With many lower league football clubs struggling financially due to the Covid-19 lockdown, SIMON CULLINGWORTH spoke to Farsley Celtic CEO Joshua Greaves to see how the club was coping with the pandemic.
How is Covid-19 affecting Farsley Celtic?
JOSH GREAVES (JG): “We’ve been digging deep and keeping focused, it’s allowed us to rearrange things and get some renovations done over the summer.
“We haven’t got any wages to pay out as players have been on furlough which has massively helped but we do still have utilities to pay for.
“We are fortunate that we own our own ground so we don’t have any rent to pay. It’s about keeping our heads down and getting on with things, making sure everything is better when we get out.”
The club has managed to re-negotiate contracts with some key players with Nathan Cartman being released by the club. How are preparations for next season going?
JG: “Nathan’s left and we’ve also released Elliot Wynne, Paul Walker and Isaac Baldwin.
“Isaac and Paul obviously spent last season out on loan and Elliot was in and out of the squad this year. We’ve also got Josh Barnes on loan from Derby County.
“We haven’t released that many, there’s a feeling within the group that there’s unfinished business after the premature end to the season.
“There are a few more contracts to get over the line within the next few days but the nucleus of the squad is in place ready for next season.”
I see that there are some renovations being done and the pitch is looking much better?
JG: “Renovations are in place all around the ground and the pitch is getting some much needed attention after the criticism it has received over the last year.
“I spoke to the National League on Thursday and there’s a lot that’s still in the air regarding next season. I personally think football will return in September/October, August is probably too optimistic.
“We’ve worked on the bar area and clubhouse and local businesses and volunteers have helped with this.
“Myself and two directors, Graham and Ian, have been at the ground for the last seven weeks making sure we’re ready for next season.
“We massively appreciate all of the help we’ve had from the local community and couldn’t have done the renovations without them.
“We’ve put crush barriers in place on the north terrace which brings the capacity of the ground in line with National League regulations.
“We’ve done a lot of work painting around the ground and the only area that remains blue is the seating area and this should be painted black in time for the new season.
The last job is to make sure all of the new sponsorship boards are in place.”
The new crush barriers located in the North stand behind the dugouts.
The pitch already looks ready for the season ahead.
With the help of local businesses and volunteers it looks as if the dedicated team at Farsley Celtic will have the Citadel looking great for the start of next season.