Welcome back to the Money Shot, and you join us at the end of the first season. I have chosen this gap for first few seasons as this will see the biggest change in the finances then every couple of months.
The first season back in the Vanarama North and the board are expecting us to reach the play offs.
After a turbulent and inconsistent start, dropping as low as 15th we got into the play off positions early in October. Flicking about between 5th and 7th until late November. That is when our league form fell like a tonne of bricks and we entered the new year sitting in 13th and my job looking a little at risk.
After a team meeting form picked up and we steadily rose up the league. Slowly we got back into the play offs and with 6 games left we went top of the table, on goal difference but was top. 4 games left and 8 teams were still mathematically in with a shot of winning the title. All we had to do was match Kidderminster’s results and we would finish the league 3 points ahead. But the next match was a real test,
4 games to go and only 3 points clear we faced 2nd place Kidderminster, last time the teams met we lost 4-0. One goal in each half of the match, unfortunately for Kidderminster, so 3 games left and same points it was going to be close. Luckily we won all 3 of our last games where Kidderminster dropped points, meaning that we finished as Champions!!!!
The Glorious cup competition the FA Cup. Where the unexpected happens. The board expectations were to reach the First round. Starting in the second qualifying round we needed to get through 3 stages to meet expectations. We started at home to non league Sutton Coldfield. A disappointing 0-0 draw made worse by a disallowed goal for us early in the 1st half due to being offside. So off to Coles Lane for the re-match, a brace for Maguire and a 91st minute goal from Finlayson allowed us to comfortably win 3-0.
Borough Park called and away we went to face Workington, goals from Hopson, McGlade and Maguire got us to progress to the 4th qualifying round with a 3-1 win.
A away trip again as we visited Park View Park to face Welling. 2 early goals from Maguire and Dale was not enough and 2 late goals in the second half saw a 2-2 draw and another replay. Back at Croft Park and Welling was giving us a good game and my players just couldn’t seem to find the net, and I was starting to think we wouldnt get through, until the 96th minute of 7 added minutes and Maguire went around the Keeper and tucked it in the corner to win us the match and get us in to the 1st round of the FA Cup.
The 1st round saw us face League 2 Swindon, and they came banging at our door, but we held out and managed a 0-0 draw , the replay at their ground was much more even, and we got 2 goals in the first half, so we bunked down and held out, even after they got one back we ended up winning 2-1 and passed into the 2nd round.
Blackpool in the 2nd round at home, in front of a capacity crowd the team fought hard, but came away with a 2-0 defeat to the L1 team. So the FA cup run came to a end, doing better then expected. And as the it is the money shot save, it also netted us a cool £42,500 in prize money alone, let alone gate receipts, and considering the club was meant to loose 53k this season that has gone a long way to erasing that, may even help us run a profit, which is always the main aim in this save.
The Lower League FA Cup. Expected by the board to reach the 2nd Round. Starting in the 3rd qualifying round against Kidlington, Dale and Maguire getting goals to ease us through 2-0.
At home in the 1st round against Frickley was next, Dale and Finlayson getting the goals for another 2-0 win. Next up Darlington in the 2nd round.
Having met expectations the pressure was off. having arraigned extra time it was needed as normal time finished 1-1 thanks to Maguire. 2 goals in extra time by Maguire and Finlayson got the team through to the 3rd round.
Sutton was next, and once again Maguire netted early on to give us a 1-0 lead. But sloppiness came into it and 2 goals in the last 20 minutes out us crashing out.
So again in the cup we exceed the board expectations and netted a cool £18,000 in prize money. Between the two cups the prize money exceeded the expected debt forecast for the season so things are looking good for Blyth.
DeVante Jacobs is one of two players who have moved to the club on a transfer. A left winger he is brought in so that McGlade is free to play on the right wing. As Rivers is constantly getting injured. As a first team player is getting a higher wage of £240 a week but there are no app or unused sub fees in his contract.
Andy Nugent is the other player signed this season. A able back up for Liddle at LB. On £200 a week with no add ons is a decent bit of buisiness.
Jack Barlow, Josh Gregory, Connor Finlayson and Charlie Doyle all joined the club on season long loans. All without paying a penny in player wages.
As I said before any player can be sold and here it the proof, my best player, David Aktinson, the rock of our defense has gone, Charlton inquired about his availability and I came back with his market value, sell on cluase and a friendly, and they came back with 30k, add ons and the sell on/friendly I asked for. So i upped the upfront to his value and they agreed,
Another out was Damon Mullen. Although a very useful player as can play pretty much all over the field. He was not the level of player I wanted. So I offered him out for free. Altrincham came knocking, and off he went, although no fee was included it did clear £150 off the wage budget.
Dave McTiernan was the other player leaving the team, although only on loan to Hampton & Richmond, at 33 and only 1.5 star ability he was never going to be a regular. Luckily they agreed to pay 100% of his wages. So another £150 off the wage bill.
So as you can see a lot less red, in fact we ran at a very healthy profit. A lot of this came to the club through the cup runs in my eyes, as the biggest income over the season was gate receipts. This is because in the FA cup two of our matches were sell outs, add into the fact those sell outs increased our second and third biggest income. Match day income and TV revenue. That and selling Atkinson helped a lot. Also all of the clubs player/coaches, they all had contracts changed to coaching roles only. 4 wages of the wage budget and lower then their player wages.
So after this season a few small changes have made a huge difference, now the next challenge, keep the costs down in a higher league and surviving.
Should be fun!!!!