To all our supporters. This is the sixth iteration of this statement which was started 10 days ago. Every time we have attempted to release it the information is out of date. This time we are releasing it and if required we will follow up with an updated version.
In response to the current situation I feel it is incumbent upon the Club to give you all an update as to where we stand, and what steps we are taking to see us through this extremely difficult situation.
Firstly, may I confirm that our Club was in a sound financial footing prior to the suspension of games on March 13th. We were in a position to increase the managers budget for season 20-21 and assumed that the performances on the pitch would have put us into the play offs, where we were confident that we could be very competitive. With the extra games of the playoffs we would have increased revenue not only of the football club but the social and supporters club too.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has put an end to all that and we are now in a extremely challenging position.
The board have discussed numerous ways to improve the situation but circumstances have fought against us as the virus took a hold, i.e. no social club, no hires for the venue and no games.
There is no clarity as to when football will commence, autumn is what most people seem to think, there is no decision on the completion of the season and no way forward on the contractual situation with players. All of these factors lead the Club into a situation where we would run out of funds sometime before September.
Therefore, after long and in depth discussions the board decided to ask all players & staff to take a 67% reduction in salary, we put all merchandise on a 50% reduction sale and opened a JustGiving crowd funding page.
Our fans are supporting us well through the JustGiving page and other mediums, and we can’t thank them enough for this, several supporters have also offered to purchase their season tickets early. The majority of the staff accepted the need to reduce wages but the players require the PFA to be part of the agreement and that has not been forthcoming. However events took a turn for the better following the introduction by central government of the job retention scheme.
The players & staff will be asked to accept a furlough agreement and if they do so they will be placed on leave with 80% of their salary. The requests were issued on Tues 31 Mar, the significant movement on salaries is essential for the survival of the Club and this scheme is a life saver for all the lower league clubs, possibly for all of the SPFL.
Moreover, the SFA have assisted with early issue of Licensing and Youth Football payments which gives us a little more breathing space.
We have been well supported throughout the year and that continues in various guises and I believe we are in a better financial position than many other Clubs.
I can assure you all the Board of Directors are working tirelessly to ensure we have a Football Club in a position to play once this terrible situation eases.
One must put it all into perspective, we are a football club trying to survive but there are people losing the livelihoods and worse.
Please stay healthy and care for each other. Follow all the guidelines associated with this shocking virus and I am sure we will come out the other side.
Graham Tatters – Chairman