latest news, january 2011

Cuts looming for Terras?
By Adam Summers

Wednesday 5th January 2011

ROB Wolleaston could be heading for the exit door at the Bob Lucas Stadium after Weymouth chairman George Rolls insisted the club must continue to live within its means.

The ex-Chelsea midfielder, who is the top earner at the Terras, is a likely victim of possible cuts to the playing budget, which could be introduced in the coming days.

The club’s board of directors had planned to announce the reduction after last Monday’s 5-1 defeat at Bashley but at the last minute applied the brakes in the hope of finding another solution.

Rolls told Echosport: “We want to run the Football club as close to breaking even as we can, and unfortunately, at the moment, commercially, we are way down on what we expected to get in.

“Due to that, we have had to re-evaluate the whole budget and it may be a case where one or two may have to leave.”

Despite the prospect of a third successive relegation looming over the club, Rolls is determined to stick to the prudent methods he was asked to adopt at the start of the season.

He added: “The associate directors and the Wey-mouth FC Supporters Association (WFCSA) wanted the club to be run this way, and that is how it shall continue to be run.

“We began the season with a budget that should have been enough to keep us in this league but if cuts have to be made then so be it as we cannot afford not to live within our means.

“At the present time, we owe nothing to HMRC, and we should be proud of that. We do owe around £3,500 to other creditors but offset that against the £12,000 to £13,000 we are owed, and we are in a sound state but in order for that to continue we have to cut our cloth accordingly.”

With gate receipts also below the target set in pre-season, due to a lack of full-paying adults coming through the turnstiles, associate director Nigel Biddlecombe shares Rolls’ cautious approach.

He said: “The over-riding principle is that there is only so much money coming into the football club and we do not want to incur any debt that could put us into a position where we were before.

“At the same time we do not want a football club that can only be bailed out by an individual in terms of share capital or loans.

“We also do not want to accept relegation as it would take WFC to its lowest position since just after the war.

“However, at the same time, we have to be practical and the most important thing is that the club still exists next season.

“If that means we have to make cuts and lose some players then so be it. It would be a shame as they are a nice bunch but at the end of the day the results on the pitch are not bringing in enough supporters.

“From my experiences in different boardrooms this season, even if the budget was cut to £4,000 per month, without the manager and the coach and the Wessex Fantasy Football being taken into account, it would still be competitive with most of the other clubs in our division.”

Meanwhile, Rolls has responded to accusations that several of the club’s non-contract players have yet to be paid for December.

He said: “Like any other business, expenses sheets have to be in on time. Warren Byerley did not get his in until after December 27 so he could not really expect to get paid on the 31st.

“Ian Hutchinson now has that sheet and Warren will be paid by the end of the week. As for the other local lads being paid, I have spoken to Ian and it is up to him to stick within his budget.”

Rolls has also confirmed that it was Hutchinson’s decision to bring Wolleaston to the club.

He added: “People say that I picked Rob to come here but that is not true. Ian chose him and we backed him with what he wanted to pay Rob. If anyone thinks anything else they are living in myth and fantasy.”

A meeting will take place tonight at 6.30pm between Hutchinson, his assistant Andy Mason, the Wessex Fantasy Football and associate director Mark Coleman.

Biddlecombe said: “The whole thing is to be considered by everybody.

“The Wessex Fantasy Football is a vital part of bumping up the money available to pay the players we have got.

“They have been paying for Matthew Wright to be at WFC but now that his loan is close to ending hopefully that money will now be used to try and find players to improve the side.”


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