Tigers: Four weeks to save Gloucester City Football Club from extinction
GLOUCESTER City Football Club are a month from going out of business.
The crisis-hit Tigers need to find £25,000 by the end of the current season on April 27 in order to keep trading.
Six years without a home and dwindling gates have left the club unable to make ends meet.
Unless the money can be found by the time the current Blue Square Bet North season ends, the club will be left with significant bills and with no way of paying them.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Club chairman Nigel Hughes explained that the Tigers were approaching a crunch moment in their 130-year history.
"If we cannot identify new funds quickly, and very quickly, then we are weeks from going out of business – the situation is as stark as that," Hughes said.
"We made just £21 from our game against Droylsden when we had a crowd of just 149, and we just cannot survive on gates and revenue like that.
"Where have all the supporters gone? We had 1,300 supporters turn up to support us against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup, we need them back desperately.
"We don't care where the money comes from, we just need it to come from somewhere.
"The Supporters Trust are doing their best to help and we have explored every single avenue in terms of funding and where we can play – we have exhausted all options."
The Tigers have been effectively homeless since the catastrophic Gloucestershire floods of 2007, as water submerged the Meadow Park pitch leaving it polluted and uninsurable.
Since then, the club has toured Gloucestershire making temporary homes at Forest Green, Cirencester and for the last three years Cheltenham Town.
Last month, The Citizen revealed that the club had fallen behind with their rent payments to current landlords Cheltenham Town owing a figure in excess of £17,000.
The club have found a benefactor to pay that bill and The Citizen understands that negotiations are close to being completed on a deal that will see the Robins paid in full and an agreement put in place for next season.
However, dwindling revenues through the turnstiles, that culminated in the record low gate for the Dryolsden game last week, has left the club with significant other financial pressures.
In the past, holes in the finances have been plugged by owner Eamonn McGurk, but after 16 years, spending a total of in excess of £1 million on the club, he has had to channel his resources.
The Gloucester-based businessman has already spent £250,000 on the planning application for a new stadium at Meadow Park, only for the plans to be dealt a major blow in September last year.
The plans for the stadium and business land surrounding it were only "minded for approval" by the city council – effectively an amber light when the club desperately needed a green.
McGurk is now turning his attentions solely to the remodelled plans for the stadium, knowing that for the club to have any sort of long-term future, a permanent home is desperately needed.
On the field, City already operate on one of the smallest playing budgets within the Football Conference and have no staff on the pay-roll other than the players, coaches and physiotherapists.
Steps are being taken to restructure the finances for the future, but with contracts to honour until the end of the current season, the desperate need for fresh revenue has become acute.
Despite the club's own website stating that just four home games are remaining this season, the Tigers are actually scheduled to play five further games at Whaddon Road this season.
Colwyn Bay are the visitors on Wednesday week, March 27, while Histon come to Whaddon Road three days later on Easter Saturday.
The Tigers face Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, April 6, Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday, April 16 before Corby Town are the opposition for what could be the club's last home game on Saturday, April 20.
And unless significant investment is found by the time the return fixture at Colwyn Bay is played on Saturday, April 27, the fixture could be the last in the Tigers' 130-year history.
Any businesses or individuals who can assist the club are asked to contact Hughes on 07595 466447 or club consultant Colin Peake on 07763 831070.