Desperate times warns chairman
Berwick Rangers’ chairman John Bell has voiced his concern that the club faces desperate times if it can’t secure increased support from the community.
“The club has consistently lost tens of thousands of pounds every year for a long time now in trying to maintain a semi-professional football team in the town,” he said.
“What has kept the club going has been favourable Scottish Cup ties, such as Celtic in 2011, and the bonus of having Rangers in our League in 2013. That well is running dry and we want to avoid any future crisis by getting the issue addressed now.
“To do that we need to increase the attendances at Shielfield, and we’d also appeal to local businesses to offer whatever support they can to keep the club viable. We have a number of very loyal and extremely supportive contributors, but we’d love to have a few more.”
Bell is well aware that some supporters would question if he’s the right person for the role, having served as vice-chairman since 2011 and during the disastrous campaign last year, which saw the club relegated from the SPFL.
“Relegation was a massive blow to the club, and it’s fair to say that decisions made in good faith didn’t ultimately work out. I was very much a part of that decision-making, as every director should be, and fully accept my share of responsibility.
“I also feel a responsibility to try to put things right and create a platform for the club to bounce back. I’ve recruited new board members that I feel have a lot to offer, and we’re fortunate to have some great volunteers that are really committed to the cause – without them we would have folded a long time ago as we couldn’t stage a game.
“It’s been heartening to see former volunteers returning to the club, but we’d welcome more help, especially on match days. The infrastructure that runs the club is almost entirely unpaid, and as any club committee will appreciate, various bits of legislation consistently serve to increase demands on our time and funds.
“On paper it’s a PLC, a business, but in reality it’s a community organisation
Continued on page 45