Gavin Cowan sure AFC Telford are strong enough to weather the storm

AFC Telford United manager Gavin Cowan has revealed the club are identifying cost-cutting measures to ensure they ‘keep their heads above water’ as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Gavin Cowan
Gavin Cowan

The Bucks will plough on with their National League North campaign behind closed doors as elite football continues without fans, with AFC Fylde the visitors to an empty New Bucks Head today.

It is another significant hit in the coffers for Telford, who did welcome almost 1,700 supporters back against Chester on Boxing Day, but will again play with no backing for the foreseeable future given the alarming rate in Covid spikes.

Cowan admitted that he has been in talks with chairman Andy Pryce to look at ways Telford can continue to stay afloat having now gone around 10 months without regular matchday and sponsorship income. The club remain extremely unhappy with how the National League opted to divide funds between clubs.

“It’s tough, I won’t lie. I always try to look at positives of what’s going on,” said Cowan, whose side won’t be in action against Hereford on Tuesday due to a positive Covid case in the Bulls’ camp.

“But more and more you can see it’s not a level playing field, whether that’s distribution of funds from the National League that have enabled other clubs to sign players, or fact we haven’t got fans at all.

“We’ve now acquired the West Stand which will be huge for our future, but unfortunately can’t use it at this moment in time.

“We have brilliant staff, but not a massive amount of people. The club have had to look at ways of saving money.

“Myself and the chairman have sat down and looked at a lot of ways we can do that. Ultimately, everybody is just trying to keep their heads above water.”

The Bucks boss added: “We’re just looking at making sure football can continue, that we’re thankful to be out on the pitch and doing our best, but there’s a plan on and off the pitch.

“We’re doing our best to create a more holistic football club with more areas of revenue and sustainability.

“There’s a lot of good work going on from good people, hopefully we can see the benefits when the pandemic starts to ease.

“We just need to keep our heads above water, stay in there and see it through for continuity, for the club, players, finances and mental health for players, for fans and myself doing the job I love doing. It’s swimming against the tide, but I feel we’re strong enough to come through it.”

National League South side Slough Town this week asked for the season to be brought to a halt due to mounting positive Covid cases within their ranks.

But elite football, which goes down to Telford’s step two of the national league system, is set to continue.

Telford’s trip to Kidderminster has been re-scheduled for Tuesday, January 26.

Cowan added: “I don’t have a lot of time for decisions made, the communication from the National League has been particularly poor, I liken it to getting dressed in the dark.

“We have to play the cards we are dealt.

“We don’t want to have come this far, with a lot of energy and effort, to just cancel the season, we don’t want to give up.

“When you have four points out of five (games) it would be very easy to turn around and say cancel the season but that’s the easy get out. Life has to go on, we can’t cave in.”

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