I was listening to the non league show podcast yesterday and taken by the rumours about the number of clubs supposedly on the brink of going out of business. Will this be a summer where clubs fall by the wayside or will it be one with many rumours with no substance?
One chairman said to me at a recent home game that he had heard up to seven clubs in our division were in some sort of financial trouble. Did he include those in constant trouble or those hit now by the credit crunch, sponsors withdrawing, crowds getting smaller and income decreasing?
I don’t know how it will all pan out but it will be interesting. We know of Weymouth’s problems, the Non League Daily website have been reporting on Maidenhead’s significant budget cuts, rumours now about Team Bath and Fisher’s travails are also well reported. We also read in Saturday’s programme about Maidstone’s problems. Our own issues are well known but our problems are manageable at present – crucially we don’t owe any money and we are used to budgeting at a comparatively low level. I do wonder when some clubs are cutting budgets from what lofted perch they start cutting from – remember a 30% cut for some clubs will still give them considerably more than us.
This is why I believe it is a great opportunity for us if we come up with the money to support our players now because our budget would become more competitive and we know we get excellent value for money anyway.
The other side to this is that players will also have to manage their own expectations – many might be surprised that the market at Ryman Premier and Conference South level won’t support the same level of wages that they’ve been used to, meaning there could be some bargains about.
Some interesting times ahead.