Cheltenham Town: Investors will stay a mystery - Paul Baker
CHAIRMAN Paul Baker says that the investors who pumped £500,000 into Cheltenham Town's coffers last summer wish to remain nameless.
Shortly before the start of the 2011/12 campaign, the Robins' board were given extra funds, helping to finance the 'bonus' signings of Luke Summerfield and Darryl Duffy.
Both players became key figures in the Robins' League Two promotion bid, which saw them reach the play-off final before going down 2-0 against Crewe Alexandra at Wembley.
Baker said the financial assistance had been granted for all the right reasons, with no intention of gaining publicity.
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"As with all things in life, people do things for different reasons and some like to shout from the rooftops and like to be associated with success and football," Baker said.
"We have had people from the former chairman of Darlington (George Reynolds) to the former manager of Crawley Town (Steve Evans) saying they are going to be in the Championship in three years' time and all that type of stuff.
"Football is littered with people like that, who go in with huge aspirations, but very few of them actually happen.
"Other people like to do it quietly, putting a bit of money in and helping to make a difference.
"We have people with an affinity with the club. I have a huge affiliation with Cheltenham and I'd never want to be affiliated with any other club and all the directors at Cheltenham are the same.
"We have investors on board now, who want to remain quiet, but they are passionate about Cheltenham Town, not because they want to be the 'big I am'."
With Cheltenham hoping for another promotion push next season, Baker has already confirmed the playing budget will increase.
But he has been amazed at some of the wages and signing on fees being offered by League Two clubs this summer.
"There are some crazy amounts of money being talked about and I can't get my head around it to be honest," he said.
"It's an accident waiting to happen with some of these clubs and we won't be tempted to go down that route.
"What we do want to do is improve the playing squad, increase the playing budget and make sure we keep a decent amount of money aside for loan signings, because that has worked really well for us this year.
"If we can bring in three quality long-term loan signings, of the quality we had last year, that will hold us in really good stead.
"Season ticket sales have been strong and as chairman for the first time in many years I can go into a close season not worrying about how we are going to pay the wages in May, June and July."
Meanwhile Baker is preparing for the launch of Cheltenham's new kit during pre-season.
He would not reveal the design, but it is believed to be ruby after the success of last term's 125th anniversary strip.
"We want to keep it under wraps because it's nice to keep excitement back for the launch," he said.
"But we have done our research, listened to the fans and I think they will be really chuffed with the kit we have gone for."