FC Halifax Town: Full steam ahead! Chairman on Town’s big step

David Bosomworth
David Bosomworth

Town chairman David Bosomworth says the club’s move to a full-time model will give it the best chance of getting into the promotion picture.

Bosomworth says Halifax will now be training three or four mornings a week, rather than the two evenings a week model that has been in place since the club reformed in 2008.

The club will primarily be training at Weetwood in Leeds, which will be their main base, but there would be flexibility to train elsewhere too, said the chairman.

“It isn’t Football League full-time in terms of 52 weeks. But it is full-time and it has a major impact for the club.

“It’s an opportunity for the manager to work with the players in terms of fitness, strategy, patterns of play and work with individuals from a development point of view.

“It also has a financial impact for the club but we felt the time was right in our 10th season to give it the best shot we can.

“The league isn’t getting any easier. There are another two teams coming down with substantial parachute payments in Barnet and Chesterfield. Salford and Harrogate are coming up and they have vast finances backing them.

“Only time will tell how it works out but Jamie (manager Fullarton) is a developer of players and wants to spend as much time as he can with them.”

Bosomworth says training will be three or four days a week but will be a flexible arrangement.

“It will be quite fluid,” he said, “especially in a week where we have an overnight stay.

“Sometimes they stop en route to a game and train on the way down. That might mean it’s four days a week.

“The reality is Jamie will utilise the time he has got with the players.

“But that has got to be better than training two nights a week longer-term.

“We want to get back to developing players, either for our first-team to help us progress, or to generate revenue.

“Jamie has a very good idea of what he wants to do.

“The proof of the pudding will be in the results and how competitive we are.”

Bosomworth said there would be a financial impact with going full-time, so it was more important than ever to generate income.

“We have utilised reserves this season,” he said.

“It’s important to bring players in that are going to make us competitive.

“It’s different in terms of how it operates but it is an increase in costs, so we need income from season ticket sales, sponsorship and hospitality.

“It will be hard work, but everybody has to play their part.

“We want to maintain our level of season ticket sales. We appreciate they have increased in price but we have tried to be as conservative as we can with those increases.

“I think the fans have said they would like (the club) to go full-time, but there is a cost to doing that, and we have had to pass some of it onto the fans to help us try and make it happen.

“It wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly but let’s give ourselves the best chance.

“It’s our 10th year and we want to be in and around those play-offs. Macclesfield demonstrated it can be done on one of the more tighter budgets in the league, but every pound helps.

“We’ve gone with the deferred payment scheme, allowing people to pay over three months.

“We know it’s difficult but we need the support from the fans, particularly anyone who bought one last season. We hope they will do so again, and that others will come on board.

“We fully understand it’s so easy to watch football on TV and competitive clubs in higher leagues have season tickets that are cheaper than ours. But they have TV money. We have to be realistic, the bills don’t stop coming in, nor do they decrease.

“Training, coach trips and overnight stays will all increase next season. We’ve lost two northern clubs in Tranmere and Macclesfield and gained a southern club in Barnet, all of which makes it really difficult.

“We need a good start to the season that enthuses the fans and gets them on board.

“If we get close to 2,000 fans and they are liking what they see, that helps the club. A cup run, or a televised game would also be vital to sustain what we are doing.

“I wouldn’t say we’re taking a risk, but we want to have a good stab at getting into the promotion picture.

“Promotion to the Football League has always been our objective and that remains the case. Going with a full-time model gives us a better chance.

“This league is unrecognisable in terms of the financial wherewithal of other teams.

“It will be hard. Even a club like Solihull Moors have got a backer. But if we feel we are giving it the best shot, that’s all we can do.”