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Gigg cuts in store as Bury bid to stem cashflow problems
BURY fans have been warned there will be more cuts to the playing budget at the end of the season as the directors bid to balance the books.
Chairman Brian Fenton made the stark prediction following the club’s decision to go to the PFA for a second emergency loan in the space of three months to cover player wages – triggering a second transfer embargo, which will remain in force until the end of the current campaign.
While the Shakers chief confidently predicted the loan would be repaid in full by May, he admitted the club would have to cut its cloth accordingly in the future.
“There’s no question of can we afford it (the PFA loan) or not,” he said.
“We are committed to paying it off and it will be paid off, like we did with the one in January. But you’ve got to make cuts, whichever way you look at it there’s got to be cuts.
“Hopefully, more fans will come in to bring in revenue, but the player budget is probably going to be cut down at the end of the season.”
This season’s wage budget, and the club’s outgoings as a whole, have exceeded its incomings, which Fenton has put largely down to a dip in attendances, from an average gate of 3,600 last season to around 2,600 this campaign.
The Bury chief said some of the shortfall had been made up from season ticket initiatives and a new bond scheme, while the club has been seeking new investment, but Fenton admits the only guaranteed way to nip the problem in the bud is to reduce the playing budget.
Peter Sweeney, Lenell John-Lewis, Andrai Jones and Lateef Elford-Alliyu have already left the club, while Efe Sodje, Mark Hughes, Shaun Harrad and Marcus Marshall have been loaned out.
Their replacements have largely been loan signings and non-contract players, some playing for as little as £200 a week.
But Fenton believes further cuts will be needed at the end of the current campaign.
“We’ve got the wage budget down, but it’s not gone down far enough,” he said.
“We’re trying to get it back under control. We’ll have a good look at it at the end of the season, along with every other aspect of the football club, and we will go from there.”
The Bury chairman, however, called for fans’ support through the turnstiles to ensure that the cuts could be kept to a minimum.
“Our loyal fans of around 2,000 are absolutely terrific,” he said. “But we want some of the wavering 500 to come back through the gates and help us out.”