Seagulls: No cash for players
WESTON Football Club will be slashing its playing budget for next season – but has revealed a new plan to increase attendances and recruit young local players.
WESTON Football Club will be slashing its playing budget for next season - but has revealed a new plan to increase attendances and recruit young local players.
Club bosses have unveiled the change of tactic just a week after the Seagulls' relegation from the Blue Square South was confirmed with a 4-1 home thrashing by leaders Newport County.
Britain's tough economic climate, coupled with dropping down a division, means current wage levels and ticket prices must be trimmed.
Fans hoping for an immediate return to the Blue Square league will be left worried by news that some players will inevitably be sold - but bosses believe the change represents a chance to get more Weston players and fans involved with the club.
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Chairman Paul Bliss said last week he hopes to improve on a recent record which has seen only 'a handful' of local players make the grade.
He revealed there are a number of promising youngsters in the Seagulls academy pushing for places in the first team squad, and he believes encouraging local talent could also prove key to improving gates which were among the lowest in the division.
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A club statement, released on Tuesday, said: "The board has made the decision to cut the playing budget for next season. Due to the current financial climate it can no longer be funded at such a high level.
"Where it may seem sad news to many involved with the club, that they may not be able to compete at such a high standard of football, it will bring many bonuses for the community.
"As suggested by many local supporters, if we used more local players then the support would increase.
"Over the last couple of years this has been the case with Ryan Northmore, Mark McKeever, Dean and Dayle Grubb all playing regular first team football.
"This would have to be the future of the club, more local players from Weston and an even higher use of the Weston College academy, which has already contributed several players to the first team squad.
"As the squad will comprise more than 50 per cent local players it would be great to see some support for your local team and hopefully even with the budget being cut, they can still be successful.