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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



The non-league route to glory

Rich individuals sometimes think that investing in a non-league club can be a route to football glory.  It can work, Fleetwood Town being an example.  It can also go pear shaped when the money runs out, as happened at Rushden and Diamonds.  At AFC Fylde, in the play off positions in the National League North, the jury is still out.

Truro no longer need to ground share

Truro City are not going to ground share at Torquay United next season.  A compromise has been reached that will allow them to stay at Treyew Road until their new stadium at Silver Bow is completed. Construction work there is expected to start in October 2016 and be finished by June 2017.

They are also going to install a 250-seat covered stand to allow them to compete in the play offs.

Gulls in takeover talks

Torquay United are in advanced takeover talks.   The current owners, a consortium of local businessmen, took over last summer, but have found it a financial struggle.

Wrexham get their ground back

Wrexham FC have regained operational control of the Racecourse Ground.   Wrexham Glyndwr University will retain ownership, but have offered a 99-year lease to the Supporters' Trust which will give them greater opportunities to stage conferences and events.    The deal does not cover the Colliers Park training ground at Gresford.

Failed bidder tries elsewhere

Having failed in a takeover at Woking, businessman Ashley Read is now to trying to take control at rivals Aldershot Town.   Months of negotiations with Woking ended after they failed to provide the financial information he required.  Woking, who posted losses of £500,000 in their last financial year, badly need a cash injection.

Aldershot chairman Shahid Aszeem save the club from almost certain closure in 2013, doesn't hide the club's search for fresh investment.  However, he says that there is no offer on the table yet.

Lincoln City improve finances

Lincoln City have faced more than their fair share of financial problems over the years.  They went into administration in the 2001-2 season and were relegated from the Football League in 2010-11.

They then faced a new financial crisis in 2015.   However, their fans rallied round and invested £165,000 in the club, as well as raising money through a crowdfunding scheme.   Their finances are now back on an even keel.

Keeping one's head above water

Cash flow is all important to non-league clubs and it can be badly hit by adverse winter weather that leads to match postponements.   Saturday matches that have to be replayed in the week atrtract lower attendances and generate much less revenue.

This BBC report on Taunton Town reports a £16,000 loss due to winter weather, but what is perhaps most remarkable about it is the number of weak puns it contains.   In fact, I inadvertenly inserted one in the paragraph above myself.

Stadium move for Torquay?

Torquay United are considering a move to an out of town stadium after the local council confirmed that Plainmoor was needed for housing.   Talks are taking place with an American firm that would see the company pay for a new 6,000 capacity home in exchange for the land.

Torquay were on the brink of closure last summer and are currently in the relegation positions in the National League.

Gulls players on less than minimum wage

It has been claimed that some Torquay United players were signed on contracts below the minimum wage.   Earlier in the year Gulls players were reportedly earning an average of £375 a week, still below the average for the Conference.

Torquay has been in financial difficulties since it was taken over by a consortium of local businessmen. The club is in danger of being relegated from the National League.

Big losses at Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers racked up losses of £2.9m last year and have accumulated debts of £5.4m.   They are bankrolled by their wealthy green industrialist owner, Dale Vince, formerly a New Age traveller.  The players are forbidden to eat red meat and red meat products are banned at the ground which means that high quality veggie burgers are on offer.