City of Gloucester must rally around to aid club
THE outstanding rent may be being paid, but if Gloucester City are to flourish in the medium to long term fresh investment is needed from the whole community.
While club consultant Colin Peake is contacting city businesses looking for investment and sponsorship, the club's Supporters Trust is targeting new investment by way of new fans.
Buoyed by the potential shown by a crowd of 1,381 that witnessed the club's FA Cup first round against Leyton Orient in November, the trust are issuing a rallying call to potential supporters.
Since formation in 2001, the Gloucester City Supporters Trust has raised incredible amounts of money all of which has been ploughed into the football club.
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The trust is on course to smash through the £500,000 barrier next season, but spokesman Matt Phillips says that new blood is needed.
He is hoping that the people of Gloucester will rally around the club and flock to their remaining games at Whaddon Road.
"We had a crowd of nearly 1,400 for the Leyton Orient Cup game and that was a midweek night game, so it shows the potential support is there," he said.
"If some of those people came back every week then it would make such a massive difference to the club.
"We don't want it to look like we are going to mug you and take every penny off you, if and when you come to a game.
"Of course if you want to buy a programme, have a go on the golden goal and buy something from the club shop then that's great.
"But even if you just want to pop along and watch a decent game of football and have a decent day out with your mates, give it a try.
"We probably have the best squad we've had during our time in Blue Square Bet North and the team are playing well at the moment.
"But more than that, most of us who go along every week enjoy the social side of going to the game and having a laugh with your mates – it's not just about the football."
While the supporters trust is concentrating on increasing footfall through the terraces, club consultant Peake is out networking with businesses, seeking investment and sponsorship.
A benefactor has already been found to pay the outstanding rent owed to landlords Cheltenham Town, while another businessman has handed over £500 to Peake with no questions asked.
And while Peake doesn't expect every business or businessman to follow suit, he mirrors the view of the supporters trust in saying that every little donation will help.
"I know it is hard in the current climate for businesses but I would ask other businesses in the city to look at the club with come compassion at this time," Peake said.
"I appreciate that not all business can donate, but I would ask them to consider getting some value from anything they can afford.
"Like taking up a match sponsorship or any other package on a match day, supporting events like the Sporting Evening with Ray Parlour we are holding in April.
"Or even advertising with the club. All of those methods are not too costly and at least you know where your money has gone."
The sporting evening with former Arsenal and England midfielder Ray Parlour and comedian Aaron James will be held at Hatton Court Hotel on Thursday, April 11.
Tickets on tables of ten cost £50 per person and are available through Peake at email@example.com.