Cheltenham Town: Robins on course to break even - Baker
Cheltenham Town are still on course to break even this season despite their extensive investment in the January transfer window, says chairman Paul Baker.
Boss Mark Yates was given licence to bring in two permanent signings and three loans with one more temporary signing in the pipeline.
Jason Taylor and Byron Harrison have both arrived on two-and-a-half year deals, with a five-figure sum paid to AFC Wimbledon for striker Harrison's services.
Yates has added Paul Benson, Michael Hector and Luke McCullough on loan, with Luke Rooney still to come.
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He has trimmed his squad by agreeing settlements with Danny Andrew, Chris Zebroski, Jeff Goulding and Alan Bennett, with Marlon Pack also on course to join Swindon Town when the loan window reopens next week.
But the investment made in an attempt to propel the club back into League One after a four-season absence has left some fans concerned.
Baker explained that the board had drawn down a sum of money pumped into the club by a private investor at the start of last season.
It was untouched last term and while Baker plans to make it last for the next three seasons, he said it had undoubtedly been crucial in Cheltenham’s highly eventful recent transfer market activity.
He said: “We have dipped into the investment to support the playing budget.
“The money came in shares so when we use it, it comes out as a cost, so if we drew say £100,000 it looks like we’ve made a loss, but it’s money we have in the bank.
“So while at the end of the season we might show a loss, the situation will be that we’ve actually broken even.
“We are using the money prudently because we need to make it last three years and that’s the aim.”
Baker said the investors had the club’s best interests at heart and did not want any publicity for their gesture.
“They just want to help the club, for the right reasons,” Baker said.
Cheltenham have recorded a profit for the past two years having turned things around from the £800,000 loss they made in 2009.
Baker praised Yates' player recruitment ahead of this afternoon's home match against Torquay United.
"There is no doubt that Mark has got an exceptional eye for a player and his recruitment is difficult to fault since he’s been manager here," Baker said.
"He is also signing players at good ages and we hope some will do a great job, but also go on to be sold in years to come for a profit.
"We are bringing in players who are ambitious to succeed and improve - that's the kind of player Mark wants."
Baker said the club's intention was to finish in a top three place, avoiding the play-off lottery.
"We would like to have May off and do it automatically this year as great as the play-offs were," he said.
"It would be a massive feather in Mark’s cap because he would be the first to do it automatically for this club in the Football League.
"There are a lot of clubs with bigger budgets, so it would be a huge achievement to get out of this League."