Garstang FC: How a club down to its bare bones prepares for a new season

Garstang FC are still doing their bit for the local area despite in need of help.

Garstang Football Club’s Financial Director Marc Armstrong has raised his concerns about the impact on club finances caused by COVID-19.

The club, which plays in the North West Counties League Division One North, is heavily reliant on volunteers in order to keep it running and Armstrong has admitted that the club is down to its bare bones.

Based at the Riverside, Garstang, the club has had two consecutive seasons cut short due to the pandemic and the majority has been played behind closed doors, with no fans allowed to attend.

Garstang, managed by Richard Cookney, rely on fan contribution like all other similar non-league clubs, whether that be through ticket sales, or a pie and pint at the game.

Garstang have recently started playing friendly fixtures in order to prepare for next season Source: @GarstangFC Twitter

However, Armstrong said: “With the further suspension of the season the financial impact is starting to hit home.

“The club is losing revenue in terms of gate money, catering and merchandise.”

Just seven games had been played by Garstang before their 2020-21 campaign was halted prematurely, but plans are already being made for the new season which is set to begin on July 31.

Armstrong admits however that there is a lot of areas still in the dark.

“Due to the impact on local businesses we have lost several key sponsors which will affect the running of the club next season,” he added.

Winners of the 2017-18 West Lancashire League Premier, Garstang are an ambitious club that hope to progress up the pyramid, however help will be needed off the pitch.

“Apart from the financial impact we have also had two volunteers step back, one through fear due to the virus and the other as they have found other things to do with their time.  These will prove difficult to replace and place further demands on the small number of volunteers left,” said Armstrong.

Uncertainty seems to be a common theme since COVID-19 changed the way we live our lives, and it’s a big worry for all non-league clubs – Garstang included.

“We are still unsure how next year will be and like everyone else the uncertainty is the main issue.”

Despite all these worries, the club is doing its bit for the local area, raising money for local foodbanks with players and coaches running 3,000km.

Manager Richard Cookney doing his bit to raise money for local foodbanks. Source: Garstang FC Youtube

“On a brighter note the players are fund-raising for a local charity and have so far raised £560 which is a great achievement to put something back into the local community,” said Armstrong.

If you would like to help out Garstang FC and local foodbanks, you can donate to the cause here.