The Basingstoke Town manager has warned the club may not survive with challenges to its budget and low morale.
The Stoke beat high flying Kettering at the weekend, but the good news came with a sour note with Terry Brown saying the team’s promising players are being ‘let down’.
Expressing his frustration, he said: “How long we can maintain paying these boys and keeping this team is I think the next question that we will be asking ourselves and we are running at a loss to fill that side, we haven’t got enough to fill.
“So it’s a fantastic day but a sad realisation that the club can’t even fund a team on the budget of just over a grand a week.”
The club went into community ownership towards the end of last year and an appeal began to raise £20,000 for ‘a reasonable squad of players’.
Brown said: “It’s disappointing as a manager because we just outplayed the side that is top of the table but we are not in a position to do that the next week and the week after.
“Our boys won’t have a problem getting into clubs but we will have a problem winning games and keeping the morale up because after what has been the best performance of the season I’m going to have to look at cutting the budget.
“There’s no alternative to it because we are running at a loss and there’s no chance of us getting relegated this year. I think we are letting down the players of the club. The kids are hardly being paid any money.
“The situation that the club is in, it’s in a dire dire strait and for me to be at the helm of it absolutely guts me.”
The club has been facing uncertainty since former chairman Rafi Razzak decided to end his involvement with the club, with the Camrose set to be sold off for redevelopment with potential housing plans.
The club has been fundraising to maintain the squad for this season, with several schemes encouraging people to become members and help sponsor the team so that it can ‘survive and thrive’.
Mr Brown added: “[There are] 160,000 people in Basingstoke and we can’t pay for a team. It’s doing my head in at the moment.”