FC Halifax Town: We have to balance the books, says Bosomworth
David Bosomworth says Town boss Billy Heath may have to generate his own funds if he wants to add to his squad.
Town have signed five players this summer, but will need to add a sixth to replace departed captain Kevin Roberts, although that should be covered by the existing budget rather than requiring anyone else to leave.
When asked how Town’s playing budget will compare to other teams in the National League, Bosomworth said: “It will be lower end, Last year we were probably top three but this year I think we’re probably lower half or bottom third.
“But you have to get on with it. Billy’s said before he’s never had the big budgets before but North Ferriby still punched well above their weight so the reality is we’ve got to do the best we can with the resources we’ve got available.”
“It’s probably very similar to how last season’s ended up.
“We have to balance the books. At the minute we’ve spent the money so we have to work with what we’ve got. If Billy wants to make any more changes or additions, perhaps somebody’s got to go out before another one can come in.”
Bosomworth says the club has been unable to compete with some of the clubs in the Conference North in terms of wages when shopping for players.
“You always look forward to the start of any season but we hardly feel like we finished last season because there’s so much going on, it’s never ending,” he said.
“We’re back to business now. The lads have trained well, we’ve got the nucleus of last season’s squad.
“We’ve brought in Sam Johnson, Martin Riley, Bohan Dixon, Ben Tomlinson and Dion Charles.
“It’ll be a good test to see what we can do. It’s been very competitive in the close season. It’s been hard to bring certain targets in. But we’ve done what we can within the means of the club.
“It’s very competitive in terms of players going into the Conference North. Players are on £950 a week up to £1,100-£1,200 a week, allegedly.
“Those are the type of figures you’d expect to see in League Two, so there’s some serious money being spent.
“You’ve got five full-time teams in the north division, which is another attraction for players.
“You try and have a shopping list and do your best to bring in what you can from that.
“We’re really pleased to bring Sam Johnson in and to sign him on a two-year deal is good business for us and hopefully good for him as well because he needs regular football.”
Bosomworth was impressed by Macclesfield’s top 10 finish last season on a limited budget, something which Heath looks set to contend with due to an increase in operating costs at the club.
When asked what would count as a successful season, the chairman said: “I never like using the word consolidation, but who knows?
“Macclesfield had one of the poorer budgets in the league last year, but they had a great run in the FA Trophy, so that probably affected their run-in and they didn’t hit the play-offs. But you’d have banked on them getting in the play-offs and they’ve done it with one of the smaller budgets.
“You just want to know you can give a good account of yourselves, whatever that means.
“Cup runs are absolutely vital revenue streams. It’s been a disappointing pre-season in that respect because we’ve just had two gates of 500 to 600 so the revenue there isn’t coming in. Then we lost the Bradford City game as a revenue generator. It’s a lot of money, and you can’t recover it.
“There was a gate of nearly 900 for the Brighouse game and then we end up with 500 or 600 for games against league clubs.
“It’s very difficult because you need that revenue in pre-season when you’ve nothing coming in.
“I think season ticket sales will probably end up very similar to how they were last season. There may be an increase. Obviously there’s an increase in the cost of the season ticket but we’ve got a huge increase in our operating costs this season.
“The stewarding costs will go up again, the rent will go up but there’s no extra revenue coming in, so every increase we get is squeezing things. But we can’t run any leaner so the only place it can be squeezed is the playing budget ultimately.”
Town are one of only nine northern teams in the league next season, with 11 of their league opponents located more than 200 miles from The Shay.
“It’s a very southern league,” Bosomworth added. “When you reel off Dover, Torquay, Maidstone - they’re all long trips.
“We have one week where we’ve got Leyton Orient away on the Tuesday and Dagenham away on the Saturday.
“You have to do these trips at some point but we are one of the most northern clubs.
“Tranmere have got to be the favourites to go up. The two teams that have come down are going to be very strong because they’ve got the parachute payments.
“Leyton Orient are backed by Dunkin’ Donuts so they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.
“We’ve just got to acquit ourselves well, have confidence and see where we go.
“We’ve got seven games in August so we’ll have a good idea even early doors how it’s shaping up, and by the time we get into September, after 12 games, we’ll have a feel for where we’re at.”