1. ITV Report

Lowestoft Town confident of financial crisis recovery

Lowestoft Town's home ground, Crown Meadow Photo: ITV News Anglia

Officials at Lowestoft Town Football Club are confident they can recover from their financial crisis despite owing money to players, staff and suppliers.

Committee members at the Isthmian League Premier Division outfit are still coming to terms with the situation, having revealed their financial difficulties at the weekend.

On Monday (March 5) the club's chairman Alan Green stood down for health reasons. Lowestoft also sold their leading goalscorer, striker Jake Reed, to one of their league rivals, Leiston Town.

The club, which reached played at Wembley in the FA Vase Final in 2008, plans to hold a supporters meeting to fully outline their plight. and won't reveal specifics until then.

Players and staff haven't been paid since December, and they are also trying to manage large outstanding supplier invoices.

Lowestoft Town directors pondering what the future holds for their club. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's a substantial amount of debt in terms of supplier debt. But the accounts are manageable.

"They are people here in the local community, local businesses that we deal with. And they are happy to deal with us and be patient.

"There's a couple who aren't being as patient, purely because they've been waiting for long enough."

– Sam Hossack, Lowestoft Town Director

When announcing their financial difficulties Lowestoft admitted their 'very high' wage structure was a contributory factor, as well as falling home attendances and match-day revenue.

They made a steady rise up to the Conference North Division (now the Vanarama National League North) but were relegated in 2016.

They're now fighting relegation from the Isthmian League Premier, and look set to restructure after this season.

"The former parties who were involved which included myself - I was the commercial manager before as a director - we worked hard tirelessly to get the sponsorship in to meet that shortfall.

"But the contracted players had been here for a number of years so it's been hard.

"It's not a simple thing where you can just get rid of these players because they're on contracts. And at the end of the day these lads have been fantastic for us for a number of years.

"Now we need people to rally behind us. The whole of the region of Norfolk and Suffolk football fans, families, people young and old. "If you have any affiliation with football as a whole, now's the time, if you can, and have the time to do so, rally behind us.

"Long term we've got an open door policy in terms of people, individuals, businesses, who want to come in and hopefully sponsor the club, invest in the club, and ultimately maybe even run the club. "Unfortunately Alan has had to step down (as chairman) through illness, so now there is that opening."

– Sam Hossack, Lowestoft Town Director