Mon, 12 Oct 2020
Hungerford Town have taken ‘a leap of faith’ after kicking off the new season with fans still banned from attending their matches.
National League clubs had warned that they would not start the season without funding from the Government or FA as they would not be able to generate any income without supporters at their games.
The Government recently announced a £10m package for the National League and clubs agreed to start the season.
Hungerford kicked off their 2020/21 campaign with an FA Cup away tie at Truro and have won their opening two matches of the league season.
Crusaders chairman Patrick Chambers said: “It is a leap of faith because once we played that game the players’ contracts kicked in, meaning that we are obliged to pay them until the end of the season.
“The funding has come from the Government via the FA, who will pay it directly to the clubs.
“I believe that 55 per cent of the £10m will go to clubs in the National League and 45 per cent to the North and South.
“It will be based on average attendances, so we will probably get the smallest amount, but that is fair enough as clubs who get crowds of 3,000 will be losing a lot more money than us.
“It will probably be about £15,000 to £20,000, which is the minimum amount we need to cover our costs.”
The funding will cover the first three months until the end of December, when the Government and FA will review the situation.
Hopefully by then fans will be allowed to return to matches and the funding will stop, but if not, there will probably be another cash injection.
Hungerford also lost money because of a decrease in the amount of sponsorship they have received this season.
And they still have to fork out to upgrade the changing facilities to comply with league standards.
But amid all the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the start of the season, Chambers is still confident that Crusaders can have a successful campaign.
Despite the 4-0 defeat at Truro, he said: “We have a good manager and a good squad and we will be ok.”