An Update From The Board

The Board of Directors would like to update supporters on the position of the club, both on and off the field, and give some indication of our plans for the future, as we prepare for the club’s AGM on Monday 22 January.

Since the last financial update in late September, the club implemented cost saving measures, principally in the form of reducing expenditure on player wages. We also introduced a range of initiatives to raise additional income, such as organising a music event after the home match with Tranent and launching the club lotto. These actions have meant that we have been able to get through to the end of the year and pay all bills and wages due.

However, an unkind fixture schedule (with only two home games between 5 September and 15 December) and the need to react to injuries, suspensions and changing player circumstances have provided further financial challenges. In order to meet the short term costs of the club until the end of the season, the board will look to alternative private sources of investment, which will enable us to honour the contracts and agreements which remain in place between now and the summer.

The board are fully committed to getting our club on a safe and steady financial footing next year, but even when reducing costs and boosting revenue steams this year, there will still be a substantial expected loss for the season 2023/24. It is imperative that future financial years operate at a break even level, and so next season’s budget for both playing and non-playing staff will be balanced accordingly. While this will see a reduction in spending on player wages, our budget will remain on par with all bar the biggest spenders in the Lowland League.

Reflecting on playing matters in recent weeks, we were faced with an unexpected change in our management team when Stuart Malcolm departed for a new opportunity in the SPFL. However, we could not be more delighted to have secured Thomas Scobbie as our new manager, with Dean Shanks as his assistant. Both Thomas and Dean are fully committed to lead this club into a new era, and we were very pleased to see Thomas earn his first league win on Saturday.

Thomas has already started building his squad for next season, and we are delighted to have secured the signatures of a number of players for another year. Thomas Kay, Lewis Barr, Grant Nelson and Kane O’Connor provide us with a settled spine of dedicated and skilful players, and Thomas is continuing to work on securing a few more contract renewals before the end of the month.

Thomas also has a great scouting network to support him in recruiting new players, which is led by our Chief Scout James Cumming. James has assembled a very strong team of scouts, who produce a flurry of reports on players every week. We are actively trying to find new talent from all areas and leagues, and hope that our scouting networks will allow Thomas to make the best informed decisions possible when assembling his squad for the 2024/25 campaign.

We are all greatly appreciative of all the support shown to us in the past twelve months. Whether that is in the form of attending matches, joining Club 1881 or one of our other membership packages, or coming on board as one of our valued sponsors or commercial partners, we know how many people have done their bit to help the club. The directors, management team and players need that support to continue to grow over the remainder of this season, if we are to be in the strongest possible financial position going into next year.

The board would encourage all Berwick Rangers supporters in the town and further afield to turn out in numbers over the festive period and into the second half of the season, to show the strength of support for the club in these difficult times. Your support over the coming weeks and months can make all the difference in helping us to rebuild for a successful future. We will continue to offer as enjoyable an experience for supporters as we can, and will continue to listen to your views – as we hopefully did when voting against the participation of B teams in the Lowland League earlier this week. If you want to go even further to help the club, we are always on the lookout for more volunteers to help us run Berwick Rangers, so please get in touch if you want to join the team.

We look forward to seeing many of you in Bo’ness and Gala in the next week, and hope for a large crowd and another home victory on the 30th when Gala visit Shielfield!

Wishing you and your families a very merry Christmas,

Kevin, Nathan, Dan, Dougie and Bob.