GIVEN the exceptional circumstances we all find ourselves in we would like to inform all our loyal supporters of the steps being taken to ensure the long-term future of Chorley Football Club.
Following the suspension of the National League programme earlier this week and further updates from The FA today, the directors of the football club have had to make several tough decisions to ensure the future of the club going forward.
Since promotion to the National League, we have seen results that we feel have not always matched performance and while we as a club were under no illusion regarding the step up in quality promotion would bring, it has proven a more arduous task than anticipated. We set Jamie a budget in the summer that we felt would allow us to compete on the pitch while retaining the financial sustainability of the club.
The club’s finances have been under constant review throughout the season and we have already had to make tough but necessary decisions that supporters may or may not have agreed with or understood; all taken with the best interests of the football club.
Ultimately, whilst we feel on the field we aren’t too far away, the difference in finances and competing against teams with full time squads has been a harsh reality. Other costs associated with the upgrading of an ageing ground to meet the higher standard required, increased travel costs and the number of injuries suffered at varying stages of the season (leading to loan players being brought in to cover) have also placed an additional financial burden on our already tight budget. However, with lessons learned we had started to plan for a stronger 2020/21 season whatever division we found ourselves in.
Now, in addition to these difficulties, we have to consider the impact Covid-19 will have on our immediate and long-term future. In order to meet the challenges ahead of us we have had to review our existing costs and look to rebuild for next season with a realistic and affordable budget.
We have therefore had to make the difficult decision to put all Chorley FC non-playing staff on notice. The social club, our only other source of revenue outside match days, will be closed in line with the public health guidelines issued. All training sessions from first team right through the youth development set up have been suspended.
While our immediate thoughts must be on the health and wellbeing of all our families, friends and colleagues who are being effected by the current situation, it is still early days with the virus outbreak and we must all remind ourselves that we can and will work our way through. With that in mind we cannot lose sight of the impact this is having on our Club. Every one of the backroom staff at the club is working hard to ensure the future of the club as best we can.
With all areas of revenue either suspended or forced to close, in addition to the cancellation of our annual Thirsty Magpie Beer Festival, several soccer tournaments and other events, we have been left with no source of income or any indication of when we can put these events back into place. We have had to close down all outgoings until such time as either government support is put into place or we can return to normal operations. One thing that has heartened me is the fact that even after being put in the picture about our immediate difficulties, several backroom staff members and supporters have committed to working voluntarily to make sure everything is maintained ready for when we do eventually return.
Jamie, Andy Preece and Jonathan Smith are working tirelessly to make sure we hit the ground running with the playing staff and I remain convinced with the support of our loyal fan base we will come out of this an even stronger club both on and off the field – Ken Wright (Chairman, Chorley FC)
As things become clearer in the weeks ahead the Club will look to regularly update supporters as matters develop.