Urgent appeal for football team cash
FORT William Football Club (FWFC) directors are calling for cash backing in their efforts to sustain the only semiprofessional football team in the West Highlands.
After four years of injecting significant financial resources and considerable amounts of time into the club, the directors are asking if there is community support within the area for a Scottish Highland League football team.
The club requires annual funding of around £70,000, of which more than £25,000 has been provided each year by the directors and key sponsors.
FWFC director Stewart Maclean said: ‘This significant financial burden has been carried by six or seven individuals and businesses and this is, understand- ably, not sustainable over the longer term. FWFC has a support network of local businesses which contribute regularly through advertising or by “in kind” support but the club now needs larger sponsors.’
The club says while the Highland Council (HC) is supportive, it is unable to provide financial assistance. In addition, FWFC has a small dedicated team of volunteers who assist with match-day tasks.
Guaranteed block funding from the Scottish Football Association (SFA) has been significantly reduced over recent years with £4,000 being received for the current season. Gerald McIntyre, who is also a director, said: ‘ We have made significant progress with FWFC over the past four years in gaining our SFA licence for Claggan Park and improving park maintenance. However, the team is still struggling with results and this reflects in lower gate receipts.’
The directors are urging individuals or businesses wishing to keep a semi-professional football team in the area to contact them as they are hoping to be in a position to put together a viable financial package for the 2017/18 season.
The directors are also seeking individuals who are willing to give around three hours of their time on around 20 Saturdays per season to help on match days.
To show your interest or to find out more, contact FWFW by telephoning 07836 608089 or by going to any home game at Claggan Park.