Bamber Bridge chairman's ambitions for club remain undimmed despite Covid-19 pandemic

Bamber Bridge chairman Brian Ginty’s vision for the club has not been diminished despite the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bamber Bridge chairman Brian Ginty and manager Jamie Milligan, right
Bamber Bridge chairman Brian Ginty and manager Jamie Milligan, right

The Brig supremo was looking forward to making his mark on the club after taking over the reins at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium in February 2020.

However, Ginty hardly had time to get accustomed to his new position when the pandemic struck.

Since then his role has been that of a firefighting one – battling to keep the non-league outfit afloat amid a storm of cancelled seasons and lack of revenue.

His hopes and aspirations for the Irongate outfit have had to take a backseat for now at least, but Ginty is hopeful there will be better times around the corner and the opportunity to put his plans in place.

“My plans for the club have certainly not gone out of the window,” said Ginty. “I am working with the committee to try to put a vision and a plan together going forward.

“In my mind I don’t think Covid-19 has altered my vision, it might have altered the timings of when things can occur.

“But in terms of the strategic plan and the strategic vision, Covid has just become part of things and we have got to look beyond it.

“So really my plans have not changed – maybe the time frame in terms of what we can achieve or how we could progress has changed.”

The chairman revealed this week that the club is receiving financial assistance in the form of grants to help it through the pandemic .

With no rich benefactor behind the scenes, the club survives year on year through the money it generates by itself through matchday gate receipts, revenue from its clubhouse and also sponsorship.

The closing of the clubhouse – which is open daily – was a particular problem for the club has it generates a constant income.

And Ginty admits he had reservations about whether the club could complete this season even on the opening day, and when the campaign was finally called off it came as a relief.

“Even at the beginning of the season there was always doubt that we would get through the season,” he said.

“Then when the second and third spikes happened, it was clearly evident that clubs at our level were going to struggle without fans coming through the door and also everybody knows how much of our income comes through the social club.

“We are a members’ club and we generate a lot of our income through the bar business through functions. Once that was gone we were always going to struggle. The income we generate through the football and people coming through the gates is not sufficient to run a team of Bamber Bridge’s standard.

“Initially we had reduced capacity for the games at the start of the season but that was fine because the 600 maximum was fine for our average gates which is about 300 to 350.

“But we didn’t have all the other supplementary incomes which the bar generates through the functions that we organise. All that had to be cancelled.”