possible to take advantage of the streaming service as a means of regularly contributing to the club we all love.
As a club we have not directly asked our fans for financial help but unless we are allowed fans back into the stadium within the very near future, and that seems unlikely, that day may not be far away. The Board, as always, are actively looking at revenue streams but in the current economic situation, particularly the local area, this is proving difficult to achieve. We are very grateful to those who have contributed to Mel & Mandy’s GoFundMe page that has raised nearly £15,000 over the last few months.
Many of you will have seen and taken part in our virtual half time draw at the Montrose game. It proved to be a success and we will be running this at all future home games. Tickets for our match against Dumbarton on Saturday are now on sale from the Club Shop.
Still on financial matters, we are being careful with the use of the James Anderson money donated to all clubs via the SPFL Trust. As most of you are aware this money came with a lot of conditions on use and must principally be used for community-based projects and COVID-19 testing. Should we be fortunate enough to qualify for the latter stages of the Betfred Cup or be drawn against Premiership opposition in the Scottish Cup, then we will require to be tested before these games with substantial costs involved. We are not prepared to leave ourselves in a situation where we cannot fulfil a fixture due to being unable to afford testing and therefore will not leave ourselves short.
I do not wish to paint a picture of doom & gloom but merely wish to keep everyone informed of the current situation.
The Club needs your support more than ever and I sincerely hope that we will see you all back at Bayview soon. In the meantime, please stay safe and well.
Yours in sport
East Fife Football Club are proudly continuing their support for the education charity, Show Racism the Red Card throughout the upcoming Fortnight of Action. Our club have supported the charity’s messages of tolerance and inclusion within football for many years. Now more than ever, the importance of this fortnight cannot be overstated.
All professional clubs in Scotland will show their support over one weekend – Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October. Clubs will be united in calling for an end to racial discrimination and inequality throughout society.
Show Racism the Red Card work all year round with schools, workplaces, grassroots and youth football clubs and the prison service to educate young people and adults on challenging prejudice and stereotypes, using the power of football as a positive way to instigate conversation on anti-racism.
Covid-19 and events overseas have shone a light on the growing inequalities that some of us unfairly face. Still today, many experience this disproportionately due to the colour of their skin.
Last year in Scotland, 81% of young people felt more confident in identifying and safely challenging racism after working directly with Show Racism the Red Card.
In addition to raising awareness of the charity’s work in Scotland, the Fortnight of Action from 10th – 25th October 2020 shows commitment at the highest level of Scottish football in eradicating racism and discrimination in all its forms from our game.
We call on our supporters to continue to challenge racism. It is the responsibility of us all to ensure that the anti-racism message is carried out beyond the Fortnight of Action.
Club Captain Kevin Smith: “Everyone at East Fife is proud to be supporting this year’s Show Racism the Red Card’s campaign. There is no place for racism, or discrimination of any kind, within football or the wider society. We are committed to promoting football as a sport for all, regardless of their background and I encourage everyone to unite behind the efforts to Show Racism the Red Card.”
East Fife Football Club stands with everyone who has had to endure racial prejudice in all areas of their lives. We condemn all forms of racism and any racist behaviour will not be tolerated at our club.
Football is a sport that is loved by people across the world and football matches should be an enjoyable experience for all, whatever your background. Education is the key and East Fife Football Club will support Show Racism the Red Card to ensure our future generation are equipped with the tools to challenge and eradicate racism from football and society.
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On Saturday, we welcome Montrose to the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium for our first home league match of the season.
Unfortunately, due to current government and Scottish Football guidelines this match is being played behind closed doors with strictly no spectators permitted.
You can, however, watch the match live on East Fife TV from the comfort of your own home. The match is included in the Virtual Element of your season ticket and pay-per-view is available for £12.50.
East Fife TV’s coverage will begin at 2.30pm with regular host Liam Anderson being joined by former player Greig McDonald for pre-match build-up before passing over to regular commentators Daniel Hughes and Stephen Mill for the match.
To sign-up visit www.eftv.info
Leisure Leagues are bringing new 6-a-side league to the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium on Sunday 8th November.
The league will run from 6.30pm till 8.30pm and teams will be able to battle it out for relegation and promotion across multiple divisions.
Visit the Leisure Leagues website for more info.
Thursday, 15 October 2020
SPFL chief urges supporters to act responsibly this weekend
Interim Chief Medical Officer Backs Calls to Avoid Household Gatherings
The SPFL’s chief executive Neil Doncaster today called on Scottish football supporters to observe all relevant physical distancing guidelines when watching in the biggest weekend of the SPFL season so far.
As Rangers and Celtic prepare for the first Old Firm derby of the 2020/21 season and the Championship, League One and League Two return to action, Doncaster has warned of the significant potential health risks if supporters gather in groups at home or travel south of the border to watch the weekend’s matches.
Doncaster said: “A huge amount of hard work has gone into ensuring a safe return to competitive action for Scottish football and we are all desperate for fans to get back into stadia as soon as possible.
“The overwhelming majority of clubs, players and supporters have been impeccable, consistently conducting themselves safely and responsibly. Clubs have gone above and beyond to make stadia and training grounds safe for their players and staff and it is only as a result of this combined, massive effort that we have made such positive progress.
“However, in recent weeks, we have seen how quickly the virus can re-emerge, highlighting the need for continued vigilance from fans as we look forward to the first Old Firm game of the season, as well as the long-awaited return of Championship, League One and League Two matches.
“Given the very clear evidence that household mixing brings the highest risk of spreading the infection, we are urging supporters not to congregate in houses to watch matches. They put themselves and their loved ones at significantly increased risk.
“Fans should also be aware that travelling from the Central Belt health board areas covered by current additional measures – Great Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian and Ayrshire & Arran – to other areas in Scotland to watch games in licensed premises is a clear breach of the guidelines.
“Likewise, we echo the message from police forces in England that attempting to circumvent Scottish rules by travelling south of the border to watch matches in pubs would be completely irresponsible and could result in significant fines.
“With such a high-profile round of fixtures ahead, the eyes of the world will be on Scottish football, offering a fantastic opportunity to showcase what makes our game so compelling and exciting.
“However, it’s now more important than ever that all supporters continue to stick rigidly to the latest Government guidance, as well as any specific local restrictions that are in place.”
Scotland’s Interim Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, echoed these messages ahead of this weekend. He said: “We know it has been really hard for supporters to not be able to attend matches or meet in each other’s homes, but we also know the highest risk places for transmission are where people gather together.
“Once the virus gets into your house, it’s most likely it will infect others in your home, which is why it’s vital we all protect each other by continuing to follow physical distancing guidance and avoid non-essential travel this weekend.
“I want to thank everyone who has been following the guidance, and the SPFL for their support. The less chance we give this virus to spread through our communities, the faster we can contain it and start to ease restrictions, allowing the quicker return of supporters to stadiums.”
East Fife can today announce that Kyle Bell has joined Lowland League side Bo’ness United on loan until January.
Kyle has featured on 22 occasions after joining the club in July 2018 but unfortunately missed the whole of last season due to a knee injury picked up in pre-season.
Darren Young: “With Kyle missing last season through injury we felt it was important for him to get a number of games under his belt early this season and I'm sure he will have a successful spell with Bo'ness”.
All the best Kyle!