Firstly we would like to thank the loyal fans who have attended games and sponsored the Club in various ways. Our volunteers have as usual been exceptional and are the heartbeat of the Club.
The team currently sit second in the League, having led the League earlier this Season and this is partly due to the support given by our fans.
However with the current low level of attendance at games and no fans having bought into Boost the Boro standing order scheme on a regular basis, despite the great effort of FAST on Match Days the current playing budget cannot be maintained.
The budget is nowhere near the levels mentioned on social media, or close to the highest in the League but we expected that if the team was fighting for promotion more fans would turn up to support the team. Our paying attendance is considerably lower than when we were really struggling at the start of last Season. We have marketed the Club more than in recent times with leaflet drops, banners and general advertising but so far with little return.
Attendances have even deteriorated since the start of the Season and even in the last couple of games despite being unbeaten at Home until last weekend. Out of Saturday’s 189 attendance, some were mandatory free passes for the two Clubs officials, 20 players passes, children under 16 are free which meant only around 100 patrons paid, of which many are concession tickets. After officials fees, stewarding and safety we took a loss of over £300. We then have rent, rates, utilities and maintenance to account for.
We have been working so hard behind the scenes to generate funds through sponsorship, events and other commercial avenues, but with Home games not even generating enough revenue to cover the cost of staging the match, these other revenue streams cannot be relied upon alone to pay the players dues.
We are not prepared to run the Club at a loss, as we know where that can lead, as seen in recent years and we pride ourselves in paying the players what is owed on time.
Therefore difficult decisions need to be made extremely quickly and we have informed the Manager of the budget position that looks likely to be adjusted imminently if things don’t change.
On the eve of the Season we made it clear that our supporters either had to use or lose the facilities. We listened to our supporters and gave them a lot of the squad of last Season that had performed so well at the death, local, well known players that we could all relate too and reduced prices in a fantastic facility.
With our current paying support we really are a step four Club albeit with fantastic facilities and it may well now be the time to accept that and adjust accordingly with future plans. Other similar historic Clubs playing at the same level such as Lewes and Salisbury have found out just how tough this level is despite having far greater attendances.
To even be competing at the top of the table is an achievement and we all need to be supportive in a Season that has already been far more enjoyable than many recent ones before it. For a few supporters to use the phrase ‘tinpot League’ is totally disrespectful and completely incorrect, we have no automatic right to be any division higher than we can financially afford and justify over a period of sustainable growth which at the moment is slow in a difficult economy.
As much as this statement will be criticised by some, we feel it is important to be upfront with our finances so supporters can fully understand the position. We do not have the right to be promoted with the finances we have and criticism of those finances is way off the mark when we run the club the right way. The players, management and volunteers support this in so many other ways that we will not detail but we can assure you they are all going well beyond what is expected and contribute to the Club massively.
We will continue to work tirelessly to promote the Club and bring in more finance but will not risk the future of the Club.
So PLEASE do your bit and grab a friend or family member and get them down to Cherrywood Road starting a week on Saturday for our “Santa Festive game” against AFC Dunstable, your club needs you NOW.
The players are doing their bit and we need to support them more than ever in order to push on with our promotion bid,
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