This is an official Gateshead Football Club statement from the office of Dr Ranjan Varghese.
With the 2018/19 season behind us, it’s time to reflect on a fantastic team performance that culminated in us securing a 9th place finish in the National League.
As the media reminded us on many occasions, this was most unexpected but was achieved by the sterling work of both Steve Watson and Ben Clark and their respective coaching teams, a great team of players whose drive and self-belief was a credit to the game and the unbelievable support from our fans.
I took Gateshead FC over a week before the season started and inherited a club that was haemorrhaging money on a regular basis. This was unsustainable and I set about reducing the crippling monthly financial losses down to a more manageable figure.
This has proved to be a significant challenge given the limited number of regular fans coming through the turnstiles coupled with our determination to continue to deliver a quality matchday experience.
Over the past 10 months, we have had to make some very tough decisions that weren’t always popular and weren’t made lightly, but they were crucial to ensuring the club’s survival.
These past few days in particular have been very difficult as we have said goodbye to several people who have played their own part in last season’s success.
But our sport has always been a fluid business with personnel moving on, sometimes during the season and, especially in our case in the fifth tier of the football pyramid, at the end of the annual campaign.
On a regular basis, we read about football clubs facing uncertain futures due to mounting seven figure debts and this is why, from the outset, I insisted on a plan to ultimately ensure that our operations costs never exceeded revenue.
Today I am pleased to report that, going forward, we are close to being able to reveal that we will be able to roll out an operational budget for next season that meets these criteria.
In order to deliver this strategy, we will be committed to developing local talent and taking exciting young prospects on loan from our EFL & Premier League neighbours.
I firmly believe we will deliver an attractive and successful brand of football with young, talented and local players hungry to grab their opportunity to prove themselves at the start of their professional careers.
Staying with our future plans, we have to improve our training facilities whilst increasing our home gates and with the latter in mind, it means we have to improve our matchday offering.
It has become more and more apparent to fans, players, officials, staff and sponsors, that the International Stadium is not ideal and we have been working hard behind the scenes to identify an appropriate venue that could become our new home.
We are currently exploring several options and expect to make an exciting announcement in the coming weeks.
Please rest assured that we are working towards long term sustainability, it has been a painful process but we are getting there.
Once again, thank you for your continued support.