By Jack McGraghan
Following the news that the proposed takeover of Gateshead Football Club will no longer go ahead, joint-owners Richard and Julie Bennett will remain in charge for the 2018/19 season while operating the club under a reduced budget.
“I think in reality we’ve got to reduce the budget,” said Richard Bennett.
“Our outgoings are exceeding our income and the simple thing is we’ve got to reverse that.
“Gateshead doesn’t have a huge income, we have one that can be managed, but in managing it means a very tight playing budget and that at the moment is something that we’re trying to settle on.
“We’ve got a couple of budgets in mind at the minute, both represent significant cuts on the last but both would also mean that the club has a future.
“The figures we have in mind would be around half of last season’s budget at the most.”
Bennett also moved to clarify the situation regarding manager Steve Watson as well as those of a number of last season’s playing squad, saying: “I feel really sorry for the players, they’ve been excellent in terms of their patience.
“Obviously some couldn’t wait any longer and have decided that they’ve got to go, our situation at the moment is obviously to try and resolve the manager’s situation.
“We want Steve to stay and we want to make it an attractive proposition for him, he’s hugely ambitious, he wants to win things and we don’t want to set him up to fail.
“Steve’s got a few things he’s got to be comfortable with and likewise we’ve got to make sure that we can operate within the costs that will allow us to put a team out and compete.”
Although they will remain joint-owners of Gateshead Football Club for the immediate future, Richard and Julie Bennett are actively looking for new owners who can secure the club’s future.
“We still have some interest and the club will still remain up for sale,” he continued.
“We’re all well and good making Gateshead sustainable but it would be wonderful if we could bring in some new investors who could bring in a new future for the club.
“We do have interest but I don’t want to get too carried away because until we get to a finishing line it’s not worth getting everybody excited about.
“We’ve been delighted with the response from fans so far offering their help and support and we’ll certainly be looking to grasp that and I’m really grateful for those people who’ve offered that.
“I think what will happen, will happen and I’m confident a deal will be reached but I think at the moment we’re concentrating on daily business.”
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