Robins cash crisis deepens
FEARS over Cheltenham Town's financial position deepened as the club's employees learned they will be paid a day late this week.
The players and staff were due to receive their wages this Monday, but the club are relying on today's home clash with Hereford United to bring in the revenue needed to pay up.
The gate receipts will allow the club's employees to be reimbursed on Tuesday, but the delay is an indiction of the precarious position the club is in.
Chairman Paul Baker said: "It's a cash flow issue and the players and staff will be paid a day late.
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"This is not something that we will do lightly, but the staff understand and they will be paid on Tuesday.
"We need to make sure we look after our employees and I have every confidence we can see the season out."
Baker has already stated that finances are tighter than at any other time since he became chairman in 1997.
There are fears Cheltenham could slip into administration and incur a points deduction, but Baker insisted the club would stay afloat.
"I am sure we will stay away from administration this season, but it's not going to get any easier," Baker said.
"I can't say we are not going to have any more problems paying our staff again before the end of the season."
The Robins' cash crisis could force them to leave their Seasons training base next year.
The facilities are the envy of many clubs, but the Swindon Village complex may have to be sacrificed as the budget is trimmed. The current contract expires at the end of 2009.
Baker said: "All areas of expenditure are under review, including the training facilities.
"It's a great facility, just right for us and for the centre of excellence, but it is expensive.
"It's not just the rent, it's the utility bills for the hot water and heating the offices etc.
"The rent is not small so it's a big cost area and we'll look at other options."
When Cheltenham turned fully professional and entered the Football League in 1999, they trained at The Folley on Swindon Road, using the dressing rooms and indoor sports hall at the University of Gloucestershire's Hardwicke Campus.
They remained at The Folley for three seasons before moving to Seasons, formerly the Eagle Star Sports and Social Club, in 2002.
"I have discussed the matter with Martin Allen (manager) and we are not ruling anything out," Baker said.
"We are Seasons until end of the calendar year, but we have to plan ahead and address it as part of our budgetary process.
"The facilities at Seasons are as good as many Championship clubs, but we have to cut our cloth and if we can't afford it we will look elsewhere."
It is also unlikely that Cheltenham will run a reserve team next season.
The club has a side competing in the totesport.com Combination Wales and West Division.
Baker said: "All areas will be under review and a lot of clubs operate without a reserve team because of the cost."
- Dave Hockaday, who set up the groundbreaking Cirencester Town Football Academy in 1995, was at Cheltenham Town this week to watch and conduct training sessions with the Robins.
The former Swindon Town player was recently part of the coaching set-up at Southampton.
He worked with Cheltenham boss Martin Allen at MK Dons and Leicester City.