This is a very important month for us at Bromley Football Club, as we prepare for one of the most financially challenging seasons in our recent history, warns chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves
BROMLEY chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves says he has been forced to increase admission prices for this coming National League campaign due to restrictions in attendance figures.
Clubs at Isthmian League level and below have been allowed to open their turnstiles for pre-season friendlies and FA Cup ties but with the National League kicking off on Saturday 3 October, clubs at Bromley’s level and the one below haven’t received official guidance as to how many fans will be allowed in at Hayes Lane.
Stanton-Gleaves, however, has confirmed in his statement, that manager Neil Smith will have the same budget as last season.
“This is a very important month for us at Bromley Football Club, as we prepare for one of the most financially challenging seasons in our recent history,” said Stanton-Gleaves.
“The pandemic has touched all of us in many ways, and the club is not alone in that. On behalf of the club, I apologise for the recent lack of communication but I can assure you that behind the scenes we have been doing all we can to get ready for the football season ahead.
“The purpose of this update is to share with you all the initial plans for the season ahead and advise on some of the changes that will be forced upon us.
“While we await the release of the fixtures for the season ahead, which are due next Tuesday 8 September, we have the continued task of attempting to financially plan without any confirmation of an anticipated and allowed level of spectators.
“Being part of the National League, we are viewed as “Elite Sport” level and therefore have the challenge with the Government guidelines around spectators being allowed into the stadium.
“Non-Elite sides from the Isthmian League and below have managed to return to football with spectator levels at just 15% and 30% of their minimum ground grading capacities.
“Should this be applied to our Elite level, which is the current hope, then this would represent estimated capacities for us of as little as 600 (15% capacity) or hopefully 1,200 (30% capacity) based on the minimum ground grading of The National League.
“Your support last year was outstanding with an average of over 2,000 spectators at home matches, which was a new club record.
“With the severe restrictions likely to be in place, as detailed above, we are left with very little choice but to take the difficult step and let you know that we are having to increase admission prices for the coming season.
“Confirmation of these increases will follow in due course once we have been advised of the level of crowd we are allowed to have in the stadium.
“I fully appreciate the lengths supporters go to in order to be able to watch us and the decision that has been made hasn’t been taken lightly. However, in order for the club to come through these unchartered waters, we must make these difficult decisions and I hope those who are able to continue to support the club do so.
“With regard to season tickets, a further tough decision has to be made and with the inability to guarantee a full fixture list and following advice from the National League, we are not comfortable taking supporters’ money for a product we cannot guarantee we can fulfil. Therefore, for the coming season, there will be no season tickets on sale.
“I recognise this will be a disappointment to many of you and particularly the season ticket holders of last year but once again this is a decision that has had to be made due to the circumstances we find ourselves in.
“To recognise the commitment shown by season ticket holders of last season we will follow up in due course with details of a membership scheme for the season 2020/21. Equally, full details on admission prices for the new season will follow once we have further clarifications.
“While we continue in these difficult times the environment we operate in will be changing constantly, with new guidelines and requirements and we will need to be as adaptable and agile as possible to give us the best chance of succeeding on and off the pitch this season and I ask you for your support and understanding at these times.
“Despite these challenges, our ambition on the pitch remains unchanged, and myself and the club are determined to give Neil Smith and his management team as much support as we can, and the best possible opportunity of success.
“Therefore, I am pleased to announce we will be matching last year’s playing budget. We accept this will be an almighty challenge and we will need all of our sponsors and supporters on board more than ever to make it happen.
“This will help to ensure Neil has the best possible group of players and that he can pursue his targets and improve the squad. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will update you all on new player arrivals, beginning later today.
“We appreciate your continued patience and understanding and greatly look forward to welcoming you back to Hayes Lane safely.”
Bromley confirmed the departure of Adrian Clifton, 31, yesterday, having spent a season at Hayes Lane following his move from Maidenhead United.
The striker made 26 appearances in all competitions last season, without scoring a goal.
Bromley, meanwhile, will be the away side when they play tenants Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane on Saturday (14:30), an all-ticket pre-season friendly, with 600 tickets up for grabs.
Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.co.uk