With reference to the recent publicity regarding adjustments to the playing budget, the Club wishes to confirm the following issues that have necessitated this action.
At the start of the season a budget was determined in line with anticipated circumstances and it was lower than the previous season. After consultation with the manager it was agreed to proceed for the first 8 weeks of the season with an initial weekly figure that was higher than the forecast average for the full 38 week season. The rationale for the “front end” loaded budget was to maintain the quality of players and that this would duly be reflected in the success of the team and in turn hitting the minimum average attendances of 550 required by the forecast. The forecast was reviewed weekly and at the 8-week mile stone, although the team had performed well on some occasions performance has not been consistent and allied with the current financial climate we believe this has contributed to a fall in attendances which now averages only 427, causing a loss of revenue against forecast.
– There are other contributing factors that have affected the budget this season.
– The loss of Carlsberg and Viz as sponsors.
– The loss of Ilkeston from the league, losing match day revenue and having to pay 2 weeks wages with no match (The budget technically should have been over a 36 week season). This will be compounded if other clubs fold.
– Increased travelling costs.
– The club was operating at 7.5% flat rate VAT; it now has to operate 17.5% (soon to be 20%) The increase in admission prices was implemented to help balance this, as gate receipts are subject to VAT
– Although the management are constantly “prospecting” for business it’s very much more difficult to source revenue through sponsorship, advertising and use of the Social Club.
As good practice in any business Blyth Spartans will continue to review budget v forecast throughout the season and react accordingly.
The club recognises that it’s greatest asset are the supporters of the club, and that their loyalty and support for the team and club are key to the future of Blyth Spartans, just as it has been for the past 111 years. We recognise that supporters and all want a successful team but this must be tempered with financial prudence to ensure that Blyth Spartans is here for the long term, as for our current financial position it should be noted that Club is cash positive and has no debt.
We recognise that Mick and the team will have difficult decisions to make and more challenges ahead and it is important that we all give them as much support as we can on and of the field. Adjustments to the budget now will ensure that there does not come a week when the kitty is empty and no one gets paid.
As ever if you have any questions please feel free to approach any member of the Executive Committee.