Colchester Owner Cowling Fights Back
Colchester owner Robbie Cowling has issued the following statement on behalf of the board and management of Colchester United.
In light of recent comments regarding the future of this club, the board of directors and first team management wish to reiterate our desire to take Colchester United forward into the future.
Accusations of a lack of ambition are misplaced - Colchester United are ambitious, of course, but we are not foolish.
We know that we have to work within certain limitations at our current home of Layer Road and, whilst aiming to progress, we still have to retain some economic sense within that. There have been a number of clubs who have been foolhardy in their planning and many have fallen by the wayside as a result.
We would also reiterate that whilst things appear to be quiet, it is a hugely busy time at Layer Road.
Firstly, in light of yesterday's news of Jamie Cureton's transfer request, we would confirm that we have considered that request and will be turning it down.
We are not going to let him go elsewhere as we feel he forms a part of our plans to take this club forward into the future. To have accepted that request would, in our eyes, have lacked ambition.
Secondly, in response to an article concerning Chris Iwelumo's move to Charlton, we did our very best to keep Chris and offered him terms that were a massive improvement on his existing contract, which had already been improved significantly when we were promoted.
Of course it is currently difficult for us to compete on wages with a club that attracts 25,000 fans and has a £10m parachute payment.
However, that won't always be the case and we can confirm that, in terms of money to spend, we have made available the best budget in this club's history, both in terms of transfer fees and for paying far better wages.
Further to this, we are currently negotiating to extend and improve all existing players' contracts and we have been doing this for some time now, more than a full twelve months before their current deals have expired.
These players have helped take the club forward and we are making best efforts to ensure that they are rewarded for that work. Our ambition matches theirs and we are doing our utmost to ensure that their new contracts reflect that.
Whilst our current stadium provides constraints on how far we can go, the future remains bright - we have a new stadium on the agenda and, in time with continued success, we will be looking to expand that new facility.
Furthermore, we are currently a long way down the line in terms of securing improved training facilities for this football club.
We are considering a number of potential locations for a new facility and we are optimistic that we will be making a decision on this soon.
It is our intention to make everything about Colchester United Championship quality, but this doesn't happen overnight.
For example, the training facilities will be as good as anything in the division and that will give us a remit to really develop the infrastructure of the club.
Finally, to confirm; we are ambitious, realistic and aspiring to do the very best for Colchester United.
As published on the official site.