FC Halifax Town: Chairman Bosomworth hails "huge" signings of Johnson and Clarke

David Bosomworth
David Bosomworth

Town chairman David Bosomworth has hailed the "huge" signings of goalkeeper Sam Johnson and defender Nathan Clarke on renewed deals.

The duo extended their stays recently after enjoying magnificent seasons, with Johnson penning a new two-year contract and Clarke a 12-month deal.

The futures of out-of-contract players Matty Kosylo, Ryan Sellers and Michael Duckworth are still to be decided, although Bosomworth said the club were hoping to announce the retention of another player by the end of the week.

Bosomworth said he expects next season's playing budget will be "very similar" to last season, but that the club was "working hard to provide all the funding we can".

"But we are totally dependent on the income from season ticket sales, turnstile income, sponsorships and cup income or any transfer income," he said.

"We've made two huge signings already in retaining Sam Johnson for two years and Nathan Clarke for another year.

"It isn't to be underestimated how difficult it is to keep these players, but we're delighted.

"Certain players you accept will be leaving and there are certain players that may leave that you don't want to leave.

"But Sam and Nathan have good experience, they're good professionals and have the right attitude, and we're delighted to have secured them."

Bosomworth wants to see the club build on their 16th place finish last season, and feels a club's budget, while important, isn't the only determining factor for success.

"If we get the recipe right at the top of the pitch, then we look a very good proposition," he said.

"We had our fair share of injuries last season, and that resulted in square pegs in round holes, which does affect performance levels.

"We had a lot of draws, against teams which, in reality, should have been wins. But it doesn't take an awful lot - if you swing those draws into wins, and we're all a year further down the track.

"Against the top seven teams, we only lost twice. It was our performances against the Maidenheads, the Aldershots, the sides nearer to us.

"The one thing we're striving for is to get into that top seven. Gateshead were on a limited budget, with fluctuating between part-time and full-time, changes of manager, off field problems, but they were in the running to be in the top seven all season.

"Macclesfield went up the season before on a modest budget.

"Budget helps, no doubt about that. Look at the two teams that got promoted, Leyton Orient and Salford, they had the biggest budgets.

"In that respect, the stats don't lie. But what happens underneath that is dictated by budget, size of squad, injuries, the galvanization of the team, a bit of luck. All those things conspire.

"We've got to try and build on what we've done this season."

When asked whether season-ticket sales would impact the playing budget, Bosomworth said: "Increased season ticket sales doesn't mean an increase in revenue.

"What we're saying is we need to sell, sell, sell, especially to those who aren't regulars but attend six, seven or eight games. We want them to buy a season ticket.

"Do we have 3,000 'regular participants' who come to at least eight to 15 games a season that we can persuade, or as many as possible, to buy a season ticket?

"We're trying to be as realistic as possible. But it is a huge gamble for the club.

"It wasn't a hasty decision, it was considered for four weeks looking at different prices and different scenarios.

"We hope people see we're trying to engage as many people as we can, especially the kids.

"If it's successful, we can repeat it. If it isn't, then we have to revert. But we're positive.

"We need the fans to sell the tickets for us - say to your mates 'come on, dig deep and have a go. At £199 you can't lose with it, it's a really good offer'."

Bosomworth says work is progressing on Town's pre-season schedule.

"Quite often the top teams want to play lesser opposition early on as work-outs, but to play a top team as your first pre-season game is not an ideal situation from our perspective," he said.

"It's a juggling act. We have one game arranged with a League One club and we're in discussion with another Football League club for another game."

Bosomworth doesn't envisage anything changing with Town's hybrid version of full-time, which was adopted last summer.

"Jamie is creative in how he wants to get as much into the team as he can, and we do the best we can within that model.

"But it should give us a better chance than (training on) a Tuesday night and a Thursday night."

On the make-up of next season's National League, the Town chairman added: "It's pleasing to see Chorley and Stockport come up into the league, and Notts County coming down. Perhaps slightly more disappointed, no disrespect intended, to see Yeovil rather than Macclesfield arriving!

"I think it'll be a great league next season, and let's hope we're successful."