BEACONSFIELD SYCOB’s playoff hopes were extinguished with a 2-0 home loss to Kettering on Saturday, but that is just a fraction of the story.
The players haven’t been paid for three weeks, the manager’s budget was cut in half ten days ago and the team hasn’t trained this month because the club can’t afford to pay the £60 an hour at Hillingdon Astroturf.
Under such a financial cloud, it’s hardly surprising Beaconsfield haven’t shone.
Manager Gary Meakin said: “There were problems behind the scenes with the budget being cut in half last week.
“We didn’t have the biggest budget anyway.
“The players haven’t been paid for three weeks either and we haven’t been able to train because we couldn’t afford it.
“It’s not the sole reason for our form, but you put two and two together and the time scales add up.”
Beaconsfield haven’t won any of their last six games, a run stretching back to the end of February.
They were serious challengers for the play-off then, but reality has bitten hard and the team are now back in the pack, in ninth place and likely to fall further as the teams around them catch up games.
Meakin insists his players haven’t lost heart though.
He said: “They’re not playing for money. Everyone is staying and I’ve got no plans on going anywhere either.
“It would be nice to work with a big budget but I’ve only ever worked with no money.
“And at least we’re living within our means, which some clubs are not.
“We’ve got bills to pay – we’ve had some games called off and the crowds aren’t there; we struggle to get 100 people there.
“No fans means no budget.
“But at least we know where are now.”
And there is a glimmer of light however.
Mark Brennan, who runs the club’s website, has put in £500 to bankroll Thursday training sessions until the end of the season, and Meakin says the club are also looking at new investors.
There is also the small matter of a Bucks Cup Final to look forward to in May, against either Chesham and Aylesbury.
They were due to meet in their frequently rearranged semi-final last night.
Meakin said: “Realistically, that’s it in the league now.
“Mathematically it’s not impossible so we’ll keep trying because we want to finish the season on a high.
“It would also be nice to take a bit of form into the cup final, but it’s a one-off game and everyone will be up for it anyway.”
Beaconsfield go to Northwood on Saturday.