MORE work was done on the budget at the last board meeting and we have finally put together a forecast based, perhaps with pessimism, of COVID still being around and wiping out the possibility of friendlies in front of fans and restrictions on crowd numbers.

Our number crunching revealed a six-figure shortfall in income against expenditure which wasn’t really a surprise. 2021 is going to be tough.

Similarly to 2020 we can’t afford to just sit back and feel sorry for ourselves and we must put a plan in place to exceed those income projections whilst keeping an eye on overheads. We are conscious that sometimes the obvious thing to do when managing a budget is to cut costs but at the same time we want the club to grow and provide sufficient funds to make a genuine attempt at promotion. We think that Barrow's rightful place is at least in the Championship and we must continue to grow the income streams to earn that slot.

With a lot of our expenditure fixed, the variables are on the income side and whilst our plans aren’t firm yet we do have some income generating ideas. There is a train of thought in the boardroom that the financial success of our beer garden could be repeated next summer. With that in mind we are considering moving our home fixtures to Saturdays between May and August with a view to keeping more people in the ground on a Saturday evening, almost certainly with entertainment provided. This will allow us to open on the Sunday and perhaps the whole of the following weekend if we have an away fixture. We had some really good days this summer when we hosted our Pop Festival, brilliantly organised by Knight Productions, our Soul Day with some fantastic DJs and some our nights in the tent. Obviously numbers were severely restricted for some of these events and it is hoped that COVID is a distant memory next summer.

Off the field we are still thinking of recruitment which may seem bizarre when we are trying to balance the books. However, we have so many more products to offer commercially that this team needs to grow, and we put the feelers out for a media and marketing manager recently and we need to make progress with that. It may be that we look at the Kickstart Scheme to introduce new people to our club or look at the Government help in taking on Apprentices.

We also recognise that the boardroom is a little light and we have put the feelers out to some quality individuals to see if they could join us on the journey.