Bognor football fans launch new fund to boost playing budget
Rocks fans have again shown their devotion to the club by launching a 12th man fund to help boost the playing budget at the disposal of manager Jack Pearce and coach Robbie Blake.
Fans raised more than £50,000 to buoy the Nye Camp coffers with a crowd funder project last year but since then the pandemic has meant matches have been severely restricted and, as a result, revenue has been minimal.
Now the 12th man campaign aims to try to help replenish the coffers. Bognor general manager Simon Cook explained: "The supporters’ club recognised the financial challenges facing all football clubs following the pandemic. We have seen very little revenue being generated for almost a year and as a result the budget will no doubt be tight for the 2021-22 season.
"As a result, a number of members of the supporters’ club have proposed launching a 12th Man fund, where fans can pledge a small amount each month by standing order to build up a fund. This would be donated by the supporters’ club to the football club whenever appropriate to assist the club in signing a particular player, or in maintaining a slightly higher wages budget.
"The club were initially wary of a such a scheme as it felt that supporters have already been incredibly generous in supporting last year's crowd funder project and purchasing record numbers of season tickets last season. However, members of the supporters’ club are determined to further help the club in raising funds, and the main committee of the football club are extremely grateful."
Kenneth Wood, a committee member and a fan for more than 20 years, proposed the idea and says he is delighted it has been given the green light. He added: "Obviously backers did an amazing job raising money last year and that effort has proved to be invaluable. This initiative is all about trying to sustain the fundraising efforts. We have had a great response already and we very much hope it can prove to be a success."
David Robinson, treasurer of the supporters club said: "The thinking behind this initiative is that fans who wish to financially support the 12th Man scheme can pay £5 or £10 per month by standing order.
"These funds will be ring-fenced and only given when appropriate to the football club to boost the playing budget, enabling us all to benefit in enjoying watching a stronger squad on the pitch. Just email me at [email protected] to request a standing order form."
In other news, the football club will be holding a social evening on a Friday in July in Seasons to welcome supporters back for the new season. Details will be announced shortly, but the evening will feature entertainment, a buffet, raffle and it is expected that the team management and players will be able to attend.