Yellows guru Holmes admits club are ‘treading water’

Brian Holmes celebrates Unibond League title win for Hucknall Town in 2004
Brian Holmes celebrates Unibond League title win for Hucknall Town in 2004

FRUSTRATED president Brian Holmes has released an eye-opening statement to try and set the record straight about the state of struggling Hucknall Town.

He admits Town are “attempting the impossible to tread water” but insists they are “in a stable position” financially.

The former chairman, who bankrolled The Yellows during the glory days of the early and mid-2000s, was propelled into action after a series of damning comments on the club’s unofficial fans’ forum online.

These followed a run of poor form that has plunged Town into yet another relegation battle.

In a lengthy statement, which was released on the forum, Holmes addressed the club’s financial position, football matters relating to finance, the proposed new stadium and the past and the future at Watnall Road.

Holmes felt the need to act after some on the forum were slating the club, its committee and manager Tommy Brookbanks.

One fan, hiding under the pseudonym Harewood, suggested there were major problems at Watnall Road regarding finance and those running the club.

Others laid into Brookbanks, making accusations about his ability to do the job and how much he gets paid by the cash-strapped Yellows.

Town say they have since identified the culprit behind the malicious messages, with Brookbanks revealing it was a former employee of the club.

But it was all too much for Holmes, who stated: “Contrary to what is perceived, the club is in a stable position.

“The current debt-level is low on general creditors and the club works to its budget on a week-to-week basis. Obviously the bad weather did not help but we are past that and matters are improving.”

Holmes said the only uncertain issue was VAT and claimed a repayment may be due to the club at the end of the season.

On Brookbanks and the club’s football finances, he continued: “Tommy Brookbanks is not being paid £400 per week (as had been suggested). His wage is a private matter but his contract is as a full-time manager working 40 hours per week during the nominated football season, with many varied duties.

“The playing budget was set as per his requirements and the players have been paid without delay during this season, apart from the odd occurrence where logistics in the bad weather caused administration problems.”

After the highs of the Unibond League title and the appearance in the 2005 FA Trophy final at Villa Park, Town have hit a slump. But they remain sorely hampered until the move to the new ground is finalised.

Holmes, who revealed it could be three years before that move materialises, added: “It became clear that the only way forward, owing to the existing lease, would be to make the move and achieve a new base and stadium before rebuilding the team.

“The club are, therefore, attempting the impossible to tread water and stand still whilst matters proceed. The future will become clear during the next 12 months. However we will do our best to keep the club in situ and operating at this difficult time.”