Harps chairman warns of further cuts

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Finn Harps chairman Joey O’Leary has stressed the club will “cut back to the bare minimum” in a bid to survive.

Finn Harps chairman Joey O’Leary has stressed the club will “cut back to the bare minimum” in a bid to survive.

The Ballybofey club are holding a rescheduled EGM tomorrow night where a number of issues will be discussed, primarily the club’s financial situation and an update on the development of the new stadium in Stranorlar.

In terms of finance, O’Leary maintained that since income had not matched budgeted outgoings there is very little room to manoeuvre. Attendances this season at Finn Park have ranged around the 400-mark and the club have only four games in Ballybofey between now and the end of the season.

Added to that, the new U-19 League starts on Friday as Harps face Sligo Rovers and although the new age bracket’s competition will benefit the club in the medium to long term, the financing of the team will cost in the short-term.

“We have a tough conclusion to the season ahead,” O’Leary said. “Football can change overnight but we will cut back to the bare minimum to survive. We cannot spend what we do not have and we have committed to the running of the club and players’ wages and things like that are in the budgetted plans.

“We have seen income dwindle over the last 18 months and people are less willing to spend. We will cut in all areas but in the same breath wish to field a competitive team. I would encourage as many shareholders to attend as possible. Down the years we have a declining number of attendees and this is a very important meeting.”

In terms of the new stadium, O’Leary is upbeat and expects Jos McMenamin & Sons (Stranorlar) Ltd, who are the contractors, to be on the site on Monday.

“We have funds to be drawn down from the FAI and expected the contractor, who had been committed to a number of school projects, over the summer, to commence work next week,” O’Leary said.

Harps wish to advise shareholders that the rescheduled EGM will take place tomorrow night, Wednesday, at 7.30pm in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey. This will be followed by an open public meeting to non-shareholders at 8.30pm.