EXTRA-TIME: Lancaster City’s fans’ fund could make difference in push for promotion

Lancaster City manager Tony Hesketh.
Lancaster City manager Tony Hesketh.

In his latest blog ADAM LORD looks at plans from Lancaster City fans to help boost the club’s playing budget

Supporting Lancaster City must be quite a frustrating business.

The near misses of past seasons are often suffixed with a “what if”.

This season’s case being Danny Hattersley. “What if he hadn’t joined Stockport and taken his goals to Edgeley Park?”

We’ll never know, but the unsatisfying end to last season was compounded by news that the club’s playing budget would be cut by a quarter ahead of the coming season.

This decision can’t be criticised, as I said in last week’s blog, chairman Mick Hoyle and his directors do right by trying to make sure the club finishes out of the red season in, season out.

It would have been easy for City fans to feel sorry for themselves, as they watch other clubs splash the cash on the cream of the non-league crop.

But they haven’t, and are instead coming together at a meeting at the Dolly Blue Tavern next Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of putting funds in the hands of City boss Tony Hesketh.

It is an admirable move and one that underlines the dedication of an admittedly small, City fan base, who have been praised several times by Hesketh for their support, especially away from Giant Axe.

There are obvious issues to iron out however.

The fund’s management is a delicate issue and one that will require a great deal of trust on all sides. It has already been clarified by directors that the money will be spent only on players, not used for any bills that drop through the Giant Axe letterbox.

Hesketh has promised fans that money will be spent wisely, but if new signings funded from the terraces don’t deliver as expected, will fans expect to have a say on whether said player remains on the wage budget?

In reality, that can’t happen, but those who have invested will surely take more of an interest in certain players knowing they are funding their expenses and may seek to pull out of any agreement, which could cause problems in terms of budget management.

I’m sure however these details will be ironed out and considering the wage of an average member of the Dolly Blues squad, it won’t take many on the terraces to get involved for three or four players to be added to what will undoubtedly be a stretched playing squad.

And with City having come so close to the play-offs last season, the investment, along with the continued link with Myerscough College, could make or break City’s season.