Falkirk chairman Gary Deans has provided some major updates for fans as the Scottish football hiatus continues.
The Bairns are one of many teams left in the dark over how the Scottish football season will end. It’s currently suspended indefinitely as a global health pandemic causes the cancellation of big events all around the world.
With 43% of income at Premiership level coming from gate receipts, revenue is drying up and that figure will only increase as you go further down the Scottish football ladder. Potentially going four or five months without football could be catastrophic for teams.
Falkirk are no exception when it comes to getting hit financially. But in a big boost for the club, chairman Deans has told NTOF they have the reserves to fight through this period and extend contracts, should the season be extended.
“Most clubs rely on gate receipts. Cash-wise we can manage that loss of income, so for the Falkirk fans who have been hearing other rumours, that’s not the case,” he revealed. “We have built up a cash reserve that allows us to get through that.
“The cash reserve is not inexhaustible, we have wages to pay and we want to be able to look after people. We’ve looked at the figures, analysed it, looked at estimated cash-flow, on the assumption of having no income and so on. We can manage it.
“We’ve no debt. We’re in a relatively strong position to ride this out and cope with it. In some senses, and I don’t want to over emphasise this, that may allow us to plan to come out strong as well, relative to our competitors.
“I want all the clubs to be able to survive but we have an opportunity because of the financial position that we’re in to properly plan to come out this as strong as we can.
“What we have said to the guys, we’ll have to look at contracts if the season gets extended into June or July. In that circumstance, we’ll extend the contracts. We’ll have a two month extension if it comes to the end of the season.
“Some players might say that they are out of contract and want to go somewhere else. In the circumstances, I don’t think that will happen with many. You’ll have the odd player across Scottish football doing that.
“But at this time most people want certainty and that includes players. If the season’s extended we are saying that we need you and giving them an extension to their contract would be the right thing to do.
“There’s also the presumption that other clubs are able to sign players. Every club is going to feel the pinch. I can’t imagine any club is going to be racing about over the next few months to sign people up because there income is uncertain.
“There might be some who are in a fortunate position to do that but there won’t be many. The pool of clubs to run off to will be much smaller than any other transfer window.
“We’re sitting down and talking exactly that (next season’s plans). We need to plan, things will start again. We might be more cautious in terms of the decisions we make but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a plan in place, that’s underway.
“We went into last summer and had a complete squad to build. It was hectic, I don’t want to go into that situation again, nor will we. We’ll start discussions, we have plenty of time to do that just now.”