Berwick Rangers reveal urgent cuts required with £115,000 loss expected
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The Shielfield Park club, dumped out of the Scottish Cup after a 5-1 thrashing at Brora Rangers on Saturday, is expecting to report a loss of £115,000 for the current financial year.
A financial statement by the Lowland League outfit warns that ‘a loss of this magnitude simply cannot be repeated, and changes are now afoot to prevent this happening again’.
The move comes as a three-year plan to achieve promotion back to the Scottish Football League looks doomed to failure, with the Wee Gers currently eighth in the table.
“The early Scottish Cup exit, combined with currently sitting mid-table in the Lowland League and the financial position the club finds itself in, means that the Board of Directors no longer feel as though the end-goal of this three-year plan is achievable, with urgent action required,” the club statement explains. “Injuries to key players, the recent break-ins and away cup draws have not helped.
“Despite attempts to increase revenue to support an inflated wage bill – for the previous financial year the wage bill stood at 95% of the PLC’s turnover – the club now needs to cut costs.
“Manager Stuart Malcolm has been included in our discussions as we have looked to address the financial position of the club. We remain committed to working with Stuart as he seeks to restructure his squad within a budget that will ensure the club has the playing and administrative resources to continue to operate.
“We fully believe in the coaching team of Stuart, Dean Shanks and Thomas Scobbie as we being this restructuring process.”
The Board acknowledges there are ‘no quick fixes’ but takes encouragement from a 10% increase in average match attendances, a 26% rise in season ticket sales, a 31% increase in club memberships and a 160% rise in matchday takings.
Significant work has also taken place in recent months to meet the Scottish FA’s licensing criteria and carry out repairs to the ground’s electrics, lighting, and now club shop following the break-in earlier this month.
The club has also sought to generate new revenue from making greater use of its facilities, through a wider calendar of events, room hire, and the expansion of footballing activities through Berwick Rangers Community Academy.
"The club’s financial position is a major concern, but it would be in a far worse place were it not for the backing that has been shown to us by so many supporters,” the statement continues. “We are incredibly grateful for your support through recent challenges and ask for you to continue on this journey with us.
“In the short-term, our aim is to ensure the club reaches the end of the season with money in the bank, allowing us to stabilise the finances of the team next year.
"This will then provide us with the solid footing needed to enact a longer-term strategy for the club, as over the next five to ten years we aim to be working in close partnership with Berwick Rangers Community Academy to ensure that young players are supported to make the jump to senior football.
“If we stay together and keep pushing in the same direction, there will be many more bright days to come for Berwick Rangers FC.”