Without funding we have to face the fact that our present playing budget is unsustainable, warns Hythe Town secretary Martin Giles
HYTHE TOWN secretary Martin Giles says the club are searching for investors to get them through a tricky spell of the season.
Steven Watt’s side welcome Hastings United to Reachfields Stadium tonight sitting in eleventh-place in the Isthmian League South East Division, having collected three wins and a draw from their opening six games.
The Cannons are six points adrift of fifth-placed side Herne Bay, who occupy the final play-off berth but it’s the club’s financial affairs that are concerning Giles.
“Hythe Town is currently playing in its eleventh Isthmian League season having only once before this played at this level under the then chairman Tony Walton between 1989-92,” said Giles.
“The club exists at this level mainly due to good housekeeping and generous sponsorship, for the town of Hythe is not a natural as far as football passion is concerned, although we do have some great supporters and loyal helpers.
“This season we have been pleased to accept financial support from our three main sponsors and our Patrons Group, as well as anonymous donors.
“We have also seen some benefit coming from a groundshare agreement with (Kent County League side) Ashford FC.
“Unfortunately, with the onset of the pandemic we lost a main source of income from an anonymous donor whose vision for the club included the possibility of developing Reachfields Stadium into a local sporting hub for the community and despite receiving many assurances, this income has not restarted.
“With this funding we could have planned a firm drive for promotion and set aside a sum for at least one season in the Isthmian Premier Division.
“We could also have been planning for an artificial pitch that would have allowed us to stage Hythe Town Youth games at the stadium, as well as hiring out to other organisations.
“Without that funding we have to face the fact that our present playing budget is unsustainable.
“Ever since the crash in 1992 the club has been in the black with no debts and this remains the case today but without an injection of cash this would not be the case if we did nothing now.
“We now enter a three-week period until 8 November when we will be inviting any local persons or commercial interests to come forward, whilst at the same time realising that these are not easy times for anybody.
“During this time we will be maintaining the budget, which despite being a fairly competitive one is by no means extravagant for the division we are in.
“Our players and management enjoy representing Hythe and regularly turn down offers from other Kent clubs who seem to have a sudden access to money – however temporary."
The club would ask that any offers of help, which would be "treated in confidence," are made directly to Mr Giles by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cannons have attracted an average attendance of 236 from their six home games in all competitions so far this season.
Visit Hythe Town’s website: www.hythetownfc.co.uk