Harps chief worried over the financial impact on his club from the coronavirus crisis

Harpenden Town chairman Roman Motyczak is concerned about the financial impact on clubs in a post CO

Harpenden Town chairman Roman Motyczak is concerned about the financial impact on clubs in a post COVID-19 world. Picture: JAMES LATTER - Credit: Archant

Harpenden Town chairman Roman Motyczak is only too aware of the threat facing non-league football clubs the longer the coronavirus crisis continues.

Clubs in the lower levels of the game in England rely on income from matches, both on the gate and in the clubhouse.

Those revenue streams have now dried up and at the start of the lockdown FA chairman Greg Clarke admitted that “we face the danger of losing clubs”.

And while the chief of the SSML Premier Division club believes his side is safe for the time being, the impact from a post COVID-19 economy might have more of an effect, especially when it comes to the club’s sponsors.

Motyczak said: “Obviously the problem some clubs have got is they have players on contracts. At levels higher than us non-league players, rightly so in some ways, will be relying on that money.

“The £200 a week, they might be relying on that for 36 weeks. That might be a part of their general income. So, you can’t take that away.

“We’re pretty well set to be honest. We keep it within means and we break even every year. When we run a game we sort of break even.

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“We make a little bit if it’s a big game, lose a little bit if it’s a small game.

“But who knows where we’re going to go in September because I’m looking around at sponsors, some of our sponsors are local pubs and restaurants

“If I go to them in September and say ‘have you got an advertising board’, £180 or whatever it is for the season, they might say ‘well I can’t afford it. There’s no one eating in my restaurant, there’s no one drinking’.

“One of our sponsors is involved in house moving. He does all the house conveyancing as his main business.

“If no one is moving house he’s going to have a downturn in revenue and he might think ‘I’m going to save the money that I spend each year on sponsorship and advertising’.

“For us the league finishing early is sort of ambivalent. What’s more of a concern is where we go into next year and that’s a little bit more of a concern, how much of our income in terms of sponsorship and advertising is going to hold up.”