We have taken on board comments from supporters about the reasons for starting to raise funds for the Phoenix Club when we have. The following update is offered as an explanation as to why we believe now is the right time.
Why raise funds now?
Three main reasons:
- We are now a fully formed legal entity, have started our FA application and we are beginning to incur some costs. Nothing major but we are spending money on application fees, insurance, software and website hosting etc. Small donations help pay for that.
- Most importantly, we have now produced a full set of financial forecasts and we are preparing the new club to compete in whatever league we are entered into. We have assumed a higher league entry than we are likely to achieve for the purpose of the forecasts, in order to ensure we have a robust model, and just in case there is an opening higher up. The costs are not insignificant and vary depending on the league we start in, but we have assumed around £200,000 per annum. Of course, the work doesn’t start on the first day of the season. We need a manager, players, facilities etc in place with as much time to prepare as possible. We estimate that this could cost up to a further £75,000 in advance of the 2020/21 season. The more we can invest now, the better a club we’ll have at the start of the season.
- Some people have also asked us how they can donate. Not just Bury fans, fans of other clubs, especially those who have missed league or cup fixtures when they would have been playing us and have said they would like to throw in a few quid to help us set up again. So why not?
Initial target: £100,000. Why?
Rumour has it the owners of some football clubs have a habit of not paying players, staff and suppliers. We definitely don’t want that to happen to us. We think keeping a cash value of £100,000 in the football club as a buffer is something we should aim for to make sure we can always use it to pay our bills at times when cash is a little tighter, such as pre-season. It may take us a while to build it up but it is part of our commitment to financial prudence and protecting the long-term interest of the club.
An injection of capital at this early stage will also allow us to build a much better infrastructure right now, and recruit the right people to make sure we begin our first season with a flying start. It will also send a message to the powers that be that should a gap appear higher up in the league structure, we are ready to take it.
Why not ask for millions?
We’d be delighted if we could get enough money in to buy Gigg Lane right now, and we don’t want to ignore that possibility. But it will take a more significant fundraising effort to do that and we want to make sure we don’t miss the opportunity to build a football club now by spending all our energies on Gigg Lane. Don’t get the wrong message, we desperately want that ground back, we just don’t want to set an unrealistic target right now.
That isn’t all
As we hope you have seen, the request for donations is part of a wider fundraising strategy. Thanks to those working hard on the fundraising team, we have offered the options to purchase our first batch of merchandise (hats & mugs). These items are selling well in the first two weeks and profits from these will be reinvested into the club to generate further funds in due course.
We will also be soon releasing details of our first fundraising events, due to take place in the early part of 2020.
Opening up the website to accept donations is part of the measures we have explored in raising as much money as possible in the short period of time we have with which to set up a new club.
What if it doesn’t work out?
We’ll use the money to invest in an alternative club in Bury, or Bury Football Club should it be bought, rather than liquidated, so the money won’t be wasted. We can also invest in grassroots football through the Bury Community Trust. We’ve set out a refund policy, available to view when you commit to making donations on the website, which explains all.
We appreciate that it continues to be a difficult time for all supporters without a team to follow on the pitch. We endeavour to bring this back. If you can help towards this goal by donating, to whatever level you can, we will be extremely grateful. Please click the following link to do so:
Bury Phoenix Club
By the fans, for the fans