Bentley faces budget cut next season

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley
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Jim Bentley is set to have his wage budget cut again next season.

The Shrimps boss faces having to tighten the purse strings for the second campaign running due to disappointing Globe Arena crowds but club chairman Peter McGuigan is confident his manager can continue to defy the odds on the field.

McGuigan said: “I would imagine the budget will go down again next season.

“Last year our average attendance was 2,150 and this year it’s probably about 1,800 and 1,900 and what would be the bet for next year? There is a recession out there.

“Money is tight and you’d be a wise man or a foolish man to say you’re going to get more down here next year.

“We’re looking at all costs not just wages. We’ve spoken to Jim and it will be tight. We’ve got to look for good players, young players coming through and keep that mix of experience that we already have.

“I’m sure every club in our league will be looking to reduce their wage budget next year.”

McGuigan insisted that reducing the budget won’t put The Shrimps’ League 2 future in danger saying the move to the Globe Arena back in 2010 could secure their Football League status for some time to come.

He said: “I think it is sustainable.

“It’s not all about the money you pay players, you have injuries and loss of form so I don’t think it’s necessarily the team that spends the most money.

“I think what it is is attendances. The teams with the highest attendances are near the top of the league.

“So I think we’ve punched above out weight and can continue to do so.

“Every club is having its financial troubles and we’re no different because the attendances are not here, so we have to look at ways and means of how to get through.

“Fortunately we’re not just a football club. If we were still at Christie Park, there’s no way we’d ever still be in the Football League in my opinion.

“Because finances are just not there to do it.

“We are in the Football League, we want to stay in the Football League and I think Jim and Kenny can build a team as good as we have now on a lower budget.”

And The Shrimps chairman is looking up rather than down, even eyeing a future higher up the Football League.

He said: “We are ambitious, at a point in time we still harbour thoughts of getting to League 1.

“The infrastructure is here in my opinion to take us to League 1. The wages will be high but you’d like to think the attendances will be high.

“There were a lot of people when we were in the Conference saying ‘oh you’ll never make it there’ and we did.

“I think we surprised a lot of people. And football today in my opinion is a lot more than the match days it’s everything around it and I think we have that, which gives us that future financial stability.”