As reported by Ted (!), the BBC and now the Official Conference Website (even if it is just a carbon copy of the BBC’s article), and confirmed by the London Gazette, our club appears to be in financial trouble. Sound familiar?
With Benny Hill gone and a competent chairman at the help, as well as a rise in attendence for the first time in years last season, a feeling of optimism had returned to Nene Park. I am no financial king, but the words winding-up and Insolvency Act 1986 do not exactly fill me with close season glee. Indeed, it has more than dampened my pre-season optimism about the general well-being of our club.
The thing is, I don’t know how much to panic. Should we be roaming the streets of greater Northamptonshire, jangling a bucket of coppers? Or should we be planning our weekend trips to York and Cambridge next season? I really don’t know whether we should be at red-alert or Ted-alert – this isn’t the first time he has predicted our club’s downfall, and it is not the first time that a club has faced a winding-up order and lived to tell the tale.
Helen Thompson’s brief statement – which was reported by the BBC as reading “The fans, staff and volunteers will see this through. Nene Park is not an easy place to run compared to other clubs due to the massive overheads involved in such a stadium” – has neither increased nor diminshed my worries. Contrary to what this article may insinuate, I do have an immense amount of respect and confidence in the people who run our club, and I do appreciate the huge amount of work it takes to run Rushden and Diamonds FC, with the fallen attendences and the struggling economic blahdy blah. But it would be comforting to hear a bit more about the situation from the club, and not have the news relayed through the BBC’s notoriously poor non-league coverage.
However – the club seems to be planning for the long-term, not short-term future, which is surely heartening. New players are being brought in, such as James Reid, who impressed against Rothwell, and five trialists are currently training with the squad, with the obvious chance that they (and their wages) might be taken on board. Is this the action of a club in financial crisis? Surely if things were too bad Keith Cousins would have severely restricted Edinburgh’s close season freedom.