Supporters club under threat

Gerry Moore and John Powell of the Original Saints Supporters Club.
Gerry Moore and John Powell of the Original Saints Supporters Club.
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BOSSES of an age-old Saints supporters club say it would break their hearts if the organisation was forced to fold amid dwindling backing.

But Gerry Moore and John Powell, of the Original Saints Supporters Club, admit that the recession has hit the 280 members so hard that the club is facing a weekly struggle to make ends meet.

Committee members are set to vote on the precarious future of the 85-year-old club later this month, with club chiefs admitting the organisation may not be able to last another 12 months.

Gerry, 79, who has been involved for more than 50 years, said: “This present season has been the worst ever.

“What spare money we had we’re already eating into because the club’s main asset is the coaches to away matches, which have nosedived.

“We need at least 34 people per coach to break even - but for the recent Huddersfield game we only had 17. Support for the away trips has just faded away.”

It’s not just the coaches to away matches that the Black Bull-based club contribute to every season either.

As well as sponsoring Saints star Francis Meli for the last couple of seasons, they donate cash to local junior teams to help them buy equipment.

The club has even run a souvenir shop and helped to send Saints youngsters on a tour of Australia in the past.

Meanwhile, great-grandfather John Powell, 74, reckons the time is right for a few younger members to step in and offer some new ideas.

He said: “Our spiral downwards started when we were given just two weeks to clear out of our old cabin at Knowsley Road.

“Saints’ move to the new stadium has been a problem for us too because the membership has dropped more dramatically than we ever thought it would.

“We used to run two or three coaches to each game but now, on the odd occasion, we’re having to put our passengers onto a Saints bus instead.

“What we need is some younger members to join the committee with some fresh ideas.”

Gerry, also a great-grandfather, added: “We’ve got an extraordinary general meeting on August 22 where we will check how much money we’ve got left and discuss what we need for next year to stay afloat. At the moment we can’t guarantee we will be able to last another year.

“It would break our hearts if we had to call it a day.”