STAFFORD Rangers made a major plea on Wednesday for more volunteers to come forward and help the struggling club after what has been a diabolical season.
A statement said the Marston Road outfit, who have experienced a third relegation in six years, faced difficulty on two fronts, firstly in respect of a difficult cash flow to see the club through to the end of the league campaign and during the close season.
And, due to a number of different circumstances, the club is asking fans for help in specific areas to lighten the load on secretary Mick Hughes who is the only active board member.
The full statement, released on Wednesday, says: “At the recent annual meeting Mick Hughes informed shareholders of the difficulty the club was facing on two fronts.
“The first was in respect of a difficult cash flow facing the club in the run up to the end of the season and during the close season.
“The second concerned the fact that due to a number of different circumstances he (Mick) was the only active board member and announced that the club would be asking fans for help in specific areas to lighten the load and ensure specific jobs got done.
“This situation was then made worse with other people announcing they were leaving the club at the end of the season. However, several fans then got together under the title of an Associate Committee to try and establish some specific objectives within both of the areas outlined above in conjunction with the board.
“The idea was to create a small team of volunteers who could help move things forward and subsequently find the right people for the right roles within the wider base of supporters.
“As usual SRFC fans got stuck in and the first meeting went well but concentrated on how in the short term fund-raising ideas could raise incremental income. As a result of this meeting several things have been put in action such as a Fun Day (Easter Monday) and funds being released by Stripes and the Social Committee to help pay urgent bills at the football club.
“We firstly would like to thank everyone involved for their time and efforts. When we pull together we can make a real difference. We are however concerned that the impetus of the first meeting seems to have upset some fans who feel that they have been left out and nothing could be further from the truth.
“This announcement seeks to clarify the situation and promise you that going forward we intend to be as clear, transparent and honest as we can be about your football club.
“We all care passionately that the club survives and is sustainable but our difficulties are far from over and we need everyone’s help.
“Football is all about passion and opinion but we need to recognise that infighting and cynical postings based on hearsay do nothing to help and diminish our overall efforts. We need to change and make Stafford Rangers Football Club somewhere that will attract new blood in terms of young supporters and new players alike.
“While fundamentally people want to see a winning side on the pitch it is the fabric of the place as a whole and how we work together that will help to attract both. That starts with the board; we hear you and are determined to make this happen.
“The next phase will be to post on the Rangers website a list of roles that we need help with. We believe that if we can get at least two people for every single identified role that will help to ease the burden for all going forward and in some roles we will need a group of people to share the responsibility.
“There is no getting away from the fact that all of these roles and volunteers will still be responsible to the board of SRFC as we must maintain an effective and disciplined structure.
“The overall effect we believe will not only be a reduction in the level of expenses we incurred last season but also build a spirit that will be difficult to break. It has been a diabolical season for us all and we are trying to deal with the results of this.
“We are desperately trying to get the numbers to work and recognise that we must have a long term strategy to work to. Lots of hard work is going on behind the scenes by you (supporters) and us but we are not out of the woods yet and need to be realistic in that short term as additional income is our priority.
“You do make a difference and together we can be a force to be reckoned with but need your patience, a little understanding and all need to pull together.
“We will post the roles we are looking for on our website as soon as we can and will try our best to make our communication better by posting clarification of issues on this the official web site.”