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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



Guernsey FC's dilemma

This week's The Non-League Paper had a one page feature on Guernsey FC, currently seventh in the Ryman League Division One South.   The team draws on the best players from the island and pays for the travel and accommodation costs of away teams visiting Guernsey.

The team was originally founded because of the Groundhog Day nature of football on the island.  The same teams would play each other all season with the annual Murati clash against Jersey the highlight.

Takeover bid at Woking

A takeover bid is in the offing at Woking.   A consortium of lounge members led by a local businessman is interested in taking over.  In the year to 31 May the Cards posted losses of £437,000.  Finances have been tight there for some time.   The club is currently mid-table in the National League.

Majority shareholder Peter Jordan, who has pumped £1.5m into the club, is believed to have resigned from the board.

'Safer landing' plan causes non-league fury

As we have pointed out in recent articles, relegation from the Football League to the non-league system often lands a club in serious financial trouble.   The Football League has now devised a 'safer landing' plan, but this has provoked fury from non-league clubs.

Can the FC United model survive?

FC United is a genuine fans' club.   But can the model survive as the club becomes more successful? Recently the club was upset by the FA's decision to move their cup game to a Monday night so that it could be televised.   Part of their argument for traditional football is that it should be played on a Saturday.

Good progress at Darlington

Volunteer run Darlington are making good progress with turnover up 18 per cent at £341,000.   All debts have been cleared and there is around £300,000 in the bank.   However, more help is needed from a wider range of volunteers.

One disappointment is that the club has not moved backed to Darlington and continues to play at Bishops Auckland.  Negotiations for a ground share at Darlington RFC continue.

Maidstone's success story

The latest financial results from Maidstone United show a clear success story.   Turnover is up to £1.36m and profits are £245,000.   Admittedly, a FA Cup run helped these figures.

Nevertheless, the underlying story is a strong one.   Wages account for less than 20 per cent of turnover, with funds being put into expanding the capacity of he stadium with its 3G pitch.   Attendances and season ticket sales are up.

The challenges of island football

People who live on islands enjoy playing and watching football as much as anyone else, but providing viable competitions is not easy.

The first category is where the island is well populated and has good transport links to the mainland. The Isle of Wight is the classic example and its non-league teams compete in mainland leagues. Southampton and Portsmouth are also relatively easily accessible.

Gulls could close

Torquay United could be forced to close.   One problem is that attendances have been falling.  Only 1,558 watched their home game against Guiseley, 250 less than their break even figure of 1,800.

Balancing the books at the Dripping Pan

Lewes have played at the Dripping Pan for 120 years.   Like all non-league clubs, balancing the books is a challenge and the chairman of the community-owned club has given an interesting interview on how they try to meet it.

Financial position at Kidderminster improving

The dire financial position at Kidderminster Harriers is improving, but the club is far from being out of the woods.   The playing budget has been slashed by 50 per cent.

The difficulty for a club in this sort of situation is that it can get into a spiral of decline from which it is difficult to recover.   Results suffer, the club gets relegated and attendances fall, making recovery difficult. Cup runs, which can provide valuable revenue and publicity, become less likely.