Coleraine are feeling the cold chill of recession.
While the numbers were adding up nicely in terms of goals against minnows Ballynahinch United in the Irish Cup on Saturday, chairman Colin McKendry revealed the same might not be the case for the club’s bank balance.
But while he launched an appeal for help in exploring new methods of generating income, he also was at pains to stress that Coleraine are not about to be enveloped in a crisis similar to the one which crippled them back in 2006.
McKendry said: “We are no different from any other Irish League club. Times are hard and generating income is even more challenging than ever as the recession remains with us all and challenges every walk of life from business right through to sport.”
McKendry believes the Irish FA should be looking at ways of helping clubs better.
“We need more support for what is a very good product but you only have to look around you to see how clubs are struggling.
“Attendances in general are down and the squeeze is on,” he says.
At Coleraine, sponsorship and money-raising corporate events have been less successful than previous seasons and although McKendry applauds the effort from the club’s Social Club the chairman is keen to see Coleraine and other clubs explore methods of bringing in revenue.
“We have had terrific backing from the Coleraine community and business people since the club came out of the doldrums a few years back and the Friends of Coleraine group continue to ensure that the club owes no-one money.
“There is no crisis on the horizon but we project that we require to bring in around £35,000 between now and the end of the season to meet outgoings.
“We want to be open and honest about the way we run the club and that means we must be proactive about generating new revenue streams to ensure Coleraine continues to be sustainable.
“This is as much about hearing from anyone who is willing to invest their time in exploring new avenues of generating support and helping the club help itself,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bannsiders set up a sixth round derby with Ballymena after a second half demolition of their Amateur League opponents, 13 years since they last hit seven without reply in the cup, against Comber Rec.
Curtis Allen broke the deadlock in the 50th minute and Stephen Lowry and Ruari Harkin, from the penalty spot, both scored twice along with substitutes Paul Owens and Stewart McMullan.