Huddersfield Town Women FC won’t gamble on promotion even if they win a historic first Northern Premier Division title.
The club were six points clear at the top and in pole position to be champions when the season was halted.
While they are desperate to clinch the title, the club won’t seek a promotion which could cost them up to a staggering £250,000.
Rather than go for bust, the club will stay down and build for the future, opting for financial stability instead.It was a huge decision for the club to make and chairman David Mallin said: “If the season is expunged again what is likely to happen is that if you finish first in the northern and southern divisions you can make an application for an FA Licence to go up to the next league. If you are granted the licence then the champions gain promotion and one team would then be relegated from the FA Women’s Championship.
“We were thinking of making an application for a licence to gain promotion. However given everything that is going on and with the huge investment that would be needed, we have decided to hold off for the moment.
“Another 12 months of planning would give us a better chance of succeeding in a bid. Obviously we know we’d have to be in a similar league position next season and keep our form up on the pitch.”
The club is run completely by volunteers as no one receives a wage bar one member of staff. This puts into perspective the challenge it would be to raise the £250,000 needed to go to the next division.
Mallin added: “No one except the physio gets paid at the club, not me, the coaching staff or the players. To move up to the Championship you’re talking about needing a budget of around £250,000 a year. So it’s a completely different ball game in terms of money.
“So whilst we were thinking about making a licence application the committee has decided to put it back 12 months and I think that’s the right decision. Firstly, we aren’t ready and secondly it’s not worth it as the season might not finish.”
Describing the process the club would have needed to go through and the timeline it had to have everything in by, Mallin added: “Basically the FA send you the application form in early December and you have to have it submitted by the end of January.
“That just doesn’t give us enough time to get all the sponsorship in which is needed. You also need a full time general manager in place and pay him/her the salary stipulated by the FA. All the players would go semi-pro.
“There are all sorts of contracts you need to put in place as a semi-pro club which we don’t need at the moment.
“I know the players would love to play in the Championship. However, there are a lot of things to consider. I worked out that you would have five away games that would need overnight stays which would probably cost £2,500 a time minimum. That’s including coach hire, hotel rooms and food. So straight away it’s a £12,500 cost there.
“It’s a massive commitment for the club. I personally don’t put any money in, I just work on behalf of the club. So I just can’t see where in the short term we could have got the money from. Give it 12 another months where we can calmly put our plans in place and arrange the necessary backing and, we hope to be able to submit a successful application.”
On moving forward Mallin is extremely positive about all areas at the club.
He said: “It’s very positive for the club going forward. We have a strong, well-run committee and a strong team on the pitch at all levels all the way down to the juniors. So for me we couldn’t be in a better position going forward.”