Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Tough financial times at Bury Town as boss urges folk to get behind the team

10:36 09 January 2014

Archant

The chairman of West Suffolk’s biggest football club has called on the town to help it through tough financial times – a call The East Anglian Daily Times and its sister title The Bury St Edmunds Mercury, are backing.

shares

Falling attendances, the economic crisis and an unexpectedly early FA Cup exit are among a host of reasons that have led Bury Town chairman Russell Ward to tighten the purse-strings at Ram Meadow in recent weeks, including asking some players to take a pay cut.

Mr Ward said that getting supporters through the gate could be the catalyst for turning the club’s financial fortunes around and the EADT and Mercury have launched the “We’re Backing Bury Town” campaign to boost one of the county’s most successful clubs.

Mr Ward said: “The short-term answer to help us immediately is to get people through the gate.

“People coming into the ground buy food, spend money behind the bar and have a go on the raffle. More support makes it easier to get more sponsorship as well, as more people are looking at the adverts.

“Our biggest way of raising money is getting spectators through the gate. It is an obvious one, but the starting point has to be getting more support.”

Bury Town’s average crowd during their championship-winning season of 2009/10 was 530, which has dropped to around 320 for the current campaign.

Mr Ward, who has been chairman for more than 13 years, said: “Two hundred people have stopped coming. Averaging that over 25 home games a season, that is going to make a lot of difference financially.

“We’re not on the verge of going bust – we’re being proactive rather than reactive. We’ve had to tighten our belts.” Other reasons for the club’s cashflow problems include an exit from the FA Cup in the first qualifying round at home to Thurrock, who play one league below Bury in the non-league pyramid.

The club had budgeted to advance at least a couple rounds, with this loss costing potentially thousands of pounds in prize money.

A proposed move to a new stadium in Moreton Hall also fell through, which meant spending money on refurbishments at Ram Meadow.

In addition, commercial manager Mike Rayner gave up his post last year and has only recently been replaced by Dan Bush and Clive Boughton in a bid to beef-up the club’s commercial activities.

There have been a number of high-profile departures from the club in recent weeks, although Mr Ward hopes players from the club’s academy at West Suffolk College – whose former players include Millwall’s Liam Trotter, Cambridge United captain Ian Miller and a host of Bury Town’s current squad – may seize their chance.

“Some of the higher earners have gone and we’ve now got the squad down to something we can manage financially,” Mr Ward said.

“The problem we’ve got is when you do play at a higher level of football, wages go up, it makes your players more valuable and to try and compete means paying them market value. You can get carried away and we have to be realistic.

“Because of the higher level, we’ve had to look and get more experienced players, but now we’ll be turning round and saying ‘you’ve got your chance, show us what you can do’, which is something we did really well.”

EADT editor Terry Hunt said: “I started my career in journalism as the EADT’s Bury Town reporter way back in 1979.

“It’s a great club, and deserving of more support. Another couple of hundred people through the turnstiles would make all the difference. We’re asking people to really get behind their local football club.’’

A proposed move to a new stadium in Moreton Hall also fell through, which

meant spending on refurbishments at Ram Meadow.

shares

0 comments

Mouth cancer survivor Sam Fordham with husband Neil and five-year-old daughter Molly

A woman who beat mouth cancer has said it is vital people who think they have symptoms of any form of the disease gets them checked out early.

Pupils at Farlingaye High, Woodbridge, prepare their presentations as part of the Most Able Student Day at the school.

Gifted pupils gathered for the latest in a series of events aimed at helping them realise their early academic promise.

Police close road (file picture)

Saddlemakers Lane in Melton is currently closed while BT repair fallen telephone lines.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

There are delays of up to 20 minutes for rail users travelling between Ipswich and Cambridge due to a signalling fault.

Rail passengers will be bussed to Newbury Park Tube station.

A 100-strong fleet of buses was rolling into action today to keep passengers moving between East Anglia and London as the first weekend rail line closure takes effect.

A library photo of the M25, which has been hit by severe delays today by a car transporter fire

Two lanes of the anti-clockwise M25 in Essex remain closed after a major car transporter blaze was tackled by firefighters in the county.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

Congestion caused by a late-running freight train is causing delays of up to 15 minutes for passengers travelling through Ipswich station.

Ipswich Crown Court.

An Ipswich mother accused of helping herself to £27,000 of her 25-year-old son’s money while he was in a care home has told a court he let her use some of his money to pay her debts.

Stowmarket's Regal Theatre is premiering Dad's Army. In conjunction with the cinemas 80th Birthday.

A Suffolk town’s theatre and cinema kicked off its 80th birthday celebrations in style with a sell-out premiere screening of star-studded film Dad’s Army.

Traffic

The A14 has reopened after a seven-vehicle crash on the A14 this evening.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24