Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Ballymena United latest to suffer severe cash woes

The financial plight facing many of the Irish Premier League clubs, is reflected in Ballymena United losing £107,000 last season — their largest loss for many years.

Hence Roy Walker’s clear out at the Showgrounds with several contracts not being renewed.

On the plus side, the club will welcome the continued backing of McBurney Transport who have now sponsored the Sky Blues for 25 years .

That financial support is a lifeline for the club who like the others, will be faced with wage capping the season after next when clubs will not be allowed to spend more than 65 percent of their total income on players.

Auditor and former club chairman Edwin McLaughlin told shareholders at the club’s Annual General Meeting: “The club cannot afford another financial year like this.

“It has been a very difficult year for the club and the supporters have to thank those who run the club for keeping United afloat.”

Ballymena are one of the better supported clubs and do not have to worry about ground maintenance and upgrading at the Showgrounds as they rent the facility from the Borough Council.

The club have a new company secretary in Neil Coleman following the resignation of Kenny Whitbread while Jim Somerville and Ronnie McDowell are now on the management committee.

Several of the Irish League’s clubs are under severe pressure in the face of mounting debts despite the league being heavily subsidised by the Irish FA with some having already borrowed money on the strength of next season’s prize money.

The league had a loss of £89, 465 last season and that money on top of administration costs, was paid for by the IFA.

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