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Grant aid gives Histon a boost as new Isthmian League season looms

New Histon chairman Richard Barlow. Picture: Howard Wilkins
New Histon chairman Richard Barlow. Picture: Howard Wilkins

Richard Barlow has outlined how careful management of finances has been crucial for Histon during the fallow period.

The new chairman has revealed that the Stutes have been assisted during the off-season by a crowdfunding campaign by supporters and also grants from Sport England, South Cambs District Council and the Football Foundation.

As with many non-League clubs, while Histon may not be professional, they had certain overheads still to pay, but the income had dried up.

“The finances of running these football clubs is very difficult, it’s a constant struggle to make ends meet,” said Barlow.

“There is no way you get enough money through the turnstiles to pay all of the bills you have to meet.

“Despite the fact that the lion’s share of the work is done by unpaid volunteers, there just are plenty of bills that still have to be paid.

“The environment is very difficult, but against that there are certain expenditures you don’t have to incur either.

“We’ve had to manage our finances extremely carefully, and the actions that have been available through government and other routes to claim some grant money to help us through this difficult period have been extremely useful to Histon Football Club.”

Finance secretary Keith Nichols identified the grants available, making successful bids to Sport England, the district council and the Football Foundation.

Barlow added: “Our financial situation is not as difficult as it might easily have been.”

It is all the more reason that the JustGiving page at the start of the pandemic was of equal importance.

It was initially hoped that £1,000 could be raised, but Stutes supporters chipped in with a total of £2,295.

“All of the usual things that you do dry up in these circumstances, so the idea of asking our fans whether they would help us through came from John Payne initially and they were very generous,” said Barlow.

“We significantly exceeded the target we had set.

“I wouldn’t want anyone to think that has given us a gigantic mountain of cash, it merely means that looking ahead into this unknown period – for possibly quite a protracted period when we were not able to play football – it lengthened the period in which we can continue to pay the outgoings despite the fact we haven’t got the normal income.”

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