Woking Football Club, The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA01483 772470
PM Antiques
Woking News
Woking News & Mail

An interview with our main Club Sponsor: Laithwaite Financial Services Ltd

12th June 2020

An interview with our main Club Sponsor: Laithwaite Financial Services Ltd Commercial sponsors are one of the crucial building blocks of any successful club and at Woking we have been very fortunate to have great companies backing us in recent years. In particular Laithwaite Financial Services have been committed and generous sponsors of both the Geoff Chapple Lounge and Stadium over several years. In another of our series of interviews with our sponsors we spoke to Andy Laithwaite.

Thanks for your time Andy; before we get onto the club, how has the latest crisis affected your company?

Practically I have continued working at the office, but all our staff are working from home. Our focus is pensions and investments and obviously the markets took a big hit early on, but now appear to be recovering strongly. A lot of our time is spent contacting clients to reassure them, with many now eyeing up investment opportunities. The crisis has been unsettling, but we have managed the fall-out quite well and it hasn’t had too much of a negative impact.

So how did you start as a sponsor of Woking FC?

Well I have always loved football at all levels and was particularly involved as a manager with Woking Town FC, a local youth football club for many years. 6 years ago I was introduced to Nicky Banger, the club’s commercial manager. Those who know Nicky will also know that he is very persuasive and, before I knew it, I was sponsoring the new Geoff Chapple Lounge – which was a great honour. That went well and the following season Laithwaite Financial Services was delighted to step up and become the first named sponsor of the Stadium.

A big moment and, of course, to many it had always been Kingfield.

Yes of course – Woking is a historic club and I am well aware that Kingfield is the home of Woking to the vast majority of the fans and I wouldn’t expect it to be any other way. You can’t simply change history with a sponsorship – if Old Trafford suddenly got a stadium sponsor it would never stop being referred to as Old Trafford by the fans. Of course, there has to be a commercial aspect to it, otherwise it would not be sustainable. For us, it raises the firm’s profile and we benefit from that, whilst the club also benefits as it is a way of bringing in valuable funds for the club and the playing budget.

You have stuck with the club for 6 years and we understand negotiations are positive and ongoing to renew – a simple question, why do you do it?

Basically, football is in my blood – at all levels – and supporting your local team, through all the ups and downs, brings a lot of enjoyment - most of the time anyway! I attend almost every home game and manage a few away games, which keeps alive the interest and the fun. Of course, you can watch the Premier League but what I love here is that you can be close to the action and involved, for example, meeting players and management on match days. There is much more substance to it. And yes, we are in negotiations regarding a renewal, which will extend the firm’s involvement to 9 years and hopefully a positive announcement will be made soon.

You mention ups and downs and we have seen a few of those in the past few years.

Yes, being relegated was a horrible experience, depressing in fact, but being involved in football from an early age helps to prepare you for disappointment in later life. It definitely was a low point, but then a year later with Dowse at the helm, we get to the play offs. Against Wealdstone, with 15 minutes left, 2 goals down, I was slumped in my seat muttering under my breath, then the seemingly impossible happens and I can’t remember who I was hugging! That is football and that is why the love of football is ingrained in every football fan. This past season we were beginning to look very strong for the play offs and then, understandably, it all ended - but there is so much to be optimistic about.

Finally, what are your hopes and expectations for the future at the club?

Quite simply, I really believe it is time for Woking to move up a level. We are a very good club, run well, debt free and moving in the right location, with viable plans pending for a stadium and enhanced facilities. The community roots and identity are strong and on top of this we have a very good manager and management team, so an excellent foundation is in place to build on. Woking as a town presents a huge and vibrant catchment area and I do believe that the club is better placed than most to capitalise on the opportunities that we have in front of us. We need to be ambitious and look positively to the future.

Thank you, Andy and once again thank you to yourself and Laithwaite Financial Services for your friendship, belief and support. We move forward together and hear the call for ambition and positivity. Come On You Cards!

Social Media

Follow us on Woking FC on Facebook & Official Woking FC Twitter to get the latest updates from Woking Football Club direct to your News Feeds & Timelines!

News Archive
Advertise With Woking
Woking FC Newsletter
Join the Woking FC Newsletter
The Cards Trust
The Cards Trust Boost the Budget