NEW BRIGHTON have announced an ambitious five-year plan to develop the club with a new sponsor, new coach and possibly a new ground.
Despite a difficult season by their own recent high standards, the club officials have not been sitting idly by. Having learned from their experiences they have moved forward in a bold fashion to announce a five-year plan for the whole club.
Not only do they want to improve their league status in both rugby and squash but they are forging ahead with improved club facilities. A significant five-figure sponsorship has been concluded with Bartercard, a worldwide trading group who are keen to increase their customer base in Britain.
Born out of Australia, where they are bigger than any other major credit card, they have expanded to New Zealand and other parts of Australasia and beyond to a sizable market in the USA. They already sponsor London Irish rugby club, the London Broncos and Sheffield Eagles.
This exiting venture is in addition to the extension of the existing deal with Valvoline Oil and Interbrew and coupled with their existing generous long-term sponsors, forms the basis for next season's promotional push.
Several of this season's regular first XV squad players have already signed for next season and negotiations are well advanced with the remainder, plus a few new faces needed to strengthen the squad.
To lock it all into place was the announcement last week of a new player/coach Mike Howe, currently Orrell's first choice hooker, who will join the popular Ian Wynn and Steve Dakin with coaching responsibilities.
The new found junior section is still growing and the under-13s won their first game last weekend. Next season the club hopes to eventually run teams from under nines to under-18s.
To help boost club membership on all fronts, New Brighton's development plans that are being put in hand during the close season will include a total refurbishment of the restaurant, creating a multi-purpose meeting/conference facility to add to the existing restaurant facilities.
Downstairs the Pemberton Bar is to be refurbished to encourage members to use the facilities seven days a week throughout the year.
Finally, and looking to emulate the club's forefathers way back in 1935, the Blues are investigating the possibility of selling Hartsfield and perhaps relocating to a green-field site not too far away.
What was good enough 70 years ago is clearly not good enough for the demands of today's sporting world of rugby and squash, and if the club is to grow and remain competitive it must have the facilities required to do so.
This is obviously not going to happen overnight but plans and negotiations are well advanced and a feasibility study has already commenced. It is expected that if everything falls into place then the club could find itself in new premises in three to five years. The plans are to widen and improve the club facilities and create a sporting and leisure centre of excellence.