LAST Thursday, Barrow Raiders held its AGM with the accounts being presented for the financial year up to November 2017, our promotion season.

The figures didn’t make good reading and it was accepted that a certain amount of gambling had occurred to make the promotion happen, the wage bill being the most significant increase in expenditure.

However, we are now in the Championship and there’s a lot of League One clubs which would gladly swap places.

As a board, we have had financial issues to deal with this season, but we will get through them. As I’ve said previously, next year we will be starting from a much stronger position.

We also know the league will be a lot tougher next year. York City Knights and Bradford Bulls are likely to get promoted and they are clubs with momentum.

This year, we came into the season with that momentum and it was clear our team was competitive. However, our squad depth has been tested severely and, to a degree, found wanting.

We have two choices as a board because, quite simply, expenditure is higher than income.

If we cut expenditure then we are heading back to League One.

That might be fine for some people who will follow the club through thick and thin, but, personally, I am more ambitious.

It is the job of the board now to create extra income, and really raise our profile and standing within the community. I’m still hoping to make additions to the board which will help improve every area of our business.

But we also need to get a team on the field which is going to give us a fighting chance and I can assure you that we are working hard with the coaching staff to identify players to improve the team.

There is still a massive imbalance in the income distribution and we are near the bottom of the food chain.

For example, we had been in advanced talks with three current Papua New Guinea internationals, with terms virtually agreed. In swooped a rival Championship club with a much bigger budget and we lost two of them, with the third being thwarted by the RFL’s ambiguous overseas player eligibility criteria.

There are a lot of strong, established clubs in the Championship and it’s tough, but we are going to give it a real go.