Uncertainty off the pitch at Abingdon United could see the club go bust within the next five years unless there are “big changes”.
Despite all three of Abingdon United’s senior teams still having a chance of silverware this season, an extraordinary general meeting was called last week to inform members of the burgeoning financial crisis.
Harry Burton, committee member and media officer for the club, said: “Reflecting on last season, we were successful on the pitch, but financially not so much off the pitch.
“At the moment, I wouldn’t say the situation was dire, but it’s not an ideal situation.
“Non-league clubs around here, no-one ever holds their hands up when they’re in trouble, but we are at a point now where we have to say ‘we need help’.
“The general decline we’ve seen over the years in ticket revenue compared to 10 years ago is massive. Even with the recent promotion, the club has struggled.”
Standard adult tickets to see the Hellenic Premier league team in action at Northcourt Road currently cost £5, with an average gate of around 60.
At the meeting, members expressed a desire for more regular and transparent communication from the club, which was formed in 1946.
Mr Burton added: “One of the things that came out of the meeting is to improve communication to our members, whether it’s needing help with an event or the financial situation.”
In addition to its gate receipts and sponsorship, the club also has successful darts and Aunt Sally teams and hosts music and comedy nights.
On Monday, the club will hold a ‘pay what you like’ game, where supporters can give the club however much money they think a ticket is worth.
Harry said: “We get about 30 or 40 people paying standard price; some might pay more, or some might pay half. But we had 180 people show up last time we did it, which is treble our average gate.”
He added the club was unlikely to collapse in the immediate future but “long and medium term changes” were needed.
“We are proud to be a community football and social club, with a great history and so many people have worked hard to keep us going over the years.
“If the club were to carry on making losses like it did last year, it could go bust within the next three to five years.
“Let’s take action before things get really bad, let’s try and get things right off the field to match our success on the field.”