Kidderminster Harriers: Club have halved budget, says chairman

Aggborough, home of Kidderminster Harriers and Worcester City
Kidderminster Harriers' average home gate at Aggborough was less than 2,000 for the 2014-15 season

Kidderminster Harriers chairman Rod Brown has revealed that the Conference club have halved next term's wage bill.

Harriers struggled to pay staff on more than one occasion during 2014-15 and had to be helped out by the club's Independent Supporters Trust (KHIST).

Brown realised that stringent measures had to be taken to keep the Worcestershire club in existence.

"We've had a 50% cut to our playing budget," Brown told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"We've done that and submitted our budget to the Conference. We'll stick to that - that budget will not deviate."

Harriers have cashed in on their most sellable assets in each of the last three seasons, having seen Jamille Matt (Fleetwood), Joe Lolley (Huddersfield Town), Chey Dunkley (Oxford United) and Nathan Blissett (Bristol Rovers) all depart at a considerable profit.

Harriers on the decline...
Kidderminster Harriers finished 16th in 2014-15, their lowest league position since 1998.
They won just thee times in 19 games from the turn of the year after manager Gary Whild was forced to prune the playing budget.
They came within two points of returning to the Football League in 2013, missing out in the play-offs.

Financial pressure forced the wage bill to be trimmed further last season when Michael Gash joined Barnet, winger Marvin Johnson moved to Motherwell and player-coach Josh Gowling signed for Grimsby Town.

But Brown admits that there is no guarantee that any further transfer-generated revenue would be used to strengthen the team.

"Something radical would have to happen - an influx of revenue streams - to even consider giving some of that to the playing staff," he added. "It's about the stability of Kidderminster Harriers.

"I do appreciate we do need a bit of experience in key areas," said Brown, who only joined the Harriers board on 17 March. "We can't expect players who are moving up two or three leagues to automatically perform on the higher stage. But I actually think we're going to be competitive. I believe we'll be more competitive than people might think.

"When you look at other clubs' budgets and see how many are over £1m per season, it can be disheartening at times. We're going to be working away with a really confined budget at the bottom end.

"But I think the loyal fan base we've got would rather know that Kidderminster Harriers is going to be a sustainable business going forward.

"Hopefully we can re-establish some of the club's old values. For me, that is important. Everything is here. It just needs to be managed a bit better."

Kidderminster Harriers chairman Rod Brown was speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester sports editor Trevor Owens.

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