Alfreton Town chairman Wayne Bradley remains totally positive about the future of the club despite taking a ‘tough decision’ to take the club back to part-time operations and reduce the playing wage bill by 25 per cent.
The Reds’ chief insists the changes will not harm future planning. “We have no debts, no borrowing and no issues. We are not looking to throw the towel in, we are not downsizing, we are reshaping, planning for many years to come.
“The club is in very good shape and we are not about to put it in any danger. We are looking to ‘re-invent’ the club in a way which will allow us to accept the challenge of the division.
“Our fans should know by now that we say what we are going to do and stick to it. They are not easy decisions, but the earlier they are made the better.”
The Reds supremo admits non-league football’s highest tier is a tough and unforgiving one.
He added; “Two years ago, the club engineered its way into the Conference Premier Division and were caught out by the sheer consistency of the division. It is by the far the toughest, most consistent division we have ever been in.
“That consistency comes from the better training facilities, discipline and quality of player at other clubs.
“We went into last season with other additions to a squad which had done exceptionally well to stay up in the first season and we managed to achieve 60 points and miraculously finish 13th this time.
“To even mirror that next season we would have to spend a considerable amount of money on the calibre and quality of player just to improve consistency, and we have had to ask ourselves, where is the extra finance going to come from?”
The Reds’ chairman felt there was no realistic alternative to reverting back to part-time.
“We could have turned a blind eye and carried on as we are which would have been naive and irresponsible; we could have looked to generate income – which is sensible – but you cannot plan with that scenario, which is also irresponsible and foolish. In the end, we chose to assess the last two seasons’ work and spend what we can afford.
“We have to shorten the base, we cannot afford full-time football at the club at the moment and we have to remind ourselves that once again, the ultimate aim next season will be to finish at least fifth from the bottom of the table.
“We do not intend to increase either the prices of match day admission or season tickets. Moreover, we will be looking to make it as easy as we can through other offers for our fans to get in at cheaper prices.
“I urge the fans to take up their season tickets again and support the club.
“It has to be a straightforward balancing act, but with careful planning and a lot of hard work, we can make it happen.”
Meanwhile, Bradley could not hide his delight that manager Nicky Law has chosen to stay on with the club.
“We have retained a manager whose nous and eye for bringing in talent is possibly worth four places in the league table to us each season,” he said.
“He could have walked away after the announcements. But I am absolutely delighted Nicky has vowed to stay and take up the challenge of building us a squad to compete in the division next season.
“The manager is enthused by things we are looking to introduce, including fitness and performance analysis and that is something we will be looking to recruit on that side. Fans have no need to fear reduced performances.
“Will we be as fit as the last two seasons? Yes, I would like to think so.
“We are still ambitious and have a good desire for the future. The only thing to make the difference will be the support levels.
“Do I think we will be in the division again this time next year? Yes I do,” ended the Reds’ chairman.