Gateshead chairman Neil Pinkerton has been “overwhelmed” by a new fundraising initiative launched by the National League North club’s supporters over the weekend.
With the coronavirus epidemic stretching the finances of clubs around the country, the Heed Army sprung in to action with a new funding page to help boost next season’s playing budget for their management team of Mike Williamson and Ian Watson.
The ‘Gateshead FC Budget Booster’ officially went live on Sunday evening with an initial target of raising £10,000 while offering several rewards for anyone willing to donate to the fund. By 9am on Monday, more than £3,500 had already been raised.
Heed chairman Pinkerton hailed the initiative as “essential” in a statement on Tuesday as they look to move into the next chapter under the ownership of a supporter-led consortium.
— Gateshead FC (@GatesheadFC) May 25, 2020
He said: “The football club has been overwhelmed and the support that has come in through this fans initiative is fantastic.
“The supporters are the heartbeat of the club and in this current situation, where workers are furloughed and we’re ever more reliant on loyal volunteers, the impact the supporters are having on morale and the finances is going to directly benefit Mike (Williamson)and Ian (Watson).
“We have come a long way since March and the income that we budgeted for was significant in the latter part of the season, so we have had to adjust our forecasting and budgeting accordingly.
“That overlaps into pre-season, so this initiative set up by the supporters is essential. Everyone at the club, Mike (Williamson) and Ian (Watson), myself and the board are so appreciative of their hard work.
“The fans will get to see directly how they have impacted the club by what is produced on the pitch next season. This perfectly highlights the strong bond between supporters and the football club.
Find out more on what we’ve been doing throughout the #COVID?19 lockdown, how you can sign up and also find more useful links for your mental health ??https://t.co/SMlsfxTKaw pic.twitter.com/tTcbpdQeWa
— Gateshead FC Foundation (@GheadFoundation) May 22, 2020
“We thank the supporters and the local community for their loyalty as we move into the next chapter of our football club and we hope we can bring you some positive and uplifting news over the coming days.”
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