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Club News

MARK'S PROGRAMME NOTES | CHARLTON ATHLETIC

30 April 2022

The thoughts of Town's CEO ahead of the final fixture of the campaign

Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game against Charlton Athletic, our final match of the 2021/22 season. As ever, I’m delighted to welcome the supporters, players, staff and directors who have made the journey from South-East London to Suffolk.

I’d like to begin my programme notes by reflecting on Sunday evening, when we received the EFL’s Family Club of the Year award for the first time. Being named on the three-team shortlist filled everyone at the Club with pride, so you can only imagine how we all felt when we were announced as the winner. Huge credit goes to everyone that has contributed to the award. Wes Burns was also named in the Sky Bet League One Team of the Season on the same night, so my congratulations go to him as well.

Two days later, we hosted the Club’s End of Season Dinner at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall. Again, I’d like to congratulate all of the various winners from the evening; Wes, Bersant Celina and Conor Chaplin from the men’s team and Bonnie Horwood, Kyra Robertson, Natasha Thomas and Blue Wilson from our women’s side. We also presented our supporter liaison officer Liz Edwards with a bouquet of flowers as a way of thanking her for her tireless work and outstanding support for the Club once again this season. Liz – thank you so much.

Ashton Liz Edwards End of Season Dinner.jpg

Ahead of Tuesday’s Dinner, I took the opportunity to talk to those in attendance about a number of different topics, and I’d like to share with you some of what was covered. Firstly, as you may well have seen, I recently visited the US for meetings with our owners and investors. I won’t go into too much detail about what was discussed but what I will tell you is this, they remain committed to investing in the Club to ensure that we can build it back up to what we want it to be, and where we want it to be. Once again, there will be change both on and off of the pitch. Change can sometimes be painful, but it is necessary in order to move your club forward.

As I also said on Tuesday evening at Milsoms, we are approaching 15,000 season ticket holders for next year – that is truly incredible. The owners and I remain blown away with the support that the Club has received. We are expecting a crowd of over 25,000 this afternoon, with the away end being sold out by Charlton too - astonishing numbers once again. Let’s make it a great atmosphere and let’s finish the season with a positive performance and result.

Finally, I’d just like to say congratulations to our U18s side, who lifted the Professional Development League Cup on Wednesday night at Portman Road. Their 7-0 victory over Coventry made for a thoroughly entertaining evening. Kieran McKenna, his staff, the supporters and I all enjoyed it and the lads should be very proud of themselves.

Thank you once again for your outstanding support throughout this season.

Enjoy the game and enjoy your summer.

Mark Ashton


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