Firstly I must say, as a Football Club we have maintained a strong financial model throughout my Chairmanship.
However, no amount of planning could have prepared non-league football for the current situation.
The financial benefits of our cup success both this season and last have undoubtedly been beneficial but as a business this could, and would, never have been anything that we include in a budget forecast.
How could we?
That would be financial suicide!
Our model dictates this, our future plans for the club depend on this.
We all know the weather has not been kind to teams at step 3 and below this season and now with the cancelation of the NPL 2019/20 season we are facing financial uncertainties due to the total loss of all match day income at the Soveriegn Play Stadium.
Is a business grant viable to clubs at our level? Personally I don’t see the benefit of starting a new season, whenever that may be, with an extra liability?
We have a current PAYE run of 18 staff members, however I am still unsure as to the details of the Chancellors Coronavirus Job retention scheme and where this sits with player contracts and indeed the non contract members of the playing staff and management.
We are constantly relaying the situation to the players to the best of our knowledge and understanding.
With the uncertainty on player contracts, options and re-engagements they will undoubtedly be financial casualties, both institutional and individual.
Obviously this is the major difference between us and the professional game but I feel the full devastation will only be felt by clubs below the Premier League with the lowest being hit the hardest.
I just hope this does not turn into a case of ‘survival of the fittest’ as this favours the Premier League brand. Is this what matters to the FA?
As many have seen, this is an exceptionally difficult time for everyone around the world and the main objective and hope is for everyone to remain healthy.
What is important is that for people with health issues, or our more elderly volunteers and fans, is don’t put yourself in harm’s way. It is really important that we all stick to the measures that the government have outlined and try and see this period through and then hopefully everybody can come out of it at the other end.
Unfortunately our stadium plans are now on hold. Two years of hard work with council officers, planners and local businesses has been halted by this horrible virus.
The community benefits alone dictate this is a project we still plan to deliver if it is still viable and when we are all ready and able to start our lives again.
As the proud custodian of Colne F.C. we must keep our eyes on the economic implications and pray we have a club to return to.
Stay safe and take care
Ryan & Kirsty