Fax boss: We’ll emerge stronger from pain of cost cuts

Halifax have endured a rollercoaster 2016
Halifax have endured a rollercoaster 2016

Halifax director Ian Croad has said the club will be “wiser going forwards” after having to impose close-season cost cuts.

Fax have reduced expenditure - on and off the field - and asked the club’s players and coaches to accept a 10 per cent pay cut, which would be added to their end of season bonus if they make the top four, to stabilise their finances.

It is a contrast to a year ago, when an exceptional finish in the end of year Super 8s Qualifiers left the club sat on a £780,000 central funding nest egg.

Croad conceded there would be “things we might have done differently, in hindsight”, but underlined the difficulties of planning ahead without a major financial donor.

“We’re in a position where we’ve had to take responsibility and restructure the business, which is exactly what I’d have done in my own businesses in the same situation,” said Croad.

“Yes, there are things we would change if we could, but the fact is most of the problems come down to circumstance and the structure of the competition.

“We received £780,000 in central funding for this year and next year we’ll get £200,000, which is obviously a massive difference.

“£200,000 of the money we received for last year was always going into next year’s budget, but the surplus we anticipated from this season has not been as big as we’d expected, although we will still make a small profit.

“Crucially, the effects of not making the top four were a lot worse than we envisaged; we played five extra home games, with five lots of matchday costs, but with crowds of around 1,000, so the income was massively below what we might have expected.

“It’s been painful; as a club we’re feeling the pain and the players are feeling the pain, but we’ll be wiser for it going forwards.

“The fact remains it’s difficult to sit down in May or June and plan how you’re running the business and the team the following year when you don’t find out where you finish and how much funding receive until September.

“There’s always going to be an element of risk and we found ourselves on the wrong side of that.”

Croad, who flatly denied that any current or former directors had repaid their loans using last year’s jackpot, said he expected the club to recover in 2017.

“We’ve got a budget in place, we’re up to date with the rent, we’re up to date with the PAYE, we’re up to date with the VAT, that’s not a bad place to be,” he said, speaking just hours after Championship rivals Bradford went into administration.

“We’ve done what we had to do and we’re in a better place because of it.”