MALTBY Main are ‘on the brink’ of financial ruin and may not be able to finish the season.
The football club has suffered from a reduction in the amount of money raised by sponsorship, and an increase in the fees charged by landlords Maltby Miners Welfare.
Club secretary John Mills told the Guardian the situation was dire.
“We are on the brink,” he said. “We’ve had a few sponsors drop out and it’s left us desperately trying to get new ones in.”
“We don’t even have a shirt sponsor at the moment.”
While Mills attributes a lot of the club’s woes to the current financial climate, he said the higher fees charged by the Welfare – themselves out of pocket due to the withdrawal of Rotherham council services – were a factor.
“The pitch fees have gone up, the council is stopping cutting the grass and they’re going to charge the Welfare £21,000 a year so they’ve had to put the fees up.”
Mills fears that the NCEL Premier side may not have enough cash to survive the current campaign.
“We’re trying to make the season but I don’t think we will,” he admitted.
“We’re waiting to hear from another sponsor to see if they can help us out but it’s all ifs and buts.”
While football clubs all over the country have fallen into debt through unsustainable wage bills, Mills insists that’s not the case at Muglet Lane.
“We don’t pay anybody, we haven’t paid anybody for years.”
“We’ve done okay with people coming through the gate, but all we can do is try to find another sponsor.”
Jim Liversedge is the ground secretary at Maltby Miners Welfare, and he believes it would be a disaster if Main were to fold.
“It would be devastating for the village, for a club that has been around that long to go under.”
“The council isn’t cutting the pitches so the Welfare has to dip into its own pockets and so the fees have to go up a little bit.”
A spokesperson for Rotherham Borough Council said she was sorry to hear about the difficulties at the club but pointed out that it is up to individual organisations, such as CISWO and the miners welfares, to determine their own budgets for land maintenance from next April.
She added: “Rotherham Borough Council has been providing this free grass cutting and ground maintenance service to CISWO and other organisations since government re-organisation in 1974.”
“Unfortunately, due to the financial restrictions now faced by Rotherham, we are no longer able to provide this discretionary service and will be forced to make a charge.”
“We have held meetings with them and have also offered them assistance throughout this process but ultimately, it will be up to the individual organisations at a local level to decide on how to use their budgets.”
Main’s troubles have been reflected on the pitch, as they sit rock bottom of the NCEL Premier table having not won a league game in 15 outings.
Their last victory in the league came on the opening day of the season.
l For more Main news see page 45.