Debt ‘almost completely’ cleared says Town board

Banbridge Town's Ryan Gourley in recent action as the club look forward with more optimism. INBL1505-249PB
Banbridge Town's Ryan Gourley in recent action as the club look forward with more optimism. INBL1505-249PB

Banbridge Town chairman Stephen Radcliffe says the club is “almost completely” out of debt.

Their financial worries were well documented when Radcliffe took over the position but in his mid-season review, the chairman indicated their current position is brighter.

“When I took over as Chairman in the summer it is no secret that the club faced an uncertain future; we had significant liabilities to various creditors,” he said.

“Reports of our impending demise were widespread. A new committee was elected and we set about addressing our debt. With the support of a number of local businesses, club members and the extremely hardworking Supporters Club a concerted fundraising campaign was followed.

“With the professional guidance of Jones Peter, Chartered Accountants, we successfully negotiated an agreement with all creditors. As of today our debt is almost completely cleared. I am immensely grateful to all concerned.

“It must be noted that the outgoing Chairman Andrew Cully, now President, had the foresight to reach out for professional help for the club some 12 months ago, in what was probably some of its darkest days.

“Having lifted our head out of the sand we have created a tremendous sense of belief around the club which gives us a great opportunity to look to the future and create a club that will be at the heart of the community and develop home-grown talent that will feature in our senior teams of the future.”

Now looking to the future through a more optimistic lens, Town are hoping to secure a Championship License for the 2016/17 season.

“Although we have decided to withdraw our application for the 2015/16 season we are already working behind the scenes to ensure our application will be successful in 2016/17,” said Radcliffe.

“The criteria are challenging but achievable. This will require partnerships with a number of organisations both local and national, starting with our own local Council, to assist in our path forward.”

The club chairman also praised the impact last summer’s merger between Banbridge Town and Banbridge AFC has had on the club.

“The amalgamation, going forward, will benefit both clubs immensely,” he said.

“The enthusiasm of the coaching staff inherited, headed by both Anthony Blackburn and Christian Beattie has had a very positive impact around the club.”