While communications since the onset of the pandemic have painted far-from-rosy pictures, this one is the most stark yet and far more ominous in its detail and message. Is there something going on in the background which has changed things in the last few weeks, or were initial estimations about the impact this entire situation will have wide of the mark?
Serious questions have to be asked about the running of the club, particularly in these last few years. Strides made on the pitch - strides which have been expected of the club for a decade now - seem to be being framed as "ambition", when the reality is that we have quite clearly spent beyond some way beyond our means to become a middling League One club. You cannot gamble on a fairly fixed-number fanbase, which has historically given a huge amount of relative time and resource to prop up the club's financial performance, further increasing their level of financial commitment to allow the club to operate at a different level. True ambition would be launching initiatives which source external outcome, though I will cede that this is something far easier said than done. To complicate this, you've got our ongoing employment of Goodwillie and Love who, while I don't personally disagree with having at the club, have undeniably damaged the club's standing in the game and will undoubtedly act as a pretty large dissuasion when it comes to sponsorship from businesses and individuals.
Achieving such organic growth as a club at our level is always going to be extremely difficult when you've no assets - training equipment totalling less than £1000 was, I believe, all we had on the last balance sheet I looked at a few years ago - but flinging money at improving the club's league standing in the short-term and hoping to get lucky somehow is utter lunacy. Expecting that the club's fanbase would naturally rocket up, or that existing fans would dig even deeper into their pockets, is arguably even worse.