The former Owls Trust, one of the club’s largest independent shareholders, re-launches today under the trading name of Wednesdayite with a brand new logo, totally new website at www.wednesdayite.com and an exciting new agenda.
The new Board, who were elected in late July have announced a series of new initiatives which place the members at the centre of the revamped organisation so that THEIR voices can be heard on all key issues.
Increasing membership numbers and Wednesdayite’s shareholding in the club are also key targets, along with a fresh impetus to help the community of Wednesdayites ranging from the disadvantaged through to a grant scheme for young players who might be future stars at the club. Wednesdayite also seeks to establish a constructive communication process with the club, which has indicated it will accept funds from Wednesdayite and give due accreditation.
At its heart is the need to mobilise all Wednesday fans on a scale never seen before to raise funds for causes THEY select as opposed to it being dictated to them.
Four new funds have been established and any fan raising money can select which fund their money is routed according to their personal preference recognising the individuality of each and every fan. These funds are:
Squadbuilder - to assist the improvement and competitiveness of the playing squad
Club facilities - to improve the match day experience enjoyed by fans
Community - ranging from helping disadvantaged fans through to assisting young footballers
Shareholding - to increase Wednesdayite’s shareholding in the club and ultimate fan ownership
Darryl Keys, the newly elected Chairman of Wednesdayite is excited at the potential assistance that all Wednesday fans can bring to the club –
“To make a real difference we have to empower the fans – so that they raise funds by themselves from their own ideas. The amount of funds from each such initiative is irrelevant and this is no better emphasised than through 20,000 fans doing something to generate just £25 each which would equate to £500,000 to help the club at a time of real need.
We have a responsibility to create a culture where each fan is aware of how important he/she is to fundraising and what difference he or she can make when taken as a whole.
It is absolutely possible - other clubs with much smaller fan bases have raised significant sums in comparison to what has ever been raised from our fans. Huddersfield raised £121,000 in the first 2 months of existence, whilst Brentford have generated nearly £1m (and over £500,000 in the last 4 months alone).
We will assist any fan who wants to volunteer to raise money as well as organising events ourselves. We have been approached by fans wanting to do a sponsored bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End through to a sponsored silence, pub crawl and a jumble sale. We have even had someone offer to sit in a bath of baked beans! We want our fans to have fun whilst raising much needed monies for the cause THEY choose to help the club and we need everyone, young or old, male or female to get involved.
Imagine if our Squadbuilder fund enabled Paul Sturrock to go out and get the striker he wants whose goals either keep us in this Division or even shoot us into the play-offs. The fund, created and built by the fans, can be a catalyst for the club to achieve the dream of Premiership football which will significantly address the financial problems and give us all a feel good factor that we were all instrumental in making it happen.”
The business community are also going to be targeted to assist the fundraising efforts through sponsorship or even by donation of product or service:
“Sheffield businesses can play a big part in fundraising – through offering deals to our members where our good cause funds can benefit from commission, sponsorship of some of our events and particularly donation of products or services which we can resell to generate cash”, explained Keys.
In addition to fundraising, increasing the membership is a key target, and already the membership fee has been halved to £10 a year for Adults and just £5 for U18’s. The new website has a members only section where members will be given a voice through private secure polls and the ability to give comment and ideas. Additionally they will be kept fully informed through the website and through monthly email newsletters.
Charlie Dickens, Vice-Chairman is urging fans to join to make a real difference to Wednesdayite –
“The more members we have, the more we will be listened to and the more influence we will have to try to assist in solving the huge problems the club faces. We want each of our members to have a voice as an individual and we are determined to improve communication with our members. For example, we will be seeking their opinions regularly through our new website and through a new initiative of regular fan surgeries where they will be able to talk to a Director on a one on one basis. We want to listen to our members who have some fabulous ideas and who may be able to volunteer their help in terms of skills or fundraising. We are also aiming to be as transparent as possible and even our Board Minutes are being published on our website.
We would also appeal for as many of our members as possible to use email as this is very cost-effective and simple method of communication for us, not to mention speed, which might be vital in the months ahead where we might have to be fleet of foot and flexible.”
Wednesdayite has already opened a huge match day car park adjacent to the ground on Penistone Road (season tickets for members are available for just £50, and day parking just £3 for members) and is in the process of re-locating to a new retail outlet near the ground where fans will be able to join, buy Wednesdayite events tickets, purchase a whole new range of exclusive branded merchandise and even volunteer to help or get involved in fundraising.
All members will receive a brand new members pack, which includes a personalised wednesdayite email address, logo car sticker, personalised Wednesdayite share certificate, plastic branded membership card and a new Wednesdayite tin can for loose change which can then be donated to the member’s selected good cause fund with a chance to win a pair of season tickets!
Wednesdayite have also secured the exclusive use of a pre-match private members bar upstairs at the Park Hotel on Wadsley Lane, which will be open from noon commencing with this Saturday’s Millwall match and where members will be able to meet Directors and discuss their views whilst enjoying a friendly drink with other Wednesdayites before all matches.
For full details and to join go to www.wednesdayite.com (3pm kick off today!) or email us at email@example.com