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Board Update: 18th March

Board Update: 18th MarchFollowing Monday’s suspension of the Northern Premier League schedule, the club has been working on contingency planning in what is an unprecedented period for everyone.

This has been made even more difficult by the uncertainty over when things will return to normal but assumptions have to be made and we are working to a scenario that the 6 remaining home games will not be played, and we will not resume until September. Clearly we hope otherwise but we must plan for that eventuality.

In the short term the club stands to lose the majority of its income during some of the busiest months of the year, be that from ticket, food, beverage and merchandise income; functions such as weddings; 3G pitch hire; commercial activities such as photoshoots; and a potential suspension of our academic academy program.

We have proven that we have run a tight ship in financial terms, both on and off the field and with Neil Reynolds not only working within budget, but over-achieving on his key performance measures, FC proudly sitting second in the league as we headed into the last few weeks of what has been for many, one of the most satisfying and enjoyable seasons in the clubs history.

Thanks to the hard work of many staff, volunteers and supporters the club has considerably improved its financial position over the last 12 months to the extent that we can face this crisis with confidence that we can get through it. We are still working hard to mitigate some of these financial impacts and we will come back to members with further information in the next few days. Our priority for now is to get this club through the difficult months ahead whilst doing the best we can for our wonderful staff who, like everyone in this industry, are worried about what the future may hold.

As of Thursday those members of staff who can work from home will be doing so and there will be reduced staffing at Broadhurst Park with phone lines diverted to staff mobiles during office hours. Please bear with us if service is affected. We are aware that for many people there are very difficult times ahead, and the health of our fans, their family and friends, and all playing and non-playing staff is absolutely paramount.

Despite indications that we will not be able to resume football in the short term, the season currently remains suspended and not cancelled. Following a meeting with Neil and assistant manager Brian Richardson earlier this week, the decision has been taken to not to bring players in for training due to government advice until further notice. Neil and the players put a huge emphasis and take pride in their fitness, so they have been asked to treat the next three weeks as pre-season so if/when the league does resume they are ready to go.

We would like to put it on the record that as a club we wholeheartedly thank Neil, the coaching staff and all the players who have represented the club so magnificently this season. We are proud of everyone of you and can’t put into words our gratitude for your professionalism, graft and how you have embraced our clubs values and ethos.

FC United recognise that the league’s management committee face making decisions of an unprecedented nature, perhaps even about how to manage promotion and relegation or whether to void the season in full. There is little chance of a decision being possible that will satisfy all. It is our strong belief that in these difficult times the league must make decisions for the good of all its clubs without fear of legal action or other repercussions, and as such we will accept any decision that the league reaches in this regard.

Supporters have been asking what they could do to help.

Season tickets for next season will go on sale on Thursday priced the same as last season and with an opportunity to spread the cost over several months. We would encourage supporters to renew/buy their season tickets as soon as possible as the club will be reliant on this income over the next few months when most other funds have dried up. If supporters buy season tickets in the numbers we had been anticipating and with similar donations we will ride out this period. If more of you are able to buy or increase your donations we will start building for next season.

As a result of this crisis, and depending on its length, we anticipate being close to £100,000 behind the targets we had set unless we get significant government or football help. We will come to supporters in the next few days with a target we would like to meet in donations to put us back on a strong footing to compete for next season but in the meantime anyone wanting to help can donate through this link.

Our non-contract players will be paid until the end of this week and again if/when football resumes per the registrations they signed. There were 5 weeks of the season remaining and there is now a strong likelihood that these will not be played. The club can not afford to make extra payments to players at these times but we will look to provide one week’s wages from pre-season friendlies revenue for those who’ve lost out.

In the meantime we would like to ask our supporters if they can help our players. We suggest that 100 supporters donating £10 each into a player pot for the next 5 weeks would see them pick up a sum equivalent to one-third of what they would have received. This fund will be capped at this figure as the club needs donations of its own:

Click here to donate to the player fund - thank you

We will look to get a donation link up in the next 24 hours for supporters who wish to donate to this initiative.

When we know further information we will let you all know.

In the interim, while physical gatherings are impossible, please keep in touch with us and each other via our social media channels

FC United Official Twitter
FC United Official Facebook
FC United Official Members Only Forum
Subscribe to the Weekly Newsletter

Finally if you aren’t a member, please consider becoming one with the current membership period running until the end of June. You can take out membership by ringing 0161 769 2005

Stay safe and see you again at Broadhurst Park as soon as it is possible. Thank you

First Posted ~ 13:48 Wed 18 Mar 2020
News ID ~ 8671
Last Updated ~ 17:00 Fri 19 Feb 2021