Next few months are ‘critical’ says Hares chairman in bid to tackle Covid-19
- Credit: Archant
March Town chairman Phil White says the next six months are “going to be critical” if the club is going to remain in a strong position off the pitch.
White has seen the Hares move from strength to strength during his time at the GER, from building a new clubhouse to an influx of supporters both home and away.
These aspects have helped March financially, too, but like many non-league clubs, there was no getting away from the effects of Covid-19.
“Covid has really hit us financially; nobody can get away from that,” White said.
“We had our club open; the darts teams were bringing money in and they had karaoke nights and things like that. Those things have gone and money we’ll never get back.”
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One of the other challenges White has faced since football resumed was keeping everyone safe at home matches, where he reminds fans about social distancing rules on their arrival.
But despite this, there have been no positive Covid-19 cases reported by the club since the restart.
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“I think as a board, I believe it has brought us closer because we all understand it’s not about football, but making sure everybody goes home safe,” White said.
“It’s to try and manage that everybody is adhering to the rules, so it’s difficult, but we think we’ve done a good job.
“We’ve had nothing back from anybody, so we think it proves we’re doing the right things.”
Plans are being drawn up to build a new stand over the next two years, which White said will cost over £100,000 with contributions from both the club and outside sources.
March is placed in Tier 2 of Covid-19 restrictions, meaning that although they can welcome fans, their clubhouse will remain shut unless they can serve substantial meals, such as a lunchtime or evening meal.
A major revenue stream for the club is through bar takings, but White is confident he and vice-chairman Gerry Roe can still achieve his long-term aim as chairman.
“If we don’t go back into Tier 1 to open our bar, it will be critical without a shadow of a doubt,” he said.
“I’ve got a fantastic board; we don’t rush into things, we don’t spend lots of money, we’re cautious.
“Am I worried financially? No, but if you ask me that in six months’ time, it might be a completely different conversation.
“We want to leave it where it’s in a great place where we haven’t got to worry about it, and we’re heading that way.”